Typically, idol trainees focus on three main types of training: dance lessons, rap lessons, and singing lessons. However, that wasn’t the case in (G)I-DLE—and the decision was all down to leader, producer, and main rapper Soyeon. In a new video interview, she explained why she didn’t let her members undergo vocal training during their trainee days.

A rarity in K-Pop, Soyeon has a lot of creative control as (G)I-DLE’s leader. Even when the members were still trainees, Soyeon was taking the initiative to make the group what it is today. Alongside writing their title track, “LATATA”, trainee Soyeon also had a hand in the training itself.

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| Cube Entertainment

In a recent “Sofa Away” video for Everybody’s Audition on YouTube, the host touched on a comment Soyeon made in an interview for Marie Claire Korea‘s January 2021 issue: Soyeon didn’t let the members take vocal lessons. But why?

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| Everybody’s Audition/YouTube

Technically, Soyeon explained to Everybody’s Audition, it’s not that she didn’t “let” the members take lessons. Instead, she learned that vocal coaching wouldn’t be the best method for the group because of her focus on individuality.

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| Everybody’s Audition/YouTube

Many people have pointed out how one of (G)I-DLE’s biggest strengths is how unique each member is, from their performance talents to their personalities. During the “Sofa Away” interview, Minnie herself named individuality as the aspect that makes (G)I-DLE complete.

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| Cube Entertainment

The group’s leader admitted that when they were trainees, she “didn’t like the lessons [they had]” because they were taught with “so much structure.” When the members were taking typical vocal classes, explained Soyeon, everything was focused around high notes. However, the techniques they were taught to achieve those notes ended up taking away their unique and distinct vocal tones.

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| Everybody’s Audition/YouTube

It was like losing our individuality because each person’s vocal cords are different, but we were being taught the same techniques and methods.

— Soyeon

To combat this, Soyeon explained that she found a special teacher “who could find those charms” instead of making everyone assimilate to one form of singing. At first, her members had their doubts. Minnie revealed that when Soyeon initially made the call to stop vocal training, she “couldn’t really get it.”

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| Everybody’s Audition/YouTube

When I heard that, I thought, “Oh, why?” I thought “What?”

— Minnie

However, after seeing the effects of their new approach in person, the joint main vocalist says the changes “were so obvious.” After she felt the improvement in her vocals, Minnie says she realized, “Oh, Soyeon was right.”

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| Cube Entertainment

Like Soyeon said, if we all use the same techniques, it all becomes similar and it’s hard to differentiate. It’s easy to listen to, but it really kills individuality.

— Minnie

Soyeon went on to explain a trick she uses to get each member’s raw individuality out in the studio: when they’re recording, she asks them to say “hello” just once. “When they do,” she said, “I say, ‘Sing with that voice’.”

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| Everybody’s Audition/YouTube

All of us in (G)I-DLE have individuality, and that’s what made us who we are.

— Minnie