By Hubert Ng, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business
The summer of 2015 was a hectic yet fulfilling journey. While my peers were busy with their internships, I was running around balancing multiple responsibilites: my role as the 11th president of BONDUE (the SMU Business Society), the running of my own company GoldOnline Pte Ltd, and most importantly, pursuing my dream of being a music artiste.
My musical journey
I spent a big part of the summer working on my mini album, as well as my first single which is slated for release in September. This project is one that holds great personal significance – it is a little-known fact, even among my close friends, that I was born tone-deaf.
I had very little musical inclination as a child. Although I started playing the guzheng (Chinese zither) when I was six years old, tone and pitch never made any sense to me. Over time, I managed to compensate for these drawbacks with hard work and determination: I earned a Diploma with Distinction in guzheng, played a solo concerto, and even received an opportunity to study music at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China. However, my parents strongly felt that I should pursue my university education in Singapore instead, which is how I came to SMU.
In 2010, I semi-retired from playing in an orchestra, and in the same year I chanced upon a Taiwanese variety singing competition named 超级星光大道. It was this convergence of events that first attracted me to Chinese pop music culture. I started signing myself up for singing workshops and competitions to gain exposure, a journey not without setbacks; on one painfully memorable occasion, I was asked to exit the stage midway through a performance at a community centre by a heckling member of the audience. The experience was a humiliating one that made me even more determined to solve my tone-deafness.