Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the "unsung" heroine

I'm on My Paper 我报!
remember? I'm an OMY blogger hehe


thanks xiujuan and jason! :D

The full interview from Jason here:

1. Let’s start out by telling us how old you are, what are you doing right now (schooling? working?) and your current activities? :)

24 this year, occupation singer/erhu player/businesswoman. :)
For live performances,
I sing mainly as backing vocalist for Asian pop/R&B artist
es in their world concert tours (David Tao, Amei, JJ Lin)
also a pop-jazz set at various places in Singapore
(currently Indochine, Harry’s, Wala Wala).
also for weddings and functions under Yours Truly (a company I co-founded).
I also play the erhu, currently with a fusion band for performances.
For recordings,
I do voice-overs, jingle writing and recording,
sing backing vocals and also recently tried my hand at movie soundtracks!

2. How did you manage to get into your first singing gig?

My first singing stint was in university, I joined a mandarin songwriting club -
a friend had asked me to help sing her original song for a performance :)

3. Who made the most lasting impression on you on your path as a backup singer, and why?

My music director Mr Goh Kheng Long.
He is most talented, has an amazing number of creations and credits under his belt, but never cares to flaunt them.
He is humble, and so affable, definitely my role model.

4. How do you split up timing between rehearsing and living your life?

I lead an absolutely boring life -
I spend all my time on music, and whatever is related to music.
An acquaintance once asked - so what do you do besides singing?
And I tried to quickly scan through my life (to no avail),
only to try and divert the question in order to sound like a less boring person.

5. How is the process of getting a gig to rehearsing like?

This is dependent on too many variable factors for a cohesive answer.
It’s just zero to many phonecalls, zero to many emails,
100% stress in dealing with artsy fartsy musicians (including myself)
to coordinate a rehearsal schedule.

6. What are some of your most memorable performances and why?

My first solo set at the Esplanade Waterfront (now gone for good) was interesting -
I was always more of a singer than an entertainer,
so I didn’t really speak much in between songs,
desperately hoping instead to touch people with my beautiful voice.
Definitely some concerts were mind-blowing,
for instance Amei’s first Star concert at the Shanghai stadium
(with a venue capacity of 80,000) was when I saw my biggest stage production ever.

7. What are some stars like backstage? Any ugly stories to tell? (you don’t have to name names of course :))

I have the greatest fortune to work with the most talented and accomplished artistes, but of course I’ve heard the usual gossip about other artistes who can’t sing,
who have diva attitudes, etc.

8. Is it true that a lot of stars lip-synch their songs on stage? Are there some singers who ironically just cannot sing? If so how do the backup singers come in?

Of course there are many singers who can’t sing.
Popstars nowadays are a celebrity package with singing thrown in for good measure. I’m not sure about the frequency of lip-synching in these days,
but it usually happens when they sing to a CD, not with a live band :)

9. We know you are now prepping for the David Tao concert on the 19th. How is it like working with David?

David is a godsend to my career. In fact, he kickstarted my career in singing.
I was still in my last year in university when I started touring with him -
which was sometimes a schedule nightmare.
I never knew ANY Asian singer who would share the stage/limelight with his band/backing vocalists, but he did just that -
and from a nobody, I was prancing on a stage alongside David
in his concerts all over the world.
He is charming, funny, a great guy to hang out with at parties.

10. Is there ever a time you felt a low in your singing path, what then made you feel this way?

When I wasn’t sure I was going to be involved in another upcoming tour -
I would panic and shop myself broke. Kidding…
In fact I was so money-minded I would panic and start thinking of ways to earn a living - which was when I came up with Yours Truly, a company which provides live bands, musicians, emcees, etc to weddings, functions and events.

11. Any advice you would give to aspiring backup singers?

I don’t think anyone would aspire to be a backup singer -
they all aim to be a singer first and foremost :)
My advice is - be as beautiful as you can, write as many songs,
learn as many instruments, sing as well as you can,
and then pray very very hard.

12. If a star or a label comes along and offers you a chance at the big time as a recording artiste, would you give it a whirl?

If all conditions are reasonable, yes please :)

13. What do you engage in your free time, do you play an instrument?

I play the erhu professionally, but also play the keyboard, guitar and violin occasionally.

14. If Kewei is not a backup singer, she will be______?

walking in the footsteps of other NTU Communications graduates,
probably in PR or something :p


Anonymous said...

woohoo! i also heard from my friend that you were in "my paper" yesterday. but i want that article, i not sure where still have it :(

anyw, take care :)

Anonymous said...

paiseh forget to add on previous post.

you really got many upcoming performances. . LOL!

do take care of yourself la! dun fall sick hor! ! almost everyday need to perform too. . get more rest hor! =D

Anonymous said...

Hi Kewei,
this is Kennethbear from Honng Kong, so happy to know more about u through the OMY Blogger. 你要加油!希望有一天,可以在香港看到你的個人演唱會.到時候,我到場為你打氣!p(^__^)q

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the full version of ur interview. so we can know more about u... and ur determination to Music! Oh well I personally dun think u r boring person. Ya know How i actually admire your passion to your music career! everyone has own different goal/dream, few peoples can really do and enjoy it. I mean the reality is not easy to do something we love everyday. So you r very lucky coz you can do anything related to music! Sing and perform everyday as ur job! I hope u will keep enjoying ur music life and your passion keep motivating urself!

Michelle@Hong Kong

Anonymous said...

hey, wow, really nice to know more about you, you are really talented, as I heard your radio on your side bar, keep up the great stuff ^^

K said...

yes xt :) thanks for all your liang teh :)

hi kennethbear! i will definitely come to HK for my own show!!! HAHAH!

dear michelle from HK, hahaha. thanks for readnig thru the loooong chunk of words :) yeah i do have fun everyday..! erm, sometimes. hehehe

thanks steph!


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