The New Paper
Jan 15, 2016
As a long-time artist, local musician Tanya Chua was deeply offended by a fan who complained about her new album, Aphasia.
"This person sent me a direct message on Facebook, saying he would no longer support me because of the lack of freebies with my new album," an angry Chua told The New Paper.
She was in town yesterday for a press conference for Aphasia at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel.
"(Some people) think your job is to give them free music, free gifts and free everything," she said. "That means my music has no value in their eyes."
Chua, 40, admitted the incident was one of those rare times where an online message "really hit (her) in the heart".
She shared the incident and her response publicly with her fans, but left out the poster's name.
The Facebook post was widely circulated and made headlines in Taiwan, where she has been based for the last nine years.
"These days, people hide behind computer screens to say whatever they want. It's freedom of speech, but it's also cultivating this sense that people can do whatever they want from behind a screen," said Chua.
"Say it to my face," she added.
The Singapore-born and raised singer began her music career in 1997 and has since found success in the Mandopop industry.
She is the only Singaporean to have won Best Mandarin Female Artiste at the Golden Melody Awards three times. She also received the Business China Young Achiever Award last year.
Aphasia, which was officially released on Nov 13 last year, is Chua's 10th Mandarin album. The electronica offering is a change of direction from her usual pop and rock ballads.
The album's title, which refers to a speech disorder caused by damage to the brain, echoes Chua's message of how humans have lost the ability to communicate because of technology.
"I'm totally guilty of that myself," she said.
"I used to stay up and play with my phone for hours when I couldn't get to sleep. Sometimes I'd so drawn into games, I'd look up and think, 'Where am I?' and feel like I couldn't identify words any more."
Since then, Chua has resolved to spending less time online. She enjoys reading and baking, and is planning to take a three-month baking course in Paris later this year.
Chua feels "people know enough" about her because she posts regularly on Facebook and Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo.
But while she happily shares snaps of her outfits and behind-the-scenes peeks of her recordings, she insists on keeping some details private.
"One thing you'll never see me post is a picture of me in a bikini... And it's obvious why! Some things are better left unexposed."