Time for a change: Issac Dang worked as a graphic designer in Singapore before quitting to concentrate on his showbiz career.
Issac Dang goes from karaoke to the big league.
A YEAR ago, the only place Malaysian Issac Dang was belting out tunes was in Singapore karaoke joints.
Last Saturday, however, the 28-year-old Singapore permanent resident won the Most Potential New Artiste award at the 13th Global Chinese Music Awards (GCMA), which was held at Bukit Jalil Putra Indoor Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.
Dang, who has been dubbed the next big thing in Asia, was working in Singapore as a graphic designer last January when he was spotted by Singaporean television host Dasmond Koh for his singing talent.
Koh heard Dang singing at a karaoke and asked him if he would sing the theme song for his directorial debut, Timeless Love.
One thing led to another, and in less than six months, Dang got a singing contract in Taiwan. He released his debut album Don’t Cry in May.
“I am very lucky to be given so many opportunities, first in Singapore, then Malaysia and Taiwan. It felt like those opportunities just fell from the sky and my destiny changed in such a short span of time,” Dang said after the awards ceremony.
For the awards ceremony themed Punk Fantasy, Dang was dressed in an outfit by Singaporean designer Samuel Wong and was also named the Best Dressed Artiste.
The singer, who was also nominated for the Most Outstanding Regional Artiste (Malaysia) award, has racked up quite a resume since he quit his graphic designer job last June after being offered an acting role. He played a rich man’s son in a local TV drama titled The Beat, which was aired last year.
Since then, he has sung the theme song for Singapore movie Imperfect, directed by Hong Kong director Steve Cheng. It was released in August last year.
Taiwanese TV host Xu Nai Lin also offered to groom Dang, so last December, he moved into a swanky condominium in Xinyi district in Taipei, a world apart from the rented room where he used to stay when he moved to Singapore in 2008.
Like any rookie singer, he had to go through dance, singing, speech and acting lessons. Thrice a week, he would perform in schools in Taiwan and has since appeared in popular Taiwanese variety shows such as Here Comes Kang Xi and Xiao Yan Zi Ye (Xiao Yan Night).
His hard work has paid off, since Taiwanese artistes such as Lee E-Jun, FIR’s Real and Lala Hsu, lauded his singing talent when he released his debut album earlier this year.
On Dang’s win, his mentor Xu said: “Issac is my apprentice who has also attended my show in Taiwan. His music is well received in Taiwan. All his hard work has paid off by his winning this award. I hope he will continue to work hard.”
GCMA, organised by seven radio stations in Asia, was created in 2000 to recognise regional musical talent in the Chinese pop industry.
Stars such as Hong Kong’s Joey Yung, Charlene Choi, Gillian Chung and Raymond Lam, China’s Bibi Chang and Hu Xia and Taiwan’s Will Pan were among those who turned up at the ceremony last Saturday.
Hosted by 988, the awards saw many local singers scooping up major prizes. They were picked by a panel of deejays from seven radio stations in the region.
The radio stations were Beijing Music Radio, Shanghai Dong Gan 101, Music FM Radio Guang Dong, Taipei Pop Radio, Hong Kong’s RTHK, Singapore’s YES 933 and 988. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network