Derrick Hoh opens up about rocky start in showbiz

The artiste celebrated his 12th anniversary in entertainment with a special performance for his fans

Derrick Hoh opens up about rocky start in showbiz
Derrick Hoh opens up about rocky start in showbiz
04 Sep 2017

Derrick Hoh opens up about rocky start in showbiz

Photos: Mode Entertainment, Toggle

Back in 2005, we were first introduced to Derrick Hoh when he made his showbiz debut in Project SuperStar, but did you know that he very nearly got cut from the top 24? We found out that and more from Derrick himself at his Back to 19 LIVE session yesterday evening, where he wore his heart on his sleeve for the hundred fans gathered.

“I don’t think I’ve ever said this, but my boss James (of Play Music, currently Warner Music Singapore) told me that he was the only one who thought well of me after the top 50 contestants performed. I didn’t do well on that day, and the other judges were keener on the others,” he confessed.

Thankfully, with a stroke of luck, things turned out right for Derrick. “There were a stack of photos of each of the contestants on the table, and while the others were arguing over their picks for advancing to the next round, he snuck my photo into the pile,” he grinned. “If not for that split-second, I might not be standing here today.”

Despite being unexpectedly booted out of the final round, Derrick took things in his stride and enlisted in the army shortly after the contest ended, heading to Taiwan after he completed his service. “At the time, I was really poor, but I was also really happy,” the 31-year-old shared. “My label had to pay a large fee to terminate my then-contract with Mediacorp, and I only had about NT$100 (S$4.50) a day to spend.”

(Continued on next slide: Which of Derrick's songs became a self-fulfilling prophecy?)

Which of Derrick's songs became a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Which of Derrick's songs became a self-fulfilling prophecy?
04 Sep 2017

Which of Derrick's songs became a self-fulfilling prophecy?

With that amount of money, Derrick let on that he’d treat himself with a sweet treat from famed Taiwanese dessert chain Xian Yu Xian whenever he saved up enough money. He would also look forward to earning himself 10 stamps on the loyalty card, because that meant that he’d get one extra dessert on the house. He said, “I didn’t have much money, but back then, I could really appreciate the small things in life.”

In between these candid confessions, Derrick also presented the fans with songs from his extensive discography, including his viral hit ‘Forever’, unreleased tracks ‘My Turn To Love’, ‘Shine On’ and covers of songs that have special meaning to him, among which were A-Mei’s ‘I Hate I Love You’, Khalil Fong’s ‘Love Song’ and Jam Hsiao’s ‘Forgive Me’.

A particularly emotional moment came just before he sang ‘Change’ off his similarly-titled second studio album, which was released in 2010. “I’m sure that all of you know that I’ve always been very private about my love life. It’s not that I don’t want to share such things with you, but it’s just that I wanted to be able to be in a relationship where we could focus on each other,” he shared.

“Sometimes, the songs that you write become a self-fulfilling prophecy (…) last year, I broke up with my longtime girlfriend, and I realised that like in ‘Change’, sometimes people can really change in the blink of an eye,” Derrick continued.

(Continued on next slide: Derrick on his worth as a singer)

Derrick on his worth as a singer
Derrick on his worth as a singer
04 Sep 2017

Derrick on his worth as a singer

While he got visibly emotional at various moments of the show, the fans’ fervent cheering and encouragement helped him along. At one point of time, when a few tears escaped his stubborn floodgates, a fan quickly whipped out a piece of tissue paper for Derrick, who accepted it with a grin.

Before he ended his gig, he took the opportunity to thank his fans for their unwavering support for the past 12 years. He mused, “Sometimes, I wonder what my worth as a singer is. Is it measured by the awards that I get, or the number of people that follow me on social media?

“I don’t think so, because to me, my worth is in all of you that have been by my side all this time.”

Click on for more photos of Derrick's Back to 19 LIVE showcase, along with snaps from his Project SuperStar days!

Derrick quipped,
Derrick quipped, "The show has to start at 5pm today because I'm 19 for a day!"
04 Sep 2017

Derrick quipped, "The show has to start at 5pm today because I'm 19 for a day!"

He added that his mum would "tell him off" if he went home too late after the show.

Derrick with his fellow Top 12 male contestants
Derrick with his fellow Top 12 male contestants
04 Sep 2017

Derrick with his fellow Top 12 male contestants

Do you spot any familiar faces in this shot? Chia Wei Choong, Raymond Chua, Hong Jun Yang, Sebastian Leong, Leon Lim, Sugianto, Hagen Tan, Jason Tan, Kelvin Tan, William Tan and Darryl Yong rounded up the Top 12 along with Derrick.

Bonus: See that snap in the top left corner? That could very well have been the photo that Jason 'snuck' into the pile that helped Derrick advance to this round.

Apart from locals, Derrick's fans from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more flew in for the show
Apart from locals, Derrick's fans from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more flew in for the show
04 Sep 2017

Apart from locals, Derrick's fans from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more flew in for the show

Derrick profile shots during his Project SuperStar days
Derrick profile shots during his Project SuperStar days
04 Sep 2017

Derrick profile shots during his Project SuperStar days

Dear DJ, starring Derrick Hoh and Hazelle Teo, debuts September 19 on Toggle.

Related:
Derrick Hoh makes return to acting after 5 years
10 years on: Where are the Project SuperStar 1 contestants now?



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