10 Jun Stronger: Elizabeth Tan

An innocent cover of Havoc by Joe Flizzow was filmed just for fun in her bedroom and then uploaded on YouTube – little did she know, it would turn her into an overnight sensation.

Elizabeth Tan is an award-winning Malaysian artist and actress, garnering more than 600,000 followers on Instagram alone. With the support of her mother, Elizabeth – also fondly known by her fans as Lizzy – stepped into the local music scene, with very little training and experience as a singer and performer.

Of course, starting out as a rookie performer, Elizabeth had to endure countless ups and downs – receiving more than her fair share of criticism about her singing. It is difficult to swallow so much judgment especially when people do not understand the struggles of what she goes through, how she started, and how hard she has tried to be better, getting to where she is today. And Elizabeth has done it so gracefully, picking herself up every single time she fell down, never letting the opinion of others to affect her core values. It’s beautiful how she is constantly reminding herself to not take things and herself too seriously. She is, after all, still learning every day. 

Elizabeth’s latest single, Tabah is a message of strength, courage and persistence. So, in conjunction with the release of Tabah and with the aim to rebrand herself, Elizabeth has worked with streetwear powerhouse, Supercrew on a collaborative collection. Stronger than Before goes hand in hand with the song – endorsing the message that the past does not define your future, and you can learn from them to be a stronger individual than you were before.

Growing from obstacles she faced, the time has now come for Elizabeth Tan – the singer – to shine and prove to the world that she is stronger than before. And we couldn’t agree more!

Check out the rest of Elizabeth’s interview below.

What is your day-to-day activities like?

Well it’s honestly different from day to day, some days are solely for photo or video shoots, and some days it’s full of sound checks or rehearsals for shows. On the days where I’m not working however, I’m usually only at home catching up on my favourite TV shows.

Which music icon do you look up to and why?

Definitely Yuna. She was one of the first few that really made a breakthrough in the English music scene here in Malaysia and she never had to sell out in terms of musical style or genre to be where she is today.

What are some of the challenges that you face in your career?

Of course the criticism from the public that comes with it but honestly I think the biggest challenge is defeating the critic that is inside of my own head. I truly am my biggest critic and as much as I hate to admit it, I do have the fear of being a failure. So I guess the biggest challenge for me is constantly strengthen myself mentally despite anything I might be going through.

How did you overcome these challenges and backlash, and how does it define you as an individual?

I wouldn’t say that I have overcome it, but I try every day to become stronger mentally and to learn how to not take things so seriously. If anything, this whole journey had taught me that life is short and we are all, in the end, just flesh and bones. The people dishing out the criticism either mean well and are just being honest or are also going through problems of their own. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Life is too short to completely focus only on all the negatives. This is something that I remind myself every day.

How are you stronger than before now?

I’m not as mentally affected by my work as I was starting out, in terms of handling the stress of the erratic schedules and also handling the criticisms that come my way. I’m more focused and organised and thank God, more rational, thanks to the experience that I have been through.

Tell us about the song, what was the inspiration?

I actually wrote this song originally as a break-up song, not specifically intended for anyone, but when I met my producer I told him that I didn’t want to put out another cliché love song, so he helped me out with the lyrics and made it a little more of a double-edged sword. You can interpret it how you’d like, whether as a love song, a song of me singing to my older self or a song for the haters.

Tell us more about the collaboration that you did with Supercrew.

In light of my new single, I wanted to do a rebranding for myself as an artist, and this collaboration could not have come at a better time. I’ve always been a big fan of Supercrew and for them to want to work with me is truly an honour. The name of my line with Supercrew  is, Stronger than Before, as to go with the song, and I hope that when people buy and wear it, they will also be reminded that what’s past is past, and it is on us to learn from past experiences and to on our own, be stronger than who we were before, with no regrets.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself hopefully with an established business, while still doing things in the entertainment industry.

As a musician, what advice would you give to those who aspire to do what you do?

To discover whether music is truly your passion and if it is, chase after it relentlessly. Always ask for honest opinions and feedback from people on your work, and to always be ready to learn more and to learn fast.

Name three things you cannot leave home without.

My phone, debit/credit card, a power bank. Hahaha!

What makes the world go round?

Not sure what angle this question is seeking it’s answer from, in terms of orbiting? Probably some kind of forces that I can’t explain much about. In terms of humanity? Definitely, hope or at least, the idea of it.

Shop Supercrew X ElizabethTSM: Stronger than Before Collection – FABSPY.com
Also available at FABSPY, Mid Valley.

Elizabeth Tan’s Instagram – @elizabethtsm 

Photography by: Andy Goh (@ee.goh) and Mark Yeo
Videography by: Jeremy Choy (@bboyrice) and Shanon Tan
Article by: Denise Lee (@missnise7)