5 things on Joanna Dong's schedule after her Sing! China success

5 things on Joanna Dong's schedule after her Sing! China success


Text: Megan Koh

Image: Esplanade

Joanna Dong got our attention during her blind audition at Sing! China last year. Nine months later, the jazz singer is holding her first solo concert at Esplanade. Here's what she's up to

1. She will hold her first solo concert this weekend
Previously known as one of the budding artists who performed for Baybeats Festival at the Esplanade in 2008, Dong returns to the same venue 10 years later with her first solo concert on 30 June and 1 July. While the singer's performance was originally scheduled for a single show, tickets sold out in a week so another date was added to satisfy the overwhelming demand. Titled after her album, So Here I Am, Dong's concert will be a harmonious mix of originals and covers. Her EP will be released on the same day and is complete with six songs that feature two originals and four covers. Fans can look forward to Dong's personal tunes and classic renditions, all put together with jazzy arrangements.

2. She is set to be a mentee on local talent show, SPOP Sing!
Mediacorp Channel 8's new musical talent show competition SPOP Sing! will see Dong join the ensemble to share her experience and expertise in August. The second runner-up of Sing! China 2017 will be in the team as a mentor along with Nathan Hartono and Boon Hui Lu who represented Singapore in Sing! China (2016) and Taiwan Hopestar (2017) respectively. Dong will advise contestants on song choices, singing techniques and delivery. She will also perform with Hartono, Boon and the contestants for the show's theme song composed by local songwriter Chen Jiaming.


3. She performed as a guest at Jay Chou's concert this year
When Dong auditioned for Sing! China last year with a jazz cover of the Lo Ta-yu classic 'Love Song 1990', Jay Chou was the first to pick the contestant to join his team, barely a minute into the rendition. Dong was mentored by Chou through her journey in the competition to achieve recognition and the place of second runner-up eventually. In his visit to Singapore in January for the highly anticipated concert The Invincible 2 Jay Chou Concert Tour, Chou invited Dong to sing 'Rhythm of The Rain'.

4. She starred in a theatre production about migrants
Dong starred in I Came at Last to The Seas earlier in February this year as part of the 16th edition of Huayi - Chinese Festival of the Arts. The multimedia theatre piece directed by Kuo Jian Hong and written by Wu Xi was the festival's first local commissioned work played to the 2,000-seat Esplanade theatre. Acting alongside talents from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, Dong was one of the six migrants in a story about their crossed-paths and the Chinese diaspora. Playing a character desperate for a transplant to replace a certain body part, Dong was dedicated to an entire act where she performed a medley of Chinese songs including classics like 'Under The Banyan Tree' and a contemporary S.H.E hit. A former theatre studies student from Victoria Junior College, Dong has grown to win Best Supporting Actress prize at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards in 2008 for her part in Mandarin musical If There're Seasons...

5. She sang for the NDP 2018 theme song
Lending her voice to the remake of the 1987 classic 'We Are Singapore' to create this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song, Dong croons to the nostalgic tune in the National Gallery Singapore against the island backdrop. Singing with Charlie Lim, Shak'thiya (Shak), Aisyah Aziz, Vanessa Fernandez (Vandetta) and Kevin Lester (The Lion City Boy), Dong is among the personalities chosen to represent Singapore's diverse local music scene. Remembering her days in the competition where Dong constantly reflected on how to represent her locality, the singer arrived at a conclusion that Singaporeans "should believe in that voice within us." 

Joanna Dong performs on 30 June and 1 July at the Esplanade. Tickets here.
For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.