SINGAPORE - Singer-songwriter Roy Loi had to close his music school, Imagine Music, in June 2020 due to the pandemic.
Better known as Li Feihui, the 56-year-old self-professed semi-retired musician penned Mandarin ballads for big names such as Hong Kong stars Jacky Cheung and Andy Lau in the 1990s, and had been running the school for eight years.
"I had to renew my lease last June, but at that time, the Government didn't allow us to teach yet. They started to ease measures only in August, and then in March, restrictions kicked in again, so it's a good thing that I didn't renew my lease," he said in an interview which was published on entertainment portal 8days.sg last Saturday (July 31).
Instead, he has been devoting his time to his other business venture, a casual Thai eatery called Siam Village in Sennett Estate, which he opened in 2017 with business partner Kenn Chen.
While Chen takes care of the operations, Loi helps out with marketing.
"(Actors) Chew Chor Meng and Chen Hanwei have tried the food here and they like it. I would bring my celebrity friends here for meals, but it's been difficult in the past year and a half because of the pandemic," he said.
"We just arranged to meet up, but it was cancelled last minute because of the dine-in ban," he added, revealing that business had plunged by 50 to 60 per cent.
He said: "This is a difficult time and a lot of sectors are suffering, not just F&B. We don't know how long this pandemic will last, but we just have to try our darnedest to get through it. We have to take a gamble."