E-Junkies: Stayc members share hardships during trainee days, including living alone as teens and feelings of inadequacy

Stayc has been a force to be reckoned with in K-pop since 2020, but not too long ago, the six members were juggling school and idol training at the same time.

In an interview with AsiaOne after their fanmeet last Saturday (Feb 17), they shared some of the difficulties they experienced during their pre-debut days.

Sumin moved to Seoul from her hometown Pohang to be a K-pop trainee and attend high school there, living on her own.

"So, after school, I had to do all the house chores myself. I had to cook, clean and do laundry," the 22-year-old explained. "After that I had to switch back to my life as a trainee in the company."

The switch from being a high schooler living alone to a trainee felt like "a different part" of herself, like she was living "a different life", she told us.

Yoon was only 15 when she made her debut with Stayc, moving from Gwangju to Seoul halfway through middle school, and described her training as "the hardest time".

"I came into the company as a blank canvas, so I began to compare myself with a lot of trainees who were better than me in so many ways," the now-19-year-old said.

"Because I kept comparing myself to them, I felt that I was growing too slowly and improving too slowly."

But it was when Yoon began to enjoy herself that she saw herself improve "faster and faster".


"So from then on, with enjoyment came a lot of growth too."

Sieun, the daughter of singer Park Nam-jung, was already working as a child actress before she made her debut with Stayc. Back in 2018, she even won Best Young Actress at the SBS Drama Awards for her role in K-drama Still 17.

Compared to the rest of her bandmates who went to general schools, Sieun told us that she enrolled at an arts high school but found juggling school and work to be "a really hard time" for herself.

"I just slept less, studied hard and read my scripts all the time," the 22-year-old said, adding that she nevertheless doesn't regret any of it.

Sieun said that she doesn't mind going back into acting either, although she feels that she may be a bit rusty from her time as an idol.

'I was wondering if there would be a lot of fans overseas who would welcome us'

Stayc — which also includes J, 19, Seeun, 20, and Isa, 22 — embarked on their inaugural Teenfresh World Tour last September in Seoul, before performing at seven cities across the US and three in Asia, including Singapore on Feb 16.

They are headed to Europe next.

"Before the tour, I was worried and concerned," Yoon said. "I had this sense of fear, I was wondering if there would be a lot of fans overseas who would welcome us, or fans who would look up to us."


But her fears were dissipated when the tour outside South Korea actually started, and Yoon found herself "overwhelmed and so grateful for all the love, energy and support" the fans were showing Stayc.

The energy from the fans in the US helped keep their energy up, she said, so that the rest of the tour dates in Asia and Europe could be completed.

Seeun added that the fans in Singapore were "amazing".

She said: "Before the concert began, I maxed out my in-ear monitor's volume, and yet I could hear the fans singing along, the cheers and everything so clearly.

"I was really surprised."

To find out which Stayc member is most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, who's most likely to steal other members' food and more, watch the full interview in our latest episode of E-Junkies.



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