We’re in Stefanie Sun’s living room. Well, okay, a space that has been decked out to look like the 39-year-old singer’s living room. The aptly titled Living Room at The Arts House has been given a cosy makeover for the singer’s press con to promote her latest album A Dancing Van Gogh. Filling the intimate space are the singer’s personal possessions aka the things that you would find in Stef’s home. Those articles come with labels containing Stef’s musings, some which speak of her frugal ways. There’s a black tee with the words “I’d rather be in bed” printed on it, which we’re told was what Stef wore to bed for a decade, two tennis balls (that she uses for massage therapy) and an eco-friendly Tupperware lunchbox and water bottle (“Sometimes, the uncle hawkers will give me extra ingredients ’cos I brought my own lunchbox,” reads the label).
Sitting on one shelf too is the book she reads before she goes to bed, Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last — a gift from Stef’s Dutch-Indonesian husband, Nadim Van Der Ros (“Just as I was about to give up, feeling torn as to why I had to make life so tough for myself, he reminded me: I’m also considered a leader now”). Stefanie also showed how she unleashes her inner Van Gogh in her free time, with several of her artwork on display.
“My fans asked if I could share what my daily essentials are so I displayed some small items that I normally use to let my fans see what they have in common with me,” Stefanie explains. And it seems this uncharacteristic display of her personal life also extends into the usually-private star’s interviews now. Decked out in a CNY-appropriate red dress, the star, who’s four months pregnant with her second kid, spills on everything from her woes of working while preggers (“Sometimes, even when talking, I’d run out of breath”) to grousing about how she wishes her husband would treat her nicer when she’s not expecting.
Her husband is number one in her heart.
“I read in a book that one should put their spouse before their kids. I think that theory makes sense ’cos lately, I’ve been flying around to promote my album, and the role that a husband plays [in a family] is very important. He must be very willing to take on that role [of parenting], so it won’t cause conflict between us in that aspect. So I feel very appreciative of him and I think putting him [before the kids] is also natural and right.”
She wants her husband to pamper her more.
“[Now that I’m pregnant,] my husband will ask me to be careful or he will offer to drive. He suddenly became very thoughtful. (Roll her eyes) There’s a [huge] gap [in how he treats me] before and after pregnancy. Is it that hard for him to maintain [that behaviour]? To all the daddies present today: Why must you wait till your wife’s pregnant before being nice to her?”
Her son is not a good secret keeper.
“We told our son [that I’m pregnant] when he was in the bathtub, and he was like (makes a ‘gasp’ sound). We were like, “Hey, don’t tell anybody, okay?” But we said that with a pinch of salt — we know that he’s five. But very quickly, his whole school knew about it. (Laughs) The teacher came to me and said, ‘Oh, today, we were talking about how we have to give up our seats to the disabled and pregnant [women] on the MRT. And your son said, ‘My mama has a baby in her belly.’ So [that’s how] everyone [in his school] knew. There was once we went to take the train. So I said to my son, ‘We’re going to board the train. Don’t go and ask people to give up their seats for mama!’ ’Cos we hadn’t announced my pregnancy then. So sometimes, I had to prep him for such things.”
[Scroll through the photo gallery (above) to see more some of Stef’s possessions on display at the press con.]
PHOTOS: CHEE YAN