SAY THE NAME! Daisy Siete’s Success As An All-Girls Boy Band Cover Group

On June 23, an all-girls Seventeen cover group emerged as one of the victors at the 2018 K-Pop Dance Cover Festival in Seoul. Daisy Siete, formerly known as S.V.T, wowed the crowd with their powerful performance of three Seventeen songs: THANKS, No.F.U.N., and Clap. (And if you wonder if the group’s name was taken from a popular afternoon drama show of the same name starring girl group SexBomb Girls, then yes you are right). While they were not the only all-girls boy band cover group who participated in the competition, it was a wonderful sight to see a showcase of Filipino talent without having to stick to traditional idol to cover gender association. It’s like saying, heck so what we can dance so we will dance!

And so, KStreetManila sat down with them so they can share with us their cover group experience, from the formation of their team to their victory as the Philippines’ representative in South Korea.

The members of Daisy Siete. L-R (seated): Jaimee, Des, Nicole, Jazz, Divine, Hannah. L-R (standing): Jam, Xelle, Tetel, Mae, Diane. Two other members were not present during the interview, Jan Pauline and Corrinne.

Q: Congratulations on winning the 2018 KCDF! Tell us of your experience. Why did you join?

Divine: KCDF kasi isa siya sa biggest events sa cover group scene so it’s a big achievement for a cover group na makasali sa KCDF. This year, we decided na sumali as Seventeen. Siyempre, nung una di ganoon kataas yung expectations namin na makakapasok kami kahit sa top three kasi given na marami kaming members (kalaban namin usually six or seven members), sobrang hirap ng experience. Pero naging motivation ng group yung lumaban lang because we want this. [KCDF is one of the biggest events in the cover group scene so it’s a big achievement for any cover group to join the KCDF. This year, we decided to join as a Seventeen cover group. Of course, at first we did not expect that we would make it even to the top three given that we have many members (other competitors usually have six or seven members), it was a difficult experience. But our decision to fight became our motivation because we want this.]

Nicole: Sa Korea nakakakaba siya kasi alam mong ang kalaban mo, the best of the best. Kasama na siya sa pressure pero inenjoy pa rin namin dahil nandun na kami. Pagdating ng day ng laban, doon na yung, “Sige lalaban tayo pero enjoyin pa rin natin.” [In Korea, it was nerve wracking because you know you’re competing against the best of the best. That came with the pressure but we still enjoyed it because we were already there. On the day of the competition, we told ourselves, “We will fight but we will still enjoy this.”]

Q: At the event, which team was your biggest competition?

All: Japan!

Divine: Halos lahat naman pero…Japan. [Almost everyone but…Japan.]

Jaimee: Before palang kami pumunta sa Seoul, nung pinapanuod namin lahat ng makakalaban namin, sobrang, “Ang galing nila! Oh my god!” Sobrang power na parang, “Kaya ba natin ‘to?” [Before we went to Seoul, we watched videos of the other contestants and we were like “They’re so good! Oh my god.” They were really powerful we asked ourselves, “Can we even do this?”]

Nicole: Lahat magagaling pero may sari-sariling charm kada group. [Everyone was great but each group has their own charm.]

Q: What are the preparations you made for the competition?

Hannah: Originally, nagpa-practice kami once a week. Since na manalo kami (sa local competition) nagpa-practice na kami twice a week, every Saturday and Sunday. Kapag may masisingit na weekday, nagpa-practice din kami after work or after school. Sa costume…yung mga kayang gawin sa bahay like yung props…yung cane po namin, ginawa ng papa ni Divine. Yung epaulette na kasama sa costume, ang gumawa yung members din namin: si Nicole, Jazz, Jamie. Actually, hinabol pa nila ‘yan sa Korea. Sa Korea pa nila yun ginawa. [Originally, we would practice once a week. Since the day we won (the local competition), we started practicing twice a week, every Saturday and Sunday. If we can add a weekday, we also practice after work or after school. About the costume, we did what we can do at home like the props…the canes, Divine’s dad did them. The epaulette, the members did it: Nicole, Jazz, Jamie. Actually, they had to rush it until we were in Korea. They finished it in Korea.]

Jaimee: After ng schedule ng buong araw, alas onse na, naghabol pa ng costume. [After our daily schedule, around eleven in the evening, we would still work on the costumes.]

Hannah: Sa Korea din nagpapractice din kami after ng schedule ng KDCF for the day. Magpapahinga lang kami for an hour tapos bababa na sa basement ng hotel tapos dun kami nagpa-practice. Actually dun din nagpa-practice yung ibang groups until midnight. [In Korea, we would also still practice after our KDCF schedule for the day. We would rest first for an hour and then head straight to the hotel basement where we would practice. Actually, other groups would also practice in the basement until midnight.]

Jaimee: Actually halos laging umaabot ng midnight. Kasi ang after-sched namin 8:00 PM, nagpa-practice kami 8:30 hanggang mga 11:00 or 12:00. [Actually, our daily practice would often end at midnight. Our schedules usually end around 8:00 PM, then we would practice from 8:30 to 11:00 or 12:00.]

Q: There are a lot of K-Pop groups that you can choose to cover. Why did you choose Seventeen?

Jamiee: Actually, yung idea na reverse cover group, hindi na siya bago. Since 2012, yung iba sa amin nagco-cover na ng boy group pero di nga lang sikat kasi unusual siya and hindi siya ganoon ka-acknowledged. Kaya hindi rin namin ine-expect na makakasali kami sa KCDF kasi reverse kami. Sabi nila may binabagayan din yung pagco-cover. Since girls kami tapos boy group (yung cino-cover namin), di rin kami nag-expect. Kaya nagulat din kami (na nanalo kami). [Actually, the idea of a reverse cover group isn’t new anymore. Since 2012, some of us have been covering boy groups but it wasn’t that popular because it’s unusual or not that acknowledged. That’s why we weren’t also expecting that we would join KCDF. Some say a cover group has to fit the idol group’s image. Since we’re girls and we cover a boy group, we did not set expectations. That’s why we were really surprised that we won.]

Des: Seventeen kasi meron nang fan since pre-debut. Napili namin yung Seventeen din kasi ang galing nila. Ang amazing. From the songs, choreography…producing idols din sila. They can make their own songs, they choreograph their own dance, they can produce their own albums. And siyempre visuals. *laughs* [It’s Seventeen because some of us are fans since pre-debut. We also picked Seventeen because they are really amazing. From the songs, choreography…they’re also producing idols. They can make their own songs, they choreograph their own dance, they can produce their own albums. And of course visuals.]

Q: What motivated you to form a cover group?

Jam: Having a cover group, ‘yon yung way namin to express our love for K-Pop and our idols. And hobby rin namin sumayaw so na-improve namin yung dancing and yung pag-gaya sa idols. All in all masaya siyang gawin. And I think that’s the most important, yung having fun. Siguro na-appreciate din namin…kaya namo-motivate din kami kasi (nandun) yung social aspect of being in a cover group. You get to meet new friends na ite-treasure mo tapos hindi lang yung samahan as a group, yung samahan din sa ibang cover groups. [Having a cover group, it is our way of expressing our love for K-Pop and our idols. And it’s become a hobby to dance so we get to improve our dancing and how we imitate idols. All in all, it’s fun to do. And I think that’s the most important (thing), having fun. Perhaps the reason why we also appreciate this…that’s why we get motivated because of the social aspect of being in a cover group. You get to meet new friends you can treasure, and there’s also the camaraderie not only within your group but with other groups as well.]

Q: Have you ever heard of criticisms about you or about cover groups in general? How do you deal with them?

Diane: Usually, whether it is a bad or good criticism, we take it as our motivation lang. Also, we put a lot of extra effort to be better, to improve ourselves. Some of us get discouraged lalo na kapag bad criticisms [Some of us get discouraged especially if we receive bad criticisms]. Since we have each other, we boost each other’s self-esteem. Tulong-tulungan [We help each other]. Keep going lang.

Q: Any tips that you can share to fans who wish to form their own cover groups?

Mae: Sa mga gustong mag-cover group, ang pinaka-una, magco-cover group ka kasi gusto mo yung kino-cover mo. Inspired ka sa kino-cover mo. Kung gusto niyong mag-cover group, dapat dedicated kayo and committed kayo sa grupo niyo. Kahit anong schedule pa, you make time kasi gusto niyo yung ginagawa niyo. Aside from that, kapag bumuo kayo ng cover group, bubuo din kayo ng friendship. Mas lalong magiging matibay yung grupo. Also, time management. Perseverance. I-enjoy niyo lahat ng ginagawa niyo. Malay niyo, kayo na rin yung next na pupunta sa Korea. *laughs* [To those who wanted to form a cover group, the first thing you have to keep in mind is that you will form it because you like the idol group you want to cover. The group inspires you. (Also), if you want to do a cover group, you have to be dedicated and committed to your group. You make time because you like what you do. Aside from that, if you form a cover group, you will also form friendship. This is what makes the group stronger. Also, time management. Perseverance. Enjoy everything you will do. Who knows, you might be the next group to go to Korea.]

Q: How do you think being part of a cover group changed your life or yourself as a person?

Hannah: Actually, natuto akong makipag-socialize not only yung mga kasama ko sa group but also other people na nagko-cover din. Also kelangan mo rin talaga ayusin yung schedule mo for the practices. Kelangan mo rin i-adjust sarili mo. May mauusog na schedule. More on socializing (talaga) and having fun. [Actually, I learned how to socialize not only within my group but with people from other cover groups, too. Also, there’s the part where you have to fix your schedule for the practice. You have to adjust. There are schedules that will have to be moved. (Overall), it’s more on socializing and having fun.]

Divine: Naging malaking part siya ng buhay ko kasi halos lahat ng friends ko sa cover group scene ko na rin nakilala. Lahat ng friends ko mahilig sa K-Pop. Yung being in a cover group, ito na yung escape ko from work, from school. From the very start ito na yung nagpapasaya sakin. Hindi lang siguro sa akin, siguro for everyone na rin na nagko-cover group. [It’s a huge part of my life because I met almost all of my friends in the cover group scene. All of my friends like K-Pop. Being in a cover group is my escape from work, from school. From the very start, this is what makes me happy. Not only for me, perhaps, but for everyone who does cover group as well.]

Jazz: By having fun. Lalo na kung under stress ka. Kapag nasa cover group ka, doon mo nalalabas yung stress mo. At the same time, nae-enjoy ko siya dahil gusto ko siya. May kasabihan nga, “Kapag ayaw mo may dahilan, kapag gusto mo may paraan.” Siyempre dahil gusto mo siya, gagawan mo ng paraan para magawa mo siya. [Especially if you are under stress. If you are in a cover group, it becomes your stress reliever. At the same time, I enjoy it because I want it. There’s a saying that goes, “If you don’t want something, there’s a reason; if you want it, there’s a way.” If you like what you do, you will find a way so you can do it.]

Nicole: For someone na di marunong sumayaw, for the love of K-Pop nalang (natuto ako). Personally, kung mahiyain kang tao, sa cover group mo napa-practice yung pagsasalita, pagpo-project. Sobrang laki ng tulong nun sa course ko na Marketing. Na-develop ako dahil dito. [For someone who didn’t know how to dance, for the love of K-Pop (I learned how to dance). Personally, I am a really shy person (so) it is here in a cover group how you practice speaking, projecting. It was a huge help for me and my course, Marketing. It improved me as a person.]

Des: Sobrang fun. Sobrang saya. Saka yung best part sakin is yung nare-recognize ka. [It was so much fun. Also the best part for me is that you get recognized.]

Jaimee: Na-boost yung confidence ko. Since high school, di ko kayang humarap sa maraming tao. Kapag nasa stage ako, lagi akong nagii-stutter. Nung nagsimula akong mag-cover group, dun na-boost yung confidence ko. Kaya ko nang humarap sa tao ng mag-isa sa stage. And…yung narerecognize ka rin. Kasi before…parang, “Ano ba yan, sasayaw ka nanaman?” Pero once nanalo na kami, “Uy ang galing niyo. Sali pa kayo!” Nakaka-gaan ng feeling na proud sila sa akin. [I got a huge confidence boost. Since high school, I am afraid of crowds. Whenever I’m on stage, I always stutter. When I started doing cover, I saw my confidence improved. Now I can get on the stage on my own. And…you also get recognized. Before, people would tell us, “What? You’re going to dance again?” But when we finally won, they began telling us, “You guys are so amazing! Join more (competitions)!” It feels really good that they’re proud of me.]

Jam: For me, yung friends na nakilala ko along the way. Since 2010, nagko-cover na ako. Eight years diba? Doon ko na rin nakilala lahat ng friends ko ngayon. Practical-wise since dancing, naiimprove din yung health. Excercise din siya. Saka yung self-confidence. Malaking part talaga ng buhay ko yung K-Pop, yung pagko-cover group dahil dito ko rin na-meet yung boyfriend ko. [For me, it was the friends that I met along the way. Since 2010, I have been doing covers. Eight years, right? It is here where I met all of my friends today. Practical-wise, since (doing covers) is dancing, it improves our health. It’s exercise. Also, (improving) my self-confidence. Being in a K-Pop cover group is really a huge part of my life because this is also where I met my boyfriend.]

All: *squeals*

Jam: Saka for me, yung mga tao sa K-Pop, isa sila sa mga pinaka-passionate na mga tao. [And for me, the people in K-Pop are some of the most passionate people.] Kapag andun yung passion kasi [if the passion is there], you can do anything.

Xelle: Stress reliever kasi talaga siya. Yung friendship, dito ko rin nakilala yung best friends ko ngayon. Sa self-confidence din. Nung nagsimula ako mag-cover group, di ako marunong mag-ad lib, di ako marunong gumaya sa kino-cover mo. Pero as the time goes by, natututo ka ring mag-perform sa harap ng maraming tao. Sa unang perform, kakabahan ka talaga e. Halos masuka-suka ka kapag first time mo mag-cover, pero kapag sanay ka na, ayun na. [It is really a stress reliever. As for friendship, this is where I met my best friends today. Also, self-confidence. When I started doing covers, I didn’t know how to ad lib, I didn’t know how to properly imitate the group you cover. But as time goes by, you learn how to perform in front of a crowd. In your first performance, it would be really nerve wracking. You’d feel like puking on your first performance. But once you get used to it, you’re good.]

Tetel: Sa pagko-cover, dito ko na-showcase yung talent ko. I’ve been dancing since I was a kid pero never ko siya pinakita sa school. Sa college, hindi ako nag-dance group. Pero nakita ko yung talent ko is dancing talaga and dito ko nga siya na-showcase. Yung self-confidence, di pa masyado na-develop. Mahiyain pa rin ako. [In covering, this is where I get to showcase my talent. I’ve been dancing since I was a kid pero I never showed it in school. During college, I did not join dance groups. But when I realized that dancing is really my talent, I found that I can showcase it (through a cover group). As for my self-confidence, I haven’t fully developed it yet. I’m still a shy person.]

All: Saka? Saka? [And? And?]

Tetel: Dito ko rin nakilala yung boyfriend ko. [It is also here that I met my boyfriend.]

All: *squeals again*

Mae: Sa love life, sana ako rin. [As for love life, I wish the same.] *laughs* Uhm, graduate ako ng Mass Communication pero hindi ako yung ma-kuda, yung madaldal. Mahiyain po talaga ako dati. Pero nang magstart ako mag-cover, nakaka-boost po talaga siya ng self-confidence. Nakaka-improve siya ng dancing skills. Regular siya ng pagpa-practice. Hindi lang siya na basta sinasayaw mo lang. Sinasayaw mo siya kasi naayos mo siya through practice saka gusto mo yung ginagawa mo. Yun lang yung sakin. Saka kasi naii-stress ka sa work. Kapag nagko-cover ka, parang ang free mo. Nailalabas mo yung lahat ng stress mo. Enjoy. Malaking bagay talaga kapag nae-enjoy mo. [I was a graduate of Mass Communication but I’m not the talkative type. I was really shy before. But when I started covering, it improved my confidence. It also improved my dancing skills. You regularly practice. You don’t dance for dance’s sake. You dance because you perfect the movement through practice and you also like what you do. That’s all for me. Also, you get stressed at work. When you cover, it feels like you’re free. You get to release all your stress. It is enjoyable.]

Diane: Sometimes, iba yung ugali mo sa pagko-cover, iba yung ugali mo sa labas. Parang minsan ayaw mo makihalubilo. Pero dito kasi, doon mo nakikita yung closeness, yung mga kalokohan niyo. Nagshe-share ng experiences. Memories din. Unforgettable memories lalo na’t lahat kami nakapunta ng Korea. [Sometimes your character with your cover group members is different from the character you show outside. There are times that you don’t want to interact with people. But here, you can see the closeness, the silliness of everyone. You get to share experiences. Memories, too. Unforgettable memories especially that we all went to Korea.]

Just like every other successful cover groups, the thirteen girls that make up Daisy Siete did not have it always easy. Time restraints, conflicting schedules, personal struggles, and negative criticisms were their major hurdles but Daisy Siete was not just a group of fans dancing to an idol’s song. They were a family, a group of girls strongly bonded by friendship and dedication. With that, they did not only win a dance competition but also a lifelong achievement that could never be replaced by any kind of trophy or medial.

Congratulations Daisy Siete and we all wish you good luck in your future endeavors!

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