Kit Chan: Don’t offer me the part of a singer

Award-winning vocalist says she isn’t being difficult on purpose when it comes to acting roles

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Photos: Banshee Empire, Taihe Music Group

Movies, television dramas, stage productions — homegrown singer Kit Chan has done them all; her two latest projects are local movies Lovers Discourse (2010) and Miss J Contemplates Her Choice (2014). But when accused of being unreasonably fussy about the acting roles she takes on, Kit insists she isn’t.

“Lots of people asked Jason Lai (who directed Miss J Contemplates Her Choice) how he got me on board,” the 43-year-old said. “He said, ‘It’s easy, you just hand her a screenplay and she’ll do it.’”

But there’s one condition most people are unaware of: Don’t offer Kit the part of a singer. “I often receive movie offers, but some screenplays are quite myopic. What I dislike most is being given the role of a singer — just don’t!” she said.

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New album
Being open to appearing in movies doesn’t mean the award-winning vocalist will be neglecting her day job, though. Kit has recently signed with China’s Taihe Music Group for two years in a deal that includes one studio album, a single and live concerts.

In fact, she’s already started work on her new record. “I’ve selected four songs now, so that’s almost half (the album), not bad huh?” she said.

Studio recording will kick off early next year, but due to the dry climate in China, Kit will shuttle between Singapore and Taiwan for that segment.

“I can’t tell you what the style of the new album will be,” she said. “But it will definitely be very ‘me’ and diverse.”

Signing with Taihe Music Group won’t change much about how Kit works. “I’ll still be doing music, but what’s new is that more people will get to know my material, and that’s something Banshee Empire can’t achieve,” she said, referring to the record label she founded in 2010.

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Ambitions
Kit debuted in the mainland Chinese entertainment arena in the third season of the reality competition I Am a Singer last year, but she was unceremoniously eliminated in the first round because she pulled the fewest votes (plus she got called “completely off-key” by one of the judges — ouch.)

But appearing on the nationally televised contest paid off, and Kit came out on top in the end, performing the theme songs for the 2015 movies Monkey King: Hero is Back, Fall in Love Like a Star, and Return of the Cuckoo. ‘Finally,’ the opening theme of the year-end mega-production, The Dream Makers 2, also features Kit’s iconic vocals, and the songstress held her Kit Chan Spellbound Concert in Singapore and China this year.

Kit underwent surgery on her vocal cords last July, which, thankfully, she recovered from far better than Dame Julie Andrews did. So the singer set herself a challenge for next year: to be smarter about how she chooses projects and plans her work schedule. “After I developed problems with my vocal cords, it taught me that I had to learn to let go so I can have enough time to rest,” she said.

But the close call gave Kit a newfound appreciation of her talent. “Many people got to know me through my singing voice, and it’s a huge part of my identity that I nearly lost,” she explained. “Now with every note, I treasure and enjoy the feeling of being able to sing.”

The Dream Makers 2 airs weeknights, 9 pm on Channel 8; watch it on Toggle-It-First.

This story is translated by Zara Zhuang.

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