18
Dec 2014

“Where’s the publicity boy?”

 The following blog post was written by Sean Yeo Yi Wei, second-year student from the Diploma in Communications & Media Management (CMM) and Head of Publicity, CMM Interest Group (CMMiG).

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Hirzi’s signature voice resonates through the halls of Mediabiz Studios. Hirzi, as in Hirzi Zulkiflie, the founding prince of Singapore’s YouTube scene, who graduated from our very own Diploma in Communications & Media Management (CMM).

He’s half of YouTube sensation MunahHirziOfficial, the channel that pioneered the vibrant Singaporean YouTube scene that we have now. “Six years going strong, it must mean something, right?” he asks.

People often look at their videos and think it’s just for fun, but according to Hirzi there’s more to it.

Alongside the infamous satires and trolls, many MunahHirziOfficial videos were actually commissioned by clients. For example, some upcoming videos include partnerships with the Singapore Sports Council and Zalora.

So by applying the skills gathered during their time at CMM (such as creative video editing, marketing and branding theories) they manage to do what they love, have fun and the best part – monetise their craft to earn a living.

Surprisingly, Hirzi never really got into the idea of doing YouTube videos until his final year at CMM (YouTube only came out in Hirzi’s second year). After the lip-dubbing videos became viral, he fell in love with the idea of sharing videos on YouTube for people from all over world to see.

But YouTube, cautions Hirzi, is not for everyone. Even the prince himself admits that the beginning was rough and he had to learn things the hard way. Haters commented negatively with remarks like ‘your videos suck quality’ [sic]. Because of the comments, he forced himself to relearn the basics. “At the end of the day just be true to yourself, regardless of what the haters say,” Hirzi advises.

Hirzi may be all crazy and wacky, but he’s all about giving great advice when asked. This newly minted graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chapman University asserts that the most important thing about a degree, is that the experience helps to diversify one’s skill set and adds value to their career.

He added, “A degree shouldn’t be the same as your diploma. Same field of study, sure! But choose a different set of skills.” Hirzi himself went from Communications and Media Management to Producing and is planning to take a Masters in Directing or Script Writing eventually.

His best tip – Never take the university path just for the sake of a scroll of paper. Do it because you genuinely want to learn.

As the interview comes to a close, we asked Hirzi the most important question of all: If he was stuck on an island, what three things can’t he live without?

“Wifi. A phone. And a horoscope application.”

Because even the stars believe in listening to stars.
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02
Dec 2014

On a (lobster) roll!

Lobsters seem to be the talk of the town these days. Everywhere I turn a new lobster joint seems to be popping up. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself some succulent and juicy lobster meat any day of the week (and twice on the weekends!), so I’m not complaining! However, you know this is a serious trend when live lobsters are selected as the mystery ingredient at the inaugural Les Amis Awards Culinary Competition.

The Les Amis Awards Culinary Competition or LAwards Culinary Challenge is an inter-institution culinary competition held over two weekends in August at SHATEC Institutes. Supported by the Singapore’s Chef Association and Singapore Tourism Board, the LAwards was split between a qualifying and final found on the 23rd and 30th August respectively.

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Not one to pass up on an opportunity to showcase her culinary skills and gain exposure and knowledge from industry chefs, Culinary & Catering Management (CCM) Senior Lisa Tang took up the challenge. The only contestant from TP, she faced intense competition from 15 budding chefs pursuing a culinary education in other institutions such as The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), At-Sunrise, SHATEC, ITE College West and Nanyang Polytechnic.

We had the opportunity to chat with this zesty young chef and realized that she was no stranger to culinary contests. Having recently emerged runner-up in the Food & Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge earlier this year, a little competition wasn’t going to deter her.

When asked what it was that got her interested in the culinary field, Lisa answered without skipping a beat. “I’ve always been interested in cooking since I was young. However, the turning point came after my short stint in a Junior College. While everyone was busy deciding on their subject combinations, I became more certain then that this was the path I wanted to take and applied to the Diploma in Culinary & Catering Management here in TP.”  Wise choice, Lisa!

Since then she has not looked back and constantly strives to bring her craft to the next level. In a world inhabited by our CCM students here in TP, partaking in competitions like the LAwards is an integral part of their journey towards becoming a chef and Lisa is not one to shy away from this. “Besides just rewarding excellence, these competitions also serve as a platform for interaction between aspiring chefs and culinary giants in the industry. I am thankful to be presented with these opportunities here in TP,” added Lisa.

The conversation further revealed the arduous training regime Lisa had undergone to prepare for the LAwards. Currently on a self-sourced internship at Pollen in Gardens by the Bay, she made her way back to TP after work twice a week over three months to practice her dishes under the guidance of CCM Chef Desmond Ngoh. Some practice sessions ran for several hours at a time where she would prepare three sets of dishes, taking two hours for each set.

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It came as no surprise when we found out that Lisa had breezed through the mystery box challenge in the qualifying round to make it to the finals. The youngest and only female to do so, this cool cucumber kept her composure when the surprise ingredient was unveiled. Despite having no experience handling live lobsters before, Lisa still impressed the panel of heavyweight judges with the two incredible dishes she prepared – Lobster Tail Confit & Lobster Tartare with a Fennel Salad for the Appetizer and Glazed Lobster with Potato Puree, Creamy Lobster Sauce and a Medley of Vegetables.

*Now, please excuse me while I wipe my drool!*

Lisa faced four other finalists on 30th August at the final round where she had to prepare four portions of a three course meal in two hours.  Her hard work and effort spent training over the past three months paid off when she emerged first runner up. The judges, comprising Chefs Sebastian Lepinoy and Galvin Lim of Les Amis, were impressed with her incredible culinary talent and also noted her positive attitude as well as her quick and organised system of work.

Congratulations, Lisa! You certainly are on a roll with all your culinary accomplishments this year! Your ability to manipulate senses with your handiwork, and deliver moments of bliss is truly remarkable! We are very proud of you and wish you the very best in your culinary endeavors!

LAwards 2nd Lisa & Chef Desmond

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27
Nov 2014

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough” – Abigail Yeo

We all have dreams. But do we dare to chase them? Are we ready to take that plunge when the opportunity presents itself? Well, most of us would hesitate, but not Abigail Yeo. Abigail, a second-year Veterinary Technology student, dared to take that plunge and chased her dreams of becoming a singer. And boy did she set the local music industry alight! A quick chat with the bubbly eighteen-year-old reveals more about her amazing journey to being crowned the runner up at the third instalment of the Project Superstar series.

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Having released an extended play (EP) titled “If I’m not that kind of girl” at the start of the year, Abigail was no stranger to the music industry. She even has five years of singing experience under her belt, having started at the tender age of thirteen. Despite her considerable experience, she still felt disadvantaged when coming up against her fellow competitors at Project Superstar. “I was the youngest in the competition and I had not done as many gigs as the others. So I felt that they seemed to have more stamina than me” shared the amicable student. Despite the difference in experience, she plugged on and made it to the finals of the competition.

So was there any backstabbing and insane rivalry amongst the competitors as we have so often seen in other competitions? “Oh no there was nothing like that. The twelve of us shared the same dream and we all pushed each other to improve. Plus we spent a lot of time together during the competition and as such developed a bond” reveals Abigail.  Gosh I sure wish the individuals I had competed with in the past were that nice! The whole competition however was not all that rosy and there were some trying times for the budding artiste. With the start of the live shows coinciding with the commencement of exams, there was a lot of stress on the cards for the young singer.

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“The biggest challenge I faced was definitely stress. It was not easy managing both the exams and the live shows”. Support from her family and friends however, went a long way in helping alleviate that stress.  “I am truly blessed to have a family like mine. They were supportive of me throughout the competition and never made me choose between my exams or the competition. My friends were also always there to give me additional support” shares an enthusiastic Abigail.

The chatty student was also quick to add how the TP family played a big role in helping her. “The Student & Alumni Affairs Department helped out a lot with publicity efforts and my CCA friends from Music Vox were always there to support me despite not being well versed with mandarin music!” A fine example of the amazing TP spirit we say!

Having shown an amazing blend of determination and talent, Abigail overcame all the challenges to eventually finish the competition as the runner-up to eventual winner, Alfred Sim. As part of her triumph, she was given prize money amounting to the considerable sum of 10,000 dollars. Upon hearing her describe her experiences in the competition, it however became apparent that this talented lass was not solely in the music industry for fame or wealth. “The biggest prize in this competition was not the money, but the entire learning journey and how we improved as artistes despite the intense media pressure”. #nowthatswhatyoucallpassion

Being so passionate about music, is there any advice that she wants to give to other aspiring singers? “Well if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough. So dare to dream and be passionate in everything you do.” Simply. Blown. Away. Did somebody say this girl was 18?! Her maturity and poise definitely belied her tender years.

With a firm head screwed on her shoulders, the future certainly seems bright for Abigail. Having recently secured a nomination for “Best Newcomer” at the prestigious Singapore Hit Awards, we would also like to wish her all the very best. One thing is for sure though; we have definitely not seen (or heard) the last of this amazingly talented singer as she promises to be a leading light in the local music industry for years to come.

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19
Nov 2014

TPRAWKS Day 3 – Grand finale of Awesomeness!

Alas, in the blink of an eye we’ve come to the much dreaded final day of TPRAWKs. For us, the end of TPRAWKS doesn’t mean tears. Instead, we like to sit back and recall all the fond memories over the past three days spent with you, awesome Rawkers!

Day Three, as with all the other days, was nothing short of awesome! We had the last part of our TP XPeriences:

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After lunch came part one of the most anticipated activity on Day Three’s amazing programme- Mediacorp Channel 5 meet-and-greet session.  We were definitely seeing stars when the cast from Mata Mata and other Mediacorp shows joined us to bring the house down. Needless to say, the energy in the Temasek Convention Centre (TCC) was off the hook! If you were hearing a buzzing sound in your ear right after that segment, then you heard right! *pun intended* Seriously though, if there’s one thing the folks from Mediacorp got down pat, it’s entertaining. From singing to dancing to doing what they do best, acting, they got us entertained all throughout!

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Now if you though Day Three couldn’t get any better, then you sure were in for a giant treat! Next up was Jam and Hop or what I affectionately term, ‘Bust a move and don’t stop geddit geddit’! Our very own Music Vox kicked off the event followed by local music heavyweights The Goodfellas and the DJ Kzee. Fist pumping and feet tapping ensued as everyone grooved to the sounds of the musical maestros.

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The past three days have been awesome, crazy, rawking, but best of all, the MOST MEMORABLE. The cheers, games, Rawker’s Challenge, XPs, Jam & Hop, and everything else in between – those are now precious memories we all share together. And, for that, we thank you AWESOME RAWKERS. Whether or not our paths will cross again, we do not know. But know that we will forever hold you guys close to our hearts! All the best for your “O” levels and here’s to creating more AWESOME memories together!

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18
Nov 2014

TPRAWKS 2014 Day 2 – Even the rain can’t stop us from RAWKING!

It’s Day Two of TPRAWKS! You’ve made it past the first day and we trust you’ve had a ball of a time thus far. If Day One’s fun and activities were anything to go by, Day Two and Three promise to be so much more!

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Despite the gloomy weather, Day Two kicked off in high spirits as cheers from RAWKERS were heard echoing throughout the campus. A big part of TPRAWKS is giving participants a slice of TP life and that was exactly how Day Two began with RAWKERS being whisked off for the TP Xperience tours at our various academic schools.

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The tours included visits to our state-of-the-art facilities such as the Mediabiz studios and the flight simulators at the West Wing. It was at the above facilities that students were given the chance to be television presenters and pilots for a day.

First up was the mediabiz studio. It was a truly joyous sight as RAWKERS took turns at honing their presentation skills in front of a camera similar to ones used in actual productions. And some of them were pretty good might I add! So RAWKERS if any of you were to become famous presenters one day, do not forget the writer who had mentioned your talents!

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Up next, RAWKERS had the chance to try their hand at flying an aircraft. Whilst we could not let them physically fly a plane, we gave them the next best experience through the use of our amazing flight simulators. Individuals were given the chance to experience first-hand the thrill of taking off and landing an aircraft. A seemingly simple activity proved to be extremely difficult as participants found out just how sensitive the controls were. Despite the relatively low level of successful take offs and landings, they were visibly buoyed by the experience.

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Having worked up an appetite from all the fun activities, the RAWKERS broke for lunch. The unrelenting wet weather however threatened to put an end to the most anticipated event of the day; dragon boating. With the rain continuing to pour, all activities after lunch were confined to the indoors of the Sports Hall.

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The RAWKERS must have prayed really hard for good weather though, as in the late afternoon the rain stopped and conditions were given the all clear for a bout of dragon boating at Bedok Reservoir!

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Now, before I bore all of you to sleep, I shall stop here and leave it to the daily highlight reel to further describe the rest of the activities from Day Two of TPRAWKS. The rain may have slightly dampened the mood today, but rest assured the best activities of Day Three are INDOORS! So are you guys ready to meet the gorgeous cast of Mata Mata and RAWK out at jam and hop tomorrow? We sure hope you are! So rest well peeps and we’ll catch you on Day Three!

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