As the only signed artist performing at the by-invitation only MO Bar Discovers concert last Saturday, 18 February 2012, Shiga Lin's singing career is off to a great start.
The event, initiated by MO Bar to promote up and coming music stars, also featured Joe Brooks, a 24-year-old internet sensation from UK who's performed to sold-out crowds in London and Korea, and Halie Loren, an American jazz singer-songwriter who's been described as a modern day Joni Mitchell.
After the show, we caught up with Lin (Shiga, not Jeremy) to find out how she got her start in the "entertainment circle", who she looks up to in the industry and what she loves to do most on weekends.
LifestyleAsia: Have you always wanted to be a singer, and how were you first discovered?
Shiga Lin: Yes, I've loved singing since I was a child and I've always wanted to work in a field that's related to music or film. I used to model part-time at Starz people, and I was given an opportunity to record a demo for Warner Music. That's how I started my career as a singer.
LSA: How does it feel to be part of MO Bar Discovers, and how did it go?
SL: I feel so honoured to be part of MO Bar Discovers and I'd really like to thank them for giving me this opportunity to expose my music to a different audience.
Performing at MO Bar was an amazing experience. I was a little nervous at the beginning but as I heard the audience cheer, it got my adrenaline pumping and I had a lot of fun. The best part was being able to meet the other singers who were also part of MO Bar Discovers.
LSA: What do you like the most about your career?
SL: I love almost every part of my job, but what I love most is when people appreciate my music and relate to the lyrics of my songs. It’s so rewarding to hear them say, "This is my story," as it feels like I have the ability to speak those unspoken words for them. I hope in some way that my music can heal broken hearts, and help the lost rediscover themselves.
LSA: Who do you look up to in the industry?
SL: I have many mentors and people that inspire me, but one of my favourites would be Hong Kong's very own Sammi Cheng. I not only love her movies and music, but I think she embodies her characters very well in terms of grasping the character's personality. Her music really touches me, and I also look up to her hard work ethic.
Internationally, I think Christina Aguilera is one of my all time favourite singers. I love her passion for music, her amazing voice and the way she performs on stage with confidence.
LSA: What is the hardest thing about being a celebrity in Hong Kong?
SL: I think every industry has its own difficulties and obstacles that you have to overcome. For me, its how people perceive singers and entertainers in this generation. People have higher expectations nowadays and the wide range of media makes it harder to sell hard copies of albums, but I believe if you just do your best, things will eventually fall into place.
LSA: What do you want to be known for?
SL: I want to be known for being real, and I hope my music will touch people's souls and inspire them in a positive way. In terms of music, there's a lot of guitar in my songs so it's kind of like country music, which I find very fresh.
LSA: What is your favourite food?
SL: I have loads! I love food, and eating makes me happy. I think my favourite would be Japanese cuisine and desserts, especially chocolate and anything that has lots and lots of sugar in it!
LSA: What do you normally do on weekends?
SL: Most of my work schedule revolves around weekends, but when I'm free, I love sitting on an outdoor patio and sipping on a cup of freshly brewed coffee with my favourite novel. I also like to catch up with my close friends or watch movies.
LSA: Do you have a favourite place in Hong Kong?
SL: Home, because that’s where I feel the safest and simplest. There's no need to dress up or wear make up, and there are no judgements!