05 Jul 2018
The sweet young things of GeTai Challenge 2018
Video: Aaron Ho
When the term getai pops up, many would think of over-the-top costumes, dialect songs blasted from speakers that magically reach the eardrums of anyone in a 5km radius and the older generation having the time of their lives.
We don’t know about the first two, but as the new generation of getai singers can very well tell you, those who sing – and appreciate – getai are no longer in their silver years. What’s more, these young ones pack a punch of their own, as we heard from three of the GeTai Challenge 2018 participants.
Zheng Xiao Hui (23), Cola Lau (21) and Angel Law (17) are among the fresh blood we’ve spotted in the competition, and we caught up with them last month at a filming session, where they told us more about their journey competing against some of the biggest veterans in the local getai scene.
In case you’re scoffing at the thought that a younger singer can make a name for themselves, remember this – The Getai Challenge in 2015 saw Desmond Ng, then 27, emerge as the winner despite having to compete against numerous industry veterans.
To find out more about what makes these sweet young things shine, read on for more.
05 Jul 2018
Zheng Xiao Hui
Profession: NTU undergraduate
Also known as the ‘Overlord of studies’ for her straight A’s, Xiao Hui shared that this competition has not only served as a valuable life experience for her, but also a platform for her to learn.
“I’ve never had people point out the areas in which I had to improve in for my singing, so through this competition, I’m really grateful to the judges for giving me a lot of advice and suggestions which have helped me improve greatly,” she gushed.
The piece of advice that has left the greatest impression on her was about her dancing. “The judges told me that I didn’t let go enough when I was dancing, and this is something that I never noticed nor heard in the past. As a performer, I need to have both my singing and dancing on point for the audience to be able to appreciate the whole experience,” she mused.
After joining the competition, Xiao Hui admitted that she has seen an increase in younger fans – both male and female – and sometimes even gets recognised when she’s at school.
Speaking of school – how has she been coping with her studies? “Thankfully, the professors have all been very understanding, and I’ve also been able to keep up with lessons despite having to miss some of them,” she grinned. “I’ve done pretty okay on my exams so far too.”
05 Jul 2018
Profession: Full-time singer and host
Cola might have only turned 21 this year, but already has a good nine years of performance experience under her belt. The ever-bubbly star is known as a happy pill, and understandably so – she was full of energy when we spotted her, and seemed to be powered by an unknown force as she gleefully flounced around the backstage area before she went on stage.
When we asked her what she thinks is her strongest point, she paused for a moment before she quipped, “It’s probably that I’m really talkative? (laughs) The reason why I say this is because I’m able to be a mood-maker wherever I go, which includes when I’m on stage.”
Admitting that her vocals are probably what she needs to work on a little, she continued that her lack of experience in getai has caused her to sometimes be unsure about how to control her voice when she’s singing a new genre of songs.
Naming Angie Lau as the industry senior that she looks up to the most, she gushed that Angie not only has an aura around her, but is also more than willing to help out her fellow competitors when they need advice. “That really made me respect her – she doesn’t put on airs and is one of the warmest and most helpful people!” Cola smiled.
If all goes well for Cola, she added that she will not be against following in Desmond’s footsteps and giving acting a shot, adding that she feels that her optimism, easy-going personality and willingness to learn will help her to open many doors in the future.
05 Jul 2018
As the youngest participant in this season of GeTai Challenge, Angel quipped that her biggest strength is that all the other competitors treat her as a younger sister and have taken very good care of her. “Angie has really looked after all of us like a bigger sister,” she explained. “I don’t have a lot of experience, so I tend to get nervous when unexpected things happen and I don’t know what to do either, but everyone around me has helped me a lot.”
Angel’s family is also very supportive of her passion for singing, as she shared that her mother and grandmother are in the audience every time she performs. “My principal, teachers and fellow students are also very supportive and understanding of me, and have allowed me to adjust my deadlines for my homework and take my exams on a different day if they clash with my recordings,” she added.
Regardless of the outcome of the contest, Angel is determined to continue expanding her career in singing, and although she will not rule out venturing into different genres of music, she hopes to always be able to stand on the stage and perform for those who love her.
05 Jul 2018
GeTai Challenge 2018 host Desmond Ng weighs in...
As the champion of the previous season, we checked in with Desmond on what he thinks of the budding stars in the contest, to which he admitted that this season’s contestants “have continuously surprised me, so I’ve been surprised by them in a good way.”
Adding that they have showcased numerous different sides of themselves on stage, he praised all the contestants for being very creative with their performances.
The contestant that Desmond feels was eliminated too early was Jaspers Lai.
“He has less experience with getai, but his performance was very eye-catching. He was the first person to rap during his performance, and not having him at the competition any longer is like having one less colour in the rainbow. He was really brave in his song choices but he was probably eliminated because he was brave in the wrong way this time around,” Desmond explained.
With the finals drawing ever closer, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on the performances – may the star that shines the brightest win.