Born and raised in Singapore, Tan is a versatile artist who has succeeded in music and theatre, making him one of the few in the Chinese-speaking region. In 1998, he debuted as a composer for popular singers and has since excelled in various roles including composing, arranging, mixing, and producing, with over 500 compositions to his name. Tan has collaborated with renowned artists from Hong Kong and worldwide, including Jacky Cheung, Eason Chan, Coco Lee, RAIN, and Christina Aguilera.
In 2009, Tan released his jazz album Raw Jazz which was recorded in one take to capture the vibe of authentic live performance. It received high praise from major media outlets and industry professionals, including singer Sammi Cheng, jazz journalist Robin Lynam from the South China Morning Post, the Japanese music magazine Intoxicate which hailed it as the best jazz album in Asia for 2009, and Time magazine acclaimed his vocals “as captivating and powerful as Sammy Davis Jr.”. That same year, Tan performed as a guest artist at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, sharing the stage with Travis, Backstreet Boys, Chaka Khan, Youssou N'Dour, and Mavis Staples. In 2010, Tan collaborated with rapper MC Jin to release the original hip-hop album Buy 1 Get 1 Free. In 2012, Tan held his first solo concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum. He held another solo concert in 2019.
In 2016, Tan toured in ten cities across China. Throughout the performance, Tan played a guitar and utilised a loop pedal, creating a full band effect with only his live looping. This concept was further showcased in his album One-Man Band where he played multiple instruments, provided beatboxing, and sang all the vocals, handling composition, lyrics, arrangement, production, mixing, recording, and harmonies by himself. Each track was recorded only once, without any editing. Tan continues to explore various music genres, including hip-hop, jazz, classical, electronic dance music, and rock.
Tan’s extensive experience in the music industry has led to numerous invitations to nurture emerging talent. He has served as a judge on the 2nd and 3rd seasons of The Voice, Chairman of the Jury for the TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship and Chairman of the Jury for The Voice of the Stars 2022. Tan has also been a judge and guest performer on various talent shows in Mainland China, such as Sing My Song, Sing! China, I Am a Singer and The Rap of China.
In theatre, Tan won the Best New Performer at the 30th Hong Kong Film Award for his role in Bruce Lee, My Brother. His other film credits include Ti Ta Ti Ta, The Best Plan Is No Plan and Missbehavior. He has also appeared in television dramas such as Til Love Do Us Lie, Young Charioteers and Fashion War. Tan also published his autobiography in 2012.
In recent years, Tan has dedicated himself to the development of art-tech. He has actively participated in various Web3 projects and became the first Asian artist to launch music NFTs globally.
Photo: ©️ Raymond Kam