SORN on Her State of Reaching Nirvana
"We are constantly redefining ourselves, and this journey is a never-ending one."
To reach the state of Nirvana is to have a burning desire to seek greater change and let go of the past. It is about casting off any fear or doubt and taking on the unknown while aiming to be your best version– your real self. This is what our Asian Pop Issue cover girl, Sorn, tries to tell us with her latest single 'Nirvana Girl.'
"Nirvana Girl is about shaking off the labels I used to let define me and learning to become the most authentic version of myself." With these words alluded to in her song, Sorn opens about her desire to redefine herself, navigate her own direction, and her journey to self-discovery.
On Sorn: Top and skirt by Aj Javier; rings & ear pins by Elementari Ph
If there's one thing you should know about Sorn, it's that she has the range. From her aura and style, she didn't come here to play. Dressed head to toe in a sleek red outfit in her cover shoot with PARCINQ, she is effortlessly glowing with confidence, fierceness, and beauty.
Just like any artist, she didn't have it easy – the 25-year-old singer pushed herself to create, stepping out of her limit to embrace the challenge of making something new. At the age of 15, Sorn paved her way in the K-Pop industry when she moved from Bangkok to Seoul. In which she'd be trained to debut as the lead vocalist of female K-Pop group CLC back in 2015. After ten years, she decided to depart from her previous group and company to make a name on her own.
On Sorn: Dress by Mara Chua, gloves by LA Glamour Queen, rings & necklace pins by Elementari Ph
2022 is the start of a rebirth for her as an artist – a year of experimentation and growth, both in her music and in herself. Now, her craft has become more focused, refined, and nuanced with each new project she completes.
Breaking her limits
From being a part of a group to becoming a soloist, the shift has lifted boundaries for the soulful singer. "There's a lot of things that change. First of all, the good thing about being a solo artist is that I was always very creative. When I was in CLC, I had the ideas and concepts that I've been really wanting to explore and try with music, but because we have a fixed concept, not everything can go in our way every single time. I feel like it is quite limited," she quips.
On Sorn: Rings & ear pins by Elementari Ph
"But the downside is that it's kind of lonely at times because now I'm on stage by myself. I'm still used to having six other people with me for the past ten years. So having to fill the stage or the presence with just one energy coming from me is a little bit difficult. I have to try and just do my best as a solo artist to fill in the blanks with all the empty energy. I do miss my teammates a lot, but everyone still supports each other, and we are always there for each other," she added.
Now that Sorn is on her own, she has now all the flexibility to make it her way, hence immensely flourishing her creative side from songwriting, visualizing concepts, and taking charge of music video production.
On Sorn: Dress by Make.MNL, Accessories by Elementari Ph
On keeping it real
Sorn is a superstar on social media. With over 5 million followers on her social media platforms – her self-produced video content tuned her to create connections with her fans all around the globe while showcasing her sweet and bubbly personality. Establishing a platform for her audience and fans as a singer and an artist drives her to make more content. "I wanna give them a spot where they feel like I'm their friend, that I'm someone who they can lean on and make them find comfort in my content, so I just try it to keep it fun and easy and try to mimic everyday things that people go through," she shares. As Sorn became a solo artist, she learned that being true to herself was key. "I have to be my authentic self in order for my fans to be able to connect to me."
A listen to her music and its lyrics
The Sharp Objects singer puts her heart and soul into every music she makes, with lyrics that speak to freedom and empowerment. Her songs can be a beacon of inspiration not just for her fans but for anyone who listens to them.
"I want people to be able to take away something from my personal experience. I know a lot of people have known me since before I even started in K-pop up until now. I just want my whole journey to kind of inspire and encourage people who also have a dream not only to pursue to be an entertainer, but any dream you have in your life. I want people to be able to relate to me and kind of use my story as an inspiration to keep going."
Despite being in the industry for ten years, she's still on the verge of navigating herself on a new journey while doing the things she wants to do. And true to her words, Sorn tries, and she seizes opportunities as she consistently makes music with such powerful messages.
On her new single, "Nirvana Girl"
Her fourth digital single, "Nirvana Girl," released under Wild Group and Universal Music Singapore, talks about her experience being defined by labels she is not and being redirected beyond her path. "The verses will be talking about how I feel like I used to be in control, how I feel like people used to tell me what to do, who I should be, and how I should act," Sorn says. "We used the phrase "on my way to be Nirvana Girl" to try and say that even though I'm not perfect, I'm still trying to find myself," she continued.
What makes her latest single a little more special is the fact that she is reuniting with her former CLC members, Yeeun and Seungyeon, after two years. During our interview session, Sorn enthusiastically told her experience in the process of making Nirvana Girl, from the recording up to the music video production.
"It's been a very fun experience. It's a project that we've been talking about for the past couple of months. I've been going back and forth to Korea and Singapore quite often because of Nirvana Girl, and I fly Yeeun over to Singapore to record her rap part. We had a lot of time together, and we did a lot of catching up. Because now everyone is doing their own thing. We really don't have time to sit down and talk and chill together."
"And when I went to Korea, I'm very lucky that Seungyeon was down to choreograph the chorus for Nirvana Girl. So when I went back to Korea to film the music video, I thought the best person for the dance part would be Seungyeon. I asked her if she'll be down to make a short appearance with the music video – everyone was really down."
According to Sorn, she considers this project a meaningful one not just for the girls but for the fans as well. "This is very unexpected, I guess no one was really expecting this collab to happen. And I wanted to give something to the fans because I know we really didn't have a proper goodbye to our fans. So I thought that this small project reunion would be something meaningful for me, the girls, and the fans."
Strutting her way to conquer the world
This year, Sorn explored a variety of music genres that challenged her as an artist. Her versatility is exemplified by her ability to perform a wide range of music, including easy-listening songs, retro music, and ballads. Music has no boundaries, as she said. In particular, she revealed how she is open to exploring new languages in her music to expand her creative horizons.
Sorn recalls telling the fans that she plans to have a tour towards the end of the year. "I want it to be as perfect and entertaining as possible. So I want to be able to release more music and go out to meet the fans. And make sure it is properly done. This year we're working towards the tour for the beginning of 2023. To be honest, it's only a couple of months left before the beginning of next year, so I think everyone can look forward to that, and also I'm trying my best to put a proper full album together before the tour starts, and hopefully another single towards the end of this year."
The journey of Sorn's artistry can only be described as triumphant. In the end, her work speaks for itself, she is now in control, and she is well on her way to the pursuit of Nirvana.
Get your copy of PARCINQ Vol. 2 Third Quarter Issue in print via www.parcinqmarketplace.com
Cover Story and Interview by Maryanne Roldan
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Art Direction by Joe Andy
Sittings by Philip Vargas
Makeup by Lei Ponce
Hair by Mycke Arcano
Assisted by Jam Jacobe
Head Styling by Myrr Lao To
Styling by Mack Bersalona, Joshua Galang and Mai Chua
Fashion Film by Ian Francisco
Camera Operator: Pogs Francisco
Special Thanks to Pauline Bobier (GNN Entertainment) and Leonard Lim (WILD Group)