Mariah Carey in Singapore: I grew up listening to a very different Mariah Carey when I was a little girl. When she first burst onto the scene, the technically proficient singer had a girl-next-door image and sang wholesome songs like “I’ll Be There” and “Hero” before she turned full-on sex goddess. In October 2014, she did a one night only concert in Singapore and this was right after bad PR from her concert in South Korea (where she allegedly went badly off key), as well as, the much publicised break-up with the two-timing father of her children. Despite all that, the tough cookie still soldiered on to give her best performance.
Titoudao by Toy Factory: With a brand new cast for its 2015 production, this charming two-decade-old play about the dying art of Wayang is quite possibly my favourite Singaporean theatre experience so far. It was very real- not contrived- with a solid cast of actors who had to train rigorously with a traditional opera troupe to get the moves down. A true pleasure to watch with the family 🙂
<<人>> by Fei Xiang: Kris Philips aka 费翔 is a beautiful man and such a joy to interview. I had a sweet one-on-one with the multi-talented artist when he was in town, and when he found out that it was my mother-in-law’s birthday, Fei Xiang actually signed a copy of his latest music album for her because she is a fan and even suggested we took a picture together. My heart melted when he complimented on my skills as a journalist and even shared that he enjoyed my intelligent questions. He’s an uber superstar and he didn’t need to! The singer/ actor is so well loved that he deserved two separate write-ups in Today. Uhuh. #team费翔
Sungha Jung in Singapore: The South Korean music prodigy is such a shy sweetie. My biggest regret is that because of our language barriers (he doesn’t speak much English and yours truly only speaks faux Korean… anyhowsayYO), I couldn’t draw out more flavour from his unique character and personality because it was an email interview unlike the face-to-face one I had with Fei Xiang. Still, despite it being filtered down through his management and PR, it was still a decent interview despite him coyly skirting my cheeky questions about romance and the possibility of dating a fan.
Katy Perry in Singapore: This was a HUGE feature when printed, having the whole front page on our newspaper’s entertainment section. Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour was a big success and that talented girl really works hard for her money. It’s a very different time now, thanks to the internet – people more often than not download music for free and would only part with their money at a concert. And part with money I will again, whenever the talented Miss Perry’s in town. It was one helluva experience, which had me and the Straits Times Life! journalist next to me dancing to the beat!
Rachael Yamagata in Singapore: I was first introduced to Rachael Yamagata when I briefly dated someone who loved her music. “Elephants” was then stuck in my mind after we parted ways and it was so melancholic, I almost felt that listening to it again would make me stab my wounded heart. But speaking to her over Skype in our phoner interview, I quickly realized that the talented singer/ songwriter was not the depressed hapless-in-love-recovering-suicide-victim I’d imagined her to be! She was in fact bubbly and so down-to-earth, so she super easy to talk to. So much so, she even invited me to hang out after her concert at the Esplanade. #truestory
Chinglish by Pangdemonium Theatre Company: Tony award winner David Henry Hwang’s play “Chinglish” came to Singapore via Pangdemonium; I was invited to review the show on their gala night and was really impressed with the production. It’s wonderful to see how well our local theatre scene is blossoming- the entire run of “Chinglish” was sold out even before opening night! In particular, I’m truly proud of my friend, fellow MGS girl and former FLY Entertainment artiste, Oon Shu An. Anyone closely acquainted with us mission school girls would completely understand that our Mandarin skills aren’t exactly stellar, but that girl really worked hard and pulled off the illusion very nicely.
Cirque du Soleil TOTEM: I really loved this amazing experience… I got to travel to Perth to catch the show and interview the cast and crew the next day (even lunching with them in their circus tent) for this newspaper article. There’s no running away from it; I will always have been the artiste formerly known as Magic Babe Ning, and there are many things I love about live performances and that perfection of artistry with physical dexterity. Surely I can’t be the only one who wanted to run away with the circus at 16? 😉