Suteevan Taveesin, aka Baitoey R Siam, 26, has become a household name as “sun samer hoo” (crotch-high shorts) for her sexy fashion sense and outspokenness. Just recently, her music video for “Rak Tong Perd (Nan Oak)” feat. 3.2.1. reached four million views on YouTube in only six days and spawned many cover versions. She chats to BK about her trademark short shorts and the modernization of luk tung.
I love singing. My mom taught me to perform since I was three years old and I started entering singing contests when I was six.
Singing luk tung was a constraint for me. I’ve always loved to sing pop songs, but I ended up singing luk tung for the money, until I won the Panasonic Star Challenge in 2004.
Singing contest competitors are real fighters. Taking part in such contests has given me great strength in my life. That’s why so many of the winners get jobs in this industry.
I create my own opportunities. Though I was signed to RS as a pop singer, I decided to change my style to luk tung. I grabbed my luk tung songs and walked to R Siam to offer my talents.
If you can sing luk tung well, you can probably sing any kind of song. You must be both powerful and gentle to convey both sadness and happiness.
Living alone in the big city is tough. At the age of 15, I packed my bags and left my home in Hat Yai to stay in Bangkok and realize my dream to be a singer.
I had to wake up at 5am to go to school and then went to rehearse at RS every evening. On top of putting so much pressure on myself, there were also so many temptations that could have led me astray.
You must act like a chameleon in order to survive in the big city. You have to be smart in adapting yourself to the various social circles. And that’s what I’ve done.
Hold onto your values. I’ve seen many bad things living here alone. But I’ve stood my ground. You can’t choose to be born but you can choose how to live your life. If you choose only good things, you will have a good life.
Artists must have a unique character. RS didn’t create my sexy looks. It’s all me. I love to dress up and express myself. I wear shorts because it’s my inner character. I know that I look my best in shorts.
Not every woman can be sexy. It’s not just about showing your assets all the time. A truly sexy woman can dress in a modest gown and you still see the beauty in her eyes, her movements, even her lips. It all adds to the sex appeal.
If you get things easily, you’ll lose them easily too. For me, it’s tiring to be up on stage earning money, but at least I really know the value of that money and the value of myself.
People always say that I’m famous because of my looks. But the truth is I’ve been touring nonstop for three years. People loved watching my show long before I made the news as a sexy singer.
I’m blessed that my boyfriend [Pattanapol “DJ Man” Dechkunchon Na Ayutthaya] ignores all the negative press about me. That could really put a strain on our relationship, but he understands that being sexy is part of my job as his mother used to be an actress too.
I don’t see celebrity gossip as a bad thing. It’s natural for people to want to learn about others’ lives, especially about people in the entertainment industry. We can be role models to their children, and that’s why they keep an eye on us.
Don’t judge others by comparing them to yourself. You don’t know what they’ve been through. That’s why I’m not bothered by all the criticism I receive.
Music must be adapted to the times. Many think that luk tung should remain conservative and not be conveyed in a sexy way. But music should have no boundaries. If you go to a luk tung concert nowadays, people always request “Kan Hu,” not old-school luk tung songs. Although the sexy gestures of that song were a bit too explicit in my opinion, it shows that half the population still love modern luk tung.
Respect yourself. When I look in the mirror, I see a lady that’s worth B100,000 a show. Of course, everyone around me plays a big part in this, but what it comes down to is all my effort.
I want to open a hotel or launch a record label. I love traveling and I want to encourage more people to find beauty in their lives. As for the record label, I want to use my experience to help more young singers find success like me.
Luck can only get you so far. People might say you have to be lucky to get famous. But for me, luck and destiny only account for 10% of my success. My own two feet brought me here.
Gratitude is important. People may know you because you’re famous, but people will really support you if they remember your gratitude.