Local singer Alfred Sim, 34, went nude for his first self-titled EP's photoshoot. Far from getting insecure, his singer-wife Tay Kewei, 32, encouraged him to shed his clothes.
"She said 'good' and to go ahead and show off my body,"says track-and-field coach Sim with a laugh at his Mandopop EP launch last week.
"I was training for my album's photoshoot, I decided why not push the boundaries and just do the full monty."
In the lyrics booklet, the barebodied Sim is shot in a running pose. On the album cover, he shows off half of his body, which is made up to look like it is covered in soot.
The concept of the nude shoot is to show off his "scars" sustained from the setbacks on his journey to becoming a recording artist.
The aspiring singer took part in more than 20 singing contests, including TV contest Project SuperStar. He did not make the cut for the final rounds in 2005 and 2006, but won on his third try in 2014.
He caught the eye of Singapore- based Japanese music label S2S and signed on to the artist management company. However, album preparations hit a snag when S2S ceased its Singapore operations last year.
"I took part in Project SuperStar in 2014, but my EP release was delayed till two years later.
"We wasted some time along the way, but the longer wait means the results are sweeter," says Sim who has sung at weddings and at Mandopop live house Switch by Timbre.
His debut album includes a duet with his wife, whose unwavering support he is grateful for.
The title Yi Ai Wei Hao, which means to be "proud of love" in Chinese, incorporates Chinese characters from their names.
He says: "We often exchange singing tips. Kewei has a lot of ideas about singing. She played a big role in the preparations of my album - from giving advice on song selection to album design. After all, she has plenty of experience, with four albums under her belt."
They performed the duet at their wedding last January. Newlywed life is not much different from dating, says Sim who dated Tay for 10 years before tying the knot.
"But I believe our couple life will be different once we have kids. I'm getting on in age, so I'm looking forward to having kids soon. Hopefully I'll have a little baby in the Year of the Monkey."
This article was first published on January 20, 2016.
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