Profile: Kit Chan

Published on 8 June 2015

Music megastar Kit Chan has remained true to self throughout her showbiz career.


This year has seen new peaks in the 22-year showbiz career of music megastar Kit Chan:
she starred in Singapore movie Ms J Contemplates Her Choice and competed in China reality singing competition I Am a Singer, winning over a new fanbase. She is also creative directing her own solo concert, Spellbound, and releasing a new single of the same name. “This year is turning out to be very exciting — and unexpected,” marvels Chan. “I couldn’t have been clever enough to engineer this, I just believe it’s a divine plan.”

The 42 year-old songbird has worked steadily throughout her career, commanding increasing international clout since debuting in 1993 and breaking into the Taiwanese market in 1994, unleashing a stream of regional hits which saw her touring as far as the USA and starring in various drama serials and stage productions, including Hong Kong musical Snow.Wolf.Lake with Jacky Cheung.

“I’ve done many things because I’m bohemian in spirit,” she muses, “Easily bored, ever-curious and not terribly ambitious, I was never held back by the need to reach a certain position in one field. But while doing each specific thing, I’m clear about my intentions and inclinations… I’ve fought with past record companies about how I should be presented to the public!”

Perhaps that’s the real secret to Chan’s staying power: being uncompromisingly true to herself. In a time when starlets flog their lives online, Chan stays off “exhausting” social media and has always refused to wear, sing or say things she doesn’t want to.

“I was never much of a crowd-pleaser or a social creature,” she says. “Especially at this point in my life, I’m not prepared to engineer a whole new Kit just to keep up with the Joneses. I bring what defines me now and let these qualities find their own audience.”

So what exactly defines Chan now? Try her seemingly paradoxical term: minimalist-dramatic. It’s all about eschewing extravagance and effects and focusing on music and storytelling, which itself has an emotional theatricality that Chan excels in bringing out, immersing herself in the sentiment of the songs she sings. For Spellbound, she will work with homegrown theatre bigwigs such as arranger Bang Wenfu and Dorothy Chan, rather than prominent concert names.

Although Chan performs overseas for much of this year, rest assured she always has time for Singapore. Besides Spellbound, catch her fifth appearance at the National Day Parade — it’s been 17 years since her heartfelt 1998 rendition of National Day song ‘Home’ first gained her the moniker ‘National Treasure’.

“The only reason I’m not embarrassed by that title is because I love my country and my people,” she smiles. “It really feels good to be treasured by something you care for.”

Kit Chan’s Spellbound concert is happening 12 & 13 June at The Star Theatre.

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