Star of the sexually explicit song whose video went viral—and nearly got her banned by the Ministry of Culture—Nongpanee Mahadthai, aka Ja Turbo, talks about her life as a student and how she’s nothing like her raunchy persona.

I have been singing for nine years. My parents both did likay and I dreamed of being like them since I was young. But when I grew up, I realized that I wanted to be a singer, after I was in a singing competition at school.

My mom really supports me being a singer.

I moved from Angthong to Supanburi to study at Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi Suphanburi Campus. I am a second-year student of management.

At first, I didn’t sing in a sexy way. I started doing it after seeing another female singer do it. I really liked her style, so I asked a dancer to teach me to dance like that. My performances have been more sexy since then.

I got a call from Pai Turbo [JirapatKoohapattanakul, head of Turbo Music]. His friend suggested me for his band because Pai wanted a singer who could be fun, bold and sexy. We got along well, so I now play with him.

I am trying to balance my job and studies. I go to work after finishing class at around 3pm. No matter where I perform, I have to go back to my next class on time. I avoid going to places that are too far because I don’t want to be exhausted for class.

I know singing is a fleeting career. It’s better to have a degree for the future.

My normal life is really different from the stage. No one recognizes me on the street. I recently visited Samchuk Market and no one recognized me, even though they were playing my music.

All my friends and professors at university know who I am. Some like what I do and some don’t. People who know me in real life have posted comments on YouTube saying how different I am from my videos. When I’m in class, I dress neat—no make-up or hairdo.

Many people don’t understand that it’s my work to be sexy on stage. They criticize me with harsh words, saying, “She’s a prostitute,” and even abusing my parents. I feel so bad that my parents are attacked by these people. They judge me even though they don’t even know me. Now I’m trying not to read all the bad comments on YouTube.

I want those who have written nasty comments to meet me face to face and see how I really am. I’ve never written anything bad about anyone. If you don’t like my videos, don’t watch them. No one is forcing you to watch them or post comments. Some people really have too much time on their hands.

I stopped using my parents’ money after I could make my own. All my money goes towards living expenses and my studies. I’ve taken out an education loan, but getting a degree still requires lots of money.

I’m now saving up to buy a car. My family has never had one. We are a poor family, so I try to take care of myself and finish university as soon as I can. I want to help my family to live well. They are now doing basket weaving at Angthong.

I used to cry when I saw other families driving their cars and dropping their kids off at the campus. I wondered why I didn’t have a life like that. I didn’t blame my parents for being poor; I just wondered about my destiny.

Being rich is better. The rich are always right—they have money and friends. Even when girls are discussing boys who are flirting with them, they ask, “What car does he drive?”

I don’t feel shy about dressing sexy. I used to be a shy girl. But after I realized that I loved my job, I’m not shy anymore. I love crowds.

I always encounter bad people during shows and even online. At a recent show, a guy out front tried to grope my bits. I jumped back and kicked in the air to show that I was pissed.

My rule is that I don’t let anyone touch me during the show. I also don’t like guys who call me to come sit with them or who try to hug or touch me. I am not easy.

I don’t like guys approaching me. If I like someone, I will go to talk to them. I like tall guys who spoil me. I am independent.

I was frightened when I found out that the Ministry of Culture was considering banning me from performing. But Pai calmed me down. I personally feel that I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s just performance. Others have done much more nudity and no one says anything.

My parents didn’t say anything about the controversy. They just want me to finish my education.

I dream about opening a clothing shop somewhere in Ayutthaya. I want to own a business.

And for those who haven't yet seen the video...


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