Malaysian-Chinese Gin Lee, 30, came to Hong Kong in 2011 from Malaysia and signed with BMA Investment Group as a singer. After ending her contract with BMA in 2014, Lee found herself lost without a label to support her.
“I called it my dark time,” Lee laughs. “But one day when I woke up, I told myself ‘This is enough’,” she says. “No more negativity, no more tears, no more fears. I’m just gonna be brave, courageous and keep fighting!”
Her perseverance paid off in 2016, when Universal Music decided to give Lee a shot. Last week, Lee released her seventh album, Live in the Moment.
Young Post caught up with Lee to learn more about her early life, the hardships she went through and her latest album.
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Lee was raised in a musical family – her father was a professional drummer and her mother was a professional singer.
“Since I was little, we’d always sing together, whether we were in the car or just at home,” she says.
“I started singing in front of people when I was three or four. My parents used to ask me to go on stage to sing for my relatives and I always loved performing in my kindergarten and primary school.”
In Primary Three, she took part in school singing competitions and won every year after that. “Then I started to move on to bigger and bigger contests,” Lee says.
In 2010, Lee was invited to compete in The Voice 2, a reality show-style singing competition broadcast by TVB in Hong Kong. Her performance stunned the local audience.
A year later, Lee decided to move to Hong Kong and signed with BMA. During her three years with BMA, she produced three albums. But in 2014, they did not renew her contract.
“In the first year of not having a label, I felt helpless and powerless. I wanted to go on but I didn’t know how to,” Lee says. She started to ask herself: “Do I belong in this industry?”
“I have learned that sometimes you just need a struggle to establish a stronger faith,” Lee adds.
“Should I do this, or should I not?”, Lee asked herself. “Despite all my doubts, I still wanted it so much!”, she says.
After being “in the dark” for a year, Lee signed with her current label Universal Music.
The recording process for Lee’s latest album was very different from the other albums she produced; Live in the Moment was recorded live with a band. “Live recording the album was a good way to express the message of living in the moment,” Lee says.
“The whole process was very challenging but at the same time a lot of fun.“I injured myself during one of the recordings, my producer got sick, and the drummer had tummy trouble. But we managed to pull through.”
“When we are eating and drinking, we cannot enjoy our meal because we are busy thinking about work.” Lee says.
“We always live in our past or future, we never live in the moment.
“Living in the moment keeps us focused so we don’t lose sight of our original goal.”
Although Lee is a strong believer in living in the moment, she still thinks and dreams about the future.
“I hope to travel around the world and sing in front of more people,” she says.
Edited by Nicole Moraleda