Artist Spotlight: Cherelle

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In our Artist Spotlight we always feature artists that we feel you need to get acquainted with for their unique style and wonderful music. This spotlight sees a non Korean featured for the first time. This singer is no stranger to Korean culture having become known for her Kpop covers and being invited to take part in major competitions over in Korea. We wanted to hear her story in her own words on her journey as a young singer/songwriter.

“My names Cherelle, and I’m a 19 year old UK based singer/songwriter and musician. I’ve been singing since a very young age and started learning guitar in the middle of high school. Both my parents played a great influence on my love for music, since my dad is a full time professional musician and my mum is also a singer.

For around five or six years now, I have had a very strong interest in the Korean culture as well as Kpop. I have spent a lot of my free time studying about the country and the language through online sources. I honestly really love the Korean language, I especially love singing in the language. It has a different feel and energy which I really enjoy. My love for Korea and music lead me to join many competitions and music festivals which have enabled me to travel to Korea four times now without any costs.

cherelle 1

In 2011, I entered my first ever competition, which was the “2011 Kpop contest with YG Entertainment“. I entered through YouTube with the song “I’ll back off so you can live better” by When I entered I had a lot of doubt and was worried if I would be able to get through to the finals, so when I saw my name on the finalists list I really couldn’t believe it and you can probably imagine how I must have felt when I actually won at the live round. I was given a free trip to Korea, a tour of the YG headquarters and a chance to meet and see 2ne1 live in concert, which was amazing.

A few months later I was asked to take part in the ‘2011 KPOP world festival‘. This was a festival where winners of Kpop contests -similar to the one I won – from around the world could come together to compete and enjoy Kpop and Korean Culture. It was an amazing experience for me since KBS had organised so many activities for the contestants. They planned for us to take a tour all around Seoul and Changwon City and they also took us to the Starship entertainment building where I got to meet Sistar, K.will and Boyfriend.

We were also allowed to rehearse for the live show inside the Starship entertainments’ rehearsal rooms. It was a really magical experience performing on the same stage as some of my favourite Kpop artists. I won the popularity award, a trophy, prize money and the best time of my life (so far).

‘KPOP World Festival’

In 2012 I was contacted by a staff member from MBC via twitter and my blog asking if I wanted to take part in one of Korea’s longest running festival, “MBC College Musicians festival”. MBC were celebrating there 36th year of running the festival and it was the first time ever they would open the festival to non-Korean contestants around the world. I had written and produced a song in the Korean language prior to hearing about this competition and thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase this song.

I had sent my lyrics to a few of my Korean friends to make sure my lyrics actually made sense before I submitted it and was surprised when I received only a few small grammar corrections. Before I could be flown out to Korea to participate, I had to audition through YouTube and send them an MP3 of my song.

After I got the thumbs up, it was a long process of getting individual audio parts sent out and then having to re-record certain musical parts, as well as trying to get a visa in the process. I stayed up a few nights with the help of my Dad and Mum just to get everything done on time. All the hard work had paid off because this was another amazing experience for me, since I got to stay in a Hanok for the whole trip, as well as take another tour around Seoul, courtesy of MBC.

This was also the second time I got the opportunity to perform on the same stage with some of my favourite Korean artist. All though I was very excited, I couldn’t help but feel extremely nervous about the fact I was singing my own original song in the Korean language, in front of a Korean audience, especially since all the Korean, American and French participants were so good.

‘2012 MBC College Musicians Festival’

I have currently been in the process of recording some songs for an EP I am planning to release soon. It will include songs written in English and maybe one or two songs written in Korean.

I have already released a video of one of my original songs on YouTube called “it’s not over” and of course, a video of my performance of my Korean song “I fell for you”

‘It’s Not Over’

To find more music from Cherelle, check out her Facebook page and you can also check out her YouTube page.

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