Over a period of 12 years, Gina Maeng trained under some of the biggest agencies in K-Pop, including JYP Entertainment, multiple Kakao Entertainment divisions, and CJ E&M. While she was sadly never able to debut, these days, she enjoys life as a writer, lyricist, guide vocalist, and YouTube creator. In a new video with her former vocal trainer Lee Dong Soo, Gina recalled a time when HYBE founder Bang Si Hyuk helped her through a rough recording session.
Gina’s story goes back to when she was just 15 years old. Before training under JYP Entertainment alongside artists like Rain, Gina competed on an SBS audition show called Talented Development Project 99% Challenge. One of the producers on that show was Bang Si Hyuk.
As part of the show, Gina had to perform song covers every episode. While that sounds hard enough as it is, there was a catch that made it even more difficult: they only had one day to prepare. “They’d tell us about it the day before,” Gina revealed, “So we’d have to do the recording all night long after shooting all day.” Since they didn’t have much time, Gina says they’d have to get their recordings done as quickly as possible—ideally in just one or two takes.
Naturally, that didn’t always go to plan. Gina went on to explain that after shooting for days with little sleep, she’d lose her voice to the point that even if she screamed, nothing would come out. During one recording, even after receiving medical treatment to bring her voice back, she just couldn’t control her vocals in the booth.
But thankfully for Gina, Bang Si Hyuk was there to save her from a recording disaster. When he came into the studio, Bang Si Hyuk told her, “Gina, you can do whatever you want. I’ll make it work.” Just by making her feel at ease, Gina says she got a psychological confidence boost so big, she suddenly managed to sing everything well.
Gina referred to Bang Si Hyuk’s technique as an example of “perfect vocal directing.” Perhaps the HYBE founder has used this same trick to help BTS and TXT on their difficult days too.
From the perspective of a veteran trainee and lyricist, Gina also revealed which idol vocalists she thinks are the best in the industry.