She’s got no regrets tapping into her Chinese roots and venturing to unknown territories. (Unreal.) Ming Bridges is definitely bridging the gap between evolving as an artiste and still appealing to the masses. Read on to find out more about how dead on serious she is about her music.
She’s got the looks, she’s got the voice and she’s taking the music scene by storm! She’s no other than homegrown singer-songwriter, Ming Bridges. There’s no doubt that there was a major throwback moment when we first met with the former R.E.M member. (If you grew up watching Kids Central, you would know what we’re talking about.)

We managed to catch up with her right before her showcase at MTV Sessions, where the starlet belted out both new and old tunes to an intimate crowd. Read on to find out more about how tapping into her Chinese roots has unexpectedly brought her to the next level of stardom.

Popspoken: Why did you choose to do a bilingual album?

Ming Bridges: I chose to do a bilingual album because I’ve always been really interested in Mandarin music. I think that Chinese music has a different way of expressing itself. In English you might say ‘I love you’, but in Mandarin they have all these four word phrases, metaphors that you would never be able to properly express in English. I find that so interesting, beautiful and magical and I really wanted to get involved with that. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do and I am so grateful that I’ve got the opportunity to do it.

Popspoken: So what’s the meaning behind your album title, Ming Day?

Ming Bridges: Ming Day in mandarin is ‘Ming Tian’, which is tomorrow. The idea behind that is the message that I want to tell my fans and audience, which is, no matter how bad and crappy your day is, you should always look forward to tomorrow and the bright side of life.

“No matter how bad and crappy your day is, you should always look forward to tomorrow and the bright side of life.”

Popspoken: What is your favorite song in the album?

Ming Bridges: My favorite song in the album would have to be ‘Under the Stars’. I love the message it has. Basically when I wrote it, I just finished watching a movie and you find so often in Disney movies especially that there’s one scene or one moment where everything is just perfect. For example in Aladdin, Jasmine and Aladdin are on the magic carpet or in Pocahontas, she and Captain Smith are under the tree and you think if they had just ran away in that moment everything could have been amazing if they had just told each other how they really felt. But that never happens and there is a whole series of consequences and troubles that they’ve got to go through to the final ending. ‘Under the stars’ is basically trying to capture that moment where it just explains of how tonight is amazing, let’s just run away, let’s just go.

Popspoken: Do you ever regret going down the Mando-pop route and do you ever wish that you could be an English recording artiste if the market here allowed for it?

Ming Bridges: I definitely do not regret doing the Mandarin pop, I think that going to Taiwan was my biggest challenge but had the biggest benefits as well because I got to share my music all over Asia through the various TV and radio shows and it was really daunting but I’m just so happy. When you conquer a challenge you just get that amazing feeling. Of course I do miss singing English songs and I’m actually coming out with a new English album at the end of this year, which would be fully English and it’s good because I want to stay connected to my fans in Singapore especially since they mean so much to me and I wouldn’t be here without them.

Popspoken: We heard that your second single would be shot by Kevin Ou and we want to know what the sound and angle would be.

Ming Bridges: Basically Kevin Ou directed my new single ‘Summertime Love’ which came out and it had a lot more energy, a lot more dancing. He’s directing my second single as well (which I can’t reveal at the moment) but that’s also really energetic. The shift between my previous English album and my new one would be the fact that there’ a lot more energy, it’s more poppy, it’s a different sort of vibe. I strayed away and experimented a bit from my normal acoustic guitar material so I’m really excited to see what the fans think and hopefully I can get them to sing and dance with me.

Popspoken: What was the main inspiration and whole creative process of coming up with the new album and new single?

Ming Bridges: My main inspiration would be the fact that I’m very happy and content at the moment and just enjoying life and I want my audience to feel the exact same way as I am at the moment. It actually was a very big challenge for me because I haven’t written to many dance tracks before so that was a big leap, but I think as an artiste you should always be constantly evolving and trying new things. Material and lyrics wise, it’s always influenced by different situations that happen and new experiences but like I said, right now I am very happy and most of my songs reflect that.

Popspoken: So how is it like writing in Mandarin?

Ming Bridges: Writing in Mandarin has been very hard, especially because as soon as I write some lyrics I realize they have to rhyme as well and I kind of freak out after that. However, I’m really fortunate that I have Funky Monkies mentoring me, I mean Xiaohan is the most amazing lyricist ever and every time I write something she would say ‘I see what you’re trying to do here but you didn’t express it correctly and this is how you should do this.’ Through this I have really learnt a lot and I’m also looking to release a completely Mandarin album. I’ve also been writing a few songs for the album and that has been challenging but really exciting. I’ve recently completed one of the songs that I’m looking to be one of my singles in my Mandarin album and it’s again another really ‘dancey’ song, it’s very crazy and the lyrics are very simple but cute and fun. I’m really looking forward to that coming out.

Popspoken: So do you speak Chinese at home?

Ming Bridges: Yes! I try to practice as much as I can with my mom. It’s quite unfair for my dad because he’s British and he’s like ‘What are you guys doing? Are you guys telling secrets?’ and we’re like ‘No, I’m just practicing my Mandarin.’

Popspoken: I grew up watching Kids Central shows and there’s no doubt that We are R.E.M was one of my favorite shows to catch, so would you ever want to go back to the TV scene?

Ming Bridges: R.E.M was such a great experience and it definitely taught me to grow up a lot. The girls I starred with in the show are still my best friends and I see them a lot. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to TV, I mean singing is my main love,  singing would always come first but acting is really fun and it’s really nice to know that you can wake up every morning and do different things. I think if I ever got the chance to do another TV series I would definitely think about it but I’ve had a few movie offers and we’ll see what’s going to happen from there.

Popspoken: So if your sound were a scent or a flavor, what would it be?

Ming Bridges: I think my flavor would be mint chocolate chip. Chocolate chip is a flavor that people are familiar to but I want to make it something different so that’s my mint.

Popspoken: So what are your current music influences and inspiration?

Ming Bridges: My main musical influence would be my mom. From young, she brought me up with listening to a lot of music like ABBA, The Carpenters, Shania Twain and Kenny G. It really pulled me into loving music and we love to sing together, she’s like my duet buddy. From there I would go karaoke with my cousins, I’m so fortunate to have a Chinese family that love to karaoke at every family reunion. So she’s really my main music influence, mentor, teacher and a big supporter. Other than her, growing up especially when I was around 12 to 14  years old, I think everyone goes through that change where hormones are changing and you’re dealing with new emotions that you’d never thought you’d feel before and at that point of my life, I listened to a lot more rock music and it really helped me find away to channel out emotions that I didn’t really understand and I didn’t really know how to express myself. Rock music really inspired me in that sense. When I write music now I really hope that I can almost do the same for other people and they can listen to my music and take away something or really connect and feel that ‘oh that’s how I felt in that situation’, that would be my greatest achievement.

She’s reppin’ the Singapore flag hard and who are we to deny the support!

MTV Sessions: Ming Bridges premieres on MTV SEA on Saturday, 12 October at 12pm (WIB), 1pm (SG/HK/PH) and 2pm (MAL) with additional content available online at www.mtvasia.com/mtvsessions.

Photos: Aloysius Lim for MTV Asia