FRED CHENG’S (鄭俊弘) EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IAFT
Fred participated in the TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship in 2001 and won three awards at the age of 17. Later, he became a TVB actor and after many years in the company, he was only offered minor roles — portraying a student or the main character’s younger brother. He has participated in over 40 series over the years, but hadn’t really gained any fame.
1 ) How did you find out about the competiition – Start Legend <星夢傳奇> and what incentive was there for you to join?
My manager emailed my about this competition. At first I was hesitant to join, but through encouragement from friends and also my manager, I decided to just give it a shot. Nothing to lose! I actually handed in my form at the last day, at the last hour, right before the deadline! So I was lucky that I got to go!
2 ) What is the atmosphere like backstage with all the other contestants?
It’s pretty nerve-racking. Everyone is listening to their songs on their headphones, concentrating and practicing. The cameras are following you throughout the whole time, so it’s a little stressful.
3 ) How did you feel being in front of the panel ? Are you happy with your scores? Was there a moment where you felt you were going to be eliminated?
When I got to the stage, I was so nervous that my stomach was hurting. To have that panel in front of me was very intimidating because they’re all highly respected professional musicians. I’m very happy with my scores… cannot be more happy with my scores. I never felt that I was going to be eliminated, because of their kind feedback. I tried my best to keep a positive outlook on everything.
4 ) Why did you choose the songs “時代曲 ” and “Angels”? Do they cause you to reminiscence or does it evoke a particular feeling?
I chose 時代曲 because the song really connected with me. The lyrics tell my story and was a perfect introduction of me to the audience.
Angels is a special song because I dedicated it to my Grandfather, who is in heaven now. He is definitely my Angel.
5 ) What is it that you enjoy about performing on stage?
I’m a very shy person, and I rarely talk or express myself. But it’s only those times when I’m on stage performing, when I can express how I feel. I’m a different person when I’m singing, and it’s a nice release… it always feels great to connect with the audience.
6 ) What do you hope to achieve from the competition?
For people to get to know me, get to know my name, get to know my story!
7 ) What advice can you offer to others who are preparing for a singing competition?
Truly express and bring out the message of the song you are singing. That should be the goal, and not winning the competition.
8 ) How did you feel when the Judge Eric Kwok commented “I don’t think you should be an actor any more. Be a singer?”
It felt great! I’ve always respected and looked up to him, and to hear such a kind comment from him makes me feel like my dream can really come true.
9 ) If you had to choose, would you continue to pursure your career in Acting or become a Singer?
I’d like to do both. But since I’ve been acting for the last ten years, maybe I’d like to try singing for a while!
10 ) How does it feel to be receiving the highest score of the night?