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Former SKarf member Tasha Low charts her showbiz journey

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After making her debut as a K-pop idol seven years ago in South Korea, Tasha hopes to make a breakthrough in Singapore's entertainment scene.

She first made her debut as the leader of K-pop girl group SKarf in 2011. She is also known for participating in reality girl group survival show, Idol School, where she finished in 23rd place. 

After eight arduous years in South Korea, Tasha Low is back in Singapore to continue pursuing her dreams in the entertainment industry. Youth.SG met the 25-year-old to find out more about her K-pop journey in South Korea and her plans to pursue acting in Singapore. 

Before her debut with SKarf 

Performing on stage came naturally for her. Since a young age, she had enjoyed dancing and often participated in various dance competitions and auditions. 

2011 marked the beginning of her journey as a K-pop star. She got through Alpha Entertainment's auditions in Singapore and started training in South Korea for her debut. 

Before her group debuted, a typical day began with trainings that started at 8am and ended at 1am. Tasha and her group exercised, practised dance routines and attended vocal and dance lessons. 

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Tasha started training in Korea at the age of 17.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/RAYNARD ONG

"My every movement was corrected by the managers, even the way I laughed," Tasha recalled. She shared that the harsh comments from her company managers affected her self-esteem, and that it had affected the other members as well. 

Tasha revealed that the members' phones were confiscated by the company. They were only allowed to call their family for five minutes every Sunday, using the company's phone. 

Despite having limited time to catch up with her family, Tasha eventually grew closer to them. "I used to always fight with my brother, but whenever I came back to Singapore, he would give in to me," she said. 

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Tasha (back row, middle) was the leader and rapper of Korean girl group SKarf.
PHOTO CREDIT: ALPHA ENTERTAINMENT

However, the trainings turned into a repetitive cycle and life got dull for Tasha. 

"But I enjoyed doing it, and if I come back to Singapore, there's nothing for me to do so I rather just do that," she shared. 

The group trained for a year till their debut in 2012. Being the first Singaporean-Korean girl group, they gained attention in Singapore. The group held showcases, fanmeets and had cameo appearances in Channel 8 show It Takes Two

Leaving SKarf 2 years after their debut 

However, Tasha's time in SKarf was short-lived as the company lacked funds to sustain the group. 

After their disbandment in 2014, she was transferred to another company, CJ Entertainment. "I didn't want to continue but I had no choice," she revealed. She trained there for another three years until she was offered a spot in Idol School, where she had to compete with 40 other participants to debut in a girl group. 

Surprisingly, the former idol was not too excited about participating in the show. Tasha described being in Idol School as being on an "isolated island". 

The experience was not as amazing as it seemed on screen as she had no communication to the outside world and was tied down by strict rules. 

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Tasha (second from left) with other CJ Entertainment trainees.
PHOTO CREDIT: TASHA LOW

Nonetheless, Tasha saw this as her last chance to debut, especially since she had been chasing the K-pop dream for six years. 

"I didn't want to go for it, but one of the higher-ups told me that this would potentially be my last chance, as age was catching up on me," she said in resignation. 

Tasha was also thankful to have met great friends through the programme. Being the oldest participant in Idol School, the other girls looked up to her and they got along well. 

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Tasha (far left) with fellow Idol School contestants.
PHOTO CREDIT: TASHA LOW

Life after Idol School 

After the show ended, Tasha found herself in a slump, having still not achieved her dream. 

"I was depressed and I felt that no matter how much I do, it's not enough," she said with frustration. 

Despite not making it to the final line-up, Tasha found the opportunity to perform on stage and showcase her skills to the audience rewarding. "Looking back, I think I did a great job and there was a stage for me to perform where people could see what I could do," she shared. 

Refusing to give up on her dream to be a K-pop star, Tasha auditioned for other entertainment companies in Korea. However, she admitted that she was at a disadvantage as Korean companies prefer younger trainees. 

"I'm not that young and age plays a big part," Tasha said. 

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Tasha reviewing her 'Cheer Up' performance on Idol School.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/CHEVONNE LAW

With little possibility of debuting or performing in South Korea again, she reluctantly set aside her K-pop dreams and returned to Singapore in January 2018. 

"I was lost and everything was foreign to me," said Tasha. She was jobless for months, and was unsure of what path to take. That's when former SKarf member Ferlyn Wong stepped in with a job offer to be a sales manager. 

Accepting it, Tasha worked for nine months but it was not meant to be. 

"After doing the full-time job, I realised I had to do something entertainment related," said Tasha. 

Entering the local acting scene 

"I got some casting calls so I went for the audition for a Jack Neo movie, Tasha shared. 

Admitting that she wasn't comfortable showing her emotions on camera, Tasha was initially hesitant to take up acting. However, she decided to take a leap of faith and went for it. 

Tasha passed the audition and was chosen for a role in Not So Long Time Ago, the film sequel of Long Long Time Ago. "I found it quite enjoyable and I slowly opened myself up to acting and went for more auditions," she shared. 

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Tasha filming for her upcoming movie Not So Long Time Ago which will be released in 2020.
PHOTO CREDIT: TASHA LOW

Looking back, Tasha agreed that her past experiences pursuing the K-pop dream made her a better person. "I think I'd still be very childish and immature if I didn't go to Korea," she admitted. 

Her only regret? Tasha only wished she returned to Singapore earlier. 

"I had that little hope so I stayed on for so long," she shared. "Back then, it was just a cycle for me, with little hope that I could debut. Now I have so much free time to do what I like." 

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/CHEVONNE LAW

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