Tabitha Nauser puts her beautiful pipes to good use as a singing powerhouse, radio deejay and TV presenter. She's always had a keen interest in music since she can remember, but it was her participation in nation-wide talent search Singapore Idol back in 2009 that thrust her into the spotlight. And she's never looked back. The Swiss-Indian answer to Beyoncé was chosen to sing the official theme song for the SEA Games 2015, Unbreakable — a catchy tune that gets stuck in your head — and more recently, Nauser performed at the National Day Parade for SG50. Tabby (as she's fondly referred to) and I caught up recently over brunch at Oxwell & Co to find out what she's up to.
Let's rewind six years. What was it like appearing on live TV in a singing competition like Singapore Idol?
Haha! I've had this question asked many times, and I've noticed that my answer has evolved throughout the years. I was only 17 years old when I started, and like many teenage girls, I had a lot of growing up to do. I don't think I really knew the woman I wanted to be yet at that age, but definitely going through the process of putting myself out there, being so openly scrutinised and criticised helped mould me in a way. A lot of people think joining a reality competition is an easy way out, but that's not entirely true. I'm a much tougher chick now than I was back then, that's for sure. But aside from all of that, I made a lot of good friends, and met some kind industry people who gave me work opportunities after the show.
You front an all hip-hop and r'n'b radio show Turn Up with Tabitha on 987FM. Who are some of your favourite artistes?
So hard to choose! I've always been a fan of Beyoncé. I remember the first album I ever bought was Destiny's Child's Writings On The Wall — I saved up all the lunch money my mum gave me for school! She's an all-round performer just like the greats, Michael Jackson and Tina Turner. And she's proven that she can adapt and evolve throughout the years and I think that's what separates a music legend from any other artiste. Lately, I've also been listening to a lot of Travi$ Scott, Bryson Tiller, Kendrick Lamar, Russ, Drake, The Weeknd, Vic Mensa, and J Cole. Hip-hop to me is about the stories being told, so I really appreciate the wordplay.
Do you think your entertainment career will take you overseas? L.A. perhaps?
I hope so, that is definitely the end goal. I want to be touring the world, performing arenas across the globe, singing full-time. That's the dream. I can't say much now, but I've got a couple of things in the works, and if it all falls into place as planned, then this might not be a dream for too long.
Do you sing in the shower like the rest of us, or just save your voice for the big gigs?
It's true, I sing in the shower too! I can't help myself! The acoustics are wonderful in there! If only we could hold concerts in showers instead.
In addition to your vocal prowess, you are also well known for your personal style and stunning looks. Firstly, where do you shop?
Oh why thank you! I love playing dress up, and experimenting with makeup, so that's helped me find my own personal style too. I would describe my style as edgy street glam. I love getting dolled up, but then I gotta switch it up by throwing on a snapback or sneakers or something unexpected. What I love doing is mixing high street with designer labels. A couple of my favourites at the moment would be Margiela, Alexander Wang, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Raf Simons, Dior, MSGM, Stüssy, Trapstar London and Marcelo Burlon. I tend to shop in the men's section a lot too, so I own quite a couple of men's shirts, jackets and sneakers.
What's on your bucket list?
I want to skydive, adopt a puppy (or two), and have dinner with Michael Jordan!
What's next for you?
I'm working on my own music now, so that's going to be very exciting for 2016. I'll also be in a musical called 'Rent' next year as well. I'll still be helming my radio show Turn Up with Tabitha on 987FM and hosting for Goals HQ and Goals Express for Mio TV. But to keep updated with my work, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat at @tabithanauser.
Special thanks to Oxwell & Co for hosting Brunch with Buro.