Chase the dream: Kimberly Anne Tan
Equipped with a beautiful voice and a winning personality, Kimberly shares with us what it means to be a DJ.
For most Singaporeans, the likes of Jean Danker and The Muttons would be confined to voices on our radios rather than people we know in real life. But for Kimberly Anne Tan, these famous DJs are her colleagues.
20-year-old Kimberly (or Kim as her friends endearingly refer to her) is running her own Class 95 show on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm, alongside the DJs she admired as a child. Not stopping at just being a DJ, this polytechnic graduate has also just finished a fulfilling six-month stint working as The Muttons’ producer on Class 95FM.
The former Cedar Secondary School girl had initially set her sights on making it to the prestigious Victoria Junior College before a diploma course in Mass Communications at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) caught her eye, barely two months before the start of her ‘O’ Levels.
Her reason for making the switch? She wanted to follow in the footsteps of people like Jean Danker and Justin Ang, who had both graduated from NP’s Mass Communications course. Knowing that the course would propel her aspirations, the fair-skinned beau picked DJ over VJ.
Right from the get-go, Kim auditioned with NP’s Radio Heatwave, and secured an exclusive spot, furiously juggling both her studies and passion as she drove to fulfil her life’s goal of becoming a radio DJ.
Her defining moment finally came in 2013, during her second year in polytechnic, when she made the final five in the 987 Radio Star competition. Although she eventually came in third (Tabitha Nauser took the crown that year), Class 95 talent-scouted her and extended an invitation to come on board. She jumped at the opportunity, and has not looked back since.
While getting into radio might have seemed like a dream for Kimberly, the reality of it was filled with formidable obstacles.
Her biggest hurdle was adapting to the target audience of Class 95. “Back in school, we always catered to the youths during our talk sets, but here I can’t talk about people like Meghan Trainor because they (audience) will have no clue who that is,” she shared.
To counter that, Kim read widely to ensure her content was not only up to date, but also suitable for her audience’s consumption.
Another challenge she faced is the physical drain that her work took on her body. “I’ve been practically sleeping through the days for the past six months because I’m helping out with The Muttons’ shows from 6 to 10am every morning,” Kim said.
That said, Kim is extremely grateful for the support that she has been given by her listeners. She added: “The challenges are tough, and you sometimes feel like you are alone in the studio, but when the feedback and encouragement comes pouring in, it makes everything worthwhile.”
Kim will be embarking on a new journey this week as she pursues Sociology at Singapore Management University (SMU), and hopes to one day have her own weekday show. She commented: “It’s what every weekend DJ dreams of: to be a full-time, weekday DJ.”