In October this year, Ming Bridges became the first Singaporean artiste to perform on MTV Sessions.
She also performed a showcase gig in South Korea for the first time in the same month.
Things are getting exciting for the 21-year-old who burst onto the music scene in early 2012 with a debut album, ‘Who Knows’, consisting of nine English songs and three Chinese ones.
The singer, whose father is British and mother is Chinese Singaporean, was born in Australia, but grew up mostly in Singapore.
Ming Bridges. Photo: Funkie Monkies
She started modelling and acting on stage and for TV in her mid-teens. She was pursuing business management studies at King's College, London, but has put school on hold for now while she concentrates on her music work.
In December last year, Bridges released ‘Ming Day’, her first Mandarin album, which hit the top 10 in CD sales and radio charts in Taiwan.
Signed to Singapore-based label Funkie Monkies, she has been busy in the Chinese music circuit, but her upcoming album, due out in December, will be an all-English affair.
The prolific songwriter wrote all the songs on her new album, and the first single, ‘I Want You Back’, was recently released with a music video.
The sassy young singer clues inSing in on her new projects and why everything ends with an exclamation mark these days.
Why did you decide to have an all-English album?
While promoting the Mandarin album, we noticed a surprising increase in English-speaking fans on my Facebook page, which has somehow jumped from to 60,000 to 390,000 in less than a year.
This sparked the idea to release a new English album and plans to tour more major English-speaking countries as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, etc.
It’s fun being able to have the chance to sing in English and Mandarin; it gives me more opportunities to share my music and communicate with more people.
Tell us a bit more about the songs in the album.
We are definitely a lot more experimental with this new album; exploring areas unfamiliar to me when it comes to both singing and songwriting. There are a lot more energetic, dance tracks.
At this point, I feel like I’m just very happy and contented, and most importantly, loving life. I really want to just express that to my fans, have them feel my happiness and join me.
However, we have also included a few songs that are more acoustic, a little more intimate and romantic. My full-length English album will be out next month and I am just so excited.
I have been working with the wonderful Kevin Ou, who also shot the music video for ‘Summertime Love’ and can confirm that there are definitely some exciting music videos coming your way… and maybe a bit of goofier dancing.
Which artistes are you listening to these days?
I think I still listen to the same music that I did when I was 14 years old – bands like Green Day, Yellow Card, Blink 182, Sum 41, We The Kings. Their music still moves me in the same way and makes me smile when I’m having a bad day.
I listen to a variety of music, often not a particular artiste, but whatever songs strike a chord with me. And I’ll just play them repeatedly.
I really like James Blunt’s new single, ‘Bonfire Hearts’, at the moment. And despite all the talk about Miley’s new music video, I absolutely adore her song ‘Wrecking Ball’.
You recently performed for MTV Sessions in Singapore. How did that go?
It was an out-of-this-world experience. I grew up watching MTV, singing and dancing along to my favourite music videos, and fantasising about how amazing it would be to be a singer.
Bridges during her MTV Sessions performance. Photo: MTV Asia & Aloysius Lim
Years of hard work later and, I’m still pinching myself. As the first Singapore artiste to be featured on the show, I was extremely honoured, but also felt a big responsibility to show the world what Singapore can do and really deliver. It was also a great chance to share a few songs off the new album with the fans.
What do you miss most about Singapore when you’re away?
My fans. My family. The food. The three F’s! I’m always so eager to get back to see my fans – they mean the world to me. The first thing I do after touching down is meet up with my family to have a feast. It’s so hard staying in shape in Singapore because everything is just too delicious.
What do you like most about London?
I’m based in Singapore, but I spend whatever little free time I have in London because many family members are there. The best thing about London would definitely be the crazy city life.
You can never get bored because fascinating exhibitions, events, plays and quirky business ventures keep popping up everywhere. I love the fashion, the food markets, and there are always weird and wonderful restaurant pop-ups. I make new discoveries every visit!
Where are some of your favourite places in the UK?
Other than London, I am head-over-heels in love with the city Bath. I love the Roman architecture there, the spas and the markets. I’m a big fan of Roman and Greek mythology, so I can spend hours exploring the city’s history.
In London, some of my favourite places include Hyde Park, Whole Foods, High Road Brasserie, Portobello Market, Ottolenghi’s, Selfridges and Covent Gardens. I like watching shows at the West End and walking down the River Thames. And... wherever there is afternoon tea!
You were recently in South Korea, too. Tell us about that trip.
It was my first time in South Korea and it was a crazy cool experience. Showcasing there gave me the chance to reach out to a bigger audience. And just performing in a new environment with other such talented acts was a great chance to make friends and learn new things.
Bridges during her performance in South Korea. Photo: Funkie Monkies
The South Koreans really know their music. Sharing the stage with names such as Tasty, Rainbow, Lim Kim and S4 was amazing. I got to attend talks by extremely respected names in the business, such as U2’s producer Steve Lillywhite and Seymour Stein, the man who discovered Madonna.
I even had a conversation with Jeff Schroeder from Smashing Pumpkins! I’m also in the midst of discussing a potential collaboration with a certain K-pop diva, so stay tuned.
What do you think of K-pop?
K-pop is “Krazy” with a capital “K” and it has taken over the world. Even my girlfriends in London are obsessed with the likes of Girls Generation and Big Bang. They are so hardworking, and precise with every single thing they do.
They’re leading the new trends of today in both the fashion and music industry, and these are just so out-of-the-box that there is no stopping them. It was so exciting to get exposure to even more new K-pop music there. Bands such as EXO, Tasty and 2NE1 are some of my current favourites.