Thai K-pop singer Sorn releases solo single 'Sharp Objects'

K-pop singer and ex-CLC member Sorn has released her first solo single Sharp Objects. (Photo: South China Morning Post)

HONG KONG: In the music video for her new song Sharp Objects, singer Sorn is vampily out of sorts in a bathroom during a night out as she croons about love. It's messy and a bit hazy, all focused on the vocalist best known as an ex-member of on-hiatus K-pop girl group CLC.

Sharp Objects, the 25-year-old Thai singer tells the South China Morning Post, is the first of several already recorded singles planned for release in 2022.

"I feel like I have to release more songs to actually show who I really am," she says. "I want my voice to be recognised, and I'm learning about myself while doing these [songs]. I'm in the making."

Sorn, also known as Chonnasorn Sajakul, has been in the making for a long time, but she's finally ready to stand on her own solo stage.

In 2011, she won a K-pop star search television programme, and began preparing for a career in South Korea's entertainment industry. In 2015, she debuted as a member of girl group CLC, before leaving in 2021.

She's active on social media and YouTube, and is growing her presence on TikTok, where she has over 2.5 million followers.

As a member of CLC, a K-pop act with a moderate following but no real breakout hit, Sorn admits to feeling like she was rather shy as a performer, fitting into the crowd of seven women in her own special way but never really being able to experiment with how she would express herself as a singer and a performer.

Because of that, Sorn has been pursuing a crash course of sorts: the band member-turned-soloist is focusing more on her acting and body movements when on-screen in music videos, and she spent time songwriting and recording music in Los Angeles while planning her big year.

The song that is now Sharp Objects came out of nearly a dozen demo tracks Sorn was presented with. After listening to everything she knew the dark, dramatic romance of the song was waiting for her to sing it.

"I told them, 'I don't care, I'm taking Sharp Objects.'"

With her heart set on a trendy dance track overflowing with rich vocals, it wasn't an easy process to create her dream first single of 2022.

A pivotal moment in the remaking of Sorn as a singer occurred when she was recording Sharp Objects: the recording session had to be paused and finished at a later date, after she found herself crying with frustration at not being able to deliver the vocals the way she wanted.

"I went through a lot during the recording session," she recalls. "I wanted to really challenge myself this time, but I never had to sing a song this intense before. I kind of underestimated how to perform vocally. I literally had to go back home and study the song, and really think about who I wanted to be on this track."

Sorn hopes the song, as well as other releases in 2022, will show a distinctive side to her as a vocalist. She has learned she loves stacking vocals and that ad libs can make or break a song. She's had fun playing around with those and other musical elements, and trying to figure out exactly what she sounds like as a soloist.

While she released her first single, Run, last year, Sharp Objects is Sorn's first release under new management company Wild Entertainment after leaving Cube Entertainment, which manages CLC and other K-pop acts.

Because of this, it felt like a totally new experience and stage of her career, and she's promoting it as her "first ever solo song".

"I'm really grateful that I had that whole experience with my girls, and I still talk to them, every single one of them," she says. "Everyone's excited for my release, they're super supportive.

"I was actually really stressed when I was in LA, filming the music video. I felt so like lonely and like, 'How am I supposed to fill up this energy that I used to have with just me?"

Sorn filled the space with her hard-won acting skills, which she says she's primarily honed through looking at viral social media trends and her comedic TikTok short videos. Many of her followers on the platform don't know her as a K-pop singer, so she's excited to share this side of herself with them in 2022, and hopes to maybe do small touring engagements this year to meet some of them, Covid-19 permitting.

In the meantime, she's focusing on herself, and watching Euphoria.

This is a year in which Sorn will pursue her dreams: getting her voice recognised around the world, winning respect from musical peers and audiences alike, and collaborating with other artists. Beyond that, her ultimate dream is to break into the US' music scene, and become one of the few Thai singers to get a hit in the world's No 1 market.

Sorn recognises the immensity of her dreams, but she's working hard for them and setting her eyes on her ultimate goal.

"Throughout the whole process, I have grown a lot as an artist. I just thought [Sharp Objects] was perfect, the genre was perfect. The situation that I was in was perfect, because it really improved me a lot."

Sorn hopes this will be a breakout year for her, more than a decade after she was first put in the spotlight. "I'm working really hard towards [my goals] right now, and by this time next year, I hope when people listen to my music they'll say, 'That's Sorn's voice. This is who she is.'"

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