Zon Chan is a young musician who stands a chance to perform with Wang Lee Hom.
|CN PHOTO: Enrique Yang|
Contributed By Enrique Yang
At the behest of his cell group leader, who spotted the advertisement for the Brand’s Music Changes Lives With Wang Lee Hom competition, Zon Chan, 17, submitted a video of himself playing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” on the guitar.
“He felt it would be a good opportunity for me to showcase my talent on stage, and use music to impact lives,” explains the former Swiss Cottage Secondary student who is awaiting entry into the international business diploma course at Singapore Polytechnic.
Four musicians will be handpicked by Wang to perform with him at his upcoming showcase at the University Cultural Center on April 24.
Chan admires Wang for his spirit as a learner. “He is always open to learn new things, try different instruments and genres of music.” If there is something he feels they have in common, it is that adventurous streak, the fearlessness when it comes to trying new things. If he is selected to perform, Chan says he would like to sing Wang’s “Kiss Goodbye” and “Gai Bian Zi Ji.”
Chan first picked up the guitar at the age of 12. He had been playing the drums for a year before that, but playing the guitar became his destiny after he was asked to be the guitarist for his cell group just half a month after he started playing. Despite his lack of experience, he was willing to serve and to contribute—an attitude that has driven him to improve to his current standard. “God has been gracious to me,” says Chan. “I believe that God blesses those who are willing to go the extra mile.”
The teenager’s favourite genres of music are blues, jazz, alternative and rock. He listens to bands like Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Lifehouse, John Mayer and U2. “I hope to go into the music industry one day,” he says. “If there’s a chance, I hope to teach guitar—it’s a great way to reach out to people and show God’s love.”
Not bad for a young man who didn’t even like music at all—before he discovered that he loved drumming. He had tagged along when his father went to visit a church friend, and he tried out the drum set in that friend’s house. From drums, he moved on to the guitar. “I started by learning the basics from my dad, then I learned from my zone leaders. I got to study under Poh [Teo Poh Heng, a worship leader at City Harvest] and I moved on to learn from church guitarist Jessel Yam for about a year.”
Despite his youth, Chan takes his craft seriously. “When I was in secondary two, I was saving up to buy my first guitar. I had to make some big sacrifices in other areas of my life! The guitar was about S$700—eventually my dad topped up the final S$200 and I got it!” His family is in full support of his talent and efforts. “My parents and younger sister are so supportive of me, they even voted for me online to win this competition.”
Chan says he is thankful to God for his talent, and to Pastor Kong for his message on the cultural mandate. “I realize I should shine for God and engage the entertainment industry. I must be a good steward of the gift and talent God has placed in my life.”
His goal in church is to serve more in CHC’s music ministry, and to play in the main English service by the end of this year. He used to be in the teenage band at church, and is currently serving in the Dialect church.
Chan also has plans to bring his music out to the world. He has written songs and has a target to form a band by June this year and get performing engagements.
Chan will be on stage to perform on April 24, alongside artists like Rui En and Singapore Idol winners Taufik Batisah and Hady Mirza.
Vote for Chan at www.stomp.com.sg/brandswangleehom/vote.html.