23 January 2003
IS newbie singer Lu Rui En an ‘all natural’ girl as her record company touts her to be?
Well, she appeared to be – at first.
Dressed in casual gear for her press conference to launch her debut album, the Singaporean wore minimal makeup and looked like any trendy youngster plucked off the street.
‘This is how I usually dress. I like comfy and baggy clothes,’ she said.
Grimacing, the 21-year-old added: ‘I can never ever have a sexy image because I don’t like to wear tight clothing. I will not be able to tahan (Malay for take it)!’
But when it came to fielding media queries, being ‘natural’ with her responses was a big no-go for Rui En.
Or maybe it was her manager.
At the barest hint of anything controversial, she would cut in and try to answer on Rui En’s behalf.
Like when we asked Rui En if she felt any frustration while in Taiwan because of her limited Mandarin.
Before Rui En could reply, her manager said rather defensively: ‘She wasn’t like, frustrated. It was more awkward than anything.’
Or when we asked how it was like for Rui En to work with Taiwanese singer Jay Chou (he wrote her a song and she appeared in his music video).
‘Oh, we are just like siblings,’ said Rui En, glancing at her manager, and trying to explain.
‘I see him only as a brother and we like to kid around,’ she added, as her manager nodded.
An attempt to find out more about Rui En’s upcoming Channel 5 drama, Chemistry, was also nipped in the bud by the ever-so-protective minder.
In Chemistry, Rui En is paired up with newcomer Howard Cheung, and their characters are supposed to fall in love after some initial misunderstandings.
We tried to ask if there were any awkward scenes.
And, expectedly, the manager decided to reply on her behalf: ‘Why don’t you go and watch the show?’
When Rui En admitted that she did have a kissing scene, her manager cut in with: ‘It was just a resuscitation scene!’
But Rui En corrected her: ‘Yes, there was a resuscitation scene, but there was also a kissing scene.
‘The resuscitation scene was awkward because we really had to kiss, and we didn’t do it very naturally because we were nervous.’
It was probably her most ‘natural’ comment throughout the interview.
It would be nice to talk to Rui En again – that is, if she can speak for herself.
Rui En’s self-titled album is out in stores now.
Source: The New Paper
22 January 2003
HOMEGROWN R&B newcomer Lu Rui En wants to set the record straight.
If her slurry singing sounds suspiciously like that of labelmate Jay Chou, it’s not a case of her being a copycat.
‘It sounds this way because I’m more accustomed to speaking in English,’ Lu, a 21-year-old business school undergraduate at NTU, said in Mandarin during a press conference and mini-showcase at Embassy club yesterday.
‘My Mandarin was unbelievably lan before I was discovered,’ says the former Raffles Junior College student, using the Mandarin colloquialism for ‘atrocious’.
Talent-spotted by Hype Records in 2001 after appearing in a SingTel TV commercial, she went on to do a cameo appearance in Channel 8 drama serial No Problem, last year.
But it was all because of Chou’s concert here in February last year that Lu got her big break.
Mr R.J. Yang, a Taiwanese director from the record label Alpha, was in Hype’s office when he chanced upon her demo tape. He heard it and was impressed.
A month later, she was signed up.
Soon, she was appearing alongside Chou for a mobile phone ad in Taiwan and, more recently, as a love interest in his music video for Secret Code.
He also penned the track White Feather for her debut CD, Rui En Vol.01 Album, which was released last month.
It has sold 50,000 copies in Taiwan and 3,000 here so far.
She performed White Feather during Chou’s sold-out shows as a guest earlier this month at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Though she thanks Chou for opening doors for her, she said that being associated with the Taiwanese R&B superstar puts her under ‘tremendous pressure’.
Some of Chou’s fanatical fans in Taiwan had told her to ‘lay off’ their idol.
More at ease now, she will be playing an uncouth and boyish radio DJ-love counsellor in the upcoming Channel 5 urban romance drama, Chemistry.
Of her acting role, a source close to her said yesterday: ‘The part fits her because Lu’s like that – a bit of a tomboy with no pretence. What you see is what you get.’
Rui ∑n vol. 01 Album is out in the stores.
Source: The Straits Times
20 January 2003
Showtime & Lifestyle
How does a newbie make a bang in Taiwan?
Try snuggling up to a popular teenybopper. Or copying one.
Failing that, break up everyone’s favourite screen couple.
It’s not a path to popularity, though.
Singaporean artistes Celest Chong, Rui En and Michelle Saram were swamped with hate mail when they ventured into Taiwan.
But, guess what? They picked up thousands of fans, too.
CHANG MAY CHOON reports
Stay away from Jay
ChouSinger Rui En, better known as the SingTel girl who sprinted across Shenton Way in the TV commercial, is also in Taipei.
She was issued a fierce warning by fanatical fans of R&B prince Jay Chou to ‘stay away from Jay, or else …’.
The singing newbie first incurred their wrath when she cosied up to Jay in his music video, fuelling speculations that they are an item.
They have signed up with the same record label, Alfa Music, in Taiwan.
Jay’s jealous fans immediately bombarded Rui En’s online message board with nasty notes like ‘You better watch your step’.
In her defence, the 22-year-old business undergrad from Nanyang Technological University clarified that she and Jay are ‘like brother and sister’.
She said: ‘Actually Jay treats me like a sister. There’s no chemistry between us.’
Now that the misunderstanding has been cleared up, many fans of Jay are keen to support Rui En as well, said Mr Tan, who is her manager as well.
He told The New Paper: ‘Many fans got to know Rui En through Jay, which is good because he has such a big fan base.
‘Initially, they scolded her because they thought she’s Jay girlfriend. But now they acknowledge that she’s a good singer.’
He added that nearly 40,000 copies of her debut album have flown off the shelves in Taiwan since December.
This is ‘very encouraging for a newcomer’, he added.
Source: The New Paper
Categorised in Rui ∑n vol. 01.
10 January 2003
Lu Rui En
YES, she’s that girl from the SingTel commercial and in Jay Chou’s MTV.
But does she sound as good as she looks?
You bet – raw on the vocals, but a good attempt for a first album consisting of a R&B tempo-ridden repertoire.
– Desmond Ng
Source: The New Paper