Phattrapreya “Taton” Younyao, 17, the daughter of former national team runner Ratjai Younyao, is currently basking in the success of her electrifying debut single “Good Boy,” which has been adopted as an anthem by the local LGBT community and already spawned a Trasher parody. BK had the chance to chat with one of Thailand’s most talked about teens.
Coming from an athletic family, was there any pressure to follow in your mother’s footsteps?
Initially my parents wanted me to be a sportsperson, thus they named me “Taton” which comes from tartan track and field. I was good at tennis but didn’t play tournaments as they clashed with my school lessons. I am also very passionate about volleyball and even tried out for the national team but wasn’t selected due to height issues. But I am very lucky because I have parents who support me in every way. They’ve never forced me to become an athlete but let me choose to follow my own dreams. I still play volleyball for my school.
How did you start singing?
My mother can’t sing and she would feel awful if someone asked her to sing in public, so she was determined that her daughter should know how to sing. I began singing classes when I was around seven years old. I enjoyed it a lot and often sang on stage after that. Then I was selected to be a part of the G-Junior project by Grammy, receiving three months’ training before getting signed under the G.iD label.
Tell us about your first single.
I was really excited the moment I saw the lyrics and heard what the song was going to be like. I love to sing and dance and this song is very electro and Eurodance-y. It’s about a girl who finds her boyfriend flirting with other girls, so she sings sarcastically that he is such a good boy. But no, I’ve never experienced anything like that in my personal life.
What do you make of the comparisons made between your single and some Western songs?
Most of the artists that I’m compared to are favorites of mine. I was initially sad to see the negative comments, but I’ve decided to use them to improve myself in the future.
You are not the conventional pretty white-faced girl, has that been a hindrance in anyway?
I used to be teased a lot when I was younger and I would cry and hate my skin color. But as I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize that you have to love yourself and ignore what others say. As long as you are a good human being, then nothing else matters. Looks don’t matter as much as what’s behind them. A lot of the people who like my song and praise me are from the LGBT community and I feel very grateful for that. No one should be ashamed of who they are. Everyone is unique.
What are your future plans?
There’s going to be an English version of “Good Boy” with a few changes to the music video and the beats, but the electro dance sound will definitely remain. With this, hopefully my dreams of becoming an international singer will come to life! As for my education, I am currently in the 12th grade and will soon start hunting for a college.