A year ago, the only place Malaysian Issac Dang was belting out tunes was in Singapore karaoke joints.
Last Saturday, however, the 28-year-old Singapore permanent resident won the Most Potential New Artiste award at the 13th Global Chinese Music Awards in Malaysia.
Dang, who has been dubbed the next big thing in Asia, was working in Singapore as a graphic designer last January when he was spotted by Singaporean television host Dasmond Koh for his singing talent.
Koh heard Dang singing at Kbox at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and asked him if he would sing the theme song for his directorial debut, Timeless Love. One thing led to another, and in less than six months, Dang got a singing contract in Taiwan. He released his debut album Don't Cry in May.
"I am very lucky to be given so many opportunities, first in Singapore, then Malaysia and Taiwan.
It felt like those opportunities just fell from the sky and my destiny changed in such a short span of time," Dang tells Life! in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur after the awards ceremony.
For the awards ceremony themed Punk Fantasy held at Putra Indoor Stadium, Dang was dressed in an outfit by Singaporean designer Samuel Wong and was also named the Best Dressed Artist. The singer, who was also nominated for the Most Outstanding Regional Artiste (Malaysia) award, has racked up quite a resume since he quit his graphic designer job last June after being offered an acting role. He played a rich man's son in a Malaysian TV drama serial titled The Beat, which was aired last year.
Since then, he has sung the theme song for Singapore movie Imperfect, directed by Hong Kong director Steve Cheng and produced by veteran actor Li Nanxing. It was released in August last year.
Taiwanese TV host Xu Nai Lin also offered to groom Dang, so last December, he moved into a swanky condominium in Xinyi district in Taipei, a world apart from the rented HDB room in Bukit Batok where he used to stay when he moved to Singapore in 2008.