Having made his mark in the acting industry starring in several highly-rated Malay dramas, Alvin Chong is confident enough to venture out of his comfort zone. Music is his latest passion after releasing two Malay singles – Aku Kamu and Mencintai Mu – last year.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Chong has raised the bar for himself yet again, by releasing his first English single titled We Got This. This song sees him work alongside Filipino star, Isabela Vinzon.
However, Chong, who spoke mostly Mandarin while growing up in Penang, says that recording a song in English proved to be difficult.
With a slight display of shyness, Chong, 27, says: “This song really challenged my command of English. My family only speaks Mandarin. It was only when I got to Kuala Lumpur that I had to learn English and Malay from scratch.”
Chong wasn’t the only one who is stepping out of his comfort zone with the release of this English single. Sixteen-year-old Vinzon is keen in expanding her music career beyond Philippines.
“It’s my first project outside of the Philippines; it’s my first collaboration with a Malaysian celebrity; and it’s my first time visitng Malaysia,” says the artiste who rose to fame after winning second place in The Voice Teens Philippines (2017).
In the first stages of recording, Chong and Vinzon were a little intimidated by each other.
Chong was afraid he won’t be able to keep up with Vinzon’s enormous singing talent while Vinzon was afraid she couldn’t communicate with Chong properly in English as it’s not her first language. And it also didn’t help that both stars were 11 years apart from each other in age.
“When I got to know that I would be collaborating with her, I was afraid people will compare my singing to hers,” Chong says.
“I was afraid people would go, ‘Eh, why is this guy’s voice so average compared to Isabela’s? Thankfully, the management gave me some encouragement and when I got to hear the end product of the record, I was satisfied.”
But Chong needn’t have worried about his singing talent as Vinzon was suitably impressed with her duet partner.
“He’s a really good singer. I didn’t expect him to be that good of a singer because he’s usually focused in acting. But he has very clean voice, and I can see the passion in his eyes when he sings,” Vinzon says.
Although this is her first collaboration with a Malaysian star, Vinzon is already harbouring an interest to work with another local artiste from Universal Music – Fazura.
“I would love to collaborate with Fazura if given the chance. She has collaborated with another Filipino artiste named Jason Dy on the track Nothing Like Pag ibig. The song sounds great. I hope to meet with her soon.”
As for Chong, he will be setting his eyes on going global with his music career.
Through his newly-signed 360 music deal with Universal Music Malaysia, Chong plans to widen his reach to the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Also, Chong shares that he’s already planning on recording a full-fledged album.
“Right now, I’m looking to make a Malay album, which will also feature a few English or Chinese songs.”