In an interview with the Brazilian journalist and YouTuber Fefo Caires, former Nine MusesRyu Sera opened up about her experiences within the K-Pop industry and the reason why she left the group.

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| ryuserasera/Instagram

Since she left Nine Muses in 2014, Sera hasn’t been shy about speaking up about the industry and the struggles she faced during her time spent as an idol. For instance, she once revealed that she was demoted from her position as group leader for crying about having to perform in garter belts. It’s no secret that the industry is tough even for the most resilient of idols.

During the interview, she was open and honest, and revealed that she actually was not ready to leave Nine Muses–even though that’s how it was portrayed in the media.

She revealed that she struggled a lot with her self-image and was constantly being told that she wasn’t good enough to be part of the group.

My contract was expiring and I did my time [laughs]. It’s weird to say that but contracts have legal rights for you to stay at a certain company. So I did my time, and I had this question: “Am I a good influence to this band or not?” That was on my mind constantly, especially visual-wise.

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| ryuserasera/Instagram

Her company, Star Empire Entertainment, heavily affected her self-confidence and made her doubt her role in the group, but it also pushed her to want to be more invested in the group’s image and concept. However, the company did not take kindly to her request.

All the other members were very thin and tall and I was the shortest. I struggled with that a lot and my company constantly told me that I’m not good enough. I had that in my mind and when it came to the renewal of my contract, I wanted to put more statements in the contract where it says we were allowed to have concept meetings together, all the members, and that we have some say in what the future concepts will be.

And then, one day, I read a news article that said I was leaving the band. That’s what happened.

–Sera

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| ryuserasera/Instagram

She explained that she had been considering leaving and originally said no to a contract renewal, but then changed her mind, so the fact that news sources were reporting that she had left was a shock to her.

It was half and half. We were talking about renewal for months. I said no in the first week, but then I changed my mind and I wanted to change some things according to 9Muses’ future plans or activities.

–Sera

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| ryuserasera/Instagram

She had been willing to renew her contract if that would mean she and her members would have more control over the group’s image.

I think my boss thought I crossed the line when I asked for too many things, like us deciding what songs and concepts or what to wear in the future. I don’t think he liked that.

–Sera

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| ryuserasera/Instagram

You can listen to Sera’s story and hear more about the behind-the-scenes workings of the K-Pop industry in her interview with Fefo Caires below.