Love duet

Love duet

A fresh-faced lass with a pretty voice, local singer Tay Kewei, 31, had her fair share of suitors when she started gaining attention in her music career.

However, she had eyes for only one man - athletics coach and later, Project Superstar winner Alfred Sim, 33.

News of their upcoming nuptials was released by her record label S2S on Monday and it was followed by a barrage of well-wishes from netizens and fans.

Her best pal and singer Lee Ein Ein told SundayLife!: "Kewei told me how even though she had other suitors who were more handsome and attractive, Alfred is the one who has been by her side even before she got her start as a singer.

"She said that Alfred has seen her at her 'ugliest', before her glamorous moments as a successful singer. She feels it's real love," adds Lee, who is in her 30s and part of a cappella group MICappella.

Tay, who has three albums under her belt, including Mandopop offering Turn Back & Smile released in September, says: "I take heart in loyalty. I'm thankful our relationship lasted so long, it's what I've always hoped for. I'm not someone who wants many boyfriends."

The unassuming Sim says with a laugh: "You mean she had other suitors? I didn't know. Even if she did, I'm quite confident, it boils down to trust."

The couple will be tying the knot on Jan 4. Although they have been dating for almost 10 years, their relationship came to light only when Sim took part and won the latest season of local reality TV singing contest Project Superstar in October.

They met in 2004 when they were guest singers at the solo EP launch of local singer Peter Huang, who is also part of MICappella. They bonded over their common interest in music and started dating in 2005.

Couple time was scarce for the jet-setting pair.

Barely six months into their relationship, Tay scored her first backing vocalist job with A-list Taiwanese crooner David Tao in 2005.

She went on to be a back-up vocalist at concerts for Mandopop heavyweights like Wang Lee Hom, A*mei and JJ Lin.

Former national sprinter Sim was busy travelling for competitions. He also travelled when he was with the Singapore Athletic Association between 2006 and 2010, as the manager and coach of the national team.

Sim, who now owns fitness training company Reactiv, says: "Sometimes, when she came back from a concert tour, I would be off for a competition. A crucial part of our relationship was based on trust."

Tay adds: "When I was touring, I could do a show on the weekend and be away from Thursday to Sunday. That could happen every week.

"Before the days of 3G and Wi-Fi, I had to buy a SIM card or call from the hotel. We used to call each other every night. We became comfortable with each other and I could travel for one week without talking to him. Now that there's WhatsApp, there's a lot of texting."

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