SINGAPORE - For any singing competition contestant hoping to ace a performance, choosing the right song is of utmost importance.
As Singaporean freelance singer-actress Sherraine Law told M in a phone interview last week, the process involves clever strategising. And it is not just about focusing on one's strengths.
"I like picking fast dance numbers for the simple reason that it hides my flaws," said the 22-year-old with a laugh.
"Singing in Hokkien is definitely not my forte. When I do uptempo tracks, thanks to the thumping rhythms and beats, I don't have to worry so much about enunciation."
Law, a regular entertainer on the local getai circuit, is one of eight contestants representing Singapore at the sixth Global Hokkien Singing Competition in Taiwan.
The eight were picked after a mass audition held in May that attracted more than 100 aspiring singers. They will compete against representatives from Taiwan, Macau, Malaysia, China and the US in the televised rounds, which will be filmed in television studios in Taipei.
Local viewers can catch the action every Sunday at 10.30pm on Jia Le Channel (SingTel mio TV Ch 502), starting July 13.
Law, who has been a getai singer for about four years, expressed surprise at having made it this far in the competition.
"Honestly, I didn't really expect to be selected. I don't speak Hokkien at home and till today, whenever I have to sing Hokkien songs, I have to write down the pronunciation of each word in hanyu pinyin and memorise it by heart," explained the Temasek Polytechnic mass communications and media management graduate.
"If you follow my getai shows, you'd notice that I don't usually sing in Hokkien - I sing mostly Mandarin oldies.
"To have the chance to compete in Taiwan is super exciting. After all, it's not every day that I become part of Taiwanese showbiz!"
Law, who aced the Singapore audition with her rendition of Taiwanese pop star Chang Wen-Chih's club jam Three-Minute Enthusiasm, added that she will continue with her selection of dance hits for the televised rounds and will "likely sing something by (two-time Golden Melody Awards Best Hokkien Female Singer) Jeannie Hsieh".
She thinks her getai experience will come in handy.
"I'd probably have an advantage over other contestants when it comes to exuding stage presence. As a getai performer, I always sing in front of crowds, so I don't get stage fright anymore."
However, Law has her own fears to overcome.
"I'm quite scared of facing the judges," said the bubbly gal, who has scored supporting roles in local movies like Ah Boys To Men (2012) and Filial Party, which was released earlier this year.
"Also, singing in a studio is rather foreign to me. There are many unpredictable elements. For example, I have no idea how the echoes from the studio's microphone will sound like."
Ironically, for someone who plies her trade mainly in the music business, Law's biggest idols are actresses.
"There are no singers whom I particularly admire, but I adore (Taiwanese actress) Shu Qi and (local TV queen) Fann Wong," she gushed.
"I love Fann Wong! I've watched her dramas since I was a kid. The first time I met her in person was at the Filial Party gala premiere in May. She was with her (actor) hubby Christopher Lee and I was so starstruck that I couldn't speak," Law added.
This article was first published on JULY 2, 2014.
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