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Meet this Barker!
Tue, Dec 22, 2009
my paper

By Victoria Barker

FOR aspiring singer Megan Barker, choosing a career path is no piece of cake.

After all, the 21-year-old is the granddaughter of former law minister E. W. Barker, and comes from a family of high-powered lawyers.

So, when she completed her A levels at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Miss Barker went on to study, shall we say, respectably intellectual topics - geology and anthropology at the University of Western Australia in 2007.

There, she found that her heart wasn't in her chosen majors.

The gregarious lass told my paper in an interview at her home in Clementi last week: "I was in denial for a long time about who I was and what I wanted to do.

"I studied for a year before I realised I was just doing it to prove (to my family) that I could (be as smart as them), but it was not what I wanted."

Now, Miss Barker - who is back in Singapore for the holiday season - is studying film and theatre at the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia.

GRANDPA'S GIRL: Megan Barker, granddaughter of former law minister E.W. Barker (in portrait), said he wouldn't mind her taking up singing as a career.

Last night, she made her debut singing performance at the Golden Memories Christmas Concert at Victoria Theatre.

She was invited to be a part of the concert by veteran musician Vernon Cornelius, who is a friend of the family.

Music is in her blood, after all. Her mother, Carla, and her aunt, Deborah, both in their 50s and lawyers at prestigious home-grown firm Khattar Wong, are avid singers.

Her grandfather - who died in 2001 following emergency colon surgery - also played the guitar, she said. Plus, she grew up performing, having sung at Christmas and Chinese New Year parties since she was seven years old.

"Music is a defining factor in my family," the former Methodist Girls School student said.

"I got into it because they did, and it's something that I've always enjoyed."

Miss Barker mixes her own "comedy-oriented" music, which she likens to that performed by quirky New Zealand duo Flight Of The Conchords.

"I like to make people laugh," she said with a smile. "That's what's important to me."

For now, though, the wild child, who likes house music and plays it "really, really loud" at home - "I don't think my neighbours like me very much," she said with a giggle - is unsure if she will pursue singing as a career.

But she is not ruling it out as an option.

"Now that people know I can carry a tune (after last night's performance)...I'd love to be on stage more," she admitted.

When asked what her grandfather would think of her current endeavours, she is candid.

He wouldn?t mind, she said. In fact, he sort of gave her a leg up in the industry.

"I think it helps (because people recognise the surname)," she said.

"Thanks, granddad," she added playfully, looking up at a portrait of the man with a twinkle in her eye.

vbarker@sph.com.sg


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