Singapore will be seeing a lot more of Natalie Ong, the Singapore-born, Melbourne-based teenager who made headlines as a Top 12 finalist on The X Factor Australia last year.
Despite being booted out of the reality singing show in October, the 16-year-old has been getting more gigs here and shuttles regularly between the two cities.
Tomorrow, she will perform at the Uncharted concert at the Esplanade Recital Studio together with England-born, Singapore- based rapper REQ and Filipino singer Yeng Constantino.
Organised by music school Academy Of Rock and music studio AOR Studios, the show is part of the Singapore Street Festival, a youth event.
Ong is relishing her time here.
"Being in Singapore, I just feel at home. All my family are here and I love the food," she says.
While being on The X Factor Australia has increased her profile Down Under, she intends to kick off her music career here in Singapore.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szyfrDgseII
BOOK IT / UNCHARTED FEATURING NATALIE ONG, REQ & YENG CONSTANTINO
WHERE: Esplanade Recital Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive
WHEN: Tomorrow, 8pm
ADMISSION: $22 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)
Early this week, she released her debut single Get Gold, an R&B/ electronic-pop track. A collaboration with home-grown musician/ producer Josh Wei, the song will be part of the upcoming Shine Festival, a youth event.
"It's an uplifting song, the lyrics are quite encouraging," she says. "It relates to how after The X Factor ended for me, I didn't give up. I kept going and this song talks about that."
In August, she will also make her acting debut in the sequel to popular theatre production Army Daze.
Directed by Beatrice Chia-Richmond and with a script by veteran playwright Michael Chiang, she will be acting alongside seasoned performers such as Hossan Leong, Ebi Shankara and Shane Mardjuki.
"I did a bit of drama at school and acting is something I've always wanted to do."
Ong is careful to balance her budding show-business career with her studies and is currently enrolled in Distance Education Centre Victoria, an Australian government online education programme.
Singing takes up most of her time though. Her repertoire at the Uncharted concert will include covers such as Etta James' I'd Rather Go Blind, a version that impressed The X Factor Australia judges Adam Lambert, Guy Sebastian and Iggy Azalea.
She will also sing with REQ on his song, Lifted.
The 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Samuel Simpson, is looking forward to performing with Ong live.
"It was a nice experience to work on a song with Natalie. She is a young artist who, I'm sure, will be around for years to come, so it's really exciting to see what happens with this song."