The Sparkle and the heartbeat of CHINGAY PARADE 2014

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It was an honour to be one of the lead singers for the Finale Theme Song for the Chingay Parade 2014 this year.

I’ve always watched this colourful parade on television each year, and being involved this year gave me a whole new perspective to this parade that is so rich in heritage, and culture. It took me beyond the beautiful imagery that I see on TV, to the actual sights and sounds when I am standing right there on the float, waving to an excited audience. It took me to a place where I felt the life and heartbeat of the parade, where I hear the excitement from the performers, where I see the sparkle of this beautiful parade before my eyes.

There are many things I’ll remember…

Firstly, the many faces at Chingay. This year’s parade saw some 7,500 performers. I remember little girls in their ballet costumes running to get in line,  youths and students with their infectious energy, and always dancing and singing, there are 长辈叔叔阿姨 as well, they mingle and have a great time. Everyone waves, everyone cheers, either to someone on the float, or to each other as the contingents get ready. This year is also extremely special to me because my little 7 year old niece was also involved in one of the segments ^^

Then, there is the crew and volunteers, who worked so hard behind the scenes, be it lights, sound, planning, the people who built the floats, logistics, facilitators,  working at so many aspects of the show to make it all happen, and in making sure everything ran smoothly.

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The theme this year is “Colours of Fabric, One People” and it featured a 360-metre batik art painting  “Paint With ONE Heart” – and knitting tapestries put together by some 40,000 Singaporeans and new immigrants. I’ve was present at one of the knitting workshops during the press conference and to finally see the fruit of all these workshops come together on display at the parade was really touching, all which is only made possible by teamwork, teamwork and more teamwork.

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Getting to work with renowed 老师 Lee Si Song who penned the finale theme song “Knit with one Heart” was a great pleasure, and not forgetting getting to perform this unique song which “weaves” and combines the four main languages with my fellow singers Ric Liu, Hazrul Nizam & Vicknesvari Vadivalagan. We have a lot of fun in between rehearsals too! It was also my first stand standing on a float, (I can’t remember how many meters above ground), wooohooooo! the experience was exhilarating.

It was an honour performing for PM Lee as well as President Tony Tan who were watching from the grand stands on the respective nights of the Parade.

A big thank you to the People’s Association and to the wonderful team behind Chingay.

To the many performers, 小妹妹, 叔叔阿姨们,overseas friends, vibrant youths with whom we’ve taken selfies, waved, cheered as we saw each other along the way, thank you for the lovely memories! Performing at Chingay 2014 was a lovely start to my new year, and I’ll cherish these smiles, friendships, I’ll remember this great teamwork and lovely spirit.

p/s: Shout out to my lovely team Keith Png (Styling), Vaughn Tan for the beautiful dress, Sam Ong (MakeUp and Hair).

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「幸福不难」- 电视剧《志在四方》The Dream Makers 主题曲 (完整歌词版)

哈咯,

这几个月都忙着筹备新作品, 所以都没时间写博客。 可是,我还是每天都在脸书上分享照片 :)所以呀,快快到我的 facebook网页 按个“赞”好不好? 那每天都会有我的消息,也能看到你的留言,和你说说话。

想分享我的新歌《幸福不难》!这首歌是新传媒8频道电视剧《志在四方》的主题曲。自己作词作曲,演唱。这次有点不同,因为也第一次担任制作人,希望大家会喜欢。

去年在由媒體發展局与新传媒联手举办的”电视剧主题曲Call for Proposal (CFP), 得知自己的作品被选中的时候,我非常开心。因为今年是电视50周年,能为8频道重头剧写和演唱主题曲,我真的感到非常荣幸。参与的演员更是本身非常喜欢的演员,包括鄭惠玉,歐萱,瑞恩,戚玉武,陳莉萍等艺人。所以想特别感谢MDA以及新传媒《志在四方》监制以及制作组的支持, 这首歌才能顺利完成。当然少不了制作过程所合作的音乐同事们。

这首歌,背后有一段真实故事。写这首歌的时候的我,其实本身在经历非常挑战自己意志力的一段时间。那时候的心情很难用几个字去形容,但我觉得最重要的,是和你分享走出那段经历所学到的,所领悟到的。
所以在写这首歌的时候,只想把那时候的心情释放,更重要的是想写一首在我们最需要的时候,能够带给我们力量和希望的一首歌。

创作一直是我和你沟通的一个管道,在你的聆听下,很庆幸的,无论是快乐或悲伤我都能毫无保留的,在创作里和你分享。这,我非常珍惜,也是我最大的推动力。 《志在四方》播出后,看到很多朋友都留言说喜欢这首歌,也 retweet 副歌的歌词,看了和感动。感谢支持这首歌的朋友们, 更想听你们听了这首歌之后的感想。你可在facebook上留言,我一定会看。

今天先和你分享歌曲的视频。《幸福不难》背后的故事,下周和你分享。

Love,芝怡

Image courtesy of MediaCorp Pte. Ltd

XFBN C5

A song for our Merlion and Dazzling light show at the Merlion Park! 13 -16 Sep!

Our Merlion turns 40, and you are invited! First up! There’s a gorgeous dazzling light show playing at the Merlion Park from 13-16 September! More details below!

It feels awesome to be a part of the Merlion’s 40th birthday celebrations.I was ecstatic when I learnt that I was recording the song  “Inspiring Journey” for the Merlion’s 40th Birthday Celebrations. 真的覺得意義重大。 Have you heard it yet ? Here’s the video! (Composed by Kenn C, performed by me)

What the Merlion means to me…
I’m sure, many Singaporeans, like myself have fond memories of picture moments with the Merlion, or bringing our friends visiting from other countries on a visit to the Merlion Park. There are days when I’m in the car along Fullerton Road and  I make it a point to take in the lovely views of the water, because it instantly soothes my busy mind. It feels good to have a moment to quieten down and connect with the surroundings, and the Merlion always makes me feel at home.

I feel its very important to have a sense and connection to of who we are, and where we came from, how we have journeyed through the years, because this adds the color and character to our lives. Browsing through pictures of the Merlion on the internet, I see smiles, families, black and white photographs, I see the Merlion standing tall as the landscape of Singapore continued to evolve over the years, I see his footsteps linking the generations, the young and old, our past, our now, and our future. I see life when I look at him by the waters.

He takes the place in my heart,  not only as an icon, but a familiar friend who is very much a part of my and our lives. It is a personal connection, that will always be there when I gaze at the waters, or stand along the steps next to him, and I feel the song has captured that journey we have taken with him and for years to come.

Firstly, thank you to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for the honor and pleasure. It was a privilege getting to know and work with the wonderful team of people behind the celebrations; the STB team, Kenn C, the composer of the song “Inspiring Journey”, who is also a producer/arranger/music director that I really respect. Mr Albert Lim (son of 林浪新先生 who sculpted the Merlion)… and hearing his stories about he as a little boy, together with his siblings, helped his father as they worked day and night on the Merlion sculpture, the MLA team planning and executing the show & the videos,  you’ll hear Jim Lim’s version of the song too during the show, the students from Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Design who worked on the art installation that is on display outside, dancers….there was so much love and passion for our Merlion that went into all the preparations.


With Mr Albert Lim, son of Mr Lim Nah Seng 林浪新 at the launch of the Merlion art installation, Ngee Ann City.


Special thanks: To Keith Png for dressing me in his creation (KOOPS from Hide & Seek) for the occasion, and Passion Hair Salon (styled by Ryan Yap).


Penning my wishes for the Merlion.

When was the last time you saw the Merlion right before your eyes? For me, it was a breathtaking sight  as I waited with great anticipation with the team for the launch of the first light show on Wednesday night at the Merlion Park. He came to live, glowing on the waters, the pyrotechnics, song and dance. I was overwhelmed:) You have to catch it!!! More importantly, feel the warmth, that glow he has lit up in you that has been and will always be a part of you.

“Merlion & I: An Inspiring Journey” Light Show
 Date: 13 – 16 September 2012
Venue: Merlion Park
Show Times:  7:15pm, 7:45pm, 8:30pm, 9:15pm, 10.00pm, 10:30pm

Here’s more! Just one of the many costume changes the Merlion undergoes during the show!

Lovely times and pics, from the promo activities and preparations! :)


On 《早安您好!》, special thanks alldressedup for wardrobe.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear MERLION, shine on, 我愛你。

Hello 2012!

Happy New Year precious ones! Yay! I’ve done up a new blog banner. I hope u like it!

This week, I just had a haircut and a new color, thanks to the maestro David himself :) Am loving the new look and I feel refreshed and ready to take on the new year!

Just recently I was so excited knowing I was going to meet David for a shoot! :-) Naturally so, when you are going to meet someone whom you have utmost respect for.

It was my first time shooting in a studio, with full on angles, lights, the works!And naturally I was nervous! For instance, how should I stand, where should I put my hands.. and it was so humbling to meet David and the rest of the power packed team for the shoot, Wee Khim, Andy Lee & Martin Wong. They were all so encouraging and guided me along so well that it became really fun and relaxing on the set. Soon I was having a blast, and feeling superbly fantastic.

There was a nice chemistry and commitment to greatness from everyone in the room that was really inspiring.

The end product in Jan’s issue of 〈女友〉!
Serene Koong 龚芝怡 in NuYou Magazine

Serene Koong 龚芝怡 in NuYou Magazine
非常感谢 <女友>!

Each time I had a chance to chat with David on a few occasions, I truly appreciate how he shares his thoughts with me and gives me encouraging words of advise. (Was really touched to see his blog entry this week :*)

The path of music is tough tough tough and hence all the more I do not take for granted things and people I hold dear to my heart. When I took a moment to reflect on 2011 just before taking the stage for the F.I.R Guangzhou Concert on New Year’s Eve, I gave thanks for the many things.

One, for the love from my fans, and my muffins who are always there, rain or shine, who are here growing with me.

Two, my family and awesome friends, and some from acquaintances turned good friends who will check in on me every once in awhile and never hesitate to help when I call.

And finally, I feel constantly blessed to be able to meet great individuals and role models who are willing to believe, 肯給我機會, to do all they can to help, to guide and they inspire me in so many ways by virtue of who they are and all they have accomplished. And the one thing I feel is so important is to listen, to feel the energy around them, and absorb, and keep growing.

I have always felt since Day 1 that I embarked on this journey that nothing would have been possible without a constant accumulation of blessings and love from people I meet who got me started, who taught me so much and helped me in so many ways.

2012 here we come with new beginnings, grateful hearts and a commitment to a brilliant year!

Thank you David for your kindness and for being so supportive in so many ways I can’t thank you enough!


With David Gan :)


Quick photo with David and Andy after the shoot!

Live at the Esplanade!
Huayi – 05 Feb 2012, 730 pm

SO EXCITED! It’s gonna be my first show at the Esplanade!
05 Feb 2012 (SUN), 7.30 pm, Esplanade Recital Studio!
Tickets available at SISTIC!

The Esplanade and Huayi Festival celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2012, and I am both excited and honored to be one of the featured indie artists for the in::music series!

I tweeted this morning that I love you guys and my muffins so much because really, you have no idea how much your love and support keep me going. The path of music is not easy, especially for us indie singer-songwriters, but to hear you guys come up and tell me 加油, 我喜歡你的音樂 is what makes me not take any of this for granted, and keep the music growing. That’s why I am really excited about 05 Feb 2012! 1 hour show! Yayness!

The Esplanade Recital Studio is an awesome venue, love the sound, the lights, the ambience and most importantly, the ability to be close to your audience.

I can’t wait to get in there and have a nice cosy evening with you. Tinkle on the piano, sing my songs and tell you stories on how they began. From a broken heart, a doll, a crush on someone, the fear of losing someone,…to a song, to lyrics, to the final recording you hear. Each song takes heart & soul and time, and it’s precisely because of this that each song has a life on its own. I want to take you to the time I wrote these songs in my room, by the piano…times in my life when I lived, loved and laughed.

Gonna preview some new material too and you’re gonna be the first to hear them! :)

We’ve got the band ready! Real awesome dudes, (Eric is playing too!) all good friends of mine whom I met during this journey of music making.

Come with your friends! Get Your TICKETS here!
SEE YOU 5 Feb 2012! 明知我愛你!

Click here for the in::music website!

p/s: Shout out to the lovely Esplanade team for the poster! Love it!!!!