Tommy Page doesn't care if he's a one-trick pony
He has been derided for his thin wispy voice and mocked for having a grand total of two hits - schmaltzy ballads A Shoulder To Cry On and I'll Be Your Everything.
But former teenage heart-throb and poster pin-up boy of the early 90s Tommy Page takes the criticism in stride. Go ahead and call him a one-trick pony, he doesn't mind it one bit.
"When I look back, I would have liked to have (had) more hits, but I think I've been fortunate enough to have enjoyed the career I had," said the 44-year-old US entertainer in an e-mail interview with M. "As I get older, I care less and less about what people think about me."
He added: "In fact, I wish I had more of this attitude in my younger years.
"Then, I used to always worry what people thought of me. I was a lot more insecure, and being in the spotlight made me feel better about myself."
Page, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Elvis Presley, was just 18 when A Shoulder To Cry On, a track taken off his 1988 debut self-titled album, made him a star in Asia.
Two years later, I'll Be Your Everything, the first single from his second studio release Paintings In My Mind soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
While these songs have become karaoke fodder over time, Page does not find singing them cringeworthy or embarrassing.
"I know there are some artistes who get tired of performing the songs they are best known for, but I'm not one of them," he said.
"Shoulder and Everything are two of the greatest blessings that have happened to me. I always get a special feeling inside when I sing them.
"Of all the songs I have written, I believe A Shoulder To Cry On is the best of my artwork."
Page, along with R&B quartet Color Me Badd and Grammy-winning group All-4-One, will be here next month for Retrolicious 2015 at Fort Canning Park.
A few of his lucky fans will get to meet their idol up close at a private party the night before the concert. (See report, right.)
"It's been more than 20 years since I've been to Singapore, and I can't wait to come back," he said.
"Singapore is a special place to me because it was this part of the world that first embraced my music."
No doubt, the biggest change in Page's life is his role in the music industry.
One of the rare few celebrities who has successfully moved behind the scenes, he has been steadily climbing the corporate ladder since 1997.
His LinkedIn resume is rather impressive - he spent almost two decades at Warner Bros. Records in artiste and repertoire (A&R) and radio promotion departments, followed by a short stint as a publisher at Billboard. He is now the head of industry relations at US Internet radio service Pandora.
Personally, Page believes that when it comes to the future of music, streaming is the way to go.
"It is very exciting to be a part of the music business that is growing. Streaming is taking over," he said.
"I know that right now, it's a bit controversial. But I believe in what Pandora does for artistes. Over time, the music business will grow to understand the streaming model and embrace it."
The music landscape has changed over the decades to become a more conducive platform for aspiring singers, he added.
"Things are much better now for young artists because with the Internet, there are many more ways for music to be discovered," he said. "I'm grateful that my own work can be rediscovered through digital platforms."
But there is something about the 80s and 90s that he misses sorely.
"I do miss the music videos," he said.
"Now, in the US, MTV (referring to the music channel) plays only reality shows."
Ask him about diva-like, arrogant stars he worked with during his A&R days at Warner Bros. Records and Page immediately turns tight-lipped.
"I am most proud of the work I did with Josh Groban and Michael Buble. Both of them remind me of my young self, and both of them became much bigger stars than I did," he said.
"I also love the music I made with Ashley Tisdale.
"There were a few other artists I've worked with that I don't feel so fondly about, but I will not mention their names. I'm too old for gossip."
I know there are some artistes who get tired of performing the songs they are best known for, but I'm not one of them.
- Poster pin-up boy of the early 90s, Tommy Page
WHAT: RETROLICIOUS 2015
WHEN: FEB 7, 8PM
WHERE: FORT CANNING PARK
TICKETS: $125 FROM SISTIC (WWW.SISTIC.COM.SG OR 6348-5555)
GIVE AWAY: Win passes to retrolicious private party to meet Tommy Page
Tommy Page fans would not want to miss this for the world.
The Retrolicious 2015 concert organisers are holding a private welcome dinner party on Feb 6 at 8pm at Starker, Zhongshan Park, where Page will meet some of his ardent supporters up close.
We have three pairs of entry passes to the private party to give away, courtesy of Fly Entertainment.
To win, answer this question:
What are Page's two most popular songs?
1. My Heart Will Go On and Kiss Me
2. A Shoulder To Cry On and I'll Be Your Everything
3. How Deep Is Your Love and As Long As You Love Me
SMS your answer to 146077877 in the following format:
TNPMPAGE Answer NRIC Name
Each SMS costs $0.21 (with GST). Contest ends on Sunday, 11.59pm.