SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- Born and raised in the state of California in the United States, Tiffany, a member of K-pop girl band Girls' Generation, crossed into South Korea, the mother country of her parents, at the age of 15 and debuted in the music group three years later in 2007.
In ten years' time, her band grew into one of the best-known K-pop girl groups in the world before she broke up with her long-time management agency, SM Entertainment, in 2017 to pursue a new path in the U.S.
With her experiences at the forefront of the K-pop scene under her belt, Tiffany crossed back into the U.S. last year to try her luck in the American pop scene as well as in Hollywood.
"I am working hard every day like I went back to the days of my training period (with SM)," Tiffany said from Los Angeles in a recent phone interview with Yonhap News Agency conducted in Korean.
"Dreaming of (a career in) Hollywood, I am now attending an acting school and am finished with the first year," she said, referring to her ambition to expand into the film industry in the U.S.
"I also get separate lessons in dancing whenever I have time. And I was busy joining auditions (for movies and TV series) in the January-March period," she said of her life in the U.S. "You may have to picture me in the life of the aspiring actress Mia in the film 'La La Land,'" she noted.
Her solo single "Over My Skin," released in June with the music label Transparent Arts, is the first work of her fledgling career in the U.S.
The 29-year-old wrote the lyrics and directed the visuals of the new single, which features retro R&B sounds and tells the story of a woman's self-awakening. Starting afresh in the U.S., she also adopted the revised stage name of "Tiffany Young."
"As this song was tuned to the summer season, it has a confident and burning vibe. In this song, I wanted to combine both elements of K-pop and elements of (American) pop," she said. "I went to South Korea because I love K-pop music, and I also love pop music here. So I thought that drawing sentiments from both of them in the song would form my identity."
Tiffany likened her new solo single to her 2012 single "Twinkle" in terms of the composition of the instrumental ensemble and sounds. The 2012 song was released by TTL, a sub-unit under Girls' Generation, which banded her with two other members -- Taeyeon and Seohyun.
"I may be able to say ('Over My Skin') is my 30's version of 'Twinkle.'"
Stressing her ongoing activities to promote the new single in the U.S., she said, "Radio appearances are very important here. So I am doing one after another. It's like my dream come true when (my song) plays on the radio in San Francisco, Arizona and Houston."
"I am also doing interviews with my favorite magazines from my childhood -- Rolling Stone and Billboard. Everything is very new to me here."
Her career in the U.S. is only in the beginning stage, but she is determined to go to everything length to pull it off, thanks in part to the support and inspiration she gets from her longtime band mates.
"The 40 U.S. states are way too far and wide. I only think that I have to work really hard to make my song heard across the 50 states," she said.
One day, Tiffany told the other Girls' Generation members of a hard day in the U.S., and member Yoona encouraged her and reminded her that, "It is what you have been wishing for. Cheer up!"
"Thinking about the members gives me energy and encourages me to work harder. I want to go all the way to make it work," Tiffany said.
On Aug. 5, Girls' Generation marked the 11st anniversary of their debut. Three of the eight members have moved out of SM Entertainment since last year.
"Despite the three members' relocation, we always believe that we can return to Girls' Generation any time," she said, suggesting the possibility of a further music career in the girl band.
"I am very grateful and happy because of the freedom and the belief that (Girls' Generation) can become a band again any time. Having met early in our lives, we are friends and sisters to each other. Girls' Generation is my family and home," she said, adding that she is planning to host a fan meeting in the Asia region in the fall.
(LEAD) S. Korea to provide loans worth 100 tln won to innovative firms, SMEs
Samsung to launch first 5G smartphone on April 5
Preorders of BTS' new album surpass 2.6 mln copies
(LEAD) U.S., N.K. trying to get 'sequencing' right in nuclear talks: Pompeo
Actress Park Han-byul apologizes for husband's involvement in growing sex scandal
N.K. official heads to Vladivostok after Moscow visit
U.N. grants sanctions exemption for humanitarian aid to N. Korea
(LEAD) Dozens of S. Korean officials head to joint liaison office after N. Korea's abrupt pullout
N.K. denounces Seoul over slow progress in implementing inter-Korean deals
N. Korean media keeps silence on pullout from liaison office for 3rd day