Meet the SPOP SING! 2018 Top 20

No prizes for guessing which local singer was a popular favourite among most of the contestants

Meet the SPOP SING! 2018 Top 20
Meet the SPOP SING! 2018 Top 20
23 Jul 2018

Meet the SPOP SING! 2018 Top 20

Photos: Tammi Tan, Teo Sijia, Channel 8
Videos: Charlene Chong, Aaron Ho

After two months of auditions, local singing competition SPOP SING! officially has its Top 20 contenders.

The group of young students was introduced at an outdoor event on Orchard Road last Saturday (Jul 21). One by one, they took to the stage to deliver a short a cappella version of various Mandopop hits penned and/or performed by local talents, before answering random fun questions posed by hosts Bonnie Loo and Gao Meigui.

So, what glory awaits the ultimate champion, who will be determined solely through public voting? The opportunity of a lifetime to debut a song written by “an internationally acclaimed Singaporean music composer and arranger”, who will be unveiled at a later date.

The SPOP SING! finale is something to look forward to in itself. Part of an upcoming eight-hour music extravaganza called SPOP! Festival held at the Padang, the event will be a celebration of Singapore’s rich and unique pop music culture and talent, taking #supportlocal to magnificent new heights.

It’ll be an impressively star-studded affair too, with an appearance by none other than xinyao pioneer Dr. Liang Wern Fook, as well as performances by SPOP SING! ambassadors Nathan Hartono, Joanna Dong and Boon Hui Lu. But until then, the Top 20 will have to work hard to impress a judging panel of renowned industry veterans including Billy Koh and Lee Si Song (the resident judges), Jimmy Ye, Joi Chua and many more.

Sounds like a daunting task, but hey, nobody said the path to becoming an ambassador for local music would be easy. That said, we reckon the journey will be worth it. All the best to the Top 20!

Click through to find out more about the SPOP SING! Top 20:

Ally Teo (age 13)
Ally Teo (age 13)
23 Jul 2018

Ally Teo (age 13)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I’m very good at singing high notes and altering a song’s genre.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin, because I like his voice.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I have my own YouTube channel where I upload music videos.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I have experience both performing and taking part in other competitions, and I think that will help me know how to handle myself better on stage.

Celine Wong (age 20)
Celine Wong (age 20)
23 Jul 2018

Celine Wong (age 20)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I’m good at making a lot of vivid facial expressions.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
Stefanie Sun. She has a very distinct voice and you can recognise her singing wherever you are.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I can make my eyeball vibrate.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I took part in The Voice Singapore/Malaysia, which was my very first competition. During that time, I learned a lot of things like how to control my nervousness on stage, so I think that will help me a lot here.

Charlene Chua (age 16)
Charlene Chua (age 16)
23 Jul 2018

Charlene Chua (age 16)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
My confidence and my powerful high notes.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
I like JJ Lin.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I know how to crochet.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
When I was 11, I took part in K-POP Star Hunt. I really liked K-pop back then, but after that I started listening more to Mandopop.

Clayton Oh (age 21)
Clayton Oh (age 21)
23 Jul 2018

Clayton Oh (age 21)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I love to make people laugh! I can be quite mischievous and enjoy joking around with the other Top 20 contestants.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
It’s obvious: JJ Lin! I’ve listened to him since I was a kid and I love his songs.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I’m trained in taekwondo.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I’ve taken part in school competitions so I have experience in front of an audience, and I think that will prepare me for this.

Darwin Shia (age 24)
Darwin Shia (age 24)
23 Jul 2018

Darwin Shia (age 24)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
My sense of humour, if you ever have the chance to see it! (laughs)

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin. I don’t know anybody else. (laughs) I’m joking!

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I like taking on leadership roles. In school I always took part in student societies, and now I’m the president of my course [School of Humanities].

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
Besides a few school competitions, I haven’t really participated in anything else.

Daryl-Ann Jansen (age 20)
Daryl-Ann Jansen (age 20)
23 Jul 2018

Daryl-Ann Jansen (age 20)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
My smile!

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I’m learning how to play all kinds of instruments, including the flute, piano, erhu, guitar, ukulele and drums. I’m also interested in learning new languages. I’m learning Japanese now and want to learn Korean as well.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I don’t think previous experience matters that much, to be honest. I believe the most important thing is to be yourself, have confidence in yourself and show your passion.

Fu Qiaohan (age 22)
Fu Qiaohan (age 22)
23 Jul 2018

Fu Qiaohan (age 22)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I have a fine, delicate voice, which works well for interpreting song lyrics.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
I like Stefanie Sun because her songs are special and irreplaceable.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I can speak Korean. I started learning it in my first year of university.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
When I liked K-pop I did take part in a couple of auditions, but I think I learned more from the singing club in school, where I learned how to choose songs that suit me better.

Poh Wei Jian (age 24)
Poh Wei Jian (age 24)
23 Jul 2018

Poh Wei Jian (age 24)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I don’t have any formal music training but I’m good at playing by ear when it comes to learning to sing like others.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin, because he is such an accomplished singer and a pride of Singapore.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I am the president of my school’s singing club. We meet every week to practise singing.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
This will be my first ever singing competition, so I believe I may have to work much harder than the other contestants.

He Rongtin (age 19)
He Rongtin (age 19)
23 Jul 2018

He Rongtin (age 19)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I’ve learned dancing for over 10 years, so I have more experience in that aspect. I started with ballet, and then I moved on to Chinese dance, Latin dance, modern dance, and most recently I’m learning street dance.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin, of course.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
My nickname at school is Rong Mama or Rong Da Jie (big sister) because my personality is more mature. It’s funny because my friends will shout “Rong Mama!” really loudly whenever they see me, so the entire school knows! (Laughs)

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I’ve taken part in a xinyao singing competition. At that time I just did it for fun with my friends, and although we didn’t really have any proper mentoring, it was a good lesson because we would learn from each other’s advantages.

Jarrell Ng (age 17)
Jarrell Ng (age 17)
23 Jul 2018

Jarrell Ng (age 17)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I believe I give off the vibe of an idol singer.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
I have too many: Tanya Chua, JJ Lin, Stefanie Sun... but if I had to pick one, I will choose Tanya Chua.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I love the curry sauce from McDonald’s. (Laughs)

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I used to take part in contests a long time ago, but I believe I can still bring some of those past experiences to SPOP Sing! and they may help me be less nervous when going on stage.

Jessica Lim (age 23)
Jessica Lim (age 23)
23 Jul 2018

Jessica Lim (age 23)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I believe I have a natural affinity with people.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
Tanya Chua, because I love her R&B style of singing. I’ve also been to her house before because my mum and her mum are good friends!

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I am mixed raced (Indonesian and Chinese), so my appearance makes me stand out.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I’ve never taken part in singing competitions before so I may not have as much experience as some of the other contestants, but it’s okay! I’m sure I will learn a lot from them and our mentors, and grow into a better singer.

Karena Yeo (age 21)
Karena Yeo (age 21)
23 Jul 2018

Karena Yeo (age 21)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
In addition to singing, I also compose and write lyrics.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
I’m friends with a local band called Subsonic Eye, so I will choose them to show my support!

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I’m very prone to accidents and injuries.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I successfully passed the first round of auditions for Sing! China, but I messed up during the second round because I was too nervous (I forgot the lyrics and even the name of the song). But that experience helped me a lot, and now I’m not so anxious.

Kenneth Toh (age 22)
Kenneth Toh (age 22)
23 Jul 2018

Kenneth Toh (age 22)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I have a unique voice and sincere attitude.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
Stefanie Sun. She has unique songs.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I love spicy food a lot (I usually order the highest level of spiciness for mala hot pot) and I like reading novels, especially by Haruki Murakami.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I have performed at some gigs for free. I think having that experience will help me be a lot more confident and less frightened in front of crowds.

Lim Yan Xin (age 21)
Lim Yan Xin (age 21)
23 Jul 2018

Lim Yan Xin (age 21)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
My voice is deep and powerful.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
Chriz Tong. Her soundtrack for Crescendo really left a deep impression on me.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I once climbed a mountain in the Himalayas for 11 days, and I didn’t shower for eight days! After that I started becoming more active in sports and exercise.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
Besides school competitions, I took part in The National Schools Xinyao Singing and Songwriting Competition and The Voice Malaysia/Singapore. I think I was more nervous then, but this time I believe I am more prepared.

Marcus Tay (age 21)
Marcus Tay (age 21)
23 Jul 2018

Marcus Tay (age 21)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I’m very daring with my style. I’ll even buy clothes from the women’s section if I can’t find something I like from the men’s!

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin, of course!

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I like to paint. That’s why my nails are painted! (Laughs)

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I took part in a competition called the Karaoke World Championship when I was 16 or 17 years old. I’m also currently studying music, which I believe will help me a lot here.

Pheron Lim (age 25)
Pheron Lim (age 25)
23 Jul 2018

Pheron Lim (age 25)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I know how to beatbox.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin. I listened to him all throughout my primary school and secondary school days.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I always sing in the bathroom, so I took part in this competition. (laughs)

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I’ve never taken part in any competition before, so this is my first time. I hope to learn a lot from my mentors.

Raymond Wong (age 18)
Raymond Wong (age 18)
23 Jul 2018

Raymond Wong (age 18)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I can inject “old-fashioned” singing styles from classic love songs into more contemporary hits, and I always try my best to express the emotions and stories from the lyrics in my performances.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
Roy Li. I like many of his songs.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I was always singing in school. Whenever I went to the toilet, I would belt out high notes. (laughs)

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP Sing!?
I have taken part in numerous contests including The Voice of China. With every competition that I join, I always strive to improve myself and find ways to show a unique personality and flavour in every performance.

Renee Wang (age 20)
Renee Wang (age 20)
23 Jul 2018

Renee Wang (age 20)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I’m very cheerful and straightforward, so it’s very easy for me to make friends.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
My favourite local singer is Kit Chan. I love her song ‘Xin Dong’.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I’m learning German and Korean. I also have my own five-member band, and we performed at the Marina Bay Prudential Carnival.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I’ve never competed before, but I have performed on The Sheng Siong Show, which exposed me to performing on television.

Shermaine Saw (age 14)
Shermaine Saw (age 14)
23 Jul 2018

Shermaine Saw (age 14)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I know how to dance and sing at the same time.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin, because he is good at both singing and song-writing.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
I started singing when I was three years old.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP SING!?
I won first place at a singing competition in New York recently but over there, I sang English songs and here, I’m singing Chinese songs so it’s a totally different experience, and I hope I can learn a lot and improve myself.

Sherman Toh (age 22)
Sherman Toh (age 22)
23 Jul 2018

Sherman Toh (age 22)

What do you think is your USP (unique selling point)?
I put a lot of emotions into my singing and know how to approach performances from different angles. For example, if it’s a breakup song, I will take into consideration if the breakup just happened, or if it was a long time ago.

Who is your local favourite singer and why?
JJ Lin. I’ve been listening to his music ever since I was a kid.

Share one fun fact about yourself.
The first song I ever wrote was an English poem.

Do you have prior experience taking part in contests? If so, what did you learn from that; if not, how are you going to prepare for SPOP Sing!?
I took part in Sing! China before, and I learned that when doing covers, I should find ways to incorporate my own flavour into the song and not copy the original singing style exactly.

The Top 20 and hosts pose for a group photo on stage
The Top 20 and hosts pose for a group photo on stage
23 Jul 2018

The Top 20 and hosts pose for a group photo on stage

The Top 20 contestants cheer for the cameras
The Top 20 contestants cheer for the cameras
23 Jul 2018

The Top 20 contestants cheer for the cameras

The Top 20 performed three songs on stage
The Top 20 performed three songs on stage
23 Jul 2018

The Top 20 performed three songs on stage

The Top 20 contestants take a big wefie on stage
The Top 20 contestants take a big wefie on stage
23 Jul 2018

The Top 20 contestants take a big wefie on stage

A few of the contestants take a wefie on stage
A few of the contestants take a wefie on stage
23 Jul 2018

A few of the contestants take a wefie on stage

Hosts Bonnie Loo and Gao Meigui
Hosts Bonnie Loo and Gao Meigui
23 Jul 2018

Hosts Bonnie Loo and Gao Meigui

Watch:
Fun facts about the SPOP SING! Top 20 contestants!
Which local singer is the top favourite among the SPOP SING! Top 20?
The Top 20 answer quick questions on stage
The Top 20 performs ‘Xing Fu Bu Nan’ by Serene Koong
The Top 20 performs ‘Wo Huai Nian De’ by Stefanie Sun
The Top 20 performs ‘Twilight’ by JJ Lin

Visit the official SPOP SING! microsite for more updates and information.

Audition highlights from SPOP SING! are now available exclusively on Toggle.
SPOP SING! Prelude will air on August 9, 8.25pm on Channel 8, Channel U and Toggle.
SPOP SING! quarter finals will be aired every Monday from September 24, 8pm on Channel 8 and Toggle.
SPOP SING! semi-finals will be aired on October 28, 8pm and the grand final will be aired LIVE on November 4, 7pm on Channel 8 and Toggle.

Related:
SPOP SING! on the hunt for next local singing sensation
Nathan Hartono and Joanna Dong: from mentees to mentors
How did Nathan Hartono, Joanna Dong recover from their stage blunders?
Singer-turned-actors that you never knew about

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