'I'm 100% Korean'
Despite troubles with Korean record label, singer-actress Megan Lee wants to return to Korean entertainment industry
Moving on from a roller-coaster lawsuit involving her first record label, Korean-American singer-actress Megan Lee returns to the small screen with the second season of Nickelodeon's K-pop-inspired musical-comedy Make It Pop.
The 20-year-old had sued Korean record label Soul Shop Entertainment for contract nullification in 2014, citing mismanagement and verbal abuse.
The company is headed by Korean singer Kim Tae Woo, a member of popular K-pop boy band g.o.d, active in the early 2000s.
The court ruled in Lee's favour in March last year and Kim said a month later that Soul Shop would terminate her contract.
Lee was in town for a meet-and-greet session and to promote Make It Pop 2, which airs on weekdays at 6pm on Nickelodeon (StarHub TV Ch 314/Singtel TV Ch 240).
POSITIVE: (Above) Megan Lee (pink hair) starring in Nickelodeon’s K-pop-inspired musical-comedy Make It Pop. PHOTO: STEPHEN SCOTT/ NICKELODEON
She told M yesterday: "These were unfortunate things that happened in the past, but when I was signed with the label, I was able to learn how to play the guitar and write songs.
"I can still say that I have tons of respect for Kim and there are no hard feelings on my side. I try to look on the positive side of things."
Lee even hopes to return to the Korean entertainment industry in the future.
She said: "I went through a lot in Korea, but I really love the culture and I love doing music there. I'm 100 per cent Korean and I would like to keep in touch with my roots."
In Make It Pop, Lee plays the free-spirited Sun Hi, a high school student who embarks on a coming-of-age journey with other members of her band XO-IQ (Erika Tham, Louriza Tronco and Dale Whibley).
Her character also aims to be a K-pop star.
"Sun Hi is like 10,000 Megans combined into one. She's fun, outgoing and very colourful," said Lee.
Contrary to popular belief, acting came before singing, said Lee, who was born and brought up in Los Angeles.
She has been appearing in independent films, commercials and TV series since she was 10. When she was 14, she started a YouTube channel where she became well-known for her covers of The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars and Good Day by Korean singer IU.
She said: "I still try to make time to film my YouTube videos. I think it is a great way for me to connect with my fans and it is more intimate than TV."
In 2014, after taking part in Korean reality TV singing competition MBC Star Audition - Birth Of A Great Star, Lee debuted her K-pop singles 8dayz and Ready For Love, a track from Korean drama Fated To Love You.
Her favourite K-pop act is girl group 2NE1, whom she met in 2011 when she won a contest with her cover of 2NE1's single Lonely.
"2NE1 got me started into K-pop. Nowadays, I really like (boy band) Block B and the ballad singer Ali," said Lee.
Despite being a celebrity herself, Lee is not spared the craze over hit Korean drama Descendants Of The Sun.
She said: "There's like a bajillion Korean celebrities, so it's so hard to choose one dream guy. But I recently started watching Descendants Of The Sun and (lead actor) Song Joong Ki is amazing."
After spending a week in Singapore, Lee declared she loves our country so much, she "could live here", even embracing our sweltering humidity.
She said: "I feel that the weather opens my pores and my skin feels so good.
"Singapore is like Asia's melting pot and the food is amazing. There's also a mall everywhere I go. It's awesome."
She has fallen for a local water chestnut drink that she has been raving about on her Instagram page.
She said: "I thought that it was so peculiar. I've never drunk anything like that before. But I've been drinking it almost every day, it is almost like water to me."