Singer puts family conflict behind her

Angela Chang kept a low profile after a slew of press reports about her contentious relationship with her mother.
Angela Chang kept a low profile after a slew of press reports about her contentious relationship with her mother.PHOTO: DON CHI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Since Taiwanese singer Angela Chang last performed at the Singapore Expo in 2008, she has not taken a hiatus, although it may seem like it.

She continued to release albums, but they have been under the radar as she has kept a low profile since a slew of negative press reports about her contentious relationship with her mother around 2008 and 2009.

There were allegations that she had chased her mother out of their home, followed by accusations that Chang was unfilial and ungrateful.

The 34-year-old - who became a star in her early 20s with hits such as Invisible Wings (2006) and a lead role in the idol drama My MVP Valentine (2002) - is ready for a full-fledged return to the entertainment scene and to reclaim lost turf.

"When I encounter unhappy things, I would selectively forget things. This is therapeutic. If you keep dwelling on it, it won't do you any good," says Chang, who was in town recently to promote her new album, Head Over Heels, and her concert here on Nov 18 at Suntec City.

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At the press conference, the petite lass with big doe eyes and a powerful voice looks poised and at ease in a white lacy top and a short black skirt.

While questions about her family were a no-go, she seems to have left the ugly past firmly behind.

Indeed, some of the songs she is known for are about staying positive in the face of adversity. They include Invisible Wings and, from the new album, tracks such as I'm Not Afraid and Go.

On Head Over Heels, her ninth studio album, she contributed lyrics to one song, Do You Remember, and also directed a music video for the first time, for the track Before Goodbye.

As she puts it: "Having been in this line for so many years, it's a pity if you don't show some growth because that means you haven't learnt anything new."

She promises something new and different at each of her concerts, tweaking the line-up of songs as well as to her costumes. There might be more in store for fans here as Singapore holds a special place in her heart.

She had lived here with her family for about a year when she was about 10 and she still has fond memories of that time.

"My first impression was the smell of durians right across from where we lived, near Sentosa, I think. When I went to the beach, the water was so clear I could see fish swimming. And the streets were so clean," she says.

Something else that is new is her changed attitude towards romance.

"I think I've tended to be pretty rational and I used not to believe in love at first sight. But now, I'm not discounting that possibility. Maybe in the future, if you find the right person, you'll just fall head over heels. You never know."

•Head Over Heels is out.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2016, with the headline 'Singer puts family conflict behind her'. Print Edition | Subscribe