Composing in Crescendo
Art imitates life as Tay Ping Hui plays a composer-singer in new Channel 8 drama Crescendo
He plays a talented composer-singer in Channel 8 drama Crescendo.
And it turns out that local actor Tay Ping Hui, who was in his primary school choir, enjoys jamming on his guitar and leading singalongs in real life, too.
Fans will soon get to hear what he sounds like on the small screen.
The 44-year-old, who grew up listening to xinyao (Singapore folk music), stars alongside actors Christopher Lee, Darren Lim, Jacelyn Tay and Ann Kok in the xinyao-themed drama, which premieres on Oct 23 at 9pm.
It tells the story of three xinyao fans (Lee, Tay and Lim) in the 80s who set up a record company, Crescendo, which goes through ups and downs in the volatile music industry through the decades.
Tay reportedly contributed small parts on various songs on the show.
In 2011, Tay was part of the cast of Mandarin musical-concert Don't Forget To Say Good Bye, about a group of young people chasing their music dreams.
On Tay's vocal chops, Crescendo co-star Jacelyn Tay told M at Crescendo's press conference yesterday: "I heard him sing on the first day of filming in our first scene together and I was touched by his voice.
"It was a surprise as he could play the guitar and sing well."
Lee said: "He has a good voice and he likes rock songs. It's a pity he didn't release his own album in the past."
We sat down with the man himself to chat about his passion for music.
Have you ever dreamt of releasing an album?
In the past, maybe. However, this is a thing of the past and I won't harp on it. I still have had many chances to sing over the years.
I had the opportunity to participate in compilation albums and also record soundtracks for some drama serials. I don't regret not having a chance to release an album.
Maybe I'll release a song on YouTube or something next time.
Yeah, maybe you could release something on YouTube and it could gain "likes"?
I don't care for YouTube "likes". If viewers want to listen to it, they can go to my channel and listen. If not, then don't. I am fine with it.
You, Lee and Lim have singing parts in Crescendo. Who do you think has the best and worst voice?
I will say that I have the best, because I need to blow my own trumpet a little (smiles).
Christopher has the worst, but I am saying that only because he doesn't enjoy singing at all.
How would you rate your voice then?
Six out of 10. I've never really liked my voice. I always felt that it's not that nice.
That is also why I've been working very hard over the past 10 years to change the quality of my voice.
This applies to my dialogue in my dramas too.
I believe that my voice must also touch a viewer's heart even if he or she is just listening to the dialogue but not watching the show in front of the TV.
And what does your wife of five years think of it?
She's nonchalant. She says "it's okay, lor".
When you knew that you had to sing for Crescendo, were you stressed out?
I was a little pressured because if I didn't sing well, it will affect the whole filming schedule.
I was stressed as I cannot memorise song lyrics at all. I can memorise scripts very well, but I can't do the same for song lyrics.
On the whole, I did enjoy the song recording process for this drama.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I like rock songs as well as acoustic music. If I tell you who I listen to, it reveals my age (laughs).
I listen to The Eagles, The Beatles, Tears For Fears, Bon Jovi and more.