Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Follow. My. Heart.

An Entertainer

In terms of arts (music, dance, drawing, acting)
A term only less than 1% of the world really understands.
One has to take so much courage to give up and fight for everything they are passionate for.
Unless you're extremely close to this person(maybe even not) or the person himself, you'll never know how much this person is going through...

99% of my entertainer friends out there DO NOT seek to become someone famous.

All we dream for is for our passion and talent to be recognised and feel appreciated; just like any other job out there (I'm sure you like to complimented and recognised in your trade as well). Also, they would like to express and share their love in a more... I would say, unconventional way.

I chose freelance singing and hosting because I realise I really love doing these more than selling clothes at Bugis Street, more than giving tuition everyday, more than an office job and doors are open for me; Even if these doors are very small ones, I was willing to give it a shot. It really feels good that there are friends out there who are supportive of what I'm doing and credit me for it.

"Mint, your facebook timeline seems like you're doing so many fun things, enjoying your life out there."
"You no need to work de hor, everyday like doing nothing but playing."
"Get a life. Please go get a PROPER JOB..."

Aren't doing hosting and singing gigs proper jobs?
So what is considered a 'proper job' to you?
Who says I'm playing all the time?
I simply choose to share all the happy moments more than the struggling ones.

My Singing Journey

I started my singing/hosting CAREER at a relatively later age, 26.
Till now I can't believe that I threw myself in without any prior knowledge in music NOR hosting but after I heard true stories from seniors regretting not chasing their dreams, I decided to give it a shot anyway.

From the day I remember, whenever I knew a friend or a neighbour was moody, I'd sing a song I learnt from listening to the radio/casette tape to cheer him/her up.

Even as a kid, I was already humming my own tunes in the bathroom, at the kitchen window, on my bed, on my way home from school... It's more like turning my thoughts and feelings into a catchy tune.  When I realise I can easily churn out lyrics and new melodies, I wrote my first 'official' song in my first diary book. I was 11 then and I haven't stop since. My family couldn't afford any music classes for me so I joined my primary school choir to learn how to sing.

I joined my first singing competitions at the age of 10 and 12, recommended by my choir teacher and mum's best friend respectively. Both times, I got into the finals but didn't win anything. I was disheartened and thought that my singing wasn't good enough. Family members would then nagged at me, saying that it was a waste of their money buying tickets to come support my singing contest. When I first entered secondary school, my new peers commented that my singing was very 'opera' and that singing wasn't my forte. I suffered even more heartbreaks when I couldn't pass extra-curriculum-activity singing auditions.

My confidence in singing was shattered and I decided to give up entirely even though I saw singing as a crucial part of my life.

It wasn't until when I was 20 years old that I plucked up enough courage to join another singing competition. My buddy, who died in a tragic bike accident that same year (I wrote about our friendship here). He had been persuading me for the longest time to pick up singing again.

I kept trying but never made it pass the 2nd round.
I still felt lousy and those bad encounters in the past continued to haunt me.

I was truly impressed by the F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4 Crews who danced so confidently and shone on the dance floor at the prelims and finals even when they are faced with 1000+++ audience and international judges (whom they know are judging and grading them)!

I kept screaming and cheering for every single one of the dancers because they have my FULL respect for the courage and for doing their best.

Here's a video showing the highlights of all 22 FNNSDD4 finalists who shone that night, done by MinutemanSG:

How did they do it?
Aren't they scared?
How did they overcome this?

After interviewing 2 of the teams, Roosevelt and Decada, I found my answer and inspiration:
It's the DREAM that they possess to dance with one another, to be recognised and feel appreciated, to love and do something they really love to and share the passion.

I knew this answer all along...

Kind Souls

Along my singing journey, in the year 2009, I met 2 very good friends through a friend name Wenwei. These 2 very good friends are Evan from Flutter Music and Desmond Wong. They continued to help me grow in music with jamming sessions. Thank you very much, Nave and Silly Big Guy!

Evan also introduced me to All About Eve Bar in 2010, where I met the bar owner, Won, who allowed me to perform at his bar weekly even though I had ZERO performing experience. He even gave me pointers on how I can further improve my vocals.

"Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't worry so much and just enjoy yourself here."
Won (Long Papa) is my very first music instructor, so to say, he still is. :)

Struggling between work and music, very few people believed I could come this far except for a few closest friends of mine and my mum.

One day, a friend on Facebook saw my Youtube covers and approach me to sing for his wedding. He urged me to give it a try since it's a simple affair and that I knew most of his guests. KENDI, I am really thankful to you for inviting me to sing at your wedding.


Year 2011 and 2012 was a great year for me where more doors were tapped.

Thanks to Gim, I was invited to co-host a LIVE mandarin talkshow online with him: Liveomusic. My first hosting experience and it was very encouraging. He gave me A LOT OF courage to speak up in front of the camera. Thanks Gim, for always remembering me and give me chances to grow with you.
A few months later, I was invited to host my very first public event, Crocs Fashion Show. Thank you Kaye, for giving me this golden opportunity!

So you see, I really wouldn't be where I am without these friends and kind souls who gave me a chance. My experience couldn't have widen without them.

As the opportunities grew, I couldn't cope with my full tuition assignments and gigs at the same time. I have to focus on one and decided on doing purely gigs to gain more exposure.

V-Singer Singing Contest

Finally last year, I took part in the V-Singer singing contest organised and held by Ocean Butterflies.
Imagine how elated I was when I was one of the lucky selected candidates to go through their intensive V-singer music course after failing so many so many times!

A performance with my V singer classmate + V singer bestie, Soki Goh.

My eyes hurt for the next 2 days from crying too much when I received my graduation certificate -- My first vocal course in a music school and AT THE AGE OF 26.

Never too late!

V singer Graduation

At this point, I miss my classmates so badly!!!


From there, I was opened to even more opportunities strongly supported by Ocean Butterflies Music Forest and this very wonderful girl name Ginny.

I was invited to join the V-singer Elite Shiseido make-up class where I learnt how to do BASIC stage makeup. Honestly, I'm not a very make-up person. Even to date, I don't know how to apply my eyeshadow and whether I am applying it right.










The instructor did half of my face and I'm supposed to follow what she did with my other half.




Guys need to look groom too!


The final product, here:

OB ocean butterflies

Practice makes perfect:

OB ocean butterflies

Then on another day, they got me into the BASIC Hairstyling class where I learnt how to do up some BASIC styles for show:



I recently joined their OB Vocal Ambassador pProgramme and Hanrey was one of them too.

Purple top: Hanrey Low from Ah Boys To Men





Very sadako here because my hair was too thick to apply the hair spray!

Camwhoring first:




The curls were so bouncy they look delicious!

There, the final product:
Left: Stella Fang, Me, Ting Lin, Sellyne

Tis was me on my 26th birthday:

This is me in April 2013:
OB ocean butterflies

There's still so much to work on.
I'm saving up to get my teeth done: Braces or Invisalign I haven't decide.

To further improve myself,
I'm still taking vocal classes with Ocean Butterflies under their Vocal Ambassador 2013 Programme.

OB ocean butterflies

Ocean Butterflies Music Forest School

In addition, I've signed up for their song writing course (WDA Music Career Programme) as well as keyboard classes.

EVERY SINGLE THING is new to me, from reading a note to using a music software.
As I'm writing this post, I'm crying because I feel too fortunate; I'm able to to do what I love to do.

I'm crying also because at entry level, I am struggling with my music assignments, keyboard class assignments, vocal class assignments and blog assignments in between my preparation for my host scripts and upcoming artiste campaign.

It's tough.
I know it is but I'm enjoying every bit of it and I've never felt that I want to learn so much in my life.
But isn't that how it is supposed to be like at entry level?

Whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.
I'm going to overcome these challenges.
I have to work harder and catch up!

To all entertainers out there:


Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Debut Dance with MinuteManSG captured in this Mini F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4 Flipbook


This is a significant moment because...
it's my debut dance with MinutemanSG!

This glorious 10 seconds,
captured in these TWO only mini F&N Flipbook...

Suddenly got this idea:
 Colin and I can create a wedding gallery where our photos and momentos of all our 'first time' are displayed with captions; a pre-event to engage our guests and get to know us better before the wedding banquet commences.

This F&N mini Flipbook can be one of the momentos captioned 'First Dance Together'.
Awww... this is so meaningful!

Ehhhh.. please don't copy my wedding gallery idea hor,
I say it FIRST. :p

FNNSDD4 Flipbook

Where we got these exclusive flipbooks?

We got this flip books when we attended the F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4 Finals!
Cool right, I know.



As promised, I got the mini F&N flipbook video up:

Epic and impromptu.

I love how we can be silly TOGETHER.
It's really OKAY to be silly with your other half sometimes.


MinuteManSG, I know you're reading this.

Here's my favourite page of the entire mini flip book:
FNNSDD4 Flipbook


Read about the F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 finals HERE if you haven't.

Thank you F&N for this meaningful momento, something even money can't buy; moments.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Exclusive F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 Finalist Interview with DECADA

Anyone who had seen the dance practices of Crew DECADA would have shed tears for them at the F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4 Finals that day. It was the most touching sight when they shone on the dance floor that day.


There can be only ONE team going to Japan but all the finalists are winners to me because they brought so much entertainment, and taught me values to love what you do and be passionate about it, at the finals~

Here's one of the finalists.
Everyone, meet DECADA from The Philippines!!!


The team leader of DECADA, Don, constantly remind his crew members to train hard during their training.

The hard work that they put in for the finals totally inspired me to work very hard for my music. It's the same passion and love we have for our dreams that kept us going.


For someone without prior knowledge in music, I'm struggling in my song writing class, requiring thrice as much time to complete my music exercises and assignments as compared to my other classmates who already are professionals in the music industry: music school director, freelance composers & song writers themselves, stage manager, musicians, full-time performers...

'NO PAIN NO GAIN' strongly applies to me too.
I believe my other classmates began from somewhere basic years ago and worked their way up. I started so much later than all of them so I have to work extremely hard to catch up.


Here's an interview I did with DECADA before the finals,
it was how I got to know them better:

They are so jovial despite having faced so much difficulties and challenges in dancing.

Act-cute pose with the guys before I sign out.

For Passion And Love,

Mint Leong

Quick, follow me on Twitter: @MintLeong and Facebook: www.facebook.com/MintLeong

THANKS F&N & OMY.SG for this golden opportunity to interview DECADA!

Watch Roosevelt's Interview here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04: THE Finals!

Screams are still filling up my head, my lungs, my heart...
The adrenaline rush has reached deep into my bloodstream, spread to every inch of my skin to the very tip of my fingernails.

Goosebumps overload.

The sore throat was all worthwhile.

THANK YOU, F&N and OMY.SG for this opportunity to attend the Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 Finals and thanking you a million times is not enough to express my gratitude.


My intention of taking up this challenge as the FNNSDD4 blogger is simple: this program has me constantly surrounded by passionate people, up-close & personal with them. Their positive vibes inspire & remind me to love what I do and do what I love, then share this love with like-minded people like YOU.

They only happen when you sleep until you decide to work towards them and make them into reality.

The first thing I did when I reached Kallang Theatre was to 'chiong' to the F&N booth to get a drink.



The F&N Sparkling drinks were almost wiped out and by the time I got to the ice box, there's only 1 can left!!!


Then nasty MinutemanSG took it while I was busy snapping pictures and I caught him red-handed, ee-yer you sneaky fella!


Thankfully there were these cute F&N bottle dispensers where we can help ourselves to: Groovy Grape, Outrageous Orange, Cheeky Cherryade and Cool Ice Cream Soda, which flavour should I choose?!

MinuteMan seriously #LastWarning.
Leave some for me!



5 minutes before the final show began, Minuteman and I found ourselves at the photo booth doing a 10-second dance which will be converted into a mini flipbook for us to keep for life.

Super love the colour of the photo booth!

Vibrant, Confident, Cheerful and Spirited; just what the F&N Sparkling Drinks are about. F&N is the presenting sponsor of Singapore Dance Delight Vol 4, where dancers from all walks of life come together in celebration of dance and the vibrancy and energy of being young.

F&N + Singapore Dance Delight = PERFECT MATCH



The mini flip-book looks like this:


I'm making a short video of my flipbook at the moment.
Visit again to watch!

Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 (Finals)

Let the finals begin...



Presented by F&N and produced by O School, the Singapore Dance Delight is widely recognised by young dancers as the competition challenge themselves and to learn and improve their skills by pitting themselves against some of the best dancers in the region.

The top 22 dance crews are to battle it out at the Kallang Theatre, with 14 finalists chosen from the tough battle at the Singapore Dance Delight Preliminary Round held on 30 March 2013 at Vivocity. The other dance crews are the winning teams from Dance Delight Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

Strictly judged on their technical abilities, showmanship, musicality, originality and professionalism, ONE team will be chosen to represent ASEAN at Japan Dance Delight Vol 20 which will be held in Osaka, Japan on 1 September 2013.

*my heart is beating so fast so fast I think it'll pop out of my chest any time now*

The winner of Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 will receive a 4D3N round-trip, air tickets + Accommodation, to Osaka to compete in Japan Dance Delight Vol 20.

The good news is, F&N is having a Twitter contest right now to give us a chance to Osaka to watch the winning team shine at the Japan Dance Delight Vol 20 so read on!

I was totally wow-ed by the stage set up and effects~



I have to share this experience with this special someone who has an avid passion for dancing and invited her too~

Dance is her LIFE.
Everyone, say hi to my Love, YUKO!


Yuko is a dancer-host at ADFT and my artiste manager.
Yes I've got so much to update you!
Like how come I suddenly have an artiste manager.
I promise I'll tell you everything once I settle my over-dued homework and back-dating blog posts!

Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04, Panel of judges

First 10 minutes and I felt myself losing my voice already.
I was screaming AT THE TOP OF MY VOICE so much so I can feel my voice touching the ceiling of the theatre.

The finals kicked off with a showcase from each of the FNNSDD4 judges. Their breathe-taking moves almost had me collapsed on the floor that instance. You get to watch, NOT ONE BUT FIVE famous dance celebrities groove on stage, how can you resist?!?!

Mitsuhiro Harada aka Machine from Japan, the creator of Japan Dance Delight and the leader of the legendary break dance team "Angel Dust Breakers':

Ryan Tan from Singapore, the Creative Director of O school, a familiar and well respected name in the local dance community. He has since expanded his vocabulary from Hip-hop and Jazz, to now Lyrical and contemporary styles.


Tony Tzar from Washington D.C, a hip-hop and house instructor at Debbie Reynolds, International Dance Academy and EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. He has worked with Britney Spears, Jason Derulo, Jessi Malay and lyaz as an assistant choreographer:

Madoka from Japan

Finally here's Jamel Brown aka Loose Joint, a hip hop dance from New York with 30 years of experience. He co-founded Elite Force Crew - A crew that has gone on to world - renowned artists such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Will Smith and TLC.

I recorded the showcase of Loose Joint, and a sneak peak into Machine's showcase.
Check out the atmosphere: everyone was damn 'high'!

Minuteman shot some of the BEST moves/poses of the judges!
See his pictures here.

My F&N Singapore Dance Delight Vol 04 Experience

Here's a personal recount and some highlights which I think are the most memorable.

Highlight 1:The Emcee
Kallang Theatre reached a new level of madness when a familiar voice greeted us from the backstage. Is he... Yes he is the most awesome emcee in the universe and he is none other than Shiekh Haikel!!!

"Let me hear you say 'yeah'."  (crowd echoed 'yeah')
Let me hear you say 'Yeah yeah'!"(crowd echoed 'yeah yeah!')


Highlight 2: Constant Cheering From The Audience
Meanwhile on the floor, Yuko and I (of course plus every single person in the theatre) were spreading the cheer to support the finalists: Screaming, vigorously shaking their customised LED boards, clapping, waving... Go go fighting!!!


Highlight 3: Individual Crew Introduction
All teams made a grand entry with their crew name shown on the BIG SCREEN:


Followed by a short dance video preview of the crew:

Finally the finalists were to make their way from the middle of the theatre, passed the judges and onto the stage for their final showdown.



Here's my recording showing you how A.O.C. did their grand entry; one of the most interesting ones in my opinion. I like how the team effectively used a mandosong titled Mei Fei Se Wu by Sammi Cheng for their entry:

Here's the mandosong A.O.C. had used:

Hightlight 4: Decada from The Philippines

I cried for Decada.
They are a group of passionate dancers; pushing themselves to their limits.
I saw how hard they had trained.
I see their hard work paid off.
I saw them shine.

I shed tears of joy and for that moment, I felt like running onto the stage to hug every single one.


Highlight 5: FSZ from Vietnam.
Their dance is so adorable; so cute but one can straightaway tell the strength of their foundation.
Popping > Tutting > Breaking > Locking > Act Cute

One of my favourite dance choreography that evening.
Entertainment value: 5 out of 5.

Thank you for the laughter, FSZ.



Highlight 6: Roosevelt from Singapore

In my opinion they are the MOST attractive crew that evening when the girls' eyes electrocuted every guy in the room. The stunning entrance they made totally swept me off my feet, throwing roses at random guests... I WANT A STALK TOO!!!



Highlight 7: BLU CRU from Singapore

They made it to the finals after the prelim results were announced!

Congratulations BLU CRU!


While waiting for the results to tally, we had a game segment and DJs spinning for us.
The DJ in a red cap is my classmate from Republic Polytechnic!

Highlight 8: 2 new stars born during the game segment, Brandon and Josh & lots of F&N Gifts!

The finalists peeping from backstage, so cute :)

The judges were invited on stage to say a few words:

FNNSDD4 Winnners Announced

BLU CRU won the most popular crew award that night!

Coming in 3rd place: Freekzy Bots from Singapore
Photo Credits: MinutemanSG

2nd place: Flipendemic Kru from The Philippines
Photo Credits: MinutemanSG

And the winner is Megamint!!!

Is it me or did Amin got more handsome than ever. :p


Be chosen to go Osaka, Japan for the Japan Dance Delight Vol 20 Finals!!

F&N Sparkling Drinks has a “F&N Fulfills Your Dreams” contest on Twitter!
The winner will win a 4 Day 3 Night package for TWO to Osaka, Japan, to cheer on Megamint and witness the crowning of the Japan Dance Delight Vol 20 Champion!


Yes tweet, as many times as you want, about why you should be chosen to go along with our champions to Osaka Japan, and include the hashtag #fnnsdd4 in your tweets.

Here's mine:
"I am Mini Mint and I wanna go to Osaka to watch MegaMint shine on #FNNSDD4 dance floor!"

Remember to include the hashtag #fnnsdd4 else no one will know that you tweeted~

For more info, please visit www.fnn.com.sg or www.facebook.com/FnNFun.

BLU CRU, Jia you next year~!!!!


Read up more about the latest news posted by the 6 FNNSDD4 official bloggers!
Click on our family picture to access the site:
Photo credits: MinutemanSG

Megamint, go to Japan and SPREAD THE GROOVE!
Amin Amin, go go go go!
Photo Credits: MinutemanSG