Spain-based Singaporean singer-songwriter, Wiltay, was in Singapore last weekend for the Singapore Red Cross International Bazaar.
He was on holiday in Spain and was just playing his guitar at a park, when an old man complimented Wiltay on his singing. The next thing he knew, Wiltay, whose real name is Willie Tay, was invited to a house party that led to his big break. He met a record label spokesman and was soon signed by Warner Music Singapore. That was three years ago.
Youth.SG met with the Singaporean singer at the Red Cross Singapore International Bazaar last Sunday, where he gave a lively performance.
Red Cross had invited Wiltay to the event and he was happy to share his songs with his fellow Singaporeans.
He said: “I always like to do charity work because you get to feel this sense of fulfilment.”
Wiltay, who has been based in Madrid, Spain, since he was talent scouted, released his debut album WTF (Wiltay Fantasies) last year and has managed to climb up the ladder pretty fast. The 25-year-old already has an award under his sleeve, having won the ‘Best Pop Album of The Year’ at last year’s Los Angeles Music Awards. He shares that acclaim with international acts like Gwen Stefani and Will.i.am.
He has a sizeable online following too, with at least 140,000 likes on Facebook, 450, 000 Twitter followers and 140,000 Instagram followers.
But Wiltay’s rise to fame did not come by easily as he had to overcome many hurdles. Before being discovered in Spain, he had been turned away by Chinese and Taiwanese record labels for being too short. The 1.7m tall singer took the rejections as motivation to push himself and persevere.
“I got so many rejections but it all taught me to be a stronger person and even gave me inspiration to write my songs,” he said.
While recording his debut album in Spain, he and his producers fed off each other’s energy for inspiration and had an enjoyable time in the studio. Wiltay found living in Spain a remarkable experience, getting to learn new things like Spanish and experiencing the rich culture.
But he is still a Singapore boy at heart.
Wiltay said: “I miss the food and I miss how everything is so close by and convenient because I’m the kind of guy who likes to be walking around on the ground.”
He also misses his family and will be back to perform at Sing50 at the National Stadium, with Dick Lee and other artistes.
Currently recording his second album in the United States, Wiltay hopes to collaborate with Singaporean artistes in the future.
He also offered some advice for budding musicians in Singapore.
He said: “It’s a life-long process and there will be many people who will say ‘no’ to you, but it’s up to us as creative people to fight for it and turn those ‘no’s into a ‘yes’.”
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