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Top getai organiser Aaron Tan wants to take the unique heartland shows to the Istana

Getai organiser Aaron Tan has brought so many innovations to the scene that there are now copycats

Published on Aug 4, 2014 7:21 PM

British singer Adele's hit tune Rolling In The Deep is one of the most covered pop songs in the global music scene. But to hear someone sing it at a getai show in the heartland? It seems a little out of place.

Not so, if the show is helmed by Mr Aaron Tan, 38, a getai organiser known for the many innovations he has brought to the scene to modernise the industry.

And, yes, that includes introducing English pop hits such as Rolling In The Deep to an industry more closely associated with songs and stage banter in Hokkien and other Chinese dialects.

Mr Tan admits that many getai performers have questioned his song suggestions.

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Background story

My life so far

“Even when I sleep, I’m thinking about getai. When I go overseas to watch shows, I’ll see how their lighting and stage set-up are and whether they can work for getai. So it has nothing to do with how clever I am – I’m not a university graduate. But what I have is passion.”

Aaron Tan on what has kept him going for so long

“As long as my competitors don’t pull down the standards of getai and we’re all in it to spread awareness and make it better, then I’m happy, no matter how many new competitors I get.”

On what he feels is most important for getai

“It’s up to them – they can do anything they want. Like how my father wanted me to be independent, that’s what I want for my children too. At the moment, I’m not worried that the next generation won’t continue promoting getai because I’m seeing so many people enter the business. If my kids don’t do this, I’m confident others will be interested.”

On whether he wants his children to take over his business