Living The Hallyu Dream
Teenage Magazine|Teenage Chapters 2019
The road to fame is never an easy one, especially in the cutthroat world of k-pop. We speak to four young singaporean hopefuls who took a shot at stardom and are here to tell the tale.

Akif Halqi, 23

Best known as: singer, dancer, contestant on kbs k-pop world festival

Fun fact: He performed a vocal cover of taeyang’s 2014 hit ‘eyes, nose, lips’ during the kbs k-pop world festival. the bigbang member must be proud!

Not only did he get to share the stage with global sensation BTS, Akif was also the first Singaporean to be featured at the KBS K-pop World Festival 2017 in Changwon, where he walked away with the Best Vocal Award. In addition to his vocal prowess, the talented charmer – who’s also part of local dance crew STARREseconds – possesses equally solid dance moves that has made him the all-rounded performer he is today.

On his childhood aspirations: “I started listening to K-pop when I was around eight years old and fell in love with TVXQ and Fly To The Sky. As I grew up in a musically inclined household where family time meant karaoke nights every weekend, I’ve always dreamt of becoming a performer since I was young.”

On his brief training stint in Korea: “I know it sounds cliché, but I actually enjoyed every second of the training period because I got to improve on my singing and dancing skills. One of the most memorable moments was when I received feedback from Koo Taeryong, a renowned YG Entertainment vocal coach who has taught many idols. He specifically highlighted my weak points – which may have seemed a little harsh, but it was definitely the push I needed which got me the award [during the competition].”

On the lessons learnt throughout his journey: “To believe in myself and make sure that I keep working hard no matter how much I’ve progressed. To not compare myself to others and always focus on my end goal. And lastly, to never forget my humble beginnings.”

On his goal five years from now: “Musically, I wish to become a successful singer one day. I want to be someone who can write and compose my own songs, while inspiring others who have a similar passion. On a personal level, I hope to pursue my studies and get a degree. I want to make my family proud, not just in performing but also in my studies too.”

Tasha Low, 25

Best known as: Former member of k-pop girl group skarf

Fun fact: you may recognise tasha from her stint on the 2017 survival show idol school, where she competed for a spot in the nine-member girl group fromis_9.

Prior to her idol days as part of the now-defunct girl group SKARF, Tasha was just like any other teenage girl with a passion for performing. Her inbuilt tenacity spurred her to take all the audition experience she could get, which was how she ended up at one that changed her life. Despite leaving her K-pop roots behind, the 25-year-old is now a budding actress and YouTuber in her own right – and she’s only getting started.

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