Music has carried Genevieve Seah through the ups and downs of life and is now her career.
What’s your story?
I am a student by day and singer by night. Currently a jazz vocal performance major at LaSalle College of the Arts. Started piano when I was 5, but ended up disliking the strict and mundane lessons, so I ventured out into pop on my own. The radio was my best friend and I’d always try to figure out how to play current songs on the piano by ear. Also ventured into dance through my teenage years, but later went on to being a professional singer at 18 and have been singing ever since. Music has carried me through the ups and downs in my life and is an outlet for me to express myself in this crazy world that we live in. As long as my music and voice has had the privilege of touching one heart and changed one person’s life, I would be grateful.
What excites you most about your industry?
People and conversation. There is never a mundane day in this industry. Every day presents new possibilities and experiences. I love that I am able to meet different people everyday, talk about their life stories and be able to connect with them as I sing. Working with such passionate people who are so passionate about music really keeps you inspired and motivated to reach for new heights. As a performer, you never know what someone at your performance is going through, and your songs may touch them and bring them comfort during their toughest times. I have been fortunate to have people come up to me and tell me that my singing has brought them emotional relief and that I should continue doing what I do.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My connection to Asia is definitely Singapore and my Peranakan Chinese roots. Growing up in Singapore, the cosmopolitan and multi-racial city has led me to have an open mind with regards to social interactions and understanding people and the different cultures available on this little island.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. As cliched as this might sound, I still feel that I am able to go about my work with maximum productivity and unwind in this very city. It definitely helps that it never takes more than 40 minutes to get from destination to destination. All of my contacts and resources are within reach when I am working here.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
I have been fortunate to have received loads of advice from different people at different stages of my life. In school my teacher told me to “keep at the right thing.” Whenever I’m stressed or worried, my parents would remind me to pray and that God would always save the day and make everything okay. I had a friend who told me when I was struggling with fitting in with friends, “why do you try so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out?” This is just some of the advice I’ve received that has stuck with me and made me who I am. But to date, if I had to choose the best advice, it would be that you should never sacrifice three things: your family, your heart and your dignity.
Who inspires you?
Many people. From the obvious like my mother and father who worked tirelessly to raise my two siblings and myself up, to my other half who dares to fight for his dreams and passion. His name is Feng Lee and he is one of the bravest, biggest hearted humans I have ever met. I find it rare these days to find someone who automatically assumes the best in everyone he meets and comes across. As a child he scored straight A’s and had offers to study Psychology and Computer Engineering, but chose the unconventional path of music instead. Today, he is a Berklee College of Music graduate and is working as a music producer and a guitarist to some of today’s leading acts including The Sam Willows and Nathan Hartono. His humble, patient and nurturing soul makes him someone who is easy to talk to whenever you need advice on music, or life.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
JAZZ. For the past 5 years, my genre of music has very much been focused on pop and rock. Last year, I decided to pursue a degree specialising in Jazz music and everything I am learning is so new, insightful and refreshing.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a believer of having no regrets and that everything happens for a reason. I am, however, a pretty timid person. So maybe, if I could have my time again, I would probably want to be less timid of things.
How do you unwind?
I like to stay home. Sit around with a pot of hot tea and watch the world go by. And netflix. Thank you to whoever created Netflix.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Pai! Its somewhere in Thailand, up in the mountains. I recently went there for a few days and although small and quaint, the sunrise, cool air, friendly people and beautiful scenery is an ideal destination for relaxation.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Tuesdays with Morrie. I know it’s not a business-related book but hey, it talks about some of the things that matter like courage and wisdom, which I think will come in handy at some point in life, for sure.
Shameless plug for your business:
If you need a singer for your corporate events or wedding functions, you can look for me @genseahmusic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I will bring along my team of A-list musicians and give you the best party you have ever experienced!
How can people connect with you?
You can write on my wall or leave me a direct message on my Facebook page and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I love hearing from people and being able to help them the best way I can. Also Instagram. I’m almost always reachable on Instagram so write away to @genseahmusic!
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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