The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Dita Karang, one of the members of K-Pop girlband Secret Number. (VINE Entertainment/File)
Anak Agung Ayu Puspa Aditya Karang, better known as Dita, has seen her popularity rise since joining the five-member South Korean girl group Secret Number. Dance and K-pop are indeed an inseparable part of her life.
Born and raised in Yogyakarta and of Balinese descent, Dita has been interested in K-pop since junior high school and participated in numerous K-pop cover dances since then. She later flew to the United States to pursue a career as a performer by enrolling in the American Musical and Dramatic Academy’s (AMDA) dance theater program.
Dita quickly joined K-pop dance studios and went on to audition for South Korean entertainment agency VINE Entertainment. “At first they just said that they were interested in me, so after a few months I really geared up and traveled to Seoul alone for the first time to join 1MILLION Dance classes and get my second chance [to join] the company,” Dita told The Jakarta Post via email.
Cofounded by renowned choreographer Lia Kim, 1MILLION Dance school's instructors are known to have choreographed dances for K-pop boy bands and girl bands.
“Through a friend of mine [who works for] a K-pop dance studio in New York, I managed to secure another audition and was finally selected,” Dita said. “After two years of training and learning Korean, I finally debuted with SECRET NUMBER.”
Dita, who went to Yogyakarta's Stella Duce 1 senior high school, said training as a member of SECRET NUMBER was “very challenging in a different way”.
“When I first got to Korea, the only thing on my mind was learning its language, culture, dance style and singing. It was more on the happiness side compared to the challenging side. However, after a while, I began to wonder if the path that I had chosen was right. [But] I knew that I was fully supported by my family and friends, so I didn’t want to disappoint them for choosing it.”
It was a successful attempt as she has been appointed the group’s main dancer and lead vocalist.
Jason Park, VINE Entertainment's music business division director, said Dita was able to quickly adapt to her surroundings and learn the language upon her arrival in Korea. “Through her lessons, her already embedded skill set has greatly increased, which led the company to see her as a potential lead vocalist. She doesn’t only have a unique vocal tone; she also has her own style, which greatly contributes to the group’s songs."
Dita says she strives to explore and learn more about K-pop dancing, make appearances on reality shows and collaborate with other K-pop dancers.
According to VINE Entertainment, it took two years to find and recruit the right members for Secret Number. After Léa, Dita, Jinny, Soodam and Denise were discovered, they trained together for more than a year before finally releasing debut single "Who Dis?" on May 19.
The single was composed and produced by Melanie Fontana, who has wrote songs for Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Sia, Halsey and The Chainsmokers; Michel “Lindgren” Shulz; Shark and A Wright. The rap, however, was written by one of the group’s members, Jinny.
K-Pop girlband Secret Number consists of (from left to right) Lea, Soodam, Jinny, Dita and Denise. (VINE Entertainment/File)
At the time of writing, the “Who Dis?” music video has been viewed more than 8.6 million times on YouTube.
However, even prior to the band’s debut, the group began attracting attention from netizens, especially Indonesians. Many of them could be found leaving supportive comments on their Instagram accounts.
“It still feels surreal! The amount of love that I’ve received from Indonesian fans is crazy,” Dita said. “I’m really truly grateful that we have such supportive fans around the world, including in Indonesia. And since it’s my home country, it’s one of my biggest wishes to perform here.”
Denise said Indonesia was among the top places for the band’s tour. “We’ve also been trying to learn a bit of Indonesian, so that we can further communicate with you. So please continue to show us your love and support, so that we can visit soon."
For those who are interested in following Dita's footsteps in the K-pop industry, she advised, “Just be true to yourself; if you find yourself really wanting to do it, it’s possible. Everything is possible as long as you never give up.” (kes)
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