Taiwanese singer Bai An pops up on the charts again with songs from her sophomore album

Bai An's new album, What's Next? has two songs topping the Global Chinese Golden Charts.
Bai An's new album, What's Next? has two songs topping the Global Chinese Golden Charts.PHOTOS: ROCK RECORDS
Bai An's new album, What's Next? has two songs topping the Global Chinese Golden Charts.
Bai An's new album, What's Next? has two songs topping the Global Chinese Golden Charts.PHOTOS: ROCK RECORDS

Taiwanese songbird Bai An much prefers being holed up in the recording studio to facing a horde of reporters to promote her latest album.

The straight-talking 22-year-old singer is not being rude. She is just unabashed about speaking her mind.

"Thinking back on the recording process, it's really interesting and fun. It's more interesting than doing album promotions," she says, eliciting laughter from journalists at a recent session with the media here.

Still, the waifish crooner carries out the 20-minute interview professionally to promote her sophomore album What's Next?. She was in town to perform at her first showcase here on Jan 24.

The talented singer-songwriter made a splash in the Mandopop scene with her debut album, The Catcher In The Rye, in 2012.

She was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Golden Melody Awards the following year. Her self-penned tracks from the album charted in the Top 10 of the Global Chinese Golden Charts, and her music video for the ballad, What Was It That Made Me Meet Someone Like You, has more than 27 million views online.

The critical and popular acclaim translated into pressure for the rookie singer.

"Before my debut, I could concentrate on composing my songs. After my first album, things started to get complicated. People liked the songs and started to have expectations, and that puts pressure on me," she says.

"They have an impression of my music but that may not be what I envision my music to be," adds Bai, who is signed to Taiwan music label B'in Music, co-founded by well-known rock band Mayday.

She took her time - 11/2 years - to produce her second album.

Relishing the creative process, she describes it vividly: "I felt like I was hitting a wall. You feel like you're grabbing onto a piece of wood, drifting out at sea. You don't know when you'll hit the shore."

And when she finally did, she proved that she was no one-hit wonder. Songs from her second album - chill electronica track If You Ever Thought and breezy tune What's Next? - once again charted and even topped the Global Chinese Golden Charts.

During her album promotion events in Taiwan last year, the subdued singer shocked fans when she appeared with a head of pink hair.

Explaining the daring choice of colour, she says: "I penned the songs for this album when I was 21, 22 years old. This is a transitional period where you are at the cusp of maturity, yet not quite mature yet. I felt pink was a quirky colour that matches this concept."

Her hair is now back to its original black, as the constant dyeing was damaging her hair.

The doe-eyed beauty will not be caught dead in pink clothes, though, or own any items embellished with a certain mouthless feline.

She says: "Pink dyed hair has character. Other than that, pink is a colour that you would never find on me, I never wear anything pink. I will never have any Hello Kitty items. I've never analysed why I won't wear pink, but it's just not something I would choose."

nggwen@sph.com.sg

What's Next? is out in stores.