'Please stop' note from audience spurs local singer on
Despite hurtful comment about his performance, local singer doesn't give up, now has hit on local iTunes charts
Imagine being told by a member of the audience to stop singing during your first public performance.
That's what happened to Hubert Ng when he was performing English song Eternal Flame by The Bangles at an open mic session in a cafe here in 2006.
Then 16, Ng had not even finished the song when he received a note from an anonymous audience member which read: "Please stop singing. You're ruining the song. Thanks."
Hurt and embarrassed, the incident left Ng deflated and in tears.
Luckily, Ng, now 23, did not heed the person's advice.
His new eponymous EP topped album sales on iTunes charts for a day, taking over popular K-pop boy bands such as CNBlue and Super Junior.
BEAT BIG NAMES
Ng's self-composed Mandarin single, Can't Let Go, which was released last Thursday, was second on the charts in the Top Songs category, beating tracks by big names like Jay Chou and Hebe Tien.
The Singaporean's music video for the same song, shot in Taiwan, garnered more than 27,000 views within a week.
Ng's EP, which consists of five self-penned songs, is available for pre-order and will be released on Nov 7.
Speaking to The New Paper at Singapore Management University, where he is a third-year business undergraduate, Ng said: "I've always dreamt of being a singer.
"Seeing that hurtful comment on that note really affected me badly.
"To this day, I keep the note with me. It motivates me whenever I've had a bad day."
Ng said that following the open mic incident, he took up singing lessons at veteran local musician Roy Loi's music school.
He then went under the tutelage of music veterans Eric Ng and Jim Lim at local music school Funkie Monkies Productions, where he learnt both singing and songwriting.
Hoping to make it big, Ng joined several small singing competitions as well as Channel U's singing talent competition Project SuperStar last year, but failed to make it to any finals.
Not one to give up, the affable indie singer decided to invest $25,000 of his savings into his new EP.
He said: "My parents have always told me not to give up on my dream. There are people who told me that I am already 23 years old and am too old to enter the music industry.
"But at least I tried and fulfilled something that I have always wanted to do."
On the success of his new single, he said: "I didn't expect the huge positive reaction. I think my schoolmates have helped a lot in spreading the word.
"The support on my social media accounts has been great too."
Music veteran Jim Lim, director of Funkie Monkie Productions, told TNP: "I'm very happy for him. I can tell that he wants to be a singer not because he wants to be famous but because he really enjoys himself when he sings and writes his own songs."
Musician Loi, 52, agreed, saying: "Hubert has very high demands of his own music and songs. I can tell he is very passionate about music. I am happy for him."
Ng, who will be going to Taiwan next year as part of his school's student exchange programme, hopes to gain more exposure during his overseas stint.
He said: "I hope to perform some gigs there. Of course, it will be my dream to get signed by a record label one day."