New kids on the block

Girl group Wish Me's debut Grand Opening is the result of years of hard work and believing dreams can come true

From left, Minyada “Fahsai” Boonsup, Wachariya “Sprite” Jarupungomon, Thanaporn “Puyfai” Suriyakham and Wachiraya “Baifern” Gaeovong

Girl group Wish Me is unique in many ways. First, unlike many all-girl bands that have a lot of members, Wish Me only has four — Wachariya 'Sprite' Jarupungomon, Minyada 'Fahsai' Boonsup, Thanaporn 'Puyfai' Suriyakham and Wachiraya 'Baifern' Gaeovong.

Minyada “Fahsai” Boonsup

Second, instead of releasing a catchy dance title as a debut song, the quartet chose to go with a slow track titled Grand Opening.

"We told our crew we wanted to have a slow song with which we can dance along," Wachariya said, adding that Grand Opening features energetic choreography. Wish Me is under ESC Entertainment run by well-known entrepreneur Sanchai Engtrakul.

Grand Opening is a catchy R&B and trap song which tells the story of a girl's painful experience after seeing her ex-boyfriend in public with his new girlfriend. The song was inspired by music from the 90s since the quartet grew up during that era. Wachariya said some of her favourite artists are Rose Sirintip, Da Endorphine and ETC.

"I have listened to songs of the 90s since I was young. Their lyrics are not complicated. Their melodies are easy to understand and can be enjoyed repeatedly. One of my favourite groups is the trio Zaza," said Thanaporn.

Wachiraya “Baifern” Gaeovong

Grand Opening was written and produced by musician Sudkhate Jungcharoen, better known as Aek Season Five. The rap part was written by singer Copter Panuwat. Thanaporn said that as a producer, Sudkhate is nice and relaxed. He told her to not feel pressure while singing in a recording studio.

"I believe in Sudkhate. He listened to our singing and selected parts that suited our voices. Copter wrote the rap part for us and we immediately liked the lyrics he sent to us," said Wachariya.

Thanaporn added: "Wachariya and I had never rapped in a recording studio before. I was worried about it, but Sudkhate told me that my rapping was fine. I then enjoyed rapping; it's like praying."

Thanaporn “Puyfai” Suriyakham

Most girl group members are teenagers or university students. Wish Me, however, presented a rare opportunity to Wachariya, who is now 28. She admitted that she had given up her dream to be a singer due to her age.

"I used to think that my dream as an artist was over, but I kept up with dancing. I feel grateful to ESC Entertainment for giving me this opportunity. To come this far is a dream come true for me. After being given this opportunity, I think being an artist has no age limit. I appreciate artists because of their work, which has nothing to do with their age," said Wachariya.

Wachariya is not the only band member who struggled to achieve her dream in the music industry. Thanaporn was also disappointed after she did not make it to the final round of a singing competition which guaranteed the finalists a debut as a girl group.

Wachariya 'Sprite' Jarupungomon. 

"The creation of a girl group has many processes. The crew have to scout for several members and all members should get along well. Then, the crew must figure out a group concept. It is difficult to launch a girl group. Thus, when I got this opportunity, I tried to do my best," said Thanaporn.

Before Grand Opening was released on YouTube, the quartet had to practise for 18 months to make their performance perfect. The girls said they are ESC Entertainment's first group so the crew wanted the best of everything.

Only one month after its release, Grand Opening's music video garnered over 400,000 views, which is quite good for a rookie group. They also received positive comments. Viewers appreciated their catchy tunes, melodious singing and impressive dance moves. When asked about the views for their video, the quartet responded with big smiles.

"We were excited and often checked the views. The number of views exceeded our expectations. We were prepared for negative comments, but we have received more positive comments than negative," said Thanaporn.

Minyada explained that Wish Me were prepared for negative feedback because three members -- Wachariya, Wachiraya and herself -- were sick on the day they filmed the music video.

"Wachariya was in the hospital the morning before she came to the set. Wachiraya and I had food poisoning and vomited. Thanaporn did not get enough sleep. We thought if we had not been sick, we could have performed better," Minyada explained.

In the past, public figures were expected to behave as role models for young people. But, in today's digital age, many celebrities seem carefree and do not worry about behaving appropriately. Is it old fashioned for people to expect public figures to behave as role models?

Wish Me perform on T-Pop Stage Show. 

"I don't think expecting public figures to behave as role models for young people is an outdated idea. We try to portray a good image to young followers. We do not change ourselves, but when we are in public, in front of the media, or using social media, we choose to show our good side," said Minyada.

In the video for Grand Opening, actor Nattapol "Max" Diloknawarit performs with the quartet. Since Nattapol has international fans, they checked out Grand Opening and left English comments. To help these fans understand the video, there are English subtitles. The quartet said they are very grateful for Nattapol's help in gaining more views and a bigger fanbase.

Even though Thailand has many singers and bands, there are not many music programmes in the country to help them showcase their talent. The quartet hopes there will be more channels for music performances in the future.

"Although there are not many music programmes these days, I believe in the future people will become more interested in Thai artists. Then, executives will help promote Thai artists through more channels than now," said Minyada.

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