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Elizabeth Tan Su Mei


Soulful Sweetheart

Article from the Sun daily by Rachel Law (posted on 12 May 2015)

MIDWAY through our conversation, Elizabeth Tan Su Mei (pix) was approached by two male fans for a photography opportunity. We were seated at a relatively obscure corner of the coffee shop so it seemed bizarre how they could recognise her from behind her back! The 22-year-old said she welcomes interaction with fans – they are to her a "gift and blessing" – but going about on her off days doesn't spare her from public attention.

"Wherever I go, people stare at me – but they don't come up to me. And I can hear them whispering my name. It doesn't bother me that much but I lose privacy. Sometimes I go out in t-shirts, shorts, glasses on, hair uncombed and a face free from make-up and I still get recognised," said the Melawati local.

The lack of privacy is something A-list celebrities struggle getting used to, what more Tan, who has garnered so much attention and opportunities in a year and a half since her folksy take on Joe Flizzow's Havoc went viral. From singing in church to serenading on YouTube, the statuesque songstress now has a career in the local Malay music scene, delivering singles under record label Paranormal Talents.

"It sounds clichéd but I don't think I could do much without my management company. My fans too have been so supportive, I wouldn't be where I am today without them. Just recently I had the first meeting with my fan club. There were balloons, goodie bags, a cake with my face on it and a table full of presents – and it's not even my birthday! I was really touched," she gushed.

How much creative liberty do you have when it comes to composing music?

According to my current contract, I get to write four out of 10 songs. I don't mind because my recording label is good at writing pop so I trust them to compose the rest. I'll sing whatever they ask me to sing as long as it's not too out of my comfort zone. My music taste is more indie so I don't really know how to write for mass listeners.

Can you tell us more about your upcoming film Usop Wilcha – Menghonjang Makhluk Muzium?

It's like a Malaysian version of Night at the Museum and it's coming out in August. I play the heroine who brings in figurines of vampires, werewolves and Draculas into the Malaysian museum, which come alive at night and fight each other. I've only acted in high school so it was a new experience; there was a lot of waiting. We would shoot at night from 8 to 7 in the morning for two weeks in a row! It's not tiring when you're acting but waiting – being awake and on call – drains you out.

What else can your fans look forward to this year?

Two more singles definitely. We didn't expect the response to Knock Knock to be this huge. We released it last September and currently it's still on high rotation and on radio top charts, it's really crazy. We're waiting for it to die down a little but we plan to release the second single by late May. Hopefully all the singles we'll be doing will make up an album, perhaps by the end of 2016? I'm also dubbing for Transformers: Age of Extinction in Malay.

What do you have to say about the stereotype that gen-Y kids are spoilt and entitled?

It's true in the sense we don't realise how good we have it but it's not really our fault. We grew up in a technological era where everything is so available to us and it's not like our parents can keep us in a cage. It's important for generation-Y to find out who they are as a person and not conform to social media, what people say they should be. We only see the highlights of other people's lives on social media then we hate our own lives but it's not about that. Don't live life for fame or money.

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