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Sat, Jun 06, 2009
The New Paper
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Sun comes out to play
by Gan Ling Kai

FOR two years, home-grown singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun did not release any albums or have any major gigs.
Since last year, she has been without an artiste management deal after finishing her contract with Warner Music and EMI Music's Capitol label.

When her public appearances dwindled after releasing her album, Against The Light, in March 2007, people began to speculate about her low profile.

Last month, she finally gave her reply in style - with a concert tour.

The Answer Is... Stefanie Sun World Tour 2009 kicked off at Taipei Arena, also known as the Little Dome, on 15 May.

Her second stop is at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 11 Jul.

This 30-year-old told The New Paper on Friday: 'I have done 10 albums, so what's next? What's going to make me happy? I feel that ultimately, everyone will ask the same question: 'Am I doing what I like?'

'And I feel it will be cool to put up a concert. If people want to know the answers, they can watch it for themselves.'

To fulfil her dream, Hong Kong's renowned stage art director William Chang has been brought in as image consultant.

Wing Shya is the concert visual designer.

There will be an elaborate stage design and extensive use of holograms.

Decked in futuristic-themed costumes, including shimmering mini-dresses and wigs, this songbird will also dance in knee-high boots and strappy heels.

She is likely to sing her new song, Fool's Kingdom - for which she penned most of the lyrics - and other familiar tunes like Cloudy Day, I Am Not Sad and Escape.

After being in showbiz for eight years, she wants to do things her way.

One of the most gratifying things she did during her two-year hiatus is to let her hair grow.

'There were restrictions earlier. (The recording label) said the fans were used to my short-hair look, which makes me stand out. But I feel with my long hair, I can still look different.'

By going solo sans artiste management, she said she can also get out of the marketing rut in the industry.

'It's as though there's a template. (To be successful) you have to appear in a certain programme, or give a particular interview. The first song to be released for a new album must always be a fast number. And the second one? A slow ballad,' she said.

Previous labels 'not wrong'

However, she agrees that she owes her current success to her previous labels.

'I don't think they were wrong. We just couldn't see eye to eye on certain things.'

She also pointed out that the companies provide valuable resources.

'They have subsidiaries in China, Malaysia and Singapore. (On my own) I can't possibly have employees in every territory.'

So does this mean she's on the lookout for a new recording label?

'Right now? No. But never say never. It may change.'

She is still planning her new album, but nothing has been firmed up.

She also relishes the freedom to craft her own image.

She said: 'I think it's a personal and never-ending struggle to stay true to yourself. Sometimes, you feel like a fraud. You want people to like you, but you don't want to be Miss Nice all the time.

'For a long time, people have thought of me as the girl next door. I like that. It's nice being accessible. But I think I have already established that, and I can do more than just singing and being sweet and pretty.'

She received rave reviews for her performances in Taipei - despite a rocky start when two-thirds of the audience headed to the washroom to boycott guest star Aska Yang when he came on stage.

The Taiwanese singer had falsified his age in reality singing competition One Million Stars, which he quit.

To date, the celebrity guest list for Stefanie's local concert has not been confirmed - not that Stefanie's Singapore fans care.

By the end of last week, more than 70 per cent of the tickets have been sold. That includes the two most expensive categories - $168 and $148.

This article was first published in The New Paper

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