Stef Sun back with album by year's end

Home-grown singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun is preparing for a comeback after a hiatus that lasted more than a year.

The Mandopop vocalist signed a recording contract worth nine figures in Taiwanese dollars with Universal Music yesterday.

During a press conference at Capella Hotel yesterday, the 35-year-old said that she will be releasing a new album at the end of this year and will be holding a concert early next year.

However, she declined to comment on what her new album will sound like.

"Singing has always been my calling and I will not stop doing it," said the soft-spoken star, who looked svelte in a black-and-gold bareback dress.

The award-winning soloist - who is known for hits such as Cloudy Day (2000), My Desired Happiness (2000) and Love Dictionary (2001) - has released 11 albums since her first album, Yan Zi, in 2000, and has sold over 30 million copies in Asia.

Her last album, It's Time, was released in 2011.

Known to fans as "13th Sister", the songbird took a break from showbiz after tying the knot with her then boyfriend of five years, Dutch-Indonesian senior executive Nadim Van Der Ros, 36, in May 2011.

She gave birth to their first child in October last year.

When asked how she plans to juggle family life and her music career, Sun smiled and said: "(My husband) is positive and supportive of my comeback in the music industry."

Fulfilling her dream as a singer and carrying out her maternal duties is her lifelong goal, she said.

Sun said that although her schedule is tight, the journey has been thoroughly rewarding.

"When I'm away (from home), I'll take it that my son is learning to be independent," she said.

"I'll (take him with me), if need be."

Despite her success so far, the singer said that life in showbiz is not a breeze. One's image, the demands of the industry and the challenges of an ever-changing music culture are factors to consider.

On her 5kg weight loss since giving birth, Sun revealed that she has been working out to keep slim and fit, in preparation for her comeback.

On her career, she said that the greatest pressure was the need to please the audience.

She also said that it is most important to be forward-looking in life, adding: "Pressure spurs you on to go forth and find an alternative (solution) that is more suitable (to your situation)."

The songster also had some wise words on coping with pressures from the music industry.

She said: "Being the best that you can be is the (best) thing to do."

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