In The Spotlight: Daren Tan


Everyone loves a good comeback, and singer-actor Daren Tan’s going to prove that second time’s his charm

Singaporean Actor-Singer Daren Tan

Show business is tough, especially for budding hopefuls. Even with a mammoth platform to start – say a wildly popular local singing competition – it’s still an uphill climb to stardom. Just ask former Project Superstar champion Daren Tan. Following a sensational win (he was booted out early, but came back to claim the crown), he hit the ground running with his first solo album Regardless, made his television debut alongside Caldecott royalty, starred in the acclaimed musical Beauty World, and even shared the stage with Taiwanese megastar Jay Chou. All that, and still he found himself on the slippery slope of obscurity. 

Singaporean Actor-Singer Daren Tan

Nevertheless, his time out of the limelight was only temporary. Catching his second wind after a quiet hiatus, Tan’s back in 2013 with two leading roles: the first (which is also his big screen debut) as a teenage schoolboy in That Girl In Pinafore, a movie tribute to ‘xinyao’, Singapore’s Mandarin folk music movement in the 1980s, and the second as a gangster in the period police TV drama Mata Mata. It remains to be seen if his career in showbiz will take off this time round, but if his Project Superstar narrative is anything to go by, we’re just waiting for the renascent star to take it all once more.


In this month’s issue of MEN’S FOLIO, Daren talks to us about his love for Retro as well as his upcoming plans. 

Singaporean Actor-Singer Daren Tan

It’s good to have you back in the spotlight!

It’s funny how things worked out for me. I didn’t really accomplish much as a singer when I was with MediaCorp full time, but when I left, many acting jobs came to me. I’ve not stopped giving my best since, but I do think Lady Luck comes at the right time and place. Being talented and hardworking may not necessarily be enough in this industry, but perseverance certainly pays off.

How is it different this time round?

Everything about me and my passion (for the industry) remains the same, except I’m busier now! My transition from singer to actor has been pretty amazing, and many people actually recognise me more from my acting roles, so it’s been great!


Read our full interview with Daren Tan in the August issue of MEN’S FOLIO out now!

Singaporean Actor-Singer Daren Tan