Regina Song: The Rising 20-year-old Singaporean Singer-songwriter 

Join MUK QI EN as she talks to local singer-songwriter, Regina Song, to find out more about her journey in pursuing a music career in Singapore.



Muk Qi En
Web Manager

Hype Issue #58

Published on
February 21, 2023

While Singapore is not exactly known for its arts scene, our local music industry has grown in recent years. The popularity of world-famous singers such as Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin illustrates Singaporeans’ pride in homegrown artists who make waves globally.

Yet, as a society, many still tend to stereotype those who wish to pursue a music career. A common stereotype is: “Music is just a hobby, not a career path.” So, what’s the truth behind pursuing a career in the local music industry? I spoke to Regina Song, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter, to find out more about her experience.

regina song

Most of Regina’s songs are written based on her experiences. Her single ‘Venus’ was about a crush she had on a boy. Photo taken from @sleepyreggy.

Regina is one of the artists under the Singaporean record label, PARKA. Her first single with the label, “high school boy” became a TikTok viral hit with over a million streams on Spotify. With her dazzling personality and talent for writing lyrics, Regina quickly gained a young fanbase. The rising artist has 126K monthly listeners and over two million streams on Spotify.

Regina grew up in a Singaporean-Chinese family and started learning music at the early age of six, picking up the piano. “I was always more drawn to the arts as a kid. I remember watching a lot of music videos on my laptop,” she said. With her love for playing instruments, singing, and dancing, Regina enrolled in School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA), majoring in classical piano. In an artistic environment surrounded by talented peers, SOTA was where Regina grew a stronger interest in music as she honed her musical skills.

Regina’s top single, “high school boy”, was written when she was 16. The song tells the story of a girl who admires her high school crush, who is infatuated with someone else.

Her passion for songwriting started when she wrote her first song with her friend while they were on the bus. “It was never intentional. [Songwriting] comes quite naturally because I’ll write down whatever comes into my head or whenever I feel something really strong,” Regina said. To her, writing lyrics is an avenue to express and release her emotions. 

When Regina turned 16, she wanted to produce and release her music independently. Taking a gap year from school, she worked hard at part-time jobs to earn money to cover her production fees (around $800 to $1.2K per song). Regina soon realised that her schedule was too hectic, and she was too tired to be productive in the studio. Changing her plans, she set out to seek guidance from music industry professionals.

The journey, however, was not easy either. Regina overcame many obstacles before she discovered PARKA in 2023. Despite feeling reluctant to sign her music to a label so early in her career, Regina felt the need for guidance to navigate the tough music industry in Singapore. 

Regina acknowledges that a music career can be unsustainable and volatile, but it’s the fulfilment she gains that pushes her to continue to do what she loves. “If I don’t do music, my life would be so meaningless. I feel like I’d be wasting my life away if I was doing any other job,” she said. Regina shares her experiences about receiving heartfelt messages from her listeners – from how she has been an inspiration to them to how her music has made their study sessions more enjoyable. Having seen how her songs can make someone’s day, Regina’s fans inspire her to pursue music for as long as she can. 

When asked how she broke into the international music scene, Regina shares possible factors for her success:

1. Spotify discover page

Spotify utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recommend music to users based on factors such as listening history. “I think Spotify has a really strong algorithm. I realised that a lot of Asians from all around the world like my music.”

2. TikTok

It’s challenging to gain more success without doing social media. TikTok has become a key platform to discover new music, with research showing that 75% of TikTok users discover new artists through the app. Regina leverages the platform’s popularity to promote her songs while expressing her personality. “I always want to post something relatable, very goofy, very real. I used to be very focused on the result but I realised that I should just focus on putting out content that represents me as an artist. Being authentic, being real, trying to ‘sell’ my song, and following the trends – I think that’s how I gained more traction.”

@sleepyreggy i saw this somewhere on tiktok and i knew i had to try it with high school boy hehehe #songwritingseason #taylorswift #bridge ♬ original sound - regina song - regina song ✮

3. Connecting with listeners

It’s crucial to connect with your listeners because that’s how they stay. Making genuine connections with your fans will make them want to stick around and see you grow.

regina song

Regina performs live regularly because it allows her to connect with her audience and gain public exposure. Photo taken from @sleepyreggy.

Music is a form of collaborative art that involves creativity, talent, and hard work. Achieving success in the music industry often involves more than just individual talent; it relies on collaboration with other artists, producers, and industry professionals. “Music happens because people believe in you and they give you opportunities to shine. Without people in the music industry who believe in what I do, I wouldn’t have come to this day,” Regina said. 

To aspiring musicians, here is some advice from Regina:

1. Find a good producer

It’s important to find a good producer who understands the industry if you want to put out good music.

2. Write good lyrics

“Be genuine. Be real. I think honesty is something that everyone will always appreciate in music because music is all about emotions. Everyone has their own experiences and their own quirk. Don’t be afraid to be unique and to show your own voice because that’s what makes you an artist and that’s what makes you who you are.”

3. Learn music

“Learn how to play the piano, play chords, learn the guitar, learn as many instruments as possible. For me, I feel like writing music on the piano and writing music on the guitar is very different. So to expand your ways of writing music, if possible, [learn] more instruments and [immerse] yourself in music.”

4. Know yourself well

“Know what you like and what you don’t like, see what your voice fits. It’s very important to sing something that’s good for your voice, especially if you want to be a singer-songwriter. Knowing what you stand for and what you can represent is very important because as an artist, you’re the voice for people like you. Releasing meaningful music would be my biggest [tip] and message to people who want to start [making] music.”

The local music industry is slowly but surely emerging. Singapore has taken steps to bring more awareness to homegrown artists and break the stigma surrounding local music. One such movement is the Hear65’s I Play SG Music campaign, where local music is played in public spaces such as MRT stations. The best way to support our homegrown artists is to attend local gigs. Additionally, you can stream their music or simply spread the word about their talent!

Listen to Regina Song on Apple Music here.