The warm, smooth and buttery voice that came from the phone was unmistakably Kit Chan’s.
Even after back-to-back interviews (mine was the last), Kit sounded energised and fresh, raring to talk about her live, in-person concert which will be showing this Christmas season from 16-19 Dec at Sands Theatre. (Get your tickets from Sistic.)
Titled "Reignite" and centred on the themes of restarting and renewing, Kit Chan hopes to inspire positivity and the flame of hope which have been dampened by the pandemic.
“For the last two years, life was on hold and inert for many people. I want to use my music to help people start again and to reignite their passion for life,” says the bubbly 49-year-old, who is stepping back once again into the spotlight after going on hiatus in 2019.
“People have been feeling pent up because of the pandemic, and what better way for them to use the end of the year than to go out there and enjoy a cosy and intimate show to help them look forward to 2022.”
What to expect from Kit's new show
Affectionately dubbed Singapore’s “national treasure”, Kit Chan is one of the country's most famous and recognisable artistes, and the first ever pop singer to perform at Singapore’s National Day Parade in 1998.
Since her debut in 1993, Kit has gone from strength to strength, taking Taiwan’s pop music scene by storm, starring in Dick Lee’s acclaimed musical, Forbidden City: Portrait Of An Empress, and becoming the first Singaporean to participate in China’s immensely popular reality show, I Am A Singer, in 2015.
Kit’s upcoming concert will feature a choice selection of her immense repertoire, and even a couple of surprises!
Kit was tight-lipped about the exact repertoire of the show, however, merely giving us some hints about the set list.
“I’ve acquired quite a range of songs over the years and it can be a challenge to squeeze everything into one concert. But there will definitely be no sad songs!” says Kit with a chuckle.
“I want the audience to go away feeling fuzzy and uplifted, and you can be sure to expect some surprising songs which I hope to interpret in a different, folksy and unplugged way. There will also be a Christmas segment.”
Reflecting on her career
Kit also spoke candidly about her career highs and lows, giving Yahoo Life SEA her insights and reflections on her musical métier, which has spanned almost three decades.
“1994 was a turning point in my life, when I released my first album (Heartache). But it was the many years of hard work which led me to a burnout in 2004, and I stopped recording for seven years,” Kit muses.
“I spent that time going to school, travelling and even working in the corporate world. It was only in 2010 that I formally returned to music and started recording again. 2011 was the year when I released my first album in 10 years, which totally renewed me.”
Kit acknowledges that as a self-professed introvert, she has become a much more open person after all her life experiences, blossoming into a seasoned veteran who has accepted and "merged" both her public and private selves.
When I asked how she felt about her fame in China from participating in season three of I Am A Singer and the popularity of her song Heartbeat, which had 8.8 million downloads in China, she demurred.
“The Chinese saw (Heartbeat) as a new song, and it signalled to me the power of reinterpretation. But I really don’t think about fame and letting it get to me.”
Even after all her experiences, there are some things that the songstress admits that she would not try again.
“I initially had to sing two acts (in Dick Lee’s musical) and it was so tiring! So I would not do it again. I’m usually alone on stage as a singer, but in a musical I’m part of a team so it’s a nice feeling. I will definitely do a musical once every three to five years,” says Kit.
The seasoned songstress feels most connected to Barbara Streisand as her inspiration and as a person who has done it all — singing, acting and directing.
“I don’t believe in putting limits on myself, just like how Madonna broke all the rules during her time and Sinnead O’Connor who shaved her head. I listen to all kinds of music, just the other day I was listening to Jay-Z!”