“Mummy, I really want to play the piano.”
I was so fascinated by how you could use your fingers to tap on the black and white keys to create a magical feel. I no longer to play the battery-run toy piano that comes in a form of a pink birthday cake. I want the real thing. I was 8 years old then and I knew I want to make music.
Perhaps that’s how music came into my life as a child then.
Two years later, my form teacher invited pupils to perform any pop songs in front of the class and as highly shy and introverted pupil then, I had to rope my friend in to sing my favourite pop song then titled ‘Still’ by 98 Degrees. Even though I was just a Primary 5 kid and is unknown to the world of romance, I knew what each word in the lyrics meant and how delightful it must be to fall in love. It isn’t just the words but also the melody and the story behind the song.
If the sun, should refuse to rise
And the moon, doesn’t hang in the night
The tides won’t change, seasons rearrange
When the world is through
I will still love you
There I was, standing right infront of my classmates, crooning to the tune of this soulful song in my quavering first.
“Deenise, you have a nice voice.” My ever-so-strict form teacher, Mrs Chng, started to soften her stern expression and broke into a smile. My heart was in a trepidation. This Cruella De Vil-look-alike, who often put me in trembling fear and in tears throughout my primary school days, has just nodded and smiled at me with approval.
That was a revelation to me. It’s one of the most beautiful moments in my life. I had just discovered another musical instrument which I could utilize to make music.
I started to sing. My heart was singing a joyful song within each day. Yes! I could sing and I am delighted that I could sing any songs I wanted to learn! But my innate shy nature has always kept me withdrawn away into the tortoise shell. I didn’t even have the guts to sing right infront of my parents till I was 14 years old.
After I entered secondary school, there were even more opportunities for me to sing and perform which I have to thank my encouraging teachers who supported me to sing my hearts out bravely. Joining the choir and being with people who love to sing keeps my passion for singing burning alive.
My parents were surprisingly supportive about what I love doing. My mum suggested that I should attend vocal training lessons at Lee Wei Song School of Music since I love singing Chinese pop songs and I dreamt of becoming a singer back then. We sang scales to widen our vocal range and prepare a chinese song to perform for every lesson. Then our instructors would critique our singing and provide comments and suggestions on how we can improve our delivery of the song. It was only then I realize that I wasn’t exactly fantastic because there were others who can sing beautifully too. So, why would anyone listen to me? My drive to pursue my passion dipped down slightly after.
The ‘lemons’, ups and downs in life and challenges in life have made me grow with maturity and I figured that maybe I shouldn’t be too bothered as to whether my voice is good enough or not, because singing is more than just the voice. It is a way of telling a story, with your heart. I needed to find the true inner voice in me and put my heart into this song as I sing. Heartbroken song? I needed to feel as if I had fallen out of love and I need the audience to felt that pain of a broken heart as I sung each word.
When love fails, I tell myself that it’s a precious experience where I can harness that sadness and express it whenever I sing a love song. It’s good to stumble and fall so that I know what it really means to have your heart sunk down to the bottom of the pit. Singing is really an outlet for me to transform the negative energy I experience into something positive and it has always been this way, even till today.
At college and university, I continued to perform for school events and took part in some competitions but has never really been a favorite contestant to the judges. I’ve won some and lose in some contests. Then I started to think, ‘What’s the point?’ Is there really a need for me to compete in order to show others that I was the best? Then I made a turning point and took the safer path leading to my dreams of being able to sing live in front of a huge crowd. Yes, I will just perform and not compete. It’s a safe decision so to speak which I had regrets making this choice when I could have continued to put on a fight and compete to gain more experience.
As for now, I am ain’t no singer but just a girl singing infront of a camera and uploading her own song covers on YouTube. Initially, it started out great but then I got swept away by societal norms of getting a decent and stable job that keeps your bank account striving. I had a vision and I wanted to sing songs of different languages to reach out to different parts of the way. However, time wasn’t a foe to me then.
But is that what I want? I asked myself all the time and only to realize that I’ve been the biggest liar of all time.
Although I couldn’t turn back time by swiveling the minute hand, I could still make a slow but steady climb to work towards that happy me. It’s hard but at least I know I’m moving forward, inching closer and closer the path I was destined to be. I figured that I needed to get out of my comfort zone, jump out of my YouTube channel and start performing. How? The universe has already paved a route for me but I just didn’t realize it.
Being a wedding singer? Be that someone who brings out the sunshine and joy in the celebration of love of others. My voice could be a blessing to a loving couple. I’ve been invited to perform for a couple of friends’ wedding but this time, I want to spread this celebration of love to a wider crowd. I want to be a wedding singer.
This year alone, I had two beautiful weddings in which I could perform and sing to my hearts’ content. And I hope that there’s more to come. Maybe even at other events, concerts or gigs. What about National Day Parade?
I ever had a dream to be singing live on the floating platform- a song, about my love for the country and its people. That’s a greater form of love, extending to all people living on the same grounds as me.
Hear me sing:
If you love my voice and would like me to perform at your special wedding/occasions/events, do drop me a mail at email@example.com.
Till death do us apart.
I could never part with you, my little voice.