EARLY last year she was just another undergrad who lived in a hostel and hung out at Jurong Point.
How things have changed.
Nowadays, Vincy Chen 24, is either performing on stage or gracing celebrity events in Hong Kong.
The Hong Konger, who lived in Singapore for 15 years until last year, is the hottest newcomer being groomed by the powerful Emperor Entertainment Group (EEG).
To think she was all set to find a 9-to-5 job and put her accountancy training to good use.
But fate intervened and a star was born.
Last year, Vincy joined Channel U’s Project Superstar reality TV contest for fun. Some may remember her as Chen Jiaxin, the girl with the Faye Wong-esque vocals.
After returning to Hong Kong last October, she emerged second in a major EEG singing competition and was offered a recording contract.
Recently, the waif-like singer returned to Singapore on a whirlwind visit to plug her debut Cantonese album, Intuition. It is available in stores here.
Speaking to The New Paper over the phone in between promotional events, she recalled fond memories of living here and her first teenage crush.
She claimed she never had a boyfriend here, despite living here most of her life. But there was one guy in Victoria Junior College for whom she carried a torch for almost a year.
‘I liked him but I didn’t have the courage to confess my feelings… I’d just steal glances at him from afar,’ she said with a laugh.
Even now, she won’t divulge any details that might identify him, except that he was part of an arts club and ‘he had leadership qualities that attracted me to him’.
Despite being single, Vincy was certainly not lonely during her stay in a hostel in Nanyang Technological University. She majored in accountancy there.
She said she used to go for dinner and movies at the nearby Jurong Point with friends, and she missed the Caesar salad at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Her biggest hit song to date is Intuition. It is the Cantonese remake of Freya Lin’s Living Alone, which Vincy used to sing to herself all the time.
She said her managers heard her sing it so often that they decided to release it as her first single.
It was so well received in Hong Kong that Vincy is now hailed by the media as the next Faye Wong or Joey Yung.
Does she feel pressured being compared to the two heavenly queens?
‘Actually, I feel more happy than pressured. They’re both my idols and it’s such an honour to have my name next to theirs. It’s more like a form of motivation to me.’