HE HAD only two years to make it or break it - that was the deadline given to Taiwanese Mandopop newbie Yen-J by his dad.
"Initially, he was very worried about my decision to give up my studies to pursue a music career in Taiwan," the shy 22-year-old said yesterday at a press conference in Marina Mandarin Hotel.
"He was afraid that I'd have nothing to fall back on if my music experimentation in Taiwan failed."
Yen-J (real name: Yen Jue) is in Singapore to promote his debut album, Thanks Your Greatness.
He grew up in a family of doctors in Los Angeles, where he studied jazz at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
He took his chances by moving to Taiwan in 2008. There, he relentlessly sent out demos of his music, and was eventually signed to Taiwan's Bin Music.
He finally did his dad proud when Thanks Your Greatness took the No. 2 spot on Taiwan G-Music's Mandarin-album chart when it was released in April.
Yen-J is now touted as Mandopop's "shining newcomer" by veteran entertainers Wang Lee Hom and Dee Hsu.
His dad, who had hoped he would become a doctor, has now extended his deadline, giving him 10 years instead of two to make it in the competitive Mandopop scene.
"I'm really blessed that my father is so supportive. I didn't have an interest in medicine at all," said Yen-J, who has loved jazz music since primary school.
Yet, when a journalist asked if he aspires to be the next Jay Chou, he said humbly: "I've never thought of that. I'll just work hard and continue writing music, one day at a time."
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