Lala Hsu's quirky gifts to fans

Lala Hsu's quirky gifts to fans

When Taiwanese singer-songwriter Lala Hsu performs at a concert, she has a rock star's habit of throwing souvenirs into the crowd.

But instead of guitar picks and drumsticks, she tosses quirky items such as autographed shuttlecocks and the false lashes that fall from her eyes during shows.

"That's the charm of concerts, the unexpected interaction with the audience is what makes the concert most memorable. I'm sure I'll give the audience something in Singapore, I'm just not sure what it is now," says Hsu, 29, who will be staging her first ticketed concert here at Kallang Theatre on Jan 11.

Her spontaneity in shows is not unexpected, given her straight-talking personality.

When asked if she will be wearing skimpier outfits during her concert here to beat the humidity, she quips: "I can't stand the heat, but I'm not sure if I will do that. Of course I can dress scantily, but it doesn't mean it will add points to my performance."

The weight of the petite 1.56m-tall crooner has always been a topic of discussion among netizens and the media, referring to her round, chubby face.

But she says she has learnt to process such barbed comments. "When I go on TV for album promotion activities, and I'm surrounded by artists who are prettier than me, have better bodies than me, sing better than me, at that moment I will feel inferior to others.

"But in the middle of the night, when you calm down and think about it, there's no need to compare yourself with others. There is nothing wrong with feeling inferior, but what is important is regaining your confidence."

In fact, she should have plenty to feel confident about. The winner of season three of the Taiwanese reality TV singing competition One Million Star, she is one of the more prolific contestants to have emerged from the show to make it in the cut-throat Mandopop industry.

Not only is she about the only one left from her cohort to still have a singing career - her season 3 mates include Taiwan-based Singaporean Huang Jinglun, who is hosting shows, and Taiwanese Crystal Lin, who starred in the Singapore movie Old Cow Vs Tender Grass in 2010 - but she is also the only one of the few Million Star alumni to write her own material.

The gifted Hsu has always been known for her flair for song-writing. When she competed in the show in 2008, she impressed judges with her performance of the self-penned song, Riding On A White Horse.

She has written songs for other Taiwanese artists, including Fast Forward for Rainie Yang and My Enemy for Rene Liu.

She went on to snag the Golden Melody Award for Best Newcomer in 2010. Most recently at the 24th Golden Melody Awards, she was nominated for the heavyweight prize of Best Mandarin Female Singer, but lost to veteran Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam.

On missing out on the prestigious accolade, Hsu, who hopes to release her fourth album next year, says that she has not really had thoughts about winning the award.

"I entered this industry not wanting to make a lot of money. I just want to write songs to express what I feel and sing those songs."

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