From TikTok virality to performing with JJ Lin: violinist Jocelyn Ng and her passion for creativity
A full-time musician since 2019, the now 28-year-old has performed with various international artists and is attempting to strike out on her own.
A violinist in plain clothes carrying her instrument enters the Suntec Tower 5 building and encounters a pianist playing. In front of curious onlookers, they begin to play an unrehearsed rendition of the popular song ‘Golden Hour’ by JVKE.
A spliced-together video, taken from two angles, is then uploaded to social media platform TikTok.
That’s all it took for violinist Jocelyn Ng’s performance with local pianist Daim Dean, which she uploaded to her TikTok account, to garner over a million views and over 89,000 likes within a month.
@jocelynviolin ❗️footage was shared to me from the pianist. Beautiful things happen impromptu :) thank you @daimdean304 for the video! #sgmusic #shmusicians #sgmusician #violinpiano #violinandpiano #violincover #goldenhour #goldenhourjvke #goldenhourcover #sgviolinist #violinist ♬ original sound - Jocelyn Ng
Recounting the viral moment after she posted the video on July 4, the 28-year-old says it was unexpected.
“It was just a moment that captured two musicians performing a popular song for the first time,” says Jocelyn.
“I love that I could tell a story through my violin playing and being able to evoke an emotional response from the audience. I am able to connect with people through music despite cultural or language barriers.”
Jocelyn’s fondness for music and violin playing did not come right off the bat; though her parents have always loved music and particularly the violin, she recalls her disdain for learning the instrument at the age of four.
“I didn’t like it due to the practising and discipline it required and just how difficult it was to learn to play the violin,” she says.
However, in her time later at School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) from 13 to 18 years old, Jocelyn learnt to be more patient and disciplined in practising, which reaped positive results.
“I liked how my music was able to touch people’s hearts and evoke emotions,” she says.
After graduating from SOTA, the then 18-year-old chose to continue down a musical path, obtaining a music degree through NAFA School of Music and later on signing as a full-time musician to the Music & Drama Company (MDC) in 2019. “I’ve always been inclined to artistic endeavours. I’ve tried dancing, acting, calligraphy and music in my younger years. I always envisioned myself in an artistic career,” she shares.
Her pathway has not been all sunshine and roses; Jocelyn remembers grappling with the unpredictable nature of freelancing in her line of work. She’s had to take chances and create opportunities for herself, rather than relying on others to provide her with opportunities.
Finding stability and security as a full-time musician with MDC, Jocelyn’s love for the artform extends beyond playing for an online audience; not only has she played in orchestras, but even at events for well-known brands like Chopard and Tatler Asia. Most notably, she also performed for renown Singaporean singer JJ Lin’s ‘JJ20’ world tour.
Jocelyn recalls: “I still can’t believe I got to perform with my childhood idol till this day!
“I started working with him in his “After The Rain” charity concert in 2021 and the rest was history.”
Other than JJ Lin, the violinist has also performed with other international artists including Richard Clayderman, Il Divo, Angela Zhang and Liu Jia Chang. She says that the exposure that comes with performing with top-tier musicians is what motivates her to improve.
“They also constantly inspire me to not give up and continue working hard so that one day I could also step onto the international stage as my own artist,” says Jocelyn.
Presently, the violinist has been exploring collaborations with musicians she connects with online, such as pianist Nadia Nerissa, who first answered a poll on Jocelyn’s Instagram Stories. The two have since worked on two songs together.
“Something magical happens when two like-minded people connect and play music together, we kind of just “get it” and we communicate through music,” says Jocelyn.
Even on her own, she is taking a new adventure in writing original music, soon to be released. She is also working towards releasing a music video.
To others contemplating or already following in similar footsteps, Jocelyn references the Mark Twain quote, ‘Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’.
“Of course you’d have to work hard, but you’d be enjoying every moment of it because it doesn’t feel like work. You’ll work hard knowing that you’re working towards something sustainable.
“I’m not special, if I can do it, so can anyone.”