I really need to kick the 1 year 1 log habit of journaling or I’m going to miss the best bits! And by best bits, I do mean the little things that matter more than we think.

So for 2018, I’ve listed down quite a few resolutions (or goals as I prefer to call it) and divided them into four parts:

  1. Professional Goals
  2. Spiritual Goals
  3. Financial Goals
  4. Personal Goals

While I will not be sharing each individual goal as it is quite a private matter (also I have pretty big dreams so some of them are quite laughable and I’d rather not have anyone laughing at how delusional my goals can be), I would like to share the precise % of hitting my goals in each respective components!

Professionally, I have hit 66.67% of my targeted goals. The remainder of which I am confident I can achieve in a matter of time! Suffice to say, 2018 has been leaps and bounds of an improvement for my career and I honestly cannot be more excited for 2019!! That is to say, I am equally as nervous because we all know how volatile this industry is and as easily (although not really THAT easily for me) as success may befall upon you, it can as quickly be snatched away. So, never lose sight!

In terms of spiritual goals, I only achieved 42.85% which is less than half which really means I pretty much failed. Definitely loads of room for improvement in this aspect disappointingly.

Now, my financial goal is literally the only goal that I actually hit, which I am super ecstatic about. The only issue with this department is that I ended up overspending a pinch and I wasn’t able to put as much into my savings as I would’ve liked. Still, I’m glad I am able to contribute a portion to church/charity and my parents (#filial or what).

As for my personal goals, let’s just say I really kicked ass– in neglecting my personal objectives with a whooping 20% success rate.

Okay so here’s the conundrum. Are resolutions/goals/targets/objectives we set for ourselves a recipe for failure or motivation?

Haven’t we all heard of the “setting low expectations to avoid disappointment” quotes? Wouldn’t doing this just make our lives less stressful and a little more care-free?

But then, doesn’t setting low expectations just proves you may be unmotivated, unambitious or just plain lazy?

Where and how do we find the balance between setting realistic, achievable goals that are not too easily attained to stay motivated?

Here’s my simple answer: SELF-AWARENESS.

Let’s face it, when you have a good sense of your whole self– your capabilities, limits, preferences, aversions– it won’t be difficult to set resolutions that are sensible, achievable yet maintain a level of difficulty and challenge that will get you up on your ass and doing something.

Having said that, not everyone is made for goal-setting and resolutions. But if you know yourself well enough, you will know what works best for you.

Also, the method of how you go about achieving your goals matter greatly. For instance, some people tend to be “all talk no action”. Personally, I find the practice of not sharing your goals publicly and keeping them to yourself to be more effective.

Another few more key points to successful and satisfactory goal-keeping are:

  • Keep your goals simple but specific
    • Good example: Spiritual goal: Complete “Steps to Christ” by Ellen White
    • Bad example: Be a better Christian
  • Acquire the habit of looking at your written goals often (whether you’d prefer having them handy on your phone like me or to have it physically written out or have it mind mapped on your work desk or at home, it needs to be very accessible to you)
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you are unable to realize some or a lot of your goals. Just bring them forward to the following year if they are still relevant in your life and prioritize them if they have grown in importance

Life is all about constant recalibration. In order to do that well, not only do you need to be self-aware, you need to always seek knowledge and information, have sufficient planning, and determine your destination and/or objectives.

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In summary, 2018 for me was indeed an uphill climb. But every time I paused to take a breath, the view from where I stood was simple awe-inspiring.

I am further than I ever was on the path I’ve embarked on… it has been 5 years since the start of this journal entries (Ink Spills of My Heart – First Entry) and reading back, it’s been just crazy how far I’ve come and yet, I truly am proud that I am still that same resolute girl I used to be.

I always thought to myself… perhaps the reason why God didn’t want me to have overnight success and that I was never, ever handed a silver platter with anything I ever wanted for my career because He wanted me to earn it. And the reason for this slow, steady, yet completely organic process of building my fan base and my name, is to build my character and skill-set to prepare it for longevity in this line of work.

I imagined if I did get my break earlier on and became super famous… sustaining fame requires so much of persistence, perseverance, passion and patience (I swear I wasn’t looking for all words starting with “P”, it just happened lol).

I’ve seen so many overnight success peers who simply do not have the 4Ps to push on and continue this line of work. They think to themselves that they need to keep having these amazing breaks in their career and due to pressure coming from no one but themselves to continually do better (as one would expect one to do), then they would, in their own mind’s eye, feel like a failure when they do not get another break and tend to give up altogether pursuing this line of work. All they needed to do was to accept that overnight fame is simply a phenomenon and it could happen once or twice in your life maybe a lot more for some and none at all for others.

It really does take a very specific sort of character to endure this line of work with it’s maddening combos of instability, moments of exhilaration, extreme fluidity and rude awakenings. All of which, again, boils down to self-awareness as being the foundation of achieving success.

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Now, more than ever, I understand God’s plan for me, and all I need to do is continue to trust it and keep up my good work.

It does become exponentially more difficult to find peace amongst the jarring noise that accumulates the more eyes are on me and this is where, more and more, constant self-reminder to persist to my truth is needed.

I have always, always admired those who are so successful and achieved so much yet are never boastful or arrogant or think oneself as superior than others. These people remind me that our successes are not meant for personal glory but instead for a sense of purpose in this beautiful mess we call life.

For 2019, I hope to keep up the momentum I’ve built thus far and continue to improve all aspects of my life professionally, spiritually, financially, and personally.

Happy New Year!

PS, I do feel confident in giving advise in goal-keeping (I’ve been doing this all my life so I‘ve gotten quite good at it) so do feel free to send me a message or ask me questions regarding this topic and I will gladly correspond!

Thank you, Pillars Malaysia, for featuring my movie debut in your October 27-November 9 Issue! I always discover so much more about myself & the things I do when I’m being asked great questions. Check out my interview below!

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Pillars Malaysia is a subscription-based magazine covering premier lifestyle and entertainment for entrepreneurs today! You can subscribe to Pillars by clicking here :)

I don’t enjoy being a preachy vegetarian but yet here I am, yikes!
Meaticus No Eaticus

Meaticus No Eaticus

I started being vegetarian a year ago for health reasons. It was a conscious decision on my end to treat my body better. I’m by no means perfect and it’s still a struggle from time to time.

I won’t want to delve much into persuading anyone of the benefits of being one or the science behind vegetarianism because Google and/or consulting a nutritionist can sort that out for anyone who is interested to really know.

Instead, I do want to share my testimony on the difference this new diet has done for me:

  • My digestive system is working beautifully now. I used to get frequent tummy aches and easily suffer from indigestion but since my diet change; not even once. And extremely healthy bowel movements now #TMI

  • Metabolic rate has increased although I have strong reasons to believe this has a lot to do with the 10x Cryotherapy sessions I did at Rev Publika Malaysia and for this reason combined with my new diet, I’m burning calories so much easier & faster. Let’s just say burning veggies & carbs is a whole lot easier for the body than meat & dairy!

  • No more food comas! Body never feels lethargic even though I stuff my face silly. I don’t feel like I hate myself after over-eating!

  • Due to limited food options, I cook so much more now and guess what, that allows me to not only have a well-rounded organic meal, but it does save money in the long run.

  • In general, my body feels lighter in ways I can’t quite explain. Perhaps it’s the lack of rotten meat being left for days in my intestines……

On the flip side, it’s obvious being a vegetarian isn’t all fun and games. Yes, it brought a whole lot of positive results for my body and state of mind but it came along with some difficulties to boot. Among them are:

  • Eating out became a challenge depending on the country/city I was in. The limited options definitely required more planning and preparation especially if you’re a foodie like me who really takes eating good food as a very sought-after activity to do on a daily basis. Also, prior planning is needed for when I jump on the plane (need to remember to pre-request for vegetarian meals), when I’m filming or on the job that provides meals, etc etc. But the travelling and working world is incredibly accommodating so it was more a matter of me pre-planning.

  • The common misconception is, “How would you get your protein?” But that is a far cry from the REAL nutrient that goes amiss when turning vegetarian. Protein is easily found in soy, quinoa, eggs, barley, beans, wheat, spirulina, nuts… the list can get pretty hefty. So protein is really the least of the concerns. 
    But IRON… See, as women, we lose blood every month and our red blood cells get lost in the mix of that occurrence, which also means we need a fair bit of iron. My body was still adjusting to the diet and at the time I wasn’t aware (I was concerned about the wrong nutrient) that I would lack iron due to my diet change. After experiencing lousy stamina & fainting spells from outdoor activities with prolonged sun exposure and when I did circuit challenges, I went to do some blood work and figured out the problem. After my doctor & nutritionist consultations and with my own nifty research on the web, I’m all sorted now and better than ever! Just a matter of identifying the right kinds of foods I should consume more to ensure my iron intake is sufficient for me.

  • Navigating social networks and peer pressure is not the simplest of things and must be heavily considered if you care a lot about what people think of you and what sort of image you stand for. You may come off as less approachable and even rigid and you have to be okay with those possible misconceptions.
    As for me? I don’t mind at all people thinking I am both those things because perhaps I am. I like standing for my choices and being proud of the life choices I make and if that makes me look rigid, I’m really okay with that.

  • Possibly the most annoying thing about being a vegetarian, being asked WHY I decided to be a vegetarian. But just like how it’s annoying when people eat with their mouth open or people who stand super close to you in a line-up or drivers who don’t signal or people who talk loudly on their mobile phones….. you find yourself getting annoyed but still putting up with it anyway.

  • And the toughest thing was to wrap my mum’s head around cooking vegetarian friendly food for me. I had to endure months of complaining before she realized that it was a lot simpler and easier to cook meat-free dishes. That goes to say for anyone close to me… I am thankful I have so many supportive friends and family surrounding me so the change was generally taken well enough– with a lot of explanation on my end that I am really doing this for me and my body and for a healthy future.

So that about sums up my testimony of being a 1 year-old vegetarian!

 A lot of people ask me if I miss meat and I can confidently say that I don’t miss meat as much as I miss the convenience of finding good food that happens to be made mostly out of meat. But just like how fast food is convenient and accessible and cheap, it’s really not good for you. And much of like how life works in general, great things take work!

Also important to note that even as a vegan/vegetarian, you still need to make healthy choices in general because there are indeed plenty of vegetarians who fill themselves up with carbs and empty calories to feel full instead of nutrient-filled choices which are plentiful if you just did the background work.

Just like any substantial change in lifestyle, it will be a tough few days/weeks/months. But just like any GOOD change, you will be rewarded with a better body & mind because being a vegetarian will not only change your physical body to be healthier, but your awareness of mind will improve as well!

A lifestyle change I strongly advocate!

Wait, what?

Did over a year just zoomed by or what!

Squeezing in a quick roundup update so I can say I logged in at least once for 2017 😅

I meant to update my journals many times over but the amount of distractions that occurred were considerably high. I know that’s not enough to garner a reasonable excuse to have neglected updating “Ink Spills of My Heart” though… But! Better late than never, I’d like to think.

Just going through my last post, I can still recall the feeling of excitement and nervousness prior to the release of my first single《FLY》. After the release, I truly meant to update my journals to record down the outcome but I kid you not, I still cannot believe that it has been a whole year since I released my first single here in Malaysia.

Since I didn’t dare carry any expectations, I still don’t know how to feel about the response of the release. Truth be told, it wasn’t mind-blowing or ridiculously life-changing but boy, have I learnt a tremendous amount more about the industry I’ve delved into throughout this time.

I can confidently say that I am super proud of the song and music video we’ve worked on that has been released but it’s clear enough to say, with the outrageous amount of content out there, it’s so easy for great content to be lost amidst other even greater content. This is where digital marketing is so important. This observation is based on the response my single has received in the one year it has been put out there.

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.25.23 AM#FLYwithNATALIA Music Video

Over 125,000 views on YouTube, without any digital advertising and even better news yet, an award from Neway Karaoke Box Malaysia for best music video, I really can’t say I’m disappointed!

So personally, I do feel that it’s a pretty good start. Some would say it’s great results and some would argue it deserved better exposure. But we did want to see our organic reach with the type of content we produced and now that we have collected a year’s worth of data and experience, we’re hoping for better results for the EP Album release!

“Take pride in how far you have come, and have faith in how far you can go.”

A little self-mantra 👆

Throughout this year, I’ve been adjusting to my life back in Malaysia and Singapore and when you’re working 2 markets at once, it can get pretty busy. Also, I feel almost as though I am starting again as I have entered a new market (the Chinese market is a whole different world from the urban one, you guys). This is the reason why it’s more difficult to truly thrive in Asia as a notable artiste– it boils down to language barriers. If Asia or even just our nation/region spoke the same language, local celebrities could truly thrive. Unfortunately, in Malaysia and Singapore, while the multi-cultural elements make us unique, it is also one of the largest barriers for creative work to get its maximum exposure for recognition. But this is a whole other topic.

Anyway! So with having to hustle from the bottom (getting to know my new peers, directors, producers and people within the Chinese scene) and on top of that, keep up the presence within the urban market (my bread & butter at the moment) truly is time consuming.

Hence, this readjustment from one geographical location to another (Shanghai > KL & Singapore) plus from moving from the urban market to the Chinese market, suffice to say that they make for a reasonably huge distraction for the reason why my second and third music video and EP Album release has been delayed.

The great part however about this delay is that we (my manager and I) are meeting more and more amazingly creative & influential & successful people especially in production in hopes to work together to produce even better work! So although delays and procrastination can get really frustrating and I felt as though some momentum was lost, knowing I did not stay idle during this time is a sizeable consolation prize to me.

I’ve never been one who wants to become famous for the sake of being admired, revered and showered with compliments. I’m not saying I don’t want any of that completely and we all know fame can be used for many advantageous purposes (money, cool experiences, shortcuts in life, etc) but I am still as stubborn as I was before.

I refuse to be famous for the wrong reasons. I might have said this before but I’ll say it again: If fame only came with having to lose my values and my righteousness, and in order to achieve what I set out to do in the beginning of my journals and my journey I will have to go down a road I’m not comfortable with, then this fame I seek holds no value to me.

It is starting to become more and more apparent to me that the success I seek; is not temporary fame (I’d like to call it “Fireworks” because as we all know, they are a burst of magnificence but as quickly as it appears; it disappears); but longevity in this line of work. As much as I yearn for my “lucky break” and truly, I have always gotten so close but missed it several times due to various circumstances, these missed opportunities have humbled me tremendously and have been the best character building process in which value is only attainable through experience.

Having said all that, as much as it is better on my person to undergo challenges and struggles before achieving empowering success, it will still be pretty foolish not to set some sort of deadline of when it’ll be time to pull the plug. In my mind, I’ve set an estimate of when this time would be but ultimately, the decision to do it has to be made when it blatantly calls for it… and when that time comes, I’m sure I’ll know it.

2018 will officially be the 5th year of my journey thus far. A couple of exciting things for me to look forward to for the first quarter of the year (my big screen movie debut and the official release of my EP album), which may or may not dictate how the rest of my year will look like (or life… who knows with this industry, right?).

So far, there isn’t really any expectations set other than always doing and giving the very best I can and leaving it all in God’s hands. In my opinion, this is the best mentality to adopt to keep ourselves not only focused in the work we do, but stay sane in this ever-evolving and dangerously volatile industry.

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Coming from someone who experienced a bunch of failures throughout my journey, I couldn’t agree more with this 👆

Optimism and hope are the biggest tools to making our dreams come true! These words may not hold as much weight coming from someone who has only achieved small successes but here’s the optimism of hoping that it will someday :)

And at the same time in Malaysia of March 2017, I am featured in Sister Magazine Malaysia!

Sisters Magazine Malaysia March 2017 Issue

Sisters Magazine Malaysia March 2017 Issue

Love the look; much thanks to the team:

Photography by Tommi Chu @ Blink Studio

Styling by Eng Seng

Makeup by Cat Yong

Hair by Cody Chua

Article can be found on page 69 under the Fashion & Style segment of Sisters Magazine Malaysia:

Page 69 of Sisters Magazine Malaysia March 2017 Issue

Page 69 of Sisters Magazine Malaysia March 2017 Issue

“勇于尝试不同的风格, 但也要保留自我时尚态度”

Always daring and open enough to try different fashion styles without ever forgoing my own fashion attitude.” – Natalia Ng

My Q&A Interview as translated below:

My Profile

Profile

Profile:

After winning the first-runner up title of Miss Universe Malaysia in 2013, Natalia kick-started her career in TV Hosting and Modelling.

Recently, she solidified her status as a singer after releasing her first single, “FLY” which received a great response thus far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Q1-Q2-Q3

Q1-Q2-Q3

Q1: What is your fashion style?

On a daily basis, I prefer a neutral sense in fashion. Something in between girlish and boyish, as well as simplistic, comfortable and casual. Perhaps because I love sports, I like staying comfortable and functional without lacking that sporty fashion.

Q2: What is your fashion attitude?

There is no right and wrong in fashion. Everyone’s physical feature that stands out is unique to each person, so it’s about taking the courage to try all sorts of different styles and trends to discover what brings out the best you.

Q3: Were you born loving fashion?

I wouldn’t say I was born loving fashion, it was more of an accumulation of experience and exposure in the fashion world that allowed me to grow to love fashion.

 

 


 

Q4-Q5-Q6-Q7

Q4-Q5-Q6-Q7

Q4: What has Fashion taught you?

Fashion is a great medium to display your character and your style. I am a tomboy but I still have my girly side and that definitely shows in my fashion sense.

Q5: Where do you get your fashion inspirations?

Mostly from magazines online and offline as they always feature the latest trends and styles. However, before filming my Music Video, I watched a lot of other Music Videos online and learnt a lot on how fashion evolves with time.

Q6: What is the one fashion item you cannot go without?

My earrings! My left ear sports 3 earrings; 1 on my tragus, and these are my statement accessories I keep on always. It’s not super loud but it’s not unnoticeable either.

Q7: Who is your favourite Fashion Icon?

Donatella Versace. I especially admire the way she mix and matches different materials ranging from ostrich feathers to detailed beadings that really stands out and she never fails to design statement pieces that really captures a exquisite blend of femininity and exclusivity each fashion season!


 

Fashion is about something that comes from within you.

Just like art, fashion is a form of self-expression and I am always blown away by its ability to constantly evolve and make an impression!

Kick-starting my year just right by being a part of the L’Officiel Squad Singapore for 2017!

For the March 2017 issue, squad members were introduced to the fashion world and here’s mine:

L'Officiel Singapore March 2017 Issue

L’Officiel Singapore March 2017 Issue

Answered the questions from L’Officiel in handwriting:

 

 

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Gosh, I have extremely childish handwriting 😂  This is what happens when technology took over early in life and handwriting just simply wasn’t something most people worked on anymore.

Also couldn’t get a higher resolution copy for some reason… Even I’m having trouble making out some of what I’m saying 😅

Introducing, the rest of the squad members X

IMG_9106 IMG_9107 IMG_9109 IMG_9110

Squad members above adorned in Swarovski: Rozz, Tabitha Nauser, Calista, Sonya Sanchez, & Karisa Kaleido. What a squad to be a part of 😍

Always great fun working with L’Officiel Singapore!!

We first dropped my first single 《FLY》online on YouTube on 23rd November, 2016 and a couple of months later, held the official press conference in Redbox Plus Pavilion Karaoke in Malaysia!

According to my label, Halo Music 海螺音乐, it’s rare for a new artiste to hold a press conference with just a single released and not yet the EP Album or a full album 😅  I wasn’t sure if this was a good or bad thing but apparently there’s enough hype about my transition from the urban market and a TV host & model into a singer in the Chinese market PLUS my kick-ass Music Video that garnered a good enough excuse to hold one… so yay!

OFFICIAL PRESS CONFERENCE:

 Natalia 黄綵玲《FLY》Single Press Conference At Redbox Plus Pavilion Karaoke

It was an unnerving experience having a full day of interviews all in Chinese. Super exciting experience yet incredibly tiring on my half-conformed Chinese speaking brain.

LIST OF PRESS RELEASE:

Below are the list of media whom of which attended the press conference and covered the release of my first single!

Thank you to all the Malaysian press & media for the features! 😍

Other than press & media releases, I had a full day of live interviews following the press conference; from TV interviews to radio interviews!

LIVE TV INTERVIEWS:

This was the promo for the Live Interviews on both channel NTV7 and 8TV in Malaysia!

On the adorable set of 8TV News!

On the adorable set of 8TV News hosted by Happy Gan & Christina Ng!

E7 interview on NTV7!

E7 interview on NTV7 hosted by Kyan!

Was also invited to be interviewed on V Buzz Malaysia!

With V'buzz TV Hosts Juanita & Shareeta!

With V’buzz TV Hosts Juanita & Shareeta!

It was a lot of fun being on the flip side of the interview couch, if I were going to be honest. Of course, when I started off in this industry from Miss Universe Malaysia, I was interviewed a fair bit during those few months after but shortly after as I transitioned into a TV host, I got to be in the driver’s seat of interview sessions. And although that’s a skill & challenge of it’s own, but I have to admit, I much prefer being interviewed as opposed to conducting the interview. Regardless, it’s always fun to switch it up once in a while and it’s nice that I can sit on either side of the couch and still enjoy the ride!

LIVE RADIO INTERVIEWS:

Attended two sessions of radio interviews starting with MYFM!

Aaron 黄一 (my music producer for FLY) and I in the MYFM's interview room conducted by in-house radio DJ Wayne Phoo.

Aaron 黄一 (my music producer for FLY) and I in the MYFM’s interview room conducted by in-house radio DJ Wayne Phoo.

Was also featured on ONEFM!

In the ONEFM studio with radio DJ Brandon!

In the ONEFM studio with radio DJ Brandon!

And that wraps up my Press Tour for my single 《FLY》!! Hardly a tour but still a pretty hectic schedule with 6 press interviews, 3 TV interviews and 2 radio interviews! Repeating oneself can get pretty tiresome but it comes with the package of promotion plus it makes for good practice.

Special thank you to Soh Ling from Halo Music for arranging my schedule and to Percy Phang (彭学斌) for preparing the press release media kit!

I was featured for back-to-back months on CITTA BELLA – 都会佳人 Malaysia Magazine:

In September 2016 issue, I was featured in the Fashion A-Z claiming the letter “N” representing my name!

Cittabella Fashion A-Z Feature Sep '16 Issue

CITTA BELLA Fashion A-Z Feature Sep ’16 Issue

I was asked what fashion means to me and I swiftly responded potentially the most politically correct answer, “Fashion is each person’s venue for self-expression, so there’s no right or wrong in fashion.”

CITTA BELLA Fashion A-Z Feature Article - Page 1

CITTA BELLA Fashion A-Z Feature Article – Page 1

Translation for article above:

Other than Natalia’s good looks and frame, she’s also a rare intelligent artiste in the industry. From 14-16 years of age, she represented Kuala Lumpur state in Golf during SUKMA (Sukan Malaysia) and at 18 years old, after representing Selangor state and winning gold medals in two categories, she trained with Malaysia’s national golf team.

Shortly after, she moved to Canada to further her studies and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance. Natalia worked at HSBC Bank Canada for a year before deciding that wasn’t what she wanted to do for the rest of her life and decided to move back to South East Asia to pursue her dreams of being an actress and singer.

Her first step upon returning back to Malaysia was to join Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 and nabbed the first-runner up title.

Other than her modelling jobs that year, she took the role of being Tang Wei’s stand-in alongside Chris Hemsworth and Wang Lee Hom in the Hollywood movie 《Blackhat》. In 2014, she hosted two shows by MYEG one on Astro Supersports 《MYEG Xtra Time》and another on NTV7 《MYEG Make The Pitch》.

CITTA BELLA Fashion A-Z Feature Article - Page 2

CITTA BELLA Fashion A-Z Feature Article – Page 2

In 2015, she moved to Singapore to become one of the coveted Fox Sports TV Host hosting Fox Sports Central as well as the Fox Sports Daily 1-minute updates.

In 2016, Natalia finally found the opportunity to produce her EP Album in Shanghai. From modelling, hosting, acting and singing, not one scope of work within the industry was out of her grasp.

Being exposed to all facets within the industry, Natalia definitely will have an individualistic view on fashion. “Fashion is each person’s venue for self-expression, so there’s no right or wrong in fashion. We’ll always keep getting to see how fashion can evolve from person to person.”

As for herself, she prefers to wear simple and laid-back attire on a daily basis incorporating girlish and boyish elements. When she does dress up for events and red carpet appearances, however, she does appreciate a blend of materials such as lace detailing, chiffon layers, feather tassels, etc.


In the magazine’s October 2016 issue, I was featured in COACH for CITTA BELLA:

Cittabella for Coach Oct '17 Issue

Citta Bella for Coach Oct ’17 Issue

Top to toe dressed in Coach!

Always love being featured in fashion magazines and learning more and more each time about fashion and finding my style!

10 months ago, I made the move to the charming city of Shanghai. It’s incredible how in this neither long nor short amount of time, I gained so much in terms of skills, experience, and knowledge I never expected I would ever garner in my lifetime. Shanghai is truly a city that has opened my eyes in so many ways.

In these 10 months, my main focus was to work on my singing, dancing, and language skills and I can confidently say that I’ve achieved exactly all I was hoping for and more. There is definitely still room to grow and improve (there is always room to grow and improve… even as a professional!) but I am undoubtedly very happy and excited about my progress and current level of my skillsets at this point in time in this respect.

Other than skill honing, during this time, I had the pleasure of working with incredible music producers to record 3 singles to be launched as an Extended Play (EP) in the time to come.

Travelling back and forth Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was the common theme in the past year in preparation for my EP as one of my music producers, 黃一 (Aaron Huang), from The Voice China is based in Shanghai and my other music producer, 彭學斌 (Percy Phang), is from Malaysia. Then there’s my incredible vocal coach who was in Shanghai along with my language teacher and dance school. With a Singapore-based management and my previous presence as a Fox Sports Asia TV host, I had continual work in Singapore as well.

So this training period required some massive amount of multi-tasking capabilities from focusing on honing my skillsets, brain-storming artistic direction with my music producers and music video director, Chuan Looi (also based in Malaysia), planning and coordinating with my manager, Jamie (AM Media Artistes based in Singapore) to trying to have a life outside work (it was fairly non-existent if I’m going to be honest). Just writing this all out seems nice, simple and fairly uncomplicated but the past year has went by in a sort of blur and I had to do my very best not to lose it halfway through.

When I decided to embark on this journey, I made very sure of the commitment I was going to have to make and to expect the challenges of attempting what some may deem the impossible (even I at one point). Expectations are an incredibly important tool to use in order to get through the difficult stages in life. It really helped me prepare for the worst and not lose my mind or breakdown completely.

I must admit, there were points where I was dangerously close to pulling the plug wondering if all of this was worth it in the end. In retrospect, I am thankful and relieved that I managed to pull through but that is not without some serious support from a few key people in my life.

As I write this, my 3 singles have been recorded (from February through March), and I have just finished filming my very first music video debut. At this point, I can confidently say, it truly has been worth it. All the blood, sweat, and tears shed throughout this grueling process will definitely make the taste of success that much sweeter.

Now, of course, that is not to say I am expecting success upon launch. In all honesty, I am feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing because I have absolutely no idea what to expect. All I can safely say now is that I am tremendously satisfied and proud of the work that my team and I have put together and I am super excited to share it with the world.

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I cannot emphasize enough how much time and how much work it took to finally get to this point… All I know is that even amidst the frustrations, the heartaches, the disappointments, and the stress that I’ve been through, I would do it all over again. Because in the end, it was all worth it.

I like how the common terminology in the English-speaking world is 110% but in the Chinese world, it’s directly translated to 200%. So similar yet quite different!

You can read my feature in Oriental News Daily Malaysia in Chinese here or the below translation for my English readers:

奋力做足200分: Natalia 黄綵玲

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黄綵玲 是美姐、主持人,也是模特儿,现在她的头衔將再添歌手一职,之后还会以演员的身份出发。

打破以往人们赋予她的標籤,重新规划个人事业版图,是棠羚积极嚮往的方向。

即使是一个花瓶,她也想成为一个价值连城的花瓶。

Natalia Ng is a beauty queen, host, & model, and soon a singer and actor label to her portfolio.

To break the label of being confined to be just a beauty queen, host, & model to a multi-faceted artiste, is the goal that Natalia is aspiring to achieve.

Even if it is to be a vase, she aspires to be a priceless vase.

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当棠羚走进摄影棚那一刻,我跟摄影师愣住了!「跟照片的感觉有些差距」,是我们最深刻的感受。不过,这个差別是好的──硬照里的棠羚,就像一个充满韵味的轻熟女,但在现实中,素顏的棠羚就像邻家女孩,有著令人称羡的巴掌脸,以及修长的身形。这类型的女孩,特別適合出现在大荧幕。

访问棠羚前,对於她的背景,我无从瞭解,上网搜寻也仅有一些基本的资料。

既然几乎零背景,我清除了之前数面之缘的印象,把这次的访谈,变成一场面试。「我们从零开始谈,当作我不认识你,你也不认识我…」

棠羚是以2013年马来西亚环球小姐(Miss Universe Malaysia)亚军身份出道,因为口齿伶俐,成为电视台签约主持人。她的独特气质,很容易让人在人群中对她投射注视的目光。这时,脑中闪过一个想法:比起环球小姐,她更適合参加有线电视的华裔小姐。把这个问题丟给棠羚,她先是长嘆一口气,再以遗憾的口吻回答,「很多人的想法都跟你一样,只怪小女是一个標准的『香蕉人』,这一点让我错失了很多机会。」

听到这里,我更为惊讶,因为眼前的棠羚正以一口標准兼流利的华语跟我进行访谈,这到底是怎么回事?「我即將推出个人专辑,在跟经理人沟通后,决定开始学讲华语。我被安排到上海生活、学习华语、舞蹈、表演和唱歌。」

要掌握一个语言,並不是一件易事,但棠羚仅仅用了8个月,就能跟我对答如流,不禁让我对她的毅力竖起大拇指,果真有志者事竟成。

在我看来,她的学习动力来自先前那些曾经错失的大好机会。棠羚的经理人透露,早在几年前,她曾被本地名导相中出演电影,临门一脚被撤换,原因正是「不能讲华语」。与这个大好机会擦肩而过,对於棠羚而言,有些打击,也是多年来的憾事。

When Natalia walked into the studio, our photographer and I were shocked! She looked quite different in photographs as she did in person; a good difference. Compared to in photographs, where Natalia looks like a fierce prowling tigress, in person, she was more the sweet girl-next door and an enviable slender stature.

Before interviewing Natalia, I had very little idea of her background as there were limited information about her on the internet.

With that said, we started the interview from scratch applying the <I don’t know you, and you don’t know me> method.

Natalia made her debut as the runner-up of Miss Universe Malaysia in 2013 that prompted her to go into TV Hosting shortly after due to her strong command in English and articulation of it. With her unique stature, she truly fills the room and it’s hard for her to go unnoticed in a crowd of people. At this point, my mind flashed an idea: Isn’t she more suited to have joined the Miss Astro Chinese International pageant instead? As I threw her this question, Natalia sighs and responds in a regrettable tone, “Many have told me the very same thing, but I was raised a ‘banana‘ and my illiteracy in Mandarin made me miss many chances at progressing quickly within this industry….

Upon hearing this, I was astonished as the current girl I was interviewing was was speaking quite fluently in Mandarin. What happened? “I am preparing to launch my EP album and after discussing with my management, I decided to start learning Chinese. I was arranged to to live in Shanghai for a short period to learn Chinese, dance, vocals and performance.

To master a language is no easy task, however, in a mere 8 months, Natalia is able to swiftly respond to my interview questions and to that, I give her two big thumbs up to her perseverance.

So it seems, her motivation to pick up Mandarin was indeed from her missed opportunities. In fact, Natalia’s manager revealed that a couple of years ago, Natalia was meant to star in a Malaysian box-office hit movie but was bumped off the role due to her inability to converse in Mandarin for the press conference and interview portion of the movie tour. Hence, Natalia resolved to not miss out further opportunities and pressed on to pick up this language.

小心经营歌手梦

幸运之神总是牵起棠羚的手,却没让她展翅高飞。在她身上所发生的憾事,何止一件。「两年多前,我被台湾唱片公司签下,不幸的是,中国投资商忽然撤资,新人首当其衝,歌手梦瞬间破灭。」在她最迷惘的时刻,她遇到了现任经理人Jamie。「Jamie瞭解我,答应帮我实现歌手梦,她还擬出了一个长远计划,建议我继续经营主持事业,再给她一年时间集资和筹备。」如今,首张专辑正在筹备中,经理人公司也为她找来《中国好声音》的製作人和本地製作人彭学斌为她製作专辑,其中还有她一手包办词曲的创作。

棠羚和经纪人一直很小心翼翼地在为演艺事业铺路,即使手上有数个很好的剧本,若与她的歌手形象有些差距,都会割爱。「我希望我的第一部作品是跟我所设定的形象是有关联的,因为这可能会与未来的戏路有很大的链接。」行为举止优雅的棠羚原来很想演喜剧,其次则是动作片。「若有一部作品事结合喜剧和动作片,我一定二话不说,答应演出,这是我梦寐以求的角色!」

曾访过很多选美出身的艺人,她们对於多年后还被冠上「美姐」的头衔,是一件很令人「彆扭」的事。棠羚却不以为然,「因为参加环球小姐竞选后,我才发掘到自己是当主持人的『料』,也是因为选美,让我在这短短的时间里结识各行各业的人。但想要闯荡演艺圈,还得靠实力和精力,美女多的是,而且长江后浪推前浪,头衔只能给你一时的名气,努力增值自己,才是王道。」

参加选美当然希望自己成为冠军,棠羚亦不例外,她坦言宣佈成绩的那一刻,確实很失落。

「失落是一定的,因为我一直以为自己是冠军人选,后来想想,没得到冠军也好,因为大家对我的『美后』印象不会那么深刻。当选后我马上投入了电视主持人的工作,很多人总认为我是一个模特儿兼主持人。」现在的棠羚,反而希望可以摆脱以往民眾给予的標籤,將她视为一个全方位艺人。在外人眼里,她是一个天才型艺人,她直言,「我不否认,但我吹毛求疵,做任何事都希望交出百分之两百的成绩,这是个人原则。」

Carefully Orchestrated Singer’s Dream

Thankfully, God has always held Natalia’s hand but did not let her fly high. What happened was only to her regret, and no one else. “I was first signed by a Taiwanese record label more than 2 years ago. Unfortunately, the investors from China suddenly withdrew their capital and the new artistes under the same management bore the brunt of this,” leaving the singer’s dream momentarily shattered. As her most confused and down phase, Natalia met her current manager, Jamie Ng. “Jamie understood me completely and believe in me with the promise of helping me realize my dreams. She also drafted a long-term plan that included me to continue business-as-usual in my current profile as a TV host and model for at least one year giving her that amount of time to raise funds to prepare my launch as a singer.” As of now, the debut EP album is under preparation and features in-house music producer of “The Voice China” (黄一 / Huang Yiand renown Malaysian music producer (彭学斌 / Percy Phang). 

In terms of acting, Natalia and her manager are very cautious in paving the way in this aspect. Even with a stellar script in their hands, if it compromises with the image that they are building for her, unfortunately, they’ll have to turn it down. “I hope for my movie debut to not veer to far off from the image we want to set.” The graceful actress-to-be would love to act in comedies as her first choice and action films as her second. “If there is a film that has both comedic and action elements in them, that’ll be the dream!”

她的时尚Q&A

你认为时尚是…

给人第一的印象!「人靠衣装」这句话虽然很现实,但也是事实。时尚很主观,每个人有自己的见解,所以没有一个標准答案。

你的时尚偶像?

多纳泰拉范思哲(Donatella Versace)。她的风格蛮中性的,跟我著装风格也很像,强势中带有女性化韵味,所以范思哲(Versace)每一季的时装秀,我都会特別关注。

最常购买的时尚品牌?

我有自己的时尚品牌Duchess & Co,出席晚宴和活动,自家品牌成了首选。Duchess & Co服饰与我的著装风格非常相似,也是照著我的喜好而设计的。

至於日常著装我就会推崇Zara和Miss Selfridge。

最热衷时尚单品?

我有很多鞋子,特爱买鞋。Christian Louboutin是我的爱牌(当天就是穿著品牌的铆钉球鞋),若比较平价的就是Aldo和Steve Madden,他们的高跟鞋都是我的首选。

最抗拒的时尚单品?

其实我接受度蛮广的,唯一不能接受的就是面料过於粗糙的服饰。还有,高跟鞋太高也是很折磨我的一件事,除非工作出席活动,我顶多可以忍受一个小时,我就要把它脱掉了。总之舒適最重要!

HER FASHION Q&A

Your definition of fashion is…

Giving people a first impression! “Judging a book by its cover” is something shallow yet harshly realistic. Also, fashion is very subjective and everyone has their own opinions, so it’s hard to give a standardised answer.

Your fashion icon?

Donatella Versace. Her style is a great balance between feminine and fierce. I like wearing rather masculine outfits with touch of feminine or vice versa. Every season of Versace fashion show is so stunning!

Fashion brand where you most purchase from…

I have my own fashion brand Duchess & Co, which is perfect for dinner events and special activities that require a semi-formal or formal dresscode.

As for the basic and everyday clothing, I love Zara and Miss Selfridge. 

The single favourite fashion product?

I have a lot of shoes, I have an obsession of buying shoes. Christian Louboutin is my love (she is seen sporting the white studded Louboutin signature kicks). For less ridiculous pricing shoes, Aldo and Steve Madden, are my go-to choices for high heels.

Most disliked the fashion item?

In fact, I accept quite wide, the only unacceptable fabric is too rough clothing. Also, high heels too high is also a very torture to me, unless the work to attend activities, I can put up for an hour at most, I will take it off. In short the most important comfort!


Wow, that was an intense session of translation there. This is a pretty proud moment for me because accurate translation is not always easy and what more for someone who learnt the language not too long ago 😌  *pats self on back* Thank you, Oriental Daily News Malaysia, for the feature interview and special thanks to Ryan Chiu Photography and 林政贤 (Lin Zheng Xian) for conduction such a spirited interview session!