Local singer Ferlyn G has experienced just how critical the music industry can be.
Ferlyn, who turns 23 next month, leapt to fame after becoming a member of K-pop girl group SKarf in 2012.
But she received negative comments from her managers and in online reviews right from the start of her career, prompting her to quit the music business.
She told The New Paper: "The criticism came from a lot of places, including the audience and my previous managers. It's like I worked so hard on so many things, but I still got criticised instead of getting the recognition I deserved."
Ferlyn left SKarf last September and began working on a solo album called First.
Last Friday, at the launch at Bugis+, she performed two songs, Luv Talk and Bu Jian Bu San, from the album.
K-pop singer Mint from girl group Tiny G, performed with Ferlyn for Luv Talk. At the end of the session, fans who bought the album could get her autograph.
The first 50 fans who bought the album were invited to an after-party at Safra Toa Payoh, where they became the first to watch the Luv Talk music video.
Ferlyn's family and friends dedicated a special video message to her, which was played at the launch.
Local singer JJ Lin was among those who left a message for the singer, congratulating her on her new album.
Ferlyn said she is proud of First as she sees it as her first real work by herself and, compared to when she was in SKarf, had more control over the songs.
"I get to make my own music and give my own opinions. I didn't have to consider the possibility of the album concept not fitting well with the other members," she said.
"I wanted this album to encourage those who have been through the same emotions I felt in the face of setbacks.
"Don't just give up, have the mentality that whatever you have started, you should end it well. Whatever challenges you face, just persevere."
She said that Luv Talk, which comes in both Korean and Mandarin, is about starting a new chapter in her career and being a solo artist.
She added: "I don't regret what I've done. I'm thankful for what I have and I'm learning from the mistakes I've made."
Ferlyn said she wrote and arranged the rap for the Mandarin version.
"The lyricist Gen (Neo) challenged me to write the rap, so I did and he liked it.
"Rapping in Mandarin is more difficult than rapping in English or Korean. It's also tougher to show emotions and characteristics rapping in Mandarin."
When asked about her new image and style, Ferlyn said: "My style and image are what I am right now. It's me."
In SKarf, she had to play the tomboy.
"I tried, but I don't know if I succeeded portraying that image," she said.
Her fans have been supportive of her new solo career.
Nanyang Technological University student Benjamin Tan, 23, said: "As a solo artist, Ferlyn's able to show more of her own style. Her new songs are great. They're good for her new style."
Another fan at the launch, Ms Wong Jia Qi, 18, a Singapore Polytechnic student, said: "I like both versions of Ferlyn. The differences in style and music show her versatility."
Ferlyn hopes the album will introduce her to Asia.
"I want people to know that I'm here. It's a new start... and I foresee exciting things happening with this album."
This article was first published on January 5, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.