updated 3 Nov 2013, 10:19
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Sun, Nov 03, 2013
The New Paper
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Deejay "Maddy" makes a comeback
by Gan Ling Kai

YOU can take a Singaporean out of Singapore, but you can never take Singapore out of a Singaporean. So says deejay Madeline Tan, who after eight years of living in India and Thailand, has finally returned home.

The 35-year-old will mark her return to showbiz with a new gig as a 91.3FM deejay. Maddy, as she is popularly known as, will host the Non-stop Hit Music segment from 10am to 2pm on weekdays from today.

It was formerly hosted by Suzanne Walker, who will be leaving Singapore to join a radio station in Sudan as part of a United Nations volunteer programme.

Fans will remember Maddy from her days behind the turntables at Perfect 10, now known as 987FM, and Heart 91.3,nowknownas 91.3FM.

She also acted in local teenage drama Spin and Glen Goei’s film Forever Fever.

Maddy said she has no immediate plans to resume acting.

But being onair again should a breeze, right? Not entirely, it seems.

“To be honest, I’m super nervous,” she told The NewPaper.

Her main concern is not being up-to-date with the latestpop music.

She’s mindful that the local scene has changed in her absence.

“I’m trying not to be set in m yold ways because after so many years, the style has moved on. These days, listeners’ attention span is shorter.

“The way information is compiled and communicated and the lingo of the people have all changed. The youth (of today) has evolved as well.”

Still, she’s confident of easing into her job quickly.

“If there’s a love for music, it’s not hard to pick it up,” she reasoned.

Moreover, Maddy said she has always been in touch with radio.

After she quit showbiz here in 2001, she became a radio software consultant and worked in the Indian cities of Hyderabad and Mumbai.

The following year, she moved to Bangkok after she was approached by Virgin Radio to be its programme director.

At that point, the UK-based Richard Branson-owned station was entering the Thai market.

Maddy said the move to Bangkok was an eye-opener.

“My perspective of the industry has expanded. When I was in Virgin, I worked with some of the biggest consultants in the world, including those from theUSand the UK.” In Bangkok, she also got into the real estate business and found a new love.

She got married in 2005 to Mr Wez Barber, 31, a British photographer and businessman shemetthere.

They have a four-year-old daughter.

Maddy has another daughter from a previous marriage, who is now 13.

She and Mr Barber co-founded online real estate agency, which has four offices in Thailand.

When Maddy moved back to Singapore in July, it was mainly for family and business reasons.

“There are a lot of advantages in coming back,” she said.

“There’s clean air, a government which serves the people and an excellent education system. Our family and friends are here too.”

Based in Singapore, she said she can serve real estate clients here and in Thailand. Her husband, however, continues to be based in Bangkok, and flies in every weekend to visit the family.

The 91.3FM job was a bonus, and it fits well into her familyandwork schedule.

Yet, didn’t she tell the media when she left Singapore that she wouldn’t be returning to showbiz?

Impulsive in past

She said: “In the past, I had always wanted to get out because I felt confined. So when the first opportunity to go came, I took it.

“But now I knowwecan never be too sure of ourselves. Confidence is one thing.

Over-confidence is another. When you are young, you say things on impulse.

We should exercise prudence, but that comes only with age.”

Maddy also said she’s proud to return to her roots.

“All these years, I have kept my Singapore citizenship,” she said.

But she also has fond memories and many friends in Thailand and said the Land Of Smiles will always be her family’s second home.

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This article was first published in The New Paper.

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