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18 April 2003 | 01:07 am

A new singer has emerged from the sunny shores of Singapore, and her label HYPE Records has wasted no time dubbing her with the tagline of ‘Hai Pa Ping Fan De Nu Sheng’ (the girl who fears being ordinary).

“I’m a bit embarrassed by that, it sounds arrogant,” says Rui En laughing, “I hope to express to people who listen to my songs, that I have ideas and viewpoints of my own and that they can understand them you know, everyone wants to be special and be their own individual,” says the 22-year-old.

Just what distinguishes the 1.69m tall Aquarian, who dropped her surname Lu and picked up a special ‘S’ sign for branding sake?

Is it the fact that 1 of the hottest names in Chinese pop, Jay Chou, writes songs for this newcomer? Or the fact that she shops largely on the Internet in a conscious effort to own things not easily found in local stores?

Or maybe her poor grasp of Mandarin, which resulted in a funny incident in Taiwan last month when she was there for album promotions. She kept refusing to order food because the menu were not written in the simplified Chinese script taught in Singapore schools.

Besides how many Mandarin pop singers do you know are avid fans of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth and dig books like The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy?

These less than hip reading materials are what occupy her time apart from her shopping, surfing the Internet, sleeping and watching TV- if she manages to find any time at all.

“I guess in terms of lifestyle [I have] changed dramatically, I don’t have time and have no social life, it’s zero,” laments Rui En.

Call back

Her rise to fame though, was pretty run-of-the-mill. Like a plethora of local models-turned-singers like Shirley Yee, Fann Wong and Celest Chong, Rui En was picked from obscurity to star in the memorable Singtel ‘Hi!Card’ commercial in 2001. In it, she ran like the wind to top up her Hi!Card just to receive a call from a guy she’d given her number to the previous night.

From that promising debut, she landed commercials for MPH’s online bookstore and did some photo shoots for magazines. She got her first celeb break when she acted in a MediaCorp Channel 8 drama serial called No Problem opposite Chen Han Wei, after an audition at HYPE Records.

HYPE Records saw Rui Sn’s X-factor in the Singtel commercial, “[it was] her confidence and energy level that captured our attention, but her unique vocals took us by surprise during our face-to-face audition,” said Yvonne Lim, 27, Promotions Manager at HYPE Records. “These days an artiste has to be multi-talented and Rui Sn fits our requirements to a T.”

School blues

Things are a lot less peachy in her day job as a 3rd Year Banking undergraduate in Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

“No, I don’t like what I’m [studying] now, it was a mistake. If you give me a choice now, I would choose to do Arts in NUS (National University of Singapore), because I like writing, reading and especially English Literature. At that time I did pretty well for my ‘A’ levels, and I thought of going into something more prestigious and I realised after a while that I really didn’t like Math, so now I’m regretting it.”

“The fact is if I quit now I would have wasted 2 whole years, that’s quite kek sim (agonising),” she says. Rui Sn had considered quitting, but decided to be practical instead, heeding friends’ advice to avoid regretting her rashness later. “What to do, pia lor (just grit my teeth and strive harder).”

She’ll be the first to admit that balancing work and school is easier said than done. “I tell you honestly I don’t cope (laughing), I try my best…because once you become an artiste, you think it’s so fun and you go get your pictures taken, you perform in front of a lot of people, and after that you go back home and you realise that you’ve got homework to do.”

After a tough initial period of adjustment, “now it just takes a lot of determination and will power, I basically sit down and force myself to do homework.”

Family ties

Even though the self-confessed tomboy grew up with an independent streak, playing with boys, watching wrestling and riding bicycles, as an only child, her parents were understandably apprehensive about her entry to showbiz. “My dad is very liberal, he gives me a lot of freedom but my mom was a little bit worried about me being cheated by all these terrible men, now she’s pretty okay and [my parents] are pretty proud of me.”

“I have always known I like performing [previously] I was in this Singaporean mindset, where I have to graduate and get a proper job, get married and have 5,000 kids, [then] this chance came along and I realised I really want to perform.”

“In Alfa Music, a very small music company in Taiwan, there are very few artistes, so Jay [Chou] and Landy [Wen] really took care of me…especially Landy…[who was] really cool, and I hung out with her. Jay was really nice [too], he helped me a lot and gave me a lot of [criticism and praise]. It’s like having a big brother and sister, it’s really cool for me, because I’m an only child”

The long haul

“In Alfa Music, a very small music company in Taiwan, there are very few artistes, so Jay [Chou] and Landy [Wen] really took care of me…especially Landy…[who was] really cool, and I hung out with her. Jay was really nice [too], he helped me a lot and gave me a lot of [criticism and praise]. It’s like having a big brother and sister, it’s really cool for me, because I’m an only child”

The long haul

She doesn’t have to have the mind of a banker to know it’s a competitive market out there. “It’s really tough, but I think [the path I’m taking] is worth it, I can’t see myself doing anything else at all. I think I would die of boredom.”

Heavy efforts were certainly invested in Rui Sn’s debut album, RuiSn vol.01 album which was released in January here. Singer/songwriter Jay Chou, famed lyrist Fang Wen Shan and composer Lin Mai Ke were roped in to contribute to her album too. She has gone to Hong Kong last December for a brief appearance and toured Taiwan after that, with Landy and Jay giving her pointers along the way.

Her promotional activities include attending countdown shows, appearing on TV programs and conducting radio interviews throughout Taiwan. Though she has yet to achieve success similar to Kit Chan and Stefanie Sun, she is slowly gaining popularity judging from the fans that queue up as early as 6am to attend her autograph sessions. It’s no wonder she’s bound by a 10-year contract with HYPE Records.

“I trust Hype [Records] a lot they explained to me their initial capital outlay is a lot and it takes that long to establish yourself and make sure you are making money for the company I figured it benefits us both ways because I’m really serious about my career. I really want to have a career in showbiz and if they really want me for 10 years to push me, they get their money and I get my career advancement. It doesn’t really scare me because I know I’m being serious about being a singer and actress.”

So far, she has completed a MediaCorp TV Channel 5 English comedy/fantasy/drama serial called Chemistry where she stars as someone who is bitter and jaded about love initially. But after going through a whole series of events, her character Rachel realises that she should give love a chance. “All the characters were written for us, so our characters were very much like what we are [in real life]. Rachel is more sharp, mean and more sarcastic then I am, [but] I’m like her in a lot of [other] ways.” The show is slated to air next month.

For now, however, acting has taken a backseat and it’s just album promotions in Singapore, which is her last stop. She will have to concentrate on her studies soon after. A 2nd yet untitled album is underway which will see her composing lyrics for a few songs. There is no official word on the date of release yet.

Her parting advice is simple, “Don’t fake anything and just be yourself, have your own style.”

If she’s as enduring as she is insistent about being anything but ordinary, we’ll be hearing of her for a long time to come…

RuiSn vol.01 album is available in stores.

Source: Urbanwire

Categorised in Chemistry, No Problem 考试家族, Rui ∑n vol. 01, UrbanWire.

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15 March 2003 | 08:00 pm

Categorised in Chemistry.

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27 June 2002 | 05:09 pm

1. 人物 People Page 52

卢瑞恩 起跑冲刺 lu ruien

无心插柳的一支新电信广告让她闯进了娱乐圈。那个在广告片中一股劲儿往提款机奔跑的长发女生,不只让观众留下印象,更被海峡唱片的经纪公司艺人网络相中,成为旗下力捧新人。

拍完第8波道的《考试家族》,她紧接在第5波道的最新爱情喜剧“Chemistry”里挑大梁。下半年,即将推出个人专辑,向台湾歌坛全速进攻!

舞台比办公室有趣

21岁的卢瑞恩是南洋理工大学商学院的二年级学生,虽然目前是学校假期,但周日必须到一家电脑公司实习,所以专访特别迁就在周末进行。提早体验上班族生活让她大皱眉头。“这次实习确定了我的选择(进入娱乐圈)是对的,我受不了朝九晚五的工作,闷到快发疯,哈!在办公室有种被困的感觉,所以一上班就在countdown下班时间。”

迫不急待下班还有另一原因,晚上经纪公司为她安排的舞蹈课程,是她每天最期待的一大娱乐。“我非常喜欢跳舞,一跳舞就觉得开心又轻松,所以练舞对我来说是一种享受。”

要求念小学时,小瑞恩被芭蕾舞优美的舞姿吸引,要求妈妈让她学了4年的芭蕾舞。中学时代参加合唱团,又让她发现了对歌唱的兴趣。别以为瑞恩即将发行的新专辑里,会文静、规矩地唱着抒情歌曲,她想把更接近自己开朗个性的动感一面,真实地反映在作品中。“新专辑还在收歌当中,多数是比较有节奏的R&B或电子音乐,因为我觉得唱快歌比较舒服自在。”

一只困不住地飞鸟,正如她17岁往澳洲旅行时,随性于腰际刺上的纹身图案。

谈情比说华语容易

身高169公分的瑞恩属于清新耐看型,第一次演戏难得没有新人的生涩,尤其与陈汉玮演起情侣来自然温馨。“要和陌生人演情侣,起初当然尴尬,还好陈汉玮很会带新人入戏,又让人感觉舒服,所以我蛮快就适应了。”

瑞恩最担心自己的华语不达标准,使演出效果大打折扣。初时以为她求好心切,虽说在家中与父母以英语交谈,但在电视上却听不出半点洋腔洋调。不过,当她不时说溜嘴,出现把“独生女”说成“单生女”之类的用词不当时,摄影棚也充满了她自嘲的爽朗笑声。

“长这么大第一次被逼天天说华语,我朋友看了预告片都打电话来骂我,为什么华语那么烂还拍第8波道的戏,哈!不过,他们一定会看这部戏,因为觉得我的华语说得很有趣,看完了还可以拿来取笑我,哈!”

Categorised in Chemistry, I-Weekly, No Problem 考试家族.

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