‘Malaysia Chabor’ Joyce Chu hits the big time
SINGAPORE, Aug 22 — Three years ago, Joyce Chu was using a mobile phone to film herself singing in her bedroom to post on YouTube.
Today, the 19-year-old has not only professionally-shot videos of her seen by millions, but she can also call Taiwanese-American superstar Wang Leehom her mentor.
Better known by her moniker Si Ye Cao (Chinese for “four-leaf clover”), the Malaysian singer-songwriter rose to fame after her light-hearted ditty, Malaysia Chabor (Hokkien for “woman”) went viral in 2014, amassing 15.5 million views.
Then last November, she did even better. I Miss You — the lead single from her self-titled EP, garnered 19 million views on YouTube.
The video — which features Chu singing while her outfit and background changes with every frame — was so popular that two spin-offs, I Miss You 2.0 (which featured a rap with Malaysian rapper-songwriter Namewee) and I Miss You 3.0, were made.
Her popularity did not go unnoticed by entertainment bigwigs.
In May, the Johor Baru native made her acting debut in the hit Singapore cosplay-themed movie, Young And Fabulous, opposite Ah Boys To Men star Joshua Tan and Mediacorp actor Aloysius Pang.
She was then invited to participate in China’s music reality TV show Heroes of Remix, that still has Chu floating on cloud nine.
Her pop idol Leehom personally picked her to be on his team.
“I was so honoured when he picked me,” gushed the YouTube star.
“Besides the fact that he’s super handsome and talented, he’s someone I’ve loved since young. To be able to meet him in person is beyond my wildest dreams!”
In what is touted as the first variety show in China to feature electronic dance music or EDM, Chu had to learn dance, performance art and remixed interpretations of Golden Melodies rather quickly.
“Leehom would guide me on what song choices to make, what I should wear on stage … He even asked me to compose a rap together with him. The only thing I could say at that time was, ‘wow, just wow’,” recalled the obviously star-struck lass.
Though she did not make it to the finals, Chu is definitely richer for the experience.
Which is why she is in Singapore to discuss with record executives on the direction of her first full-length album.
“We decided that the style should be young, vibrant and acoustic. It will have more dance and definitely more of my own compositions,” she revealed. Namewee, who is her long-time collaborator, will certainly be on board.
Chu, who could pass for a K-Pop starlet, finds inspiration for her songs from everyday life.
“Once, I was flying home from KL to JB, a melody popped into my head which I quickly recorded on my phone. Once I got home, I rushed into my piano room and just churned out a complete song. When ideas come, one shouldn’t delay in getting it out!”
Though she is presently based in Taiwan, Chu has been busy with singing engagements across the region, jetsetting from Thailand to Australia.
“I travel a lot. Wherever there is opportunity to perform, I will go, (like) doing mini-concerts, TV shows and making the movie here in Singapore. I studied here, so I love Singapore. When time permits, I will return home to Malaysia.”
For young hopefuls who dream of basking in the limelight as well, she has one big tip.
“Take part in auditions for experience and exposure. Acme Academy in Singapore, run by my artiste management for instance, often holds auditions to groom budding talents. I myself have attended courses by them. Finding a good teacher is very important.”
Meanwhile, with her career on a roll, Chu has no plans to continue her studies after completing her GCE ‘O Level exams in Singapore.
“I’m very lucky that I’m able to do what I love right now, so it’s best to make hay while the sun shines. I can always return to studying later,” said the artiste with a smile. — TODAY
* Joyce Chu’s first full-length album is scheduled for Spring 2017. Grand Audition 2016 ACME x Big Hit x Joy Dance will be held on Sat 19 Nov from 10am to 6pm. For more details, visit www.ACME-Academy.com orwww.facebook.com/PATHACMEAcademy.