Photos: Tammi Tan
Video: Tan Shi Qi
Ten whole years after the release of his debut album Take Flight, the very first Singapore Idol runner-up Sylvester Sim is making his long-awaited comeback with a new record.
This exciting news was marked with a performance of two songs and an autograph session at yesterday’s launch of Big Boss Entertainment, a cooperative effort between iGlobal Star and WISE Entertainment that manages artistes from Singapore (including Sylvester), Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Korea.
Despite his long hiatus, the 32-year-old still managed to attract quite a number of excited fans to get his signature and selfies with him on stage at Bugis Plus. Some even presented him with flowers and gifts.
“I can’t say I wasn’t worried that people would have forgotten about me, but I was happy to see quite a few familiar faces from Idol times,” he told Toggle in an interview, wearing dark shades to conceal his tired eyes as a result of being sick from the haze. “And the best thing is that I don’t just remember their faces, but also their names.”
The outcome of the fan sign, which he described as “not bad”, gave Sylvester confidence that he will have support for his upcoming activities. While details are still scarce, he told us that he plans to drop his second album before his birthday on January 19 next year, and that he wants to do it in “a different and special way”.
“It won’t be a CD because hardly anybody listens to them these days.” His standards are also a lot higher than before, especially given the fact that this is an important comeback instead of a rookie’s debut. “If I don’t feel like a song is good enough, I won’t release it,” he said. “They have to be better than my previous songs.”
When asked whom he’s interested to collaborate with, Sylvester didn’t list out a star-studded concoction of the industry’s top names. Instead, he expressed his intentions to work with young unknowns as an effort to give them a boost in their own careers.
“There’s no point in getting someone famous because I don’t want to ride on (someone else’s success). I hope to be the one bringing young people up instead,” he explained.
This is exactly what Sylvester has been doing for the past few years as the entertainment manager of Unplugged, a live music lounge and bar on Dempsey Road that gives aspiring local musicians a chance to showcase their skills. In fact, they are part of the reason he decided to make his return to the showbiz scene.
“These young people motivated me to come back into the limelight so that I can (use my platform) to pull them up and help them out,” he shared. “That’s my one big dream.”
Sylvester’s ambitions for the Singapore music scene don’t just stop at the little red dot’s borders.
“I would love to go to China and Korea,” he said, before quickly emphasising, “But going to Korea doesn’t mean I’m going to sing in Korean, let me get that straight – I want to bring Singapore’s Chinese music there. I don’t see the point in going to Korea to sing Korean songs because they can do it much better, so what we can do is to do what we do best and hope that they accept and enjoy it.”
Sounds like a tall order, but Sylvester is all about a good challenge. Yet another aspiration up his sleeve is to take on theatre for the first time. “I’ve filmed dramas and made albums before, so now I’d like to combine them both, which is to do a musical. I’ve been asking (my management) is find one for me.”
One “project” we won’t be seeing him embark on any time soon, however, is children. Although he’s been married to singer-dancer Sisy Wang for three years, Sylvester said that they don’t have plans to expand their family as he wants to focus on his career. “It’s not fair to have a kid when you’re not ready,” he said. “We’re just living our lives one day at a time.”