Tanya Chua: The Internet world doesn’t need to know if I’m dating

‘If you’re together, then you’re together,’ singer says

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Photos: Teo Sijia, Zara Zhuang
Video: Teng Siew Eng

Fans of Singaporean singer-songwriter Tanya Chua and her trademark ballads about heartbreak and recovery may be in for a surprise when they hear her latest album, Aphasia — it could be the furthest from a balm for heartache that she’s ever released.

“I have written a lot of healing ballads,” she said. “But a person can only heal so much and should have recovered by now.”

At a press conference at Mandarin Orchard Hotel yesterday, the 40-year-old admitted her lack of love songs lately stemmed from a lack of love — the singer had put it out there when she was last in Singapore for her July 2015 music showcase that she wished she had a boyfriend.

“Who doesn’t (crave love)?” she said. “I think such questions are not even questions but a matter of time, and when the time is right, naturally I will announce the news.”

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But don’t expect a Facebook status update from Tanya when it happens. Even though she’s modern enough to think a flash marriage isn’t a terrible idea — “It’s spontaneous, and sometimes (we need to) live on the edge and be dangerous,” she said — she’ll likely prefer to keep it low-key.

“We never used to announce things like that,” she said. “If you’re together, then you’re together — the Internet world doesn’t need to know.”

Tenth Mandarin album
Tanya has given her Mandarin discography a novel twist lately. Instead of falling back on themes of emotional torment and pain, the singer-songwriter has taken on social commentary with Aphasia, released late last year, more than two years after her last album, Angel & Devil.

Featuring a new frontier for Tanya herself — electronica — she tackles modern ills through the 10-track record: an over-reliance on the Internet, technology addiction, the breakdown of human connections in a colder and darker world, and even keyboard warriors on forums and social media. (The album name itself refers a neurological disorder that impairs speech, reading or writing.)

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