Local teen singer gets adventurous behind the mic and in the kitchen
Singapore-based Miguel Antonio Vedanaigam is one of local pop music's fastest rising stars, thanks to his daring choice of songs to cover.
The 13-year-oldsinging sensation's repertoire includes emotional piano-based pieces by Bruno Mars and Bob Dylan, as well as heavier rock material by Led Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses.
Last month, Miguel became the youngest talent to sign on with regional company BMBX Entertainment, founded by The Black Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap.
He gave a wide grin at the mention of the Filipino-American rapper.
"I like The Black Eyed Peas' music, it's so modern and the beats are great," said Miguel. "I'm really excited to be part of the BMBX family. "
Over lunch at Jamie's Italian - a casual Italian eatery at VivoCity - M discovered Miguel's adventurous side.
While he tucked into baked lasagne, rump steak, baked mushrooms and the restaurant's signature fish plank (comprising salmon, mussels and squid), the endearing Secondary 1 Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) pupil revealed that he has tried making his own roti prata and pizza.
"I was just experimenting and somehow, I felt baking would be quite fun," recalled the teen, whose mother is Filipino and father an Indian Singaporean .
"So I decided to make cheese prata and pizza from scratch. It was very difficult! Especially the part where I had to make the dough."
Following his "unsuccessful" attempts, Miguel, the oldest of four children, is happy with ready-made pizza and prata.
"Now, I buy them from the supermarket," he quipped.
Who is the best cook in your family?
Definitely my mum. She cooks a lot. She makes amazing green curry and salmon curry, as well as chicken adobo, a traditional Filipino dish marinated in soya sauce.
My mum also makes delicious milkfish, which is a Filipino classic too.
What is your all-time favourite food?
Spinach dip. I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. It tastes best with bread. I have spinach dip whenever I can and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.
I was born in the Philippines and there's an Italian restaurant in Manila called Cibo that serves the best spinach dip ever.
Where do you usually hang out with kids your own age? Do you cafe hop or go to fast food outlets?
No, I'm not a fan of fast food. (Laughs)
Sometimes, on Fridays, when there's nothing to do after school, my friends and I pop by Starbucks.
What are your family's favourite eating haunts?
My dad loves Holland Village Market and Food Centre and every Saturday or Sunday, he'll take us there so that he can eat his favourite economical bee hoon. I prefer the fried kway teow.
Occasionally, we go to Boon Tong Kee for chicken rice.
Any memorable overseas food encounters?
In June, I performed at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood for the benefit concert, Rebuild Philippines.
My family and I dined at a Thai restaurant along Hollywood Boulevard, which has a fantastic green curry. It was the best green curry I have ever tasted.
Do you avoid certain foods before your live gigs?
Just before a show, I try not to eat. My mum will always make me a honey lemon drink. Initially, I found it very sour, but I'm used to it now.
From time to time, I also 'steam' my voice. I pour hot water into a bowl and sit with my head hovering over the steam. I put a towel over my head to stop the steam escaping. This method allows moisture to enter my throat and windpipe.