Bevlyn Khoo

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Bevlyn Khoo
Bevlyn Khoo.png
Born (1979-02-22) 22 February 1979 (age 39)
Singapore
ResidenceSingapore
NationalitySingaporean
Alma materHwa Chong Junior College
National University of Singapore
OccupationSinger-songwriter, musician
Years active1999–present
AgentA Little Dream (Director)
Storyteller Wave Productions (Singer-songwriter/Producer)
Musicians Guild (Singapore) (director)
Spouse(s)
Daniel Kerson (m. 2013)
Children1 son
Musical career
GenresJazz Pop
InstrumentsVocals, piano
LabelsIndependent
S2S (former)
Websitebevlynkhoo.com

Bevlyn Khoo (Chinese: 邱意淋; pinyin: qiū yì lín; born 22 February 1979) is a jazz pop singer songwriter based in Singapore.[1] Her ability to play multiple instruments as well as sing in 5 languages has generated international interest and acclaim for each of her 5 albums. Despite her commercial success, she is credited with being a pioneer within the Singaporean DIY and independent musician community, having founded two music-based companies in addition to her own artistic pursuits since 2002. After parting ways with Japanese record label S2S in 2011, Bevlyn has returned to her independent status and currently focusing efforts on The Storyteller Wave, the music production and consultancy company she founded in 2013.[2]

Professional background[edit]

Bevlyn Khoo 邱意淋 was born in Singapore on 22 February 1979 and was educated at Hwa Chong Junior College. She started singing part-time in 1999 at Singapore's Ark Cafe(木船)with singers Dennis Chew (周崇庆) and Kelvin Tan Wei Lian (陈伟联) while she was a student at the National University of Singapore. Upon graduating in 2001, she began working as a youth counselor at Rotary Family Service Centre while continuing to perform at the Ark Cafe, but found herself day-dreaming about songwriting and recording demos at work.

Amateur career[edit]

Ark Cafe and A Cappella Society of Singapore[edit]

It was through a trip accompanying a male-singer companion to an audition for the A Cappella Society of Singapore that Khoo was invited to sing for the society herself, as they were then looking specifically for female singers. This development served as the catalyst for Khoo to quit her day job with Rotary and pursue singing full-time. She stayed with the A Cappella Society of Singapore until 2006, during which she sang in two A Cappella groups: The Notations and Nanu.

Xinyaojie’03[edit]

During this time period, Khoo continued to make a name for herself as a singer and songwriter using other avenues, one of which being Singapore’s national music competitions like Mandarin Pop Songwriting competition Xinyaojie 《新谣节》 in 2003.[3] Though it didn't win, Bevlyn's song "Intersection"《交叉路口》 was one of 12 songs that made it to the finals of Xinyaojie'03. The song was later sold to award-winning Taiwanese singer Freya Lim (林凡), who released it on the soundtrack to Taiwanese TV drama "Tricks of the Trade" 《偷天换日》in 2005 under Linfair Records.[4]

Demo Recordings[edit]

Another avenue Bevlyn explored in the name of creative fulfilment was recording demos for regional songwriters. One of these demos, "Bottomless Pit"《无底洞》, was sold to Singapore Singer Tanya Chua (蔡建雅), who recorded it and released it on her album Stranger 《陌生人》in 2003. "Bottomless Pit"《无底洞》 was also published on a compilation of original demos titled True Colors 《爱原色》 that was released by HIM in 2003.[5]

Television Theme Songs[edit]

Bevlyn recorded the theme songs to two Media Corp hit TV series: “Keep Warm”《保温》 for Little Nynoya 《小娘惹》in 2008 and "Cinderella"《灰姑娘》for An Enchanted Life (钻石情缘) in 2006.[6] In February 2015, two of her songs from her album 《我认识过的人》"The People I've Known", 《别太寂寞》and 《灵魂伙伴》were licensed for the opening and closing theme songs of Mediacorp Channel U's serial drama 《分手快乐》(Let It Go).

14 April 2015 was the debut of Starhub's first local serial drama Jump Class 《跳班》, which featured Bevlyn's compositions for the opening and closing theme songs 《跳》and 《天天是好天》respectively. She also wrote and produced all the songs in episode 6, in which most of the lead actors sang for their characters.

Albums[edit]

Lonely Afternoon (EP)[edit]

Bevlyn's first record as a solo artist was Lonely Afternoon, an EP consisting of 5 originals and one gypsy jazz cover of Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" that was released in February 2008. The EP's diverse genres and languages led World Music Magazine to praise Bevlyn's versatility as a musician.[7] Title track "Lonely Afternoon" showcased Bevlyn's ability to transition between singing in multiple languages within one song, as she sings the verses in Mandarin and choruses in English. Moshin Magazine reviewed a live performance of the song, saying "Articulating the verses with fluent Mandarin, Bevlyn easily transitioned into perfectly enunciated English. Her voice constantly stirred emotion, dripping with a honey-like quality and filling the Rainbow Canopy with a powerful resonance."[8]

The EP was a hit with fans and critics, winning the Best Independent Album at the 2009 Singapore Entertainment Awards.[9] Motivated by Lonely Afternoon's success, Khoo submitted the EP to Japanese record label S2S. Though initially rejected by the label, Khoo was signed to S2S in 2008[10] after label founder, the late Ken Suzuki, heard the album.

S2S years[edit]

Khoo was signed to the Japanese independent record label S2S from November 2008 – 2011, a time period in which she released 3 albums.

You Are My Angel (LP)[edit]

You Are My Angel is a 10 track LP and the first record Khoo released under S2S on 11 April 2009 in Singapore and in Japan on 12 August 2009.[11] It is significant also for being the first time S2S, a Japanese record label, ventured into Chinese music as 6 of the songs on the album were covers of classic Chinese songs.[12] Several well established producers, arrangers, and session artists played a part in the album's creation, including producers Goh Kheng Long and Kenn C, and arranger/ guitar players Roger Wang of 2VIG and Jamie Wilson. GogoYoko says of You Are My Angel, "The most interesting thing about this album is the charm and spirit that Bevlyn manages to inject into long-standing and endlessly covered songs. She makes them entirely her own." Specifically regarding her voice, Gogoyoko says "(Bevlyn's) seductive, sensuous voice smoothly graces the jazz harmonies."[13]

Bistro Affair (LP)[edit]

Bevlyn's second album release under S2S, 2010s Bistro Affair (released under the title Weekend Journey in Japan on 16 March 2011[14]) is a 14 track LP composed entirely of French songs. Khoo learned French for 5 years before making the record, and her efforts paid off as Bistro Affair charted at the top of popular music charts in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.[15] This feat aside, Bistro Affair is also the only album ever recorded by a Singaporean singing French.[16]

Feel About You (LP)[edit]

The final album Bevyln Khoo released while signed to S2S was 2011’s Feel About You. This record is unique in the sense that it featured a mix of original songs (8) and covers (6) of well known Mandarin songs like Singapore's award-winning lyricist Xiaohan’s (小寒) “Together Forever”《我们要一直这么要好》and Western songs like Frankie Valli’s "My Eyes Adored You" and Duran Duran’s "Ordinary World". The album also features "Keep Warm" 《保温》, the sub-theme song Bevlyn recorded for Media Corp's popular television series Little Nyonya《小娘惹》prior to her signing with S2S.

Featuring songs sung in English and Mandarin, Feel About You received a mixed critical response. Asia One said of the record, "It's an A for effort, but some tracks, such as ukulele-driven Barbie Song, draw attention to, rather than disguise, pitch and diction problems."[17] However, Power of Pop thought differently, saying, "Songs like 'A Love Song', 'The Goodbye Waltz', 'Feel About You', 'Call It A Day' and 'Barbie Song' all prove that there's more to Bevlyn than a pretty face and silky voice." The review goes on to highlight tracks "Call It A Day" and "The Goodbye Waltz" for their "strong melodies and dynamic arrangements."[18]

S2S Split[edit]

After her three-album contract with S2S was up, Bevlyn parted ways with the label amicably in 2012. In an interview with The Straits Times, Khoo cited creative differences as the reason for the separation, saying "I didn't want to end up with people thinking I sing a lot of covers and that's it. After all, I started out as an indie singer who writes original songs." In the same interview, Khoo states that she wanted to "prove she was capable of more than just sad love songs."[19]

The People I've Known 《我认识过的人》(LP)[edit]

Khoo re-emerged on the independent scene with 2013's concept album, The People I've Known 《我认识过的人》. Without S2S funding the album's production, Khoo turned to Pledge Music for help generating the resources necessary to produce the record, ultimately raising $5k USD from fans[20] (15% of the money received after the $5k goal was reached went to the charity Food From the Heart)[21] and further funding the project with $20k SGD of her own money.[22]

In an interview with Music Weekly, Bevlyn explained the album's concept: “I realised that the majority of my songs are usually inspired by the people I know in my life, as opposed to ‘fiction-writing’. The songs were inspired by my friends who practically grew up together with me (“Touch Of An Angel”), songwriting friends (“The Letter That Never Came”《来信》), ex-relationships, crushes, and… my husband (“Soulmate” 《灵魂伙伴》)!” [23]

The People I've Known received generally positive reviews from several critics. Today Online's Christopher Toh gave the record a 3.5 / 5 rating, and said "(Khoo's) emotive vocal delivery works wonderfully on ballads such as The Letter That Never Came."[24] Power of Pop observed that Khoo was back in her element as an indie songwriter, and said "(The People I've Known) demonstrates Bevlyn's astute understanding of the soft rock dynamics of the Seventies (which forms the core of Mando-pop). Crucially, Bevlyn is much more than a pretty face and pleasing voice – she is a serious songwriter in her own right!"[25] Title track "The People I've Known" was nominated for Best Local Lyrics at the 2013 Singapore Hits Awards (新加坡金曲奖).

At the time The People I've Known was recorded, Khoo considered it her final album according to an interview with Today Online. However, she also conceded that she will miss the challenge, saying "But I know that I will miss the whole thing: Producing, recording, sharing of my originals, the whole indie marketing thing, and the feeling of going against all odds as an indie artist.”[26]

Beautiful Purpose (Single)[edit]

Bevlyn wrote and performed the 2013 Miss World Singapore theme song, "Beautiful Purpose."[27]

Awards[edit]

Year Subject Organization Award Result
2009 Lonely Afternoon EP Singapore Entertainment Awards Best Independent Album Won[28]
2013 The People I've Known Singapore Hits Best Local Lyrics Nominated[29]
2013 Bevlyn Khoo Yahoo! Singapore Yahoo! Singapore 9 – Entertainment Nominated[30]

Discography[edit]

Title Format Label Release Date
Lonely Afternoon EP Independent 7 February 2008
You Are My Angel LP S2S 11 April 2009
Bistro Affair LP S2S August 2010
Feel About You LP S2S 29 July 2011
The People I've Known LP Independent 16 April 2013
Beautiful Purpose Single Independent 26 July 2013
Piano Spa 7 LP Warner Music Singapore 12 December 2014

TV[edit]

Programme Name Channel Episode(s) Release Date
我的歌声里 (Songs of Who We Are) Mediacorp Channel U 8 11 March 2014
跳班 (Jump Class) Starhub E-City 都会台 1 to 10 14 April 2015

Performances[edit]

Bevlyn performed publicly for the first time as an independent artist in August 2008 at the NUS UCC Theater Hall[31] in support of EP Lonely Afternoon. Since then, she has been invited to perform at a number of notable venues, events, and festivals. In 2009, Khoo was invited to perform for several countries' delegates, including Hillary Clinton, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.[32] In March 2012, Bevlyn represented Singapore in Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival.[33] She was also a featured performing artist at the Spring Wave Singapore 《春浪新加坡》in May 2013.[34] In August 2014, Bevlyn was also invited to represent Singapore in "The Harmony of Chimes" in Bangkok, a concert put up by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra for the Asean Economic Community (AEC).[35]

Entrepreneurial Endeavors[edit]

A Little Dream[edit]

In 2002, Khoo and friends founded A Little Dream, an agency responsible for booking musical artists at events like weddings. Still fronted by Khoo in 2014, the agency has booked thousands of events and currently has upwards of 50 performers.[36]

The Storyteller Wave[edit]

The Storyteller Wave is a music production company set up by Bevlyn in 2013. It provides music production services for TV music, music albums and wedding songs.

Bevlyn's latest project was Jump Class (跳班), a comic-series turned serial drama by renown comic author Johnny Lau. Other than helming the role of the music producer for the series, she also composed the theme songs 《跳》and 《天天是好天》and all the musical songs in episode 6.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ Bevlyn, Khoo. "About Us". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  3. ^ Chua, Tanya. "Stranger". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Bevlyn Khoo". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  5. ^ Chua, Tanya. "Stranger". HIM. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  6. ^ Toh, Christopher. "Music Review – The People I've Known". Retrieved 12 January 2014.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Ann. "Bevlyn Khoo and her Indie Vie En Rose". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  8. ^ San, Clarence (3 July 2012). "The Best of Bevlyn Khoo". Moshin Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Lonely Afternoon – Best Independent Album". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Bevlyn Khoo". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  11. ^ Khoo, Bevlyn. "You Are My Angel". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  12. ^ "You Are My Angel – Album Info". Gogoyoko. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  13. ^ "You Are My Angel – Album Info". Gogoyoko. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Bistro Affair". Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  15. ^ "About Bevlyn Khoo". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Bevlyn Khoo Synopsis".
  17. ^ "CD Review: Bevlyn Khoo – Feel About You". AsiaOne. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  18. ^ Matthews, Kevin. "BEVLYN Feel About You (S2S Music)". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  19. ^ Chan, Boon (26 June 2013). "Bevlyn Khoo sings to her own tune". The Straits Times. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  20. ^ 罗, 瑱玲. "上网筹集发片资金 邱意淋感动民众支持". MyPaper. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Bevlyn's New Album (Originals 2.0)!". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  22. ^ Chan, Boon (26 June 2013). "Bevlyn Khoo sings to her own tune". The Straits Times. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  23. ^ Wu, Stacey. "The People She Has Known – An Interview With Bevllyn Khoo". MusicWeekly. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  24. ^ Toh, Christopher. "Music Review – The People I've Known". Retrieved 12 January 2014.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Matthews, Kevin. "BEVLYN KHOO – THE PEOPLE I'VE KNOWN [REVIEW]". Power of Pop. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  26. ^ Matthews, Kevin (10 July 2013). "Back to Basics". Today Online. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  27. ^ Khoo, Bevlyn. "People I've Known". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Lonely Afternoon – Best Independent Album". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  29. ^ Ann. "Bevlyn Khoo and her Indie Vie En Rose". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Bevlyn Khoo". Singapore 9. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Replugged Music Features Bevlyn Khoo: You Are My Angel". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  32. ^ "About Bevlyn Khoo". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  33. ^ "Hong Kong Asian Pop Music Festival 2013". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  34. ^ 李, 妙音. "e乐+春浪 5000观众high爆8小时". 联合晚报. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  35. ^ "The Harmony of Chimes". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  36. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 9 January 2014.