Baby-faced guitar man

Baby-faced guitar man

Budding singer Calvert Fu’s dream of becoming a Canto-pop star is coming true – thanks to a summer internship

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Calvert Fu Cover_L
Photo: Thomas Yau/SCMP
Budding singer Calvert Fu Ka-tsun's ordinariness can serve as inspiration for anyone who dreams of becoming a performer.

The bespectacled, baby-faced student from Baptist University's College of International Education won June's Best Summer Internship contest, run by Commercial Radio Hong Kong's Holy Tricky show.

The victory has set the 20-year-old on the surprise road to pop stardom. "Before I applied, I thought, 'This sounds perfect - a reasonable salary for a two-month period'," he says. "But I really had no idea what I'd be doing, as it wasn't explained in the job description."

The short-term internship, with a total pay of HK$38,888, turned out to be the best thing that's happened in Fu's life.

He performed a song at his "job interview" - read: audition - and was hired.

"Only after I'd been hired did I find out it was an internship to turn an aspiring teenage performer into a singer; to give them the chance to record singles and make music videos," says Fu, whose prize was a two-month contract with Sun Entertainment Culture Limited.

Many people might have let the possibility of overnight fame go to their heads as soon as they heard the good news, but Fu says he is determined to treat every moment as a wonderful learning opportunity. Along with opportunities come changes, and one big change for him has been discovering how to feel comfortable talking about himself to others.

"I met a lot of people and gave loads of interviews," says Fu, who describes himself as a "quiet" person. "But as an interviewee, you need to give details so people know more about you."

Fu has competed in amateur singing contests in the past, and tried different musical genres, including Khali Fong's pop jazz and rock. Before his audition, he formed an a cappella - voice only - group, called Senza.

Now, thanks to many inspiring comments from people in the music industry, he says he wants to perform songs with a "relaxing" style.

Like the message in the lyrics of his debut single, Life Is Not a Job, which peaked at number two on Commercial Radio's Canto-pop chart, he wants young people to stop stressing about life. The song, which boasts a chillaxing groove, urges youngsters to follow their dreams instead of becoming slaves to earning money.

"I chose this musical style because I don't have that much life experience - of ups and downs and big romantic moments," Fu says. "My producer thought a more groovy, upbeat style would suit me better."

However, Fu tries out other styles, too. His second single, the heartfelt ballad I Choose to Give Up, shows his diversity.

"The song is about breaking up with a girl, who then finds a better person than you," Fu says. "Deep down, you're still in love with her, but you need to withhold those feelings and wish her happiness," says the singer, who admits he's never had such an experience.

Fu says having a vivid imagination helped him when recording the song.

"My producer asked me to imagine that my girlfriend has suddenly turned into a zombie, and I need to put her out of her misery by shooting her in the head," he jokes.

"He said that was the feeling I was trying to capture."

His outstanding performance during his internship earned him a further six-month contract with the record label. At the same time, he's continuing his associate degree in Chinese and performing with Senza, too.

Fu says there is nothing more assuring than having his efforts recognised by his growing number of fans.

"When I first started, people were saying, 'Go on a diet first!' and 'Can he really sing well?'" Yet, over time, Fu has proved his worth. "After people saw my YouTube videos, positive comments began to emerge," he says with a smile. "They told me that they loved my songs - and that I should keep going."



You might also like:

- Being a K-pop star isn't for everyone such as 15-year-old Shimali de Silva who had a chance when she was a contestant in the reality talent show K-pop Star Hunt

- Singer and former one half of Canto-folk duo at17 Ellen Joyce Loo confesses it took a while before she felt at home as a soloist

- Whether it's deciding to move to Hong Kong from Canada, or joining the local showbiz, Canto-pop singer Jason Chan goes by one motto - "make no plans"

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