It has been said that Malaysian pop groups don’t last very long, with most of them disbanding before the sixth year is up. Well, that saying obviously does not apply to ThomasJack (also known as TJ or Dong Yu Zhe in Mandarin), which just celebrated its sixth anniversary last year.
If anything, the boys are going from strength to strength – this year they are finally staging their very first large-scale concert on homeground.
The ThomasJack Fantasy Concert is set to be held at Stadium Negara on Aug 20 (tickets go on sale in May). Then in June, the two will be launching their new album titled Fantasy.
As entertainers who got their big break via auditions for singing competitions, ThomasJack says local youths should be brave in the pursuit of their passion for singing. Aptly enough, the duo has been recruited as ambassadors for Sing For Brave, a project that is conducted in collaboration with Red Box and Green Box Karaoke, which have organised various singing contests of varied sizes over the years to discover talented singers.
During a recent press conference, the local pop duo shared their own stories as a way to encourage students to be proactive and persevere as they work towards achieving their dreams.
Starting as a member of a dance group before he became a singer, Thomas Kok, 26, admitted that his journey to become a singer was not easy. “Although I’ve suffered lots of setbacks, I continued to work hard towards my dream. So, I want to tell everybody that they should never give up.”
Now gaining much popularity as an actor as well, Jack Tan, 25, often recounts his accidental foray into local showbiz as a major highlight. “I was actually only keeping a friend company at an audition where his idol JJ Lin was the judge. But, I got through the auditions instead. The point is you never know when opportunity strikes.”
Additionally, Tan will be filming local Mandarin TV drama Unchained Fate and then two movies – Shuttle Life and Brothers – by producer Ong Lay Jin of More Entertainment. “Filming for Shuttle Life commences in May. I’m now reading the script, which is about how the society’s concern for the poor brings hope to the community.”
Long-time coffee enthusiast Kok has been studying to be a barista, getting certificates in Taiwan last year and Thailand this year. “I hope to open my own cafe, so I am looking for investors. In the meantime, I am studying the art as I hope to establish my own brand. I want to open an academy and teach others who love coffee. I also want to publish a book about travel and coffee, as I fell in love with coffee while travelling.”