Park Ji Young (Korean: 박지영; born on December 25, 1980), better known by her stage name Kahi (Korean: 가희), is a South Korean singer and actress. She is best known for being the former leader of the girl group After School before embarking on a solo singing and acting career.
Kahi was born in a small village in Gangwon on December 25, 1980. She was raised by her grandparents. She found her passion for dancing when she was 16 and also around this time became fascinated by the hip hop group Roo'ra, which would motivate her to become a singer. However, due to family opposition and practical conditions, she could not receive professional training, so during high school she trained herself in singing and dancing. Her father prevailed upon her go to a university in a rural area. At first she obeyed his wishes, however, she was unable to endure being a college student and eventually left her hometown to pursue her dream. She did not speak with her father for the next seven years. She went to Seoul alone and without funds. One day a friend took her to an interview to be a backup dancer. She did well at the audition and got the job. She started her dancing career at age 18.
Dancing and S.Blush:
In 2000, Kahi was chosen as the main dancer for DJ Doc's mega-hit, "Run to You". However, this instant success also brought her huge stress, and eventually forced her leave. For a period of time, to make an income, she worked as a cleaner, waitress, and sales clerk. A choreographer in SM Entertainment gave her a chance to become a temporary dancer for BoA, which became a full-time position. She gradually gained fame as a dancer and her work with BoA lasted more than three years. Besides BoA, she was also an important backup dancer for Country Kko Kko, JinuSean, 1TYM, Lexy, Chae Yeon, Eun Ji Won, and many others. She was also the dance teacher for Son Dam Bi, May Doni, and Kim Jung Ah, her former bandmate.
Around 2006, after more than five years career as a professional dancer, she began working also as a singer. She joined the Korean American girl group "S. Blush", whose first digital single peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Chart in May 2007. However, due to various reasons, the band soon disbanded.
2007-2012: After School and Acting:
In late 2007, Kahi contacted some friends in the industry at Pledis Entertainment. Together, they planned for and produced a new group. In January of 2009, after years of work and selection of members the group After School was introduced. After School would undergo many member changes and image changes, but Kahi remained as the leader. Rumours of her leaving the group had begun as early as 2010 when Pledis Entertainment initially announced she would release a solo album. The solo album was delayed to February 2011. In June 2012, it was announced Kahi would be leaving After School to pursue a solo singing and acting career.
Kahi joined the cast of reality-variety series Yeongunghogeol (영웅호걸, "Heroes"). She was later cast in Dream High 2 playing a teacher at Kirin Art School.
2011: Come Back, You Bad Person:
The promotional campaign for Kahi's solo debut started in mid-February 2011, with the album jacket photos released on February 9 and a teaser video on February 12. The album photos were noted for highlighting the singer's "S-line", while netizens and news articles commented on the contrasting "black vs. white" images and "charisma" in the teaser. The mini-album was then released on February 14, 2011. The music video for "Come Back, You Bad Person" was released on February 14, 2011 and Kahi began promotional activities on 18th.
2013: Who Are You?:
In March 2013, Kahi was rumoured to be having a solo comeback, but it was put on hold. Over a year later from her last solo release, Pledis Entertainment announced on September 25, 2013 that Kahi would be releasing her second mini album, titled "Who Are You?", on October 10.