Soyou was born on February 12, 1992, in Jeju Island, South Korea. Before debuting, she was a licensed hairdresser and worked in a hair salon. Soyou was known as a Cube Entertainment trainee, who originally supposed to debut as a member of 4Minute. Soyou has said that she didn't make it into the group because she was lacking in many ways and was originally supposed to be in Sohyun's place. Instead, Soyou auditioned for Starship Entertainment, singing a cover of Navi's "On The Road", after spent training time and later debuted as a member of Sistar in June 2010. The group gained significant popularity after the release of their hit single "So Cool" in 2011.
In November 2012, Soyou sang a duet with hip-hop duo Geeks. The song "Officially Missing You, Too" is a remake of Tamia's song of the same title. It is a part of Geeks' project album, Re;Code Episode 1. She also collaborated with fellow label mates, K.Will and Boyfriend's Jeongmin, for Starship Planet's yearly holiday release, titled "White Love".
In September 2013, it was revealed that Soyou together with Mad Clown would release a duet called "Stupid in Love on the 10th.
In February 2014, Soyou and Junggigo released a duet called "Some".
In January 2015, it was revealed that Soyou, together with Lee Honey and Kim Jungmin, would be the new MCs of beauty tip program Get It Beauty. The new MCs' first episode aired on February 4, 2015.
After Sistar disbanded in June 2017, Soyou remained her career as soloists under Starship Entertainment. Soyou began her solo career with releasing remake single of Choi Sung-wons's The Blue Night of Jeju Island on September 7. She was feature with K.Will in his fourth album Part.1 Nonfiction b-side track titled "Let Me Here You Say", which released on September 26. She was released a collaboration track titled "Monitor Girl" with Geeks' Louie on October 26, it was also their second collaboration since "Officially Missing You, Too" in 2012. On November 16, Soyou released "I Still" with Sung Si-kyung as pre-release track for her upcoming solo album. On November 28, Soyou was confirmed to became a MC for new beauty program of JTBC titled SoyouXHani’s Beauty View, which start airs on December 28. On December 13, Soyou released the first part of her solo album titled RE:BORN with the single "The Night" featuring Rapper duo Geeks and was produced by Primary.