SINGAPORE - Home-grown singer Tay Kewei wants to be the next Stef Sun or JJ Lin. But before you brush her off as someone who merely thinks big, she does have a track record in realising her dreams.
She once told Life! she would love to sing the National Day song. She performed at this year's National Day Parade and was also featured in the music video, We Will Get There & One People, One Nation, One Singapore.
And in a pivotal step to achieving regional music success, Tay, 31, has launched a Mandopop album, Turn Back & Smile, which is out in stores today. She had previously released two albums comprising mostly English covers with her label S2S. This time round, she helped to write nine of the 10 songs and the process was not an easy one.
After the release of Fallin (2012), she began working on new material. Speaking to Life! at a press conference, she says: "I was learning to play the guitar and wrote a lot of songs. But most of the songs are very self- indulgent, which nobody likes."
Her label wanted more radio-friendly and commercial songs. Her manager had said: "When I hear it, I would know it."
To which Tay responds: "It wasn't constructive at all but I tried to squeeze out as many songs as I could. I don't know how I got it but somehow I did."
Reflecting her own interest as an erhu player - her father teaches the traditional stringed Chinese instrument - the album contains a few tracks with a distinct zhongguofeng (traditional Chinese flavour). For the track Nostalgia, she says: "Even the way I sing, I tried to sing like an erhu, the way it inflects."
She adds: "I do think the sound of the album is quite diverse."