Photos: Camelia Ting
Video: Vina Chia
It took Sylvester Sim nearly 10 years to return to the music scene with his latest single, ‘A New Hope,’ but what would have been a smashing comeback was overshadowed by the flirting scandal the 2004 Singapore Idol runner-up found himself embroiled in mere days before the track launch on January 19.
The singer, who turned 33 the same day, had been accused of having an affair with a local married singer when their suggestive text message exchange was published online, though he emphasised they were innocent.
The lady, who sang at the Unplugged music lounge where he is an entertainment manager, had been going through some family issues that affected her work performance, and he was merely showing concern, he explained.
Nevertheless, Sylvester did receive a tongue-lashing from his grandmother. “So many days have passed and she still won’t let it rest,” he said at the launch event–birthday party held at Zouk. “She told me, ‘I’ve always reminded you to change the way you speak, but you just wouldn’t listen.’” His parents jumped in too, telling him not to be kaypoh and to stay out of other people’s business.
Sylvester said he has always been a charming talker. “Those who know me all know I’m frank and I’m like that to everyone, even guys — that’s why I was once suspected of being gay.”
“I won’t change my personality just because of some incident, but now I’ve learned to be considerate towards others, especially my wife. Some traits are hard to change, but I will try to be careful with what I say.”
The singer married his Chinese dancer girlfriend in 2012 after they dated for five years.
Sylvester came clean with his wife after the news of the alleged affair broke. “At the start she was angry, but after I explained things to her she understood it all,” he said. “She didn’t throw a fit or cry, and it made me feel even more guilty.”
“I’ll be more thoughtful to her, and I won’t go my own way again.”
Sylvester launched his debut album, Take Flight, in 2005, and was once invited to be a special guest during Jolin Tsai’s Singapore concert. Now, Sylvester has signed with SGEE Ventures, run by his good friend and now manager, Pamm.
He contributed vocals to actor Ian Fang’s debut rap single, ‘First Attempt,’ released last Christmas, and he plans to release a new full-length album at the end of this year, one with a host of local musical talent pitching in to create a Singaporean-style record; he’s in talks with Ian, Project SuperStar winner Alfred Sim and GeTai Challenge champion Desmond Ng.
“All these years, I’ve been involved with music and I’ve met many underground musicians with immense talent,” he said. “Another reason for my comeback is to gather these musicians and produce an album, so the international audience will know Singapore has such massive talent.”
Sylvester Sim’s latest single, ‘A New Hope,’ is available on all digital platforms.
This story first appeared on toggle.sg/ch
Story by Camelia Ting