Accountancy graduate Boon Hui Lu, 23, says she was euphoric when her compositions were picked to be featured on Taiwanese singer Hebe Tien's latest album, Day By Day.
Now that joy is multiplied after becoming labelmates with Tien of mega girl group S.H.E.
"It was like striking the top prize in 4D when my songs were chosen. It came as a bonus surprise when I caught the label's attention with the demos I sang."
She also received an autographed album and a thank-you note from Tien for penning upbeat electro tune Every Day Is A Miracle and the ethereal-sounding Your Body Speaks.
The musician, who plays the guitar and keyboard, signed on with Taiwanese record label HIM International Music in April. She flew to Taiwan in August for two months of training, working on her vocals, body language and songwriting.
She is back here to star in the musical Crescendo, which opens tomorrow. Based on the Channel 8 xinyao-themed drama of the same name, she will be playing the role of Deng Xueli, an aspiring teen singer who becomes a jaded, has-been xinyao crooner.
Boon says she can empathise with her character. "She is a singer, which is what I aspire to be. I do think about what will happen if a singer's dreams aren't realised or if things do not go smoothly," says the singer, who has loved performing since she was young and had her first taste of acting in a bit role in the local movie Homerun (2003).
She went on to star in Chinese dramas Rhapsody In Blue (2006), Served Hot (2014) and Crescendo (2015).
She is giving her music dreams her best shot.
Boon, who graduated from Nanyang Technological University last year, turned down a job offer from a big accounting firm. She had studied accountancy because her parents - a self-employed courier service provider, 57, and a housewife, 50 - wanted her to be equipped with practical skills.
Her star seems to be on the rise and she has garnered overseas fans on YouTube. Netizens fell in love with her bubbly rendition of Mayday's rock anthem, Party Animal, and it also caught the attention of a Taiwanese television station.
After the news segment about her was aired in July, her followers went from about 7,000 to more than 47,000. The Party Animal cover has more than two million views to date.
"When I performed at a songwriting contest in Taiwan, people came up to me asking for photos. They told me they enjoyed listening to my covers," says Boon, who has three sisters aged between 18 and 24.
She returns to Taiwan for training after the musical and will be back here to perform at a solo show next year. In the meantime, she will work on melodies and lyrics for her album.
Perhaps singer Tien will grant her wish and feature in her upcoming album. "I would love to work with Hebe," she says. "She sang my songs. She is my idol and I really love her singing style, which is a breath of fresh air in the industry."
BOOK IT / CRESCENDO THE MUSICAL
WHERE: Kallang Theatre, 1 Stadium Walk
WHEN: 8pm (tomorrow), 3 and 8pm (Saturday) and 3pm (Sunday)
ADMISSION: $48, $68, $88, $108 and $128 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)
This article was first published on Dec 15, 2016.
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