WIN! Tickets to Sylvia’s Album Launch. Find out how here.
As a child, Sylvia Ratonel was painfully shy – even as a girl, the thought of trying out for any of the school performances never crossed her mind. In fact, it wasn’t till her family encouraged and persuaded her to join Singapore Idol did she step out into the limelight for the first time.
But when she appeared before the nation during competition, people weren’t sure what to make of her. Alternating between being one of the top and bottom singers in several rounds of competition, she started gaining fans after Round 6, and avoided the elimination group in every round from then on.
When the finals came around on Dec 27, 2009, she made history by becoming the first female to make it all the way to the last two of Singapore Idols. After fierce competition, she ultimately came in second behind Sezairi Sezali.
The experience, she says, has been wonderful. But it definitely wasn’t without its dramas…
You've come a long way since your Singapore Idol audition days. Can you tell us what your best and worst experiences have been in the limelight?
My best experience in the limelight was when I sang the National Anthem during the F1 this year. It was a nerve racking experience as I didn't want to mess up on such a prestigious event. But when I finally did it, I was extremely satisfied and overwhelmed with pride for my nation as well as for the milestone that I have reached. It was a definite high point in my life!
My worst experience in the limelight would have to be when a disgruntled fan of Tabitha Nauser used Facebook to threaten to assassinate me and Sezairi Sezali. He/She was unhappy that we made it to top two. It was a wake up call for me of the immensity of stardom that I have reached and the responsibility/ downside that comes with it. Security was even beefed up for our road show following that threat.
Can you tell us a little about the experience of co-producing your first album?
Producing my album was actually really fun! My producer, Don Richmond and I would often goof off so the environment was very comfortable for me to express my thoughts and what I wanted to relay in my music. I have loads of respect for Don as he is one talented producer and an awesome friend that makes working with him really fun and easy.
You've clinched a Maybelline New York contract and have also posed for the covers of CLEO and Seventeen. Have you considered diversifying into a career of modeling and possibly acting?
I feel that singing is just one form of expressing myself so I would love to venture into acting and also modeling. In fact, I have auditioned for a few musicals so I am really excited to just try something new and hopefully by next year, I could immerse myself into acting.
Where is the next country you are slated to perform in, and what are you looking forward to when there?
I am really excited about my upcoming performance in Brunei for Rapsodi Fiesta on Dec 3. I am looking forward to experience the culture there and hopefully, I will be able to win some fans over when I perform! Brunei, are you ready?
If you hadn’t become a singer, what would you be doing?
I would probably still be in the hotel line as a receptionist.
Finally, what would you like to tell your fans?
I would love to thank my fans for their support and patience on waiting for my album to be released. I have the most amazing bunch of fans who always attend all my shows. They even call themselves "Sylvianites" So adorable! :)
Sylvia Ratonel’s Album Launch party is happening at St James Power Station, Boiler Room on 26 November, 7:30pm – 9:30pm.