Just 10 years old in 2017, Alan Fong is one of the youngest licensed buskers taking on the streets of Singapore. It started as a hobby, singing and playing the guitar and now, he's often seen busking along Orchard Road, performing covers of English and Mandarin pop radio hits.
Esplande had a chat with this young singer to find out more about his craft and love for performing.
What do you enjoy about busking?
I like to perform in front of a crowd. I hope to bring happiness to others with my voice.
What do you think one needs to be a good busker?
You'll need to know how to play at least one instrument. At my first busking audition, I didn't play any instrument, I just sang. I was rejected and that was when I decided that I must learn how to play a musical instrument. I chose the guitar and now I really enjoy strumming and singing on the streets!
How do you prepare yourself before a performance?
A few days before busking, I learn new songs and update my song list so that I stay relevant and can appeal to the passing crowds. Right before each performance, I spend some time setting up my equipment and doing vocal warm-ups.
Will you continue to sing and perform even when you are older?
Yes, definitely. My dream is to become a singer.
What have you gained from busking?
Through busking, I've gained a lot of experience which I wouldn't have been able to learn at school. My experience as a busker has been an encouraging one too! Sometimes, I receive small notes and letters from random people in the audience, telling me not to give up and to continue doing what I'm doing.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other kids who would love to be a performer just like you?
Don’t be afraid to try! If you get nervous, imagine the audience as your favourite food. Or as a start, take part in some group performances first to build up your confidence before you fly solo!
Alan Fong: YouTube
This article first appeared on Esplanade's website. Republished with permission.