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Break from music revives Kit Chan
KIT Chan may have sung her signature tune Home countless times but she still takes the song's lyrics to heart every time. The local songbird says Singapore will always remain her base, despite her being a household name in the region and despite lucrative opportunities to transplant herself overseas in bigger markets such as Taiwan and China which JJ Lin, Stefanie Sun and Tanya Chua have done.
"Unless it's a very special situation, I like to be home because I like my creature comforts," says the 43-year-old, whose current Spellbound tour will end with a homecoming show in September.
She kicked things off in Singapore last June with an intimate show at The Star Theatre but the finale is set to be a bigger and grander spectacle held at the Indoor Stadium.
"The shows have been evolving and in each city, I've been tweaking the songs - at least a third of (the setlist) will be different (at the upcoming gig)," shares Chan.
The Spellbound tour has also made stops in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou in the past year.
The newer songs are likely to come from Edge of Paradise, Chan's first album of original material in 12 years, released just last week.
The record is one she is extremely proud of because as its executive producer, she had creative control over it.
That luxury was something she didn't have earlier in her career when things moved so fast and there were others making decisions for her. As a result, she did not like some of the songs she previously recorded.
"This time I was part of the pre-production and that made all the difference - it was fun because you are talking to the songwriters and producers," she notes.
Chan took a break from music after the release of her 2004 album East Toward Saturn and says the hiatus became a major turning point in her life and has made her a more confident person.
She attributes most of that to the 19-month stint she did with pubic relations consultancy firm Hill+Knowlton.
"Holding my first proper job and going into the corporate world at the ripe old age of 35 was life-changing, liberating, terrifying - there are a lot of superlatives I could use - but all that contributed to who I am as an artiste today and I can't tell you how grateful I am for that period in my life," Chan shares.
She adds that becoming a singer at a young age and achieving success right off the bat with her debut album Heartache (1994) have been both a blessing and a curse. Chan arguably trailblazed the way for the likes of Sun, Lin and Chua when she put Singapore on the regional music map by cracking Taiwan and Hong Kong.
"It took away all the struggles - there was nothing to worry about or fight for - and you become very protected living in this ivory tower," she explains.
"I felt a disconnect from the world at large ... while I was very confident on stage, I was aware I didn't know much outside (of performing) so that kind of brewed and brewed until I knew I had to do something about it."
Chan also found a whole new audience in China last year when she participated in the reality show I Am A Singer. Although she was voted out early on, her powerhouse performances left the audience and even her fellow contestants - who are mostly mainland household names - gobsmacked.
Edge of Paradise is incidentally released by newly-formed Chinese record company Taihe Music Group and Chan became the first act it signed on.
She admits that even though she has been dabbling in various things including theatre and films before returning to record the new album, she knew there was a point that she would make a comeback to singing.
"It was always there - all I wanted was to get out there and get my hands dirty learning new skills and when I'm ready, I will go back to it (because) I never wanted to give it up per se," Chan says.
She has no immediate plans for the future and adds she isn't sad the well-received Spellbound tour is drawing to an end soon.
"I don't really hold on to anything: I'm perfectly happy for a good thing to end so the next good thing can come along," she states. "I'm optimistic like that."
- Kit Chan - Spellbound Homecoming Concert 2016 takes place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sept 10 at 8pm.Tickets from S$78 - S$188 are on sale now at www.sportshubtix.sg, Singapore Indoor Stadium box office and all Singpost outlets islandwide