The Rising Star 2019

The Rising Star is a talent show organized by the Office of Housing Services, meant especially for the Halls and Residential Colleges of NUS. The event aims to forge a bond among our NUS residents and create a community for residents not only to reside at, but also learn and come together as one NUS.

This year, we’re very proud to announce that KR’s very own Dr Matthew Chua (E Block RF), together with Shanisse Tsai (Ex-KR resident), clinched 1st Runners-Up in The Rising Star! They are the latest addition to the long line of KR-related acts to make it to the Top 3 of The Rising Star. In Season 1, the KR Inspire band “Pigeonbread” clinched 1st Runner Up, while in Season 2, a dance trio “REY” from KR Dance emerged as champions.

Source Our very own REY from KR Dance

Despite her very busy schedule and many commitments, we managed to catch Shanisse for a mini interview to find out more about her journey throughout the competition.

Hi Shanisse, tell us more about yourself and your time in KR.

My name is Shanisse, and I’m currently a Year 3 doing Medicine here at NUS. I stayed in KR in both Year 1 and Year 2 in A Block, and was a member of Dance as well as the Table Tennis team.

What made you decide to join The Rising Star?

Last year, the KR dance trio won The Rising Star, so I wanted to continue that tradition and bring glory to KR firstly. I also thought The Rising Star would be a great platform and opportunity to introduce the opera & musical theatre genre to the student population here at NUS.

What was your item for the show?

I sang the song “Prayer”, in a mix of both the pop and classical genres, in English and Italian, with Dr Chua.

How did you discover your passion for both singing and dance?

I started taking solo singing lessons at 18. I actually wanted to sing pop but my vocal teacher turned out to be a classical teacher. I was apprehensive at first but she eventually made me fall in love with the genre. Now, I’m currently pursuing my diploma in singing, and have performed at Disneyland (LA) and at a concert hall in Los Angeles as well.

How did you get manage to get Dr Chua on board with joining the Rising Star?

I saw him sing Opera during FWOC last year, and I thought it was really rare to find someone that could not only sing Opera, but also be really good at it. Plus, it was perfect because one of the requirements for the Rising Star was that either one of us stayed on campus, so it all worked out nicely for us in the end.

Did you meet with obstacles or face any challenges throughout your journey?

I think the biggest challenge for us was trying to find songs that was relatable to the general student population, so we experimented and tried to find the right balance and mix. We didn’t solely want pop songs, because our goal after all was to introduce the Opera and Musical Theatre genre to them, but then again we wanted the audience to connect with our performance as well. And it seems like we managed to do both!

What are you planning to do with the cash prize?

For 2nd place, there was a cash prize of $1250, and I was thinking of using it to fund my summer school program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the School of New York Theatre Ballet.

KR is truly a place brimming with all kinds of talent, you’ll never know what you’ll find! Once again, congratulations to our superstars Shanisse and Dr Chua!

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