Exclusive! Jeremy Teng – Winner of ‘The Ultimate Voice 2013’!


On the 19th October 2013, we crowned Jeremy Teng as the Grand Champion of ‘The Ultimate Voice 2013’! Not only did he win the title, but he has also won himself his very own recording single! 
“I’ve thought of it, dreamed of it and imagined my voice playing on radio!” ~ Jeremy Teng, 19, full-time student

Check out the exciting highlights of “The Ultimate Voice 2013” Grand Finals in the video below!


Also, we had a short interview with him shortly after he won the title and here’s what he shared…
1)      Could you share with us a little more about yourself?
I’m Jeremy Teng, currently a 19-year-old polytechnic student working as an intern at MediaCorp 938LIVE, a local news radio station. Outside of work I’d be singing, lingering around in bookstores, and listening to music on long bus rides. Besides singing, some of my other pursuits include learning Japanese, writing songs whenever I have the inspiration, doing voice-overs, and also graphic designs.

2)      Can you share with us your musical dream?
I aspire to be a successful singer-songwriter in mainly the field of Mandarin music; I also aspire to be a singer who can sing of stories that touch the hearts of people. At times I even dream of being a “quadrille-lingual” singer who can sing in English, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Japanese. That would be the perfect culmination of both my interests in languages and in music. Aside from singing, one of my other musical dreams is to learn the guitar. If I had the chance too, I’d polish up my skills in piano so that I could learn how to play by ear.

3)      What do you think are the biggest challenges nowadays as a musician?
I think musicians around the world face the same set of challenges. The typical ones are instability, lack of opportunities, lack of support from parents, etc. Here in metropolitan Singapore I think it gets much harder – fans are now more willing to support music from other countries with booming music industries like Korea and Japan, but when it comes to music in Singapore, the support is usually lukewarm. In addition to the generally very low appreciation of music and the arts people have here in Singapore, people seem to be extremely critical of our own talents here. They are always more ready to criticise than to provide encouragement and constructive comments. Many would say getting disparaging remarks is part and parcel of being a musician or basically anyone out in the limelight, but I think there’s a threshold beyond which it can be really demoralising when you see even your own people not giving you the support you want.
4)      Is there anyone or anything that inspires you the most to continue pursuing your musical dream?
Dramatic portrayals of run-of-the-mill individuals turning into superstars overnight like the stories of Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, Lin Yu-chun – they make me watch and wonder if I could one day be like them. Watching top performers perform gives me an insight into what excellence really is. It’s always very enjoyable and inspiring to see singers redefine excellence time and time again in different ways on stage. At times I feel belittled like a small fry when faced with splendid performances like theirs, but I guess that’s what spurs me on to work hard to achieve such excellence one day.

5)      What made you decide to participate in ‘The Ultimate Voice 2013’?
The decision just came on a whim, to be honest. I came across news of the contest on Facebook while lazing around on my social networks and I thought it’d be great to challenge myself in a singing contest.
6)      What posed the most challenging part of ‘The Ultimate Voice 2013’?
I think the many rounds of the contest could be the most challenging part. The next round would come a week or two right after the current, and this meant reduced practice time for a workaholic like me… subsequently there was less time to ponder on selection of songs, which is a very important process that could make or break one’s chances of delivering a good performance. I think this posed a challenge to me on how I had to juggle my time between work and play. I guess it was pretty good training, out of the musical realm.
7)      Did you ever think that you would emerge as the ultimate winner of the competition and winning yourself your very own Single?
It’d be too humble of me to say that I didn’t ever think of that. The truth is yes, I’ve thought of it, dreamed of it, and imagined my voice playing on radio. And that’s only because it’s truly my dream and a great honour to be able to have my singing skills recognised in such a big contest, and eventually recognised and heard on national radio. Which amateur singer would not crave for such a golden opportunity? I do owe my winning to the people who supported me. These include my friends, my family, and even strangers, among whom one of them tapped my shoulder, gave me a thumbs-up after my performance, and told me, “I believe in you.”
8)      Has anyone criticised your musical dream? What would you like to say to them?
Back when I was competing in Campus Superstar 2009 (Season 3), a national campus singing contest televised on MediaCorp Channel U, I bore the brunt of hurtful and disparaging comments among the top contestants. While people had many nice things to say about the other top contestants, I was called the “ball rolling round and round on stage”, “sissy with too gentle a voice”, “worst and ugliest singer of all time”, etc. It took a while for me to get over these comments and tell myself that I was worth more than the words they said to me, more than my bullies, and more than who I think I was. But I didn’t hate them, and I still don’t. If I had the chance, I’d tell them that they too deserve to live a life full of a meaningful purpose, and that they don’t have to derive their confidence from someone else. I’d say to them, “Do what truly makes you happy at the end of the day, and do it for life.”
9)      After winning ‘The Ultimate Voice 2013’, what else are you doing in pursuit of realising your musical dream?
As usual I’m looking for more opportunities to get myself on stage as often as possible so that I can acquire as much experience as I can. This includes joining more singing contests and performing at gigs when given the chance. Whenever I have time I also make and upload covers online on YouTube and Tian Lai K Ge. It’s a way for me to spread my voice to people around the world, and to get constructive comments from others about my singing.

10)     What would you like to share with other music enthusiasts whom have yet to achieve their musical dreams?
Feel your own music. Sing/play it with all your heart. Aside from having more than enough practice, it’s also of paramount importance to find what you’re good at, build on your strengths, and find your own musical character. With so many precedents in the music industry currently, it may be easy and tempting to want to sing/play like your own idol. But a musician has to have his/her own style to be successful and recognised. It’ll take time to find that special route for you, but keep faith and press on. Lastly, always believe in yourself, and don’t let others bring you down. You’re the only one who can make yourself fail, but you’re also the only one who can make yourself become successful. 🙂

Share this post

Related Posts