BBA student Kelly Zheng is a singer-song writer who released her first single, Cologne in 2019 under the name KellyAnnalinez. This was the song which led to her win at the Dream Composition Song Writing Competition last year. The Year 3 student, who specialises in Marketing and Human Resource, has been performing since 2017 but only started pursuing music more seriously after last year’s win.
Outside-In speaks to Kelly about her aspirations and how she balances singing and studying.
Kelly grew interested in singing and song writing after she listened to Taylor Swift’s songs at 11 years old.
Q: What got you into singing?
Kelly: I have always loved music and started playing the piano since I was five years old. However, it was only when I started listening to Taylor Swift at 11 years old that I developed an interest for singing and songwriting. Her music inspired me to pick up playing the guitar, start writing songs and begin performing. My songs are largely acoustic-pop or indie tunes. However, recently I have been trying to move towards a more lo-fi, chill pop style. So look forward to my future releases!
Q: Are your songs inspired by life on campus?
Kelly: School life is such a precious period of our lives where we discover more about ourselves, as well as form friendships and relationships. My interactions with my friends and others have served as inspiration for my songs.
Q: How do you balance singing and studying?
Kelly: It is tough. Often, it means many late nights and skipping some social gatherings. I try to remind myself that I cannot lose sight of my studies, career or music ambitions. For example, I’m currently on Leave of Absence (LOA) doing an internship, so I am prioritising my career and music ambitions after work.
During the school term, I will usually focus on both studies and music for the first half of the term and before prioritising my studies in the second half. It is quite a balancing act and of course I sometimes lose balance during busy periods, but I try to anticipate changes and arrange my schedule such that I have time for music, career and studies.
Q: What support have you received from the school?
Kelly: Most of my friends are from NUS Business School and they are an amazing support system. I am also grateful for BizCareers for their great support in my career endeavours. They have helped me to prepare for my LOA internship applications and walked me through the entire recruitment process.
Q: Did you sing while you were on exchange or internships?
Kelly: It is easier to schedule performances during my internships, as I’m usually free after work. However, I did not really perform during my overseas exchange as we were in a new place and I wanted to travel and get to know my surroundings more. Hence, I mainly spent my time writing songs instead of performing!
Q: Are you looking to do singing and song-writing full time after you graduate?
Kelly: On one hand, I would love to. On the other hand, I really want to pursue a marketing career as well. For now, I am just going to keep pursuing both fields and see where it leads me! But whether I end up working in a marketing field, I would love to continue doing music in future. My current goal is to release my own EP or album in the near future!
Check out Kelly’s songs at these channels: