Monday, November 03, 2008

Interview With Karen Kong

Some of you will be familiar with this name while some may find her a lil new.

Whatever it is, let me introduce to you this petite yet very talented Malaysian singer - Karen Kong, whom I've been fortunate to be able to interview her specially for this Talented Malaysians & Singaporeans segment.

How I Found Out About Karen
I knew about Karen quite accidentally. I was at a music store in KL and the staffs were unpacking her new CDs. And on air, they were playing her album.

I found her voice unique (strong yet sweet), and ever the supporter of local talents, I purchased her album. What made it unique is that, that was the first day that her first album was released. What coincidence.

I have since been a fan of hers and has been seeing her rise from internet star to reality.

Karen's Background

What makes Karen unique apart from her voice is that her first album is actually 100% Malay. Titled Mulakan, it has some very nice tunes like Cinta Helo Kitty, Mulakan and the Datuk Siti inspired song - Ku Tak Upaya (seriously, listen to the song, and you can at times mistaken her for Datuk Siti).

Cinta Hello Kitty

Well that is no coincidence, as Datuk Siti Nurhaliza is Karen's idol.

"I idolize Datuk Siti since I was very young because I think she is very passionate towards music and no matter what song she sings, she’d blew me away with her superb voice."

Ku Tak Upaya

And apart from Datuk Siti, Karen's other idols are Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, A-Mei, Fish Leong, Stephanie Sun, Misia - whom she admire for their passion in music and hardwork they put in, something which I believe Karen is doing as well.

Interestingly, Karen has also released her first Chinese album, 表演 Showtime with hits like 離島 (Li Dao) Island Away, 沉默秘密 (Chen Mo Mimi) and 龔柯允 (Zhen Zhen Tiao).

karen kong, performance
Karen's Music History
Like many other singers, her passion for music started young. Her first competition was at the age of 4, where she won and represented Labuan in the Sabah state competition.
And it was there that she fell in love with the stage.

She continued singing in many other competitions but it was not until she participated in her university’s (UTAR) Talent Night competition, emerging as the winner that she was talent spotted.

The rest, as you can say, is history.

Malay songs? Why?

I'm sure this question must have popped up to her so many times now. It is rather uncommon for a Chinese to sing in Bahasa Malaysia, what more a full album on it.

She regards her influence of Malay music from her family. "Though I’m Chinese, my parents really enjoy listening and watching malay music at home".

And in fact, it was a Malay music that got her spotted - yes, she sang Bukan Cinta Biasa (by Datuk Siti).

So, it was natural for her to come out with her first Malay album which actually took a good 2 years to produce. But it has sinced become extra special for Karen as looking back, this is the album that managed to bring so many races to like her album (she has fans from all races and honestly, I feel proud for her on achieving this).

Former Malaysian Idol Contestant?
You'll be surprised that Karen has actually also entered into competitions like Astro's Talent Quest and the glamour Malaysian Idol. However, her luck didn't go far.

But it is this that makes many people admire her - for she didn't give up her dreams. Instead, she continued persevering and improving herself. We always hear many who say they'll make a comeback in the industry, and sort of dissapear. But not Karen.

She improved her singing, putting in much more work needed, and is now thankful to be able to realise her dreams of becoming a singer.

karen kong, concert
What's In Store For Karen
Karen has been brushing up on her Mandarin, preparing for a regional Mandarin album. But also in the pipelines is a new Malay album slated for 2009.

You will most likely continue to hear a lot more about this shinning star, who launched her presence online using Friendster and has since blossomed to a full singer.

Here, a video of her journey - may you be inspired:

Karen Kong's Contest Giveaway
To those of you who would love to grab hold of a personally autographed CD by Karen, kindly send your wishes and aspirations to Karen here.

1 lucky winner will get this CD specially arranged by Prodigee Media.

Contest ends: 17 Nov 2008.

*Connect with Karen Kong:
Karen's blog
Karen Kong's Friendster

*To Karen, love your spirit and vocals. Can't wait to hear more of you! :)


  1. quachee,
    You are lucky to meet so many people!:D

    To Karen,
    You've a sweet voice! You definitely can be a successful singer! All the best to you. :)

  2. Wah, she's from UTAR?! My senior?! LOL~

    Hope she can shine and rise into a star in days to come!

    Proud of you leh, UTARian! ;)

  3. This is interesting! I haven't heard of Karen until now.

    Coincidentally I did an interview with a lady also named Karen, but she's an American author. Here's the interview. Her latest book will be released on Nov 4 and she's also guest blogging on the same day. :D


    Hello Karen! It's really great to read about you and getting to know you. I wish you all the success in everything that you do and God bless!

  4. Pretty girl with sweet voice.

  5. Karen looks so pretty! :) I haven't heard any of her songs but looking forward to winning that CD! :P Hehehehehehe...

    Karen: All the best to you! 加油!!!

    You'll make it big in the music industry just as long as you keep on doing what you love and be true to you and your music. :)

  6. Quachee, I've seen Karen live twice too in UKM. Yupe, she indeed have a great voice. And my wife really likes her music. =) Ok, I want to try my luck to win Karen's autographed album for my wife. Here goes my support for her...

    Dear Karen,

    Life is a passion, or it is nothing:

    Without passion man is a mere latent force and a possibility,
    like the flint that awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.

    Enthusiasm can bring you further where talent alone can't. And I believe that Karen, you have both the zest and forte to bring you closer to your dream. Ganbatte kudasai Karen. You made Malaysians proud. *wink* ;)

  7. Hie Quachee, you've just received 2 awards and a tag.=)

  8. Hey Karen!

    I totally love your voice and your style!

    I listed to a couple of your songs and I think its really great! Keep it up and bring us the great music!

  9. Karen, Beautiful lady and voice, Jia Yew!

  10. i tot that was siti's voice for ku tak upaya! omg!

    the video clip for cinta hello kitty is touching towards the end haha but it feels weird of.. uhh.. hello kitty lol

    anyway, karen sure can go far is she wants to :D
    you got talent girl!

    she should try pop?
    melancholy songs do suit her.. but, would be great to see her singing all types of songs :D

  11. Wow it sounds great!!
    Saying Hi, From California!

  12. wow.. her voice was mesmerizing.. is really amazing ...i loved her way and her style of singing.. but too bad.. no more chance to win her album.. so sad.. y am i so slow..

    anyway will still wanna encourage karen from here..

    dear karen,
    the sheer force of your voice was mesmerizing.. couldn't take myself out from listening to ur songs.. do be encourage and to continue ur this singing passion of yours.. eventhough didn't get a chance to win your one and only giveaway but will still like to thank you for bringing such a nice music to the nation, not only chinese songs.. but malay as well.. well done dear.. and continue to let your voice and your uniquely you 'SHINE' for us..
    and i'm proud for you and believe that other malaysian does as well.. just love the way u are... jia you..

  13. wow.. heard that karen is cute..

  14. I like her Cinta Hello Kitty song. Even used it as my handphone ring tone at one time, also for my DIGI caller tunes as well! : )

    To Karen,
    Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams! Here's wishing you all the best and hope you will continue to achieve greater heights in the music industry : )

  15. I never heard of Karen either. She would be new to me. Celine Dion is also one of my idol...and I love her musics. Good luck to everyone participating in winning the CD.

    Great interview Quachee, and thanks for visiting my blog :) I hope you have a good day :)

  16. i saw her once on tv. if not mistaken on merdeka day concert. she could sing malay song and she sang with perfect pronunciation :)

    p/s: quachee, one of the comment in my blog you said about ken? or its karen? i knew a guy named ken who i've lost contact. i'm shock.

  17. To Karen,

    I'm glad you've made it through so far in the music industry. I hope to see you go further in your career. Met you during one of your showcase in UTAR 1 year plus back ago. Love your first Malay album, Mulakan. Hope to win this one too.


  18. Haven't really heard about Karen but I think she deserves our support.

    Would like to win this CD for my younger sister (if I'm lucky).

    To Karen:
    Congratulations to you for your success. You reaped the benefits of your hard work, but the road ahead will be tougher. You are not alone on that road though, take heart from that. May God bless you and we are proud of you :)

  19. @ kok, thank you :) its nice meeting fellow inspiring people :)

  20. here is the winner result!

    the winner is... tekkaus! congratulations! :)

    for all who've participated, im sure karen has gotten yr good wishes. im sure she must be proud to have so many people encouraging her :)

  21. Wow! I jut couldn't believe it. Thanks. =)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)