Photos: Teo Sijia, Ian Fang (@ian_ianization) via Instagram
Video: Tay Yixuan
Ian Fang wears many hats - actor, entertainer, tote-bag designer - and now he’s working towards realising his dream of becoming a rap star.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old said he finished recording his first rap single, ‘First Attempt,’ a few days ago, and the song will be released on iTunes this Friday at the earliest.
“The lyrics are profound, and not everyone can write such lyrics, so please look out for the single,” Ian said. “I dare say that when it comes to Mandarin rap, no one in Singapore can do it better than Ian Fang.”
“In the local rap scene, everyone knows the names of Shigga Shay and Tosh. They’re great rappers, but their material is mainly in English.”
The actor added he had spent a four-figure sum on creating his debut music offering, and considered it a birthday present to himself (he celebrates his 25th on December 13.)
Ian’s first single has been two years in the making and he had spent an enormous amount of effort on perfecting the lyrics; he even sought help from George Leong, who had arranged the Leslie Cheung classic, ‘Pursuit (Zhui).’
“I looked for many people and considered many ideas,” Ian said. “And one day I saw an Instagram post from Sylvester (Sim) and it reminded me that he was releasing an album soon, so I asked him for help.”
The former Singapore Idol contestant played matchmaker for Ian, and even lent his vocals to the latter’s track.
A fan of rap music since young, Ian said one of his favourite artists was Taiwan’s MC HotDog, who is known for the catchy song ‘I Love Taiwanese Girls (Wo Ai Tai Mei).’
“I have immense interest in music, and my singing voice used to be quite decent,” Ian said. “But two years ago, while filming the movie Meeting the Giant, I injured my throat and it sustained permanent damage.”
To try to repair his vocal chords, Ian visited many doctors and even considered undergoing surgery. “I would become furious when I thought about not being able to sing again,” he said. “But a lot of people encouraged me not to give up my dream, and I told myself if I can’t sing, then I could rap.”
Ian’s next role is in the 2016 heavyweight production The Dream Job, in which he plays Uzen, one of three candidates selected to join the family of a horticulture firm’s boss and run his business for him.
Ian will be acting alongside Jeanette Aw and his current BFF (or should we say BGB) Rebecca Lim in the 30-episode drama series.
The self-professed mummy’s boy said the role of a vain, self-centered narcissist fit him like a glove. “Uzen grew up under his mother’s care and never knew his father, so I identify with him on this,” he said.
The actor added he had been pampered by his mother since he was young. “Under China’s one-child policy, children are their parents’ entire world,” he said. “My mother would indulge me in a material way.” He recounted how he would be given 100 yuan (approximately S$20) to purchase gaming cards in Shanghai when they cost 1 yuan apiece.
“I was probably spoiled rotten,” he said. “I think my mother felt she owed me a lot and didn’t take good enough care of me.”
“She used pamper me, but now that I’m older I know I must be filial to her.”
The Dream Job debuts June 27, 9 pm on Channel 8.
This story is translated by Zara Zhuang.
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