Lydia Paek: Namedropped to the top
She's so cool, she didn't have to namedrop to get to the top. Instead, Lydia Paek was namedropped by choreographer friends whose recommendation snagged her a job with YG Entertainment
She went from breakdancing in crews at 15 to her big break - being featured in music videos for K-pop superstars like G-Dragon from BigBang and CL from 2NE1.
Korean-American singer-songwriter-producer-dancer Lydia Paek, 25, was given a rare chance to work under YG Entertainment , the home of K-pop stars like BigBang, 2NE1 and Psy - when she was 21, just by being namedropped.
“I was very blessed to have really great friends Shaun Evaristo and Aimee Lee Lucas,” Paek told The New Paper yesterday (July 10).
“They were choreographers for BigBang and 2NE1 at the time. I’ve known them for awhile and they mentioned my name. They were just like ‘Oh we have a friend and she’s Korean and she lives in LA; you should check her out on YouTube’ and they did.
“They saw that I sang and danced (so) they just hit me up and I went over to Korea. That’s how I got connected with YG.”
Her gift for songwriting and singing got her the coveted spot with one of the biggest South Korean entertainment companies, but it was also what brought her to Singapore for the National Youth Council’s SHINE Festival 2015, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with a line-up of festivities on Orchard Road.
Paek is one of the many artists who will be performing tonight (July 11) outside Ngee Ann City from 7.30pm, but also got to be mentor for a day as part of the festival’s youth development programme.
At YG, she was given opportunities to do song collaborations with her labelmates G-Dragon and rapper J.REYEZ and starred in music videos like G-Dragon’s One Of A Kind and CRAYON, CL’s The Baddest Female and boy band WINNER’s I’m Him.
She said: “They were so much fun because all of it was dancing or (me doing a) feature in CL’s.
“A lot of people don’t know (that) at that scene I was supposed to act or look very mean, and I was brushing her hair. (Also) I’m chewing gum (and looking like not a nice person) but the reason why I was chewing gum wasn’t for that purpose.
“I was just really hungry, and I’d been waiting all day to eat, and I only had a piece of gum and it just kind of went together!”
But her favourite was actually working on her first video, One Of A Kind.
She recounted: “It was really cool, because G-Dragon came to me and said ‘You know, I think you’re a great dancer and I want you to be in it’.
“I was like ‘What, you think I’m a good dancer?’” laughed an awe-struck Paek.
“It was just surreal and very much like a dream. And I’m so grateful.
“It’s something I can take to the grave... and tell my kids, and be like ‘Your mum was really cool back then."