Get to know Jean Tan, a Singaporean singer-songwriter with a new music video, 'Hide Away'
1. It all started with a karaoke set
Jean Tan's father brought home a karaoke set when she was around 5 which then ignited her love for singing. Her parents loved singing and the house was always full of music. Together with Tan, they would belt out classic hits like 'The Great Pretender', 'Eternal Flame' and 'Woman in Love'. Tan subsequently joined the school choir in secondary school and junior college before writing her own songs in university when she was exposed to performing at open mics.
2. Doctors once said she couldn't sing
Tan was born with a cleft palate and was told by doctors that she would never be able to speak properly, let alone sing. She went through six operations during her childhood, the first at three months old and another at 16 years old when doctors sawed her jaw down, pushed it back and locked it tight in a 12-hour operation. She was unable to speak properly and eat for a whole month afterwards. However, the 32-year-old defied the odds and now dedicates her songs to social good by performing in schools, teenage homes and charitable events.
3. Tan wrote 'Hide Away' when she had kidney disease
"I lost the ability to do the things I love, like make music and travel; at times, even walking, eating, and speaking was difficult, leading to long periods of social isolation," she revealed in an interview when asked about her kidney disease, which was diagnosed with when she was 24 years old. Tan perservered and wrote 'Hide Away'. "In that secret place, away from the world — I met my raw, bare naked self, stripped away from the things I valued and which defined me at that point," she continued. "I came face to face with who I really was, and let erupt the storm of emotions and questions I'd bottled inside for a long time."
4. She wrote a song for the SEA Games
Tan wrote the song, 'Colours', for the 28th Southeast Asian Games in 2015 and performed the piece at the National Stadium and Gardens by the Bay for the event. Memorable for its lilting melody and comforting positivity, Tan's voice was infectious with energy. The song was also part of the Songs of the Games compilation which also featured artistes like Gentle Bones, The Sam Willows and Charlie Lim.
5. She performed at South Korea's largest music showcase festival
Along with local acts, HubbaBubbas and BECKA, Tan took to the stage last year in Zandari Festa, South Korea's largest music showcase festival. She shared the stage with South Korean acts Gonne Choi, Break of Day and G Urban in a shared segment making it the first Singapore and Korea collaboration at the festival. Tan delivered a swooning spectacle of 'Waiting for Love', which was also featured on the Korea-Singapore collaboration album, Danzza Date.