Natalie Hiong Album Launch
With the doors to the Hood Bar and Cafe situated at Bugis+ open for the duration of the launch, Natalie Hiong’s sweet but bright voice could be heard at least five metres away from the Cafe, drawing curious glances from passers-by, a few of which walked right into the Cafe to enjoy the rest of the performance.
Presenting the audience with a voice rivalling Corrine Bailey Rae, Natalie Hiong regaled the crowd with personal anecdotes and original numbers. Looking every bit like an Asian Taylor Swift (without the creepy post-breakup songwriting tendencies), Natalie eventually warmed up to speaking to such a huge number of people. The crowd, on the other hand, eventually warmed up to her presence after her cover of Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am”.
Of course, she got everyone’s attention with what she called a “mashup of pop songs”. I like to believe it should be named the “overplayed pop songs of 2012” mashup. Consisting of tunes like “Payphone”, “Lights”, “Starships”, “What Makes You Beautiful”, “Titanium”, “Somebody I Used To Know” and even a cheeky Gangnam Style ending, Natalie and guitarist CK had the audience bopping along on their seats to their surprisingly pleasant mashup.
One of the original numbers to note would be the title track, “Beautiful Mess”. A number about looking at the beauty in the chaos that is life, Natalie admitted to having that song initially written as the official sound track for a friend’s film. Contrary to the negative connotations associated with the word, “mess”, this upbeat number amplified her girl-next-door personality, instantaneously causing her likability factor to go up by at least ten points.
All in all, with her undeniably lovable girl-next-door personality coupled with songs inspired from personal experiences, watching her perform during her launch party was akin to listening to a close friend regaling you with tales of her past experiences at a coffee joint – humorous and comfortable.