In a new interview with KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC on YouTube, LOONA‘s Gowon revealed the story of how she became an idol just two weeks after auditioning and the difficulties it brought her.

At the age of sixteen, a young Gowon (then known as Park Chae Won) decided to put her goal of being an idol into motion. Rather than auditioning for a company straight off the bat, she enrolled at LP Dance & Vocal Academy—a training center for aspiring stars, where she specialized in dance.

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Pre-debut Gowon

In the interview, Gowon explained that academies like LP offered students the opportunity to audition for various well-known companies. Previously, Gowon once revealed that she first auditioned for Source Music, the home of GFRIEND. However, she wasn’t able to make it past the first stage.

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Pre-debut Gowon

So, what made her choose BlockBerry Creative, her current agency and the home of LOONA? While many trainees are drawn in by the success of an agency’s senior artists, Gowon’s experience was unique—it was actually LOONA itself that inspired her to audition for BlockBerry Creative.

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| KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC/YouTube

Gowon revealed that on the streets, she saw banners advertising LOONA and quickly became interested in them. At the time, 10 of the group’s eventual 12 members had already debuted with their own solo songs. Plus, they already had two units—LOONA 1/3 and LOONA Odd Eye Circle.

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LOONA ads, Seoul (2017)

I came to this agency because… On the streets, there were banners advertising LOONA. I saw that, and I got interested in LOONA.

— Gowon

Gowon says she “watched the stages of the other members that were already revealed” as well as their music videos. Evidently, the talent and production quality she saw impressed her—”That’s when I realized that I wanted to join this agency“, she explained. In an earlier interview, Gowon also shared that she thought the members “would be such nice friends” for her after seeing their ads at a bus station.

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LOONA ads, Seoul (2017)

So, Gowon applied to audition at BlockBerry Creative in January 2018—and, of course, she passed with flying colors. While Gowon says “good timing” was on her side, there’s no doubt that her talent was a big part of why she was accepted.

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“Love4Eva” | Mnet

Most idols train for several years, or at least several months, before making their debut. However, the timing of Gowon’s acceptance meant that she made her debut with “One & Only” after just two weeks. Gowon explained that as soon as she joined, BlockBerry Creative gave her the song to record.

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Gowon’s solo album | BlockBerry Creative

The rapper, dance, and vocalist went on to say that the process was “very quick“. Not only was her solo debut released within weeks, LOONA made their full debut as a group just eight months after Gowon joined the company.

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“favOriTe” | loonatheworld/YouTube

But while it may seem like a dream come true to many, Gowon says that debuting so fast wasn’t without its difficulties. The starlet explained that she discovered her dream of being an idol rather late into her youth, so she didn’t feel ready when she first joined LOONA. Despite training at an academy for over a year, she was insecure about her skills as a performer.

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| KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC/YouTube

I continued to think that I was not ready yet. I felt that my dancing skills and singing skills were not enough yet.

— Gowon

Gowon revealed that she was so anxious, she “couldn’t say a word” when her agency sent her to the studio to record “One & Only”. During the recording, she remembers crying in the studio. The same went for dancing; BlockBerry Creative put her in a dress and heels, but she didn’t know what to do.

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“One & Only” | loonatheworldYouTube

Inside, Gowon says, she “wanted to do this and that” and “show the others that [she] can do well“. However, she revealed “it was so awkward“, and she didn’t know how to express herself to the members and the staff.

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| KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC/YouTube

That said, Gowon pushed through and “tried to be more confident“. Part of what helped her through the ordeal of debuting after two weeks as a trainee was asking the members for help. Gowon went on to reveal that when fellow member Yves first saw her, Yves “had mixed feelings” about her.

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Yves (left) & Gowon

All of the members were already perfect. I didn’t want to be the cause of any problems.

— Gowon

According to Gowon, Yves wanted to help her, so she took on the task of teaching Gowon herself. The starlet says she remembers Yves teaching her “all the time“. And, although she didn’t want to “be the cause of any problems“, that never stopped the members from sticking by her side.

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| KPOP IDOL OLYMPIC/YouTube

I received lots of help from the members.

— Gowon

No wonder the LOONA members have such a great bond to this day!