Source: The Korea Herald/ANNEver since she could crawl, Baek Ah-yeon has had a strong connection to music.Her parents told her that she was already singing and memorizing the lyrics to Kim Soo-hee's 1980s hit "Southbound Train" at 3 years old."It was then that my parents thought that I had a talent for singing," said the rookie soloist.In pursuit of her musical dreams, she started playing the piano at age 6, began taking vocal lessons when she was in junior high and later joined the church choir. However, Baek wanted more: she wanted to take her passion to the next level, but trying to make a name for herself was not easy.She first came into the spotlight after appearing on the audition program, "Survival Audition K-Pop Star," which featured a panel of celebrity judges from the top three agencies in Korea Ã¢â‚¬‘¢ JYP, YG and S.M. Entertainment."Before K-Pop Star, I actually auditioned for several other programs but failed, before I could even get a chance to meet the judges," she said.Baek had auditioned to be a trainee for JYP Entertainment twice, but failed both times."I really struggled to decide whether or not I should even try-out for 'K-Pop Star,'" she said.Baek finds her roots in ballad-style vocals and songs."I just really love artists who sing while playing the piano," she said.During the competition, she performed a piano rendition of Big Bang's "Day by Day," where she proved that despite her choosing a song sung by a group of men, she was still able to make it her own."Throughout the show, I never had thoughts about making it to the top, the only thing I focused on was my next performance," she said. "I didn't want my nerves to get the best of me."Baek ended up finishing the competition in third place and has since signed a deal with the entertainment powerhouse that had rejected her twice before, JYP.In September, she released her debut album titled, "I'm Baek," with the dual expression of her last name and her return to the music scene.Her title track, "Sad Song," is about how couples who have just broken up often listen to slow, sad songs. The chorus line reads, "I sing because my heart breaks, I only sing sad songs, I sing because I can't forget you. I keep calling your name."Even at a young age, Baek still sings with such passion and depth about love, loss and heartache, which she tries to capture with her soft R&B style vocals."I am still only 19 years old, so I don't have many life experiences to draw from," she said. "However, I do get a lot of inspiration from hearing other people's stories."Baek says she has many plans for the future and hopes to continue to train and grow not only as a singer, but as a performer as well. She is currently taking dance lessons and is already working on her upcoming album."I started out as a ballad singer, but hopefully someday in the future I can start showing off my different colors," said Baek."When people listen to my music, I really want them to feel a sense of empathy and be touched by my songs."