Impressions of the Dreamers [Part 1/2]

Annyong, this is still BB!

Bored of me already…? That’s just too bad, coz it’s still gonna be me doing at least two more posts for you here on Tiffany’s blog, keke!

You see, while Tiff was away, not only did I cover the JYPE & ALPHA AUDITION for her on 9th dec, I also covered a photo cum interview session for her on 11th dec, so I’ll be doing a two-part entry to get you all personal and intimate with nine of the two dozen candidates shortlisted.

Would love to cover all of them, but unfortunately there just wasn’t enough time. Oh well, that’s a perpetual problem (of time not ever being enough), no matter the situation, ya?


Before I start, I wanna take the chance to introduce you to KANDACE! Barely even 20 years old, she’s already one awesome (and i mean really really really awesome!) photographer. Even if I had long harbored a secret wish to owning (and yes, actually using) a DSLR, seeing her work just makes me wanna crawl into some hole and hibernate or something. She’s so good she makes me think that we should all just stick to our knitting, and yea, let people do what they do best. And lord knows I can’t count, I can’t sing and I can’t take good pics to save my life. So, maybe I’ll just stick to standing in for Tiffany when she’s travelling or something…. Aigoo, what a sad, sad life yours truly have!

Anyway, back to KANDACE.

I’ve worked with her on KPOP NIGHT CONCERT and then she had also covered KIM HYUN JOONG’s FANSIGN EVENT for me. Aigoo, those pics are really really really to die for! So a’hem! If you ever need a photographer with spunk, brains and manners, just ask for KANDACE

And nope, Kandace didn’t ask me to do any promotion for her at all… It’s just that I find her sooooo… good that I just gotta share it (or izzit share ‘her’? keke!) with everyone! If she ever becomes some famous and/or award-winning photographer, then I can claim some credit for having seen her potential early, hee… (and yup, kandace had helped me take the nice-nice pics in this blog entry, so thanks!)

I love keeping myself amidst young people. Coz young people seem so fearless and they so dare to dream. I love feeling alive and spirited and I love even more the feeling that I can do anything, so long as I want it badly enough. Sadly, what happens in real life is as you become more and more of an adult, you become less and less of a dreamer and believer. And then, somewhere along the line, you lose the spark and you become… mediocre. (So hor, the conclusion is… don’t ever grow up!)


As I was watching those nine shortlisted candidates last Saturday, they were so vibrant, so alive… and they were so full of hope. I love that sparkle in some of their eyes as I spoke with them, I love that gungho attitude displayed by one of them who had just packed up and flown in from Indonesia for the audition, I love that they’re willing to give it their best shot if really offered a contract.

And here, the nine shortlisted candidates that LYDIA of (X)CLUSIVE and I spoke with last Saturday night at the Asian Market Cafe at Fairmont Hotel.


(Back L-R) Shaun, Hafiz, Leo, Fraser, Alfred
(Front L-R) Natasha, Celyn, Jayley, Angie

When the nine of them sauntered into the restaurant where we’re waiting, it was after a rather long day of photo shoot for them. I checked the time, it was practically 10pm already and the kids had not had dinner. Though I knew we’re sorta pressed for time, I felt sorry for them and thought perhaps we could let them eat one round before the interviews started.

Watching them eat and banter with one another, I remember wondering if it crossed any of their minds that they’re actually competitors in this whole audition game. I guess the thought might not have struck them as yet, since I’d hazard a guess that they were all on cloud nine… I mean, they had just had their audition and been told that they’ve been shortlisted… And then the next thing they knew, they were told to ‘dress pleasantly’ and show up for a photoshoot and do some interview. Sounds like a star already, if you ask me, keke!

Next up, my impressions of those nine dreamers!


ANGIE LIU (21)

A tanned girl with long jet-black hair, big eyes and pout-worthy lips, one look at Angie brings to my mind an image of Angelina Jolie. However, Angie has a demeanor that belies her sunny physical appearance. she’s actually rather shy and soft-spoken when I spoke with her.

Citing names like BoA and Jolie Tsai as amongst her favourite artists, so I was not surprised at all that her interest’s in dancing. For her audition, she had sung and danced to Jolin’s 特务J.

This Nanyang Polytechnic student (major in Digital Animation) is all set and ready to move to Korea if she’s lucky enough to be offered a contract by JYP Entertainment.

Angie has been taking dancing and singing lessons, although Kpop is something that she’s picked up only recently. However, she now counts Kpop dance as one of her strongest dance genres.

No stranger to competitions, Angie has won championship title at dance competitions in school. She loves to dance and once on-stage, she will let everything go, be emboldened and give her body entirely to the music.

And yes, she hopes to be Singapore’s answer to BoA from Korea and Jolin who hails from Taiwan. However, Angie does realize the importance of versatility in an artist and knows that she cannot just rely on her dance to make it big. The quality of her voice, of her singing, too, are important. Therefore this young lady hopes to brush up on her singing and be able to emote herself better through songs, especially ballads.

Going by this clip, I’ll have to agree that she is a totally different person when dancing on-stage. Good on you, Angie! Other than the following clip, you can see more of Angie’s dancing HERE and HERE.

And oh, in case you’re wondering, the first person she called when she got the good news that she’s shortlisted…? Her mom.




ALFRED SNG (19)

Just like Angie, Alfred is also from Nanyang Polytechnic. And what would you know? He’s also doing Digital Animation…! Currently in his second year, Alfred has another one and a half years to go before graduation.

Alfred professes that he’s not chasing after the dream of becoming someworld-famous star. Instead, he just loves arts and music in general, and would be happy doing anything relating to arts and music. And oh, Alfred plays a little harmonica and the piano as well.

He had turned up for his audition on the 11th, yes, Saturday itself, which was also the last day of audition rounds. Even though he arrived at the relatively early hour of 8am, he was given a 300-something number tag and had to wait till 12nn before it was his turn.

I thought it was strange, or perhaps surprising’s a better word, that a young man like Alfred would have chosen the song Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You as his audition song. (then again, I guess I really shouldn’t complain, at least he wasn’t singing Mariah Carey’s Hero like half of the auditioning population, keke!)

Ironically, Alfred didn’t used to have a favourable impression of Kpop, no thanks to a 2AM-and-camera episode with his sister, he did eventually come around. And… he likes Jokwon (yes, from 2AM) and also Amber from f(x).

Alfred has been dancing for about a year now, and is keen to work on improving his vocals through proper and professional training, if given the chance. When asked about what’s one unique thing or personality trait about himself, he looked me into the eyes and said, “Perseverance. When it’s something you really want, you will go all the way for it.”

So Alfred, I guess the six million dollar question now is, “Do you really want this?”


JAYLEY WOO (19)

Actually I already knew JAYLEY was shortlisted as I’d seen hers and her twin sister’s audition on 9th Dec and knew that they were called for the camera test. Yes, Jayley’s the younger of a pair of twin sisters, and her older twin, HAYLEY went for the audition and was shortlisted as well. You can read all about it in HAYLEY’s BLOG ENTRY.

Older twin Hayley was still stuck at the photo session at MBS last saturday night, so I only had the chance to speak with younger twin Jayley. Jayley was pursuing her Tourism and Hospitality studies at Kaplan previously and although this pretty (and very fair-skinned) young lady has not undergone any professional singing or performing training, she does know she wants to try and make a career out of this.

When I asked about her dreams, she shared that she loves singing, loves going places and… doesn’t everyone just want to be a star? So yes, that’s why she’s there, to pursue her dream of becoming a star.

She said she became interested in Kpop sometime in 2008 and although she (and her sister) had tried out for Campus Superstar previously, they didn’t make it too far. Seems like her more introverted and shy sister had a bad case of nerves and broke down in tears during her turn on-stage. It’s not easy to hold your own in front of a massive crowd, I guess…. (Campus Superstar tryout was held at Ang Mo Kio Hub in full and plain view of everyone who happened to be there)

But in terms of actual audition, Jayley said it’s her first. There’s something rather ‘cute’ (I would prefer to use ‘incredible’ actually, keke!) about her audition process. She had prepared and was planning to sing 写一首歌 by 顺子… but for some reason, when it was her turn, what came out from her mouth was 记得 by 张惠妹!

Despite her flawless skin, Hayley claimed that she does not have any special regime or grooming secrets. But she added that maybe it does help that she happens to not like fried food.

Towards the end of our little chat, I asked her to name one unique trait or characteristic about her that stands her apart from everyone else. Gotta say her answer surprised me… (sorry!) not in a good way.

She’d said, “My hair colour, and the way I look.”

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. First of all, hair colour cannot be special and unique. i repeat, CANNOT… and that’s for the very simple reason that we can all dye our hair to whatever shade our hearts desire. And the second part of her answer…? Well, the rest of us may be able to say that and get away with it… but did Jayley forget that she actually has an identical twin?

I’ll be honest, I had half written her off as perhaps someone who’s more ‘form than substance’. But I’ve since changed my mind and decided that perhaps there’s more to this gal than meets the eye. I’ve read a few of her blog entries and realised that she may not be as ‘airy’ as she portrays herself to be.

Reading JAYLEY’s REPLY to someone who had asked her why she wanted to be an idol on Formspring, I’m more than happy to reserve my comments and observe this pretty young lady awhile longer. For a start, you might wanna read THIS.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a clip of the twin sisters doing a cover for 2NE1’s I Don’t Care (one of my faves incidentally!)




FRASER TIONG (16)

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I was curious about this young man’s surname and asked about it. He told me it;s 张.

And ahhh… he’s Hakka.

And I was even more curious about how he sees his own future when he revealed that he’s all of the tender age of 16. When I heard that he’s only 16, I said, “Please relax, don’t be nervous and just chat with me.”

He’d returned with a “I’m not nervous.”

Okay, mianeyo, for assuming that all young kids are scary cats and timid peeps ^o^

Although some of the other shortlisted candidates too have some performing or stage experience, none of them came close to what Fraser has under his belt. You see, he’s been a child actor with MediaCorp for some ten years now. I guess that explains his steadiness and maturity.

Some of you must be trying to figure out which dramas you’ve seen him in, ya?

His face must look familiar to at least some of you because he had played the younger version of Li Nanxing’s (李南星) character, Jinlong (金龙) in the drama The Golden Path (黄金路)

He reasoned that he may not have been the best in terms of talents, but what really helped him was how much calmer he was as compared to the rest. He was less nervous and therefore was able to perform more naturally and better. For his audition item, he had chosen not to act. Instead, he had sung Hey Soul Sister by the American alternative rock band Train.

Fraser also shared that Kpop is something that’s a rather recent hobby to him as he only started listening to and liking Kpop from this year. Now, he counts Taeyang (of Big Bang) as one of his favourite performers.

Fraser feels that he’s ready and that he definitely wants to give the audition opportunity his best shot. However, he shared with me his concern that his chances may be adversely affected given that he still has not fulfilled his military obligations.

He also shared that he hopes one day and one day soon, there’ll be a Singaporean name in the Kpop scene, and hopefully he will be the one to bring us the national pride of having been able to break into the notoriously difficult Korean show business.

One of Fraser’s parting musings to me were, “Sometimes I wonder… in this big, big sea full of people, am I talented enough? Can I really make it, and make it big?”

Good luck, Fraser! If you think you can, it’s already half the battle won.


NATASHA LOW (17)

Ever heard of Sunny Low? Or Sunny Low Dance Studio? I believe many of you might have… After all, Sunny Low Dance Studio has a history dating all the way back to the 1960s, when Sunny Low was giving dance lessons in his father’s studio, the Poh San Dance Studio. In fact, they can now proudly say they’re four generations of dancing Low Families. You can read more about the Low dancers HERE.

Yes, this (Natasha) Low is of the renowned dancing Low family; in fact, Sunny Low is Natasha’s grandpa.

From her mannerism to her wardrobe, it is obvious that Natasha’s from a rather privileged family background. She has just completed her GCE O levels and is contemplating enrolling for her dance degree at LaSalle.

I guess things are now on the balance since she has been shortlisted for the JYPE & Alpha Auditions. She had turned up for audition on 9th Dec and strangely, instead of choosing to dance, she had sung instead.

And oh, yes, she does dance.

When asked of her forte, she had revealed that she does mostly ballroom dancing and hip-hop. A rather intriguing and interesting mix, if you ask me. Perhaps it’s her family background and her love for the more traditional ballroom dancing and ALSO the comparatively freer-style of the hip-hop dance genre that give this young lady her unique aura.

Yes, I did feel it… that there’s something different about the vibes that this girl emits.

And oh, it would appear that she’d inherited the good dancing genes if her recent achievement of having made it to the Top 10 of the recent Kpop Dance Battle is anything to go by. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a clip yet, so please feel free to holler if you’ve a link of a dancing Natasha, okie?

But Natasha shared that she thinks that her singing’s stronger than her dancing though. She listens to more Mandarin pop than Kpop, and her favourite artists include A-Mei and Rainie Yang.

When asked about the one thing that might be able to make her more distinguished amongst the rest, Natasha shared that her low(er than expected) tone always surprises people. Yea, with her sweet looks, many would expect her voice to be light and sultry-sweet, but nope, hers is a very addictive lower tone that’s almost sensuous.
She’s been wanting to be a star since four to five years ago and yes, she’s willing to keep trying to make sure she gets there, where she will sparkle with the other stars.


(to be continued)

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