Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Living the stuff of my dreams



"Living the stuff of his dreams" this was the title given to my one page Star newspaper article back in April. I really like the title because it is exactly what I am trying to do.

I have been trying to reach a good balance between work and life after work. Seriously, I think everyone should dream. There are numerous stories of how great things started with a dream. Even if you are not out to achieve something great, dreams gives you something to look forward to. Believe me it helps especially when you live in a stressful society.

You can dream but you have to remember to come back to earth. I am a realistic person so I do not allow my dreams to interfere with my job. I keep my dreams strictly after work.

Below is the Star article written by a young, attractive and talented journalist. Thank you Jo.


By JO TEH (The Star)

TALL, suave and handsome. Zhang Zhen Hong will literally and metaphorically sweep any girl off her feet. If she’s not swayed by his prowess on the dance floor, she'll likely be won over by serenades and Canto pop.

But it's not just all salsa and showmanship. A respectable professional, Zhang holds a full-time job as a legal manager at a public listed company. His passion for law is equal to that for dance and song.

Pursuing a career as a singer did not seem a promising career for Zhang who is the second of four children from a traditional Chinese family. So he dutifully packed his bag and left for England to obtain his law degree.

Promising start: Zhang, who won his first singing contest a the age of eight, has finally released his own album.
“At the time, the typical Chinese mindset was that only lawyers, accountants and doctors made good money. But fortunately, I did have a strong interest in law and it was something that I wanted to pursue,” says the graduate from Exeter University.

Even while he was memorising cases and having his fill of Acts and provisions, he managed to take time off from the grind and put on his dancing shoes.

“I was reading law and taking dancing lessons at the same time!” says Zhang who now teaches salsa and hip-hop during weekends as a hobby.

Now that he earns a comfortable salary as a legal manager, his aim is to achieve his childhood dreams.

Born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, Zhang was just a few years old when it was clear that he had a talent for singing. However, his parents didn't take it seriously as they felt it was natural for most children to hum and sing along to songs.

Zhang took part in his first singing contest at the age of eight and won second place with a rendition of Mun Sui Qin San Zhong Xi Qing.

“I sing whenever I get the chance, in the shower, at home, in my car, at music studios and karaokes. It’s just in me. I love singing,” shares Zhang, who loves Canto-pop and Japanese pop music.

“Everyone has a childhood dream and mine is to sing and release albums,” he says, citing Tamaki Koji (lead singer of Anzenchitai) as his favourite Japanese singer.

“I was very active in musicals in my high school days and have had lead roles in My Fair Lady, and West Side Story.”

After returning to Malaysia with a law degree, Zhang got himself a job and continued taking singing classes after work and even managed to take part in the singing contest organised by the Malaysian Philharmonic Society in 2004.

“I was a finalist at the contest and I sang a song by Glen Mederos titled Nothing Is Going to Change My Love for You,” says Zhang who started composing at the age of 16 and wrote his first song to a girl he liked. Like a sad song, his romance didn't take off.

He managed to get a few production houses to help him produce his first album Shou Hou, which was released just a week ago.

When asked why a Chinese album, Zhang replied: “I grew up with Chinese music and am more inclined to sing in Chinese.”

“It took me three years to come up with this album. My work schedule is hectic and I can only record during my free time.”

He says he composed the entire melody in the album and wrote half of the lyrics. His inspiration came from poems, articles, and personal experiences.

“It’s comforting that I am finally able to release my first album and realise my childhood dream. I will continue producing more albums,” enthuses Zhang.

“I am living my dreams!”

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Performance at the Curve




Nowadays Hollywood is making prequels of their movies. I am writing prequels of my singing events.

On 28th April (3 days before the Body Perfect performance) I was invited to perform at the Curve. At first my friends thought it will be held at the concourse area in the shopping mall but it wasn't. I was singing on a moving stage which was actually a truck! The truck was parked outside Cineleasure right next to the water fountain. The event was organised by a magazine called "Smart Info" and the famous chocolate candy company "Munchies".

This was my 2nd public (singing) performance. I belted out three songs that day and it went quite well except that I did mix up some part of the lyrics. Lucky for me I think no one really noticed.

Did you notice my fake tie? It is a picture of a tie printed on the T-shirt.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Performance at Body Perfect's Annual Dinner


May 1st, Labour Day, I was invited by Body Perfect to perform at their 5th Anniversary Annual Dinner. It was already my third public performance but I was just as nervous as the first time. I had a seat at the dinner table right next to the stage. Since this was Body Perfect annual dinner you can imagine there were many body perfect ladies around. The good food and ladies did not help me relax but made me even more nervous. I ended up eating only one small piece of chicken and half a bowl of shark fin soup.






I sang two songs that night. The first was my own song "Beautiful Lady" and the second was Leslie Cheung's "Tsui". I had the lyrics of "Tsui" written on a piece of paper in my pocket just in case. Please give me a break, I am not a professional (yet) so forgetting lyrics is probably understandable.

Lucky for me, the whole thing went well and I even received an en cour to perform another Leslie Chueng number.

Here's the video of me performing Beautiful Lady at the dinner.



Monday, June 04, 2007

Interview @ Ai.fm

On Sunday 3rd June 07 @ 2.00pm, I was invited by ai.fm to appear on their radio show. Here's a few shots that was taken at the place.

Recognise this famous landmark along the Federal Highway?


And here I am, at the radio show, with DJ Guo Jun and Siao Fen. We were not allowed to take pictures in the studio but we managed to snap this photo.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you people who managed to tune in to the show.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Interview @ 988

On the 23rd of May, last Wednesday, I was invited for an On-Air interview with DJ Nicholas of 988. If you missed it, I'll try to get the recording and post it up.

In the meantime, here's some pictures from that show.