Being the kid of a former star naturally means that there are higher-than-usual expectations of her.
“People do treat me a little differently because of who my mum is,” JJ, who is now a full-time Mediacorp artiste, muses to 8days.sg over the phone. “But most of the time, it isn’t to my advantage in that sense because they just end up having really high expectations of me. I’m like, that’s not how it works. I feel that there’s a metaphorical halo that they put on every kid whose parent was part of showbiz, but at the same time, I try to remind people that I’m a rookie and that I’m just starting out. We don't have things any easier, and neither do we want to get special treatment just because of who our parents are.”
At the same time, having a showbiz mum allows her to have a firsthand account of “the protracted issues in showbiz that will never be resolved”. When we ask JJ to explain what she means, she declines to elaborate, only saying that Lucy constantly reminds her to always remain grounded.
Her mum, who JJ says is her best friend, was also the one who insisted that she go into showbiz full-time only after completing her studies, something that the singer-actress agrees wholeheartedly with. “After all,” she chuckles, “I do believe that we all need a plan B. As strange as this might sound, my plan B is to get my masters and PhD. Then I’d want to be a philosophy professor.”
After graduating from NUS with a degree in philosophy last November, she dived headfirst into showbiz, releasing her first Mandarin single ‘Mei Shi Jian’ (or 'No Time' in English) as well as the COVID-19 outbreak inspired song ‘The Light’, which she wrote with SPOP Sing! champ Jarrell Huang. 'The Light', which is a tribute to medical personnel, also features vocals from Desmond Tan, Felicia Chin, Fang Rong, Daryl-Ann Jansen, James Seah, Richie Koh, Sharon Shobana Vasudevan and Liwani Izzati.