By Huang Lijie
At age 46, with a quarter-century’s achievement in the Mandopop world, and the de facto voice of Singapore’s unofficial anthem – Home by Dick Lee, singer Kit Chan has been there, done that and is ready for the sky’s limit.
She is in soaring spirits when you meet her last month at a design studio oozing hygge in the Upper Paya Lebar industrial estate. She is there to speak with the press about her 25th anniversary, marked by a new album, A Time For Everything, and a concert at the Esplanade.
A 25-year singing career in the cutthroat music industry is a feat worth celebrating. Reaching such a milestone, however, could also trigger apprehension about the future. Not so though, for Chan.
She says: “Maybe five, 10 years ago, I might’ve dreaded some things. But now that I’m here, there’s no ‘Oh s***, what’s next.’ It could be that at this point in my life, I’m refreshed, recharged; I’m feeling like the sky’s the limit.”
This new season in her life is borne of age, growing spiritual maturity and the end of her five-year marriage last year, she says.
“When I became single, everything sort of collided, and then it blossomed. It all seemed to make sense. Every tear, laugh, everything broken, it’s perfect; there’s a time for everything,” she says, with no hint of irony. Yes, even those times she felt despondent.
“There were so many times in my career I wanted to give up, from sheer exhaustion, from being lost,” she admits. What kept her going? Doggedness, that “gets the body moving,” and hope, that “makes the heart go on.”
And now, ever more so, it is the music that excites her. “I know it sounds so stupid,” she says, but the rapture in her voice when she speaks about the epiphany she had, wins you over.
She was in Prague some three months ago when it happened, at a classical music performance in an old church.
“There were 10 musicians, they were very good. Then the soloist came out and you know what is great,” she says. “This guy, his energy, and when he played, you cannot look anywhere else; you start to follow his breathing.”
The magic, she realised, was not so much in the sound the solo violinist produced, but how he responded to the music – it was coursing through his entire body.
“And I realised, that’s what I do now, with maturity. I don’t know what I’m going to do (next), I’m just going to respond to the music.”
Details about Kit Chan’s upcoming concert at the Esplanade here.