Talented singer and aspiring cook

Taiwanese singer- songwriter Weibird Wei Li An says he has mastered recipes for Japanese curry and pan-fried chicken cutlet.
Taiwanese singer- songwriter Weibird Wei Li An says he has mastered recipes for Japanese curry and pan-fried chicken cutlet.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

Taiwanese singer-songwriter Weibird Wei Li An, whose composition Have You Ever was covered by Nathan Hartono in Sing! China, is impressed by the Singapore singer.

Not only does he praise Hartono's rendition, he also jokes that he feels threatened by him.

"Singapore has many musical talents. I wouldn't mind working with Nathan Hartono if the opportunity arises," says Wei, who was in town recently to promote his new album, It All Started From An Intro. He also performed a sold-out showcase at Shanghai Dolly during his visit.

Wei, 29, is no slouch in the talent department, snagging the Best Newcomer trophy at the Golden Melody Awards in 2011.

Still, he has remained humble and eager to learn.

He says he learnt much after being mentored this year by Mandarin pop megastar Wang Lee Hom on the Chinese TV show, Heroes Of Remix. The show's performers have to reinterpret songs in the genre of electronic dance music (EDM) and weekly winners will get their renditions recorded on an album.

Wei emerged victorious on one episode with his dynamic performance of a classic ballad, Goodbye Kiss, which was originally performed by Jacky Cheung in 1993.

He says Wang gave him advice on how to own the stage.

"He taught me the correct posture to adopt while singing and what to do when you choke on dry-ice fog on stage. He also downloaded teaching material onto my thumbdrive. For instance, there are audio books on speaking techniques. I admire him for constantly learning," says Wei.

But he says his two-month stint on Heroes Of Remix had nothing to do with the EDM influence on his latest album, which was released in August this year.

"Intro came first, then my label boss received a call from Lee Hom to invite me on the show. The timing was a coincidence. It so happened that the EDM-themed show matched the concept of my album," he says.

The bachelor is not only a talented songsmith, but also appears to have a knack for cooking. Learning from videos online, he says he has mastered recipes for dishes such as Japanese curry and pan-fried chicken cutlet.

He sometimes whips up food for his long-time girlfriend, who is not in show business.

His interest in cooking was sparked a few years ago by an acid-reflux episode triggered by stress. Doctors had advised him to keep a healthy diet, so he started cooking for himself more.

His newfound hobby has also proven to be cathartic.

"Cooking is a way for me to relieve stress and rejuvenate," he says.

"I had a break a few weeks ago and the first thing I did was I rush to buy groceries. I was itching to cook something."

• It All Started From An Intro is available at CD-Rama outlets and digital platforms such as iTunes and KKBox.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'Talented singer and aspiring cook'. Print Edition | Subscribe