In the world of Instagram stars and endless selfies, singer Tanis Chalopin is a breath of fresh air.
At just 23, the millennial is wise beyond her years, due in large part to her diverse cultural background.
“My father was born in France. I left Paris when I was three weeks old. I moved to the Bahamas, then went over to Switzerland, then Beijing, then London and now I’m in the US.”
“My mum stayed very true to raising us with her Asian values in the sense of having respect for elders. Every year, we go back to see our grandparents for Chinese New Year. I’m very proud to say I’m half Singaporean. It’s a huge reunion when I’m back there, and I keep it very close to my heart.”
“The mixed heritage was interesting, because it was two different ways of raising children that came together. It was a huge melting pot all at once.”
Despite her nomadic upbringing, the one constant throughout Tanis’s life has always been music.
“Music was my first love. I used to dream of being a singer when I was five. As I got older, I wanted to make that a reality.”
“My parents both tried to discourage me, because they both knew the arts industry. Mum was a model, and dad was a writer and producer for an animation company. They knew it would be very difficult and subject to a lot of rejection. But they failed to discourage me,” she laughs.
As a quiet child, it took some time for the ‘inner performer’ to appear into the spotlight.
“I was a very shy and reclusive child, and my mother thought it’d be a good idea for me to take acting and singing lessons to get me out of my shell. They were terrible at first, because I couldn’t get a sound out.”
“Then when I was living in China, I started studying music in school and I was struggling because I hadn’t studied music conventionally. I’d only ever played by improvising, or by ear. I would come home very frustrated, and would improvise pieces on the piano and sing and do random little songs.”
“One day in passing, my dad walked by and asked me what I was playing. I thought, ‘I don’t know, I’m just making this up’. He told me I should write it down. So that’s how it all started.”
After winning a music competition at just fourteen, she then went off to study music composition and film scoring in university.
“It’s always fun to challenge myself. The reason why I love film scoring so much is because I find that my songs are relatively visual. When I write them, I can already see the visuals that would go with it. And when I see the visuals, I tend to hear the music.”
Since then, Tanis’s musical journey has hit an all-time high note with her success culminating in a cover for ELLE Singapore.
Glamour side, singer is also deeply dedicated and passionate towards her charitable works.
The creative force took an interest in photography after meeting an orphan named Micky in Beijing.
Micky, who was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease passed away in 2009.
But his memories live on in Tanis’s photographic work which mostly centre around children in orphanages. The proceeds of the artworks go directly to the charities in need.
Tanis has embraced her creative gifts with full gusto, and will happily do whatever is required to fulfil her musical destiny.
“I do live in the US, but I’m also signed to a record label in Paris – so I have my music released in Europe, and I sing in French over there as well. I’m taking it very internationally, because that’s part of who I am. After all, music has no borders.”
“For me, whenever I had difficult times or needed something to cheer me up, music was always that thing for me. And I’ve always wanted to do that for someone else. So the biggest success is being able to share my music and be able to impact other people’s lives through it.”
“I know it’s going to be a long road. So far, everything has progressed slowly but steadily upwards. It’s only been getting better, so I’m enjoying every step."
Find out more about Tanis at her website.