S'pore Idol alum Sylvester Sim on what he’s up to & why he once rejected a 4-figure sum to perform a song

It's been 18 years since his win in 2004.

Adelene Wee | October 30, 2022, 10:56 AM

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He was once known as the tattooed rock singer in the first season of Singapore Idol in 2004.

After clinching the title of the first runner-up, Sylvester Sim released his Mandarin album, Take Flight, in 2005.

But you might be wondering what he's been up to for the past decade—after all, Sim has maintained a pretty low profile all these years.

Photo by Teng Teng Hor

Well, here's a quick timeline:

To explore the different music scenes in Singapore, the singer became a resident performer at a club in 2009.

In 2013, Sim set up a place for aspiring musicians to perform at a live bar.

Fast forward to a year later, he auditioned for "The Voice of China" but did not make it through.

Persevering in his love for music, he released a new single, A New Hope, in 2016.

But while catching us up on his life, the 39-year-old reveals that he aspires to be more than a recording artist.

Getting his hands busy 

Having spent years dabbling in music, Sim decided to try something different and joined an event and exhibition company as a director in 2016.

His role sees him coming up with proposals, pitching ideas to clients, and sourcing new venues.

While Sim enjoys the satisfaction of seeing his events come alive, he doesn't forget to weave the essence of music into what he is doing now.

He told Mothership,

"So for me, you know, even when I moved into creating exhibitions and events and everything, I still put my music to use. I will put my music to produce and put my colleagues and my musician friends to, you know, give them some exposure as well. I never left music alone."

And as his way of giving back to society, Sim has adopted Sun-Dac, a non-profit social service agency that cares for clients with disabilities.

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“It’s just for charity, I am very sincere when I say this because I am low-profile. I don’t even pick up gigs from outside or any corporate [companies].”

As Sun-Dac’s ambassador, he visits the patients often and spends quality time with them.

In the coming December, Sim will put his expertise in events to good use by organising a physical event to raise awareness for the agency.

Rejecting gigs

Photo by Teng Teng Hor

Having carved a name for himself after Singapore Idol, there were companies who offered Sim a four-figure sum to perform a single song at their annual events, but the singer chose to reject these offers.

It seemed like good money, so we had to ask: why turn it down?

“Since I left the music industry, I would say I have already been there, done that, I don’t need anymore exposure for myself. They [the companies] want you to come and make a special appearance, but I don't see any meaning to it," Sim explained.

However, Sim also revealed that he has accepted invitations to perform for old folks under the void deck.

"Seeing them happy and doing it without any credit is a blessing," he said.

Returning to the stage with Taufik Batisah

For this year's President’s Star Charity, Sim will be taking the stage with Taufik Batisah, the winner of Singapore Idol 2004.

The duo will perform three songs together.

The last time he saw Taufik was in 2021, when the both of them attended Mediacorp programme "On The Red Dot: Reunions" together, Sim recounted.

"When I saw him he was pressing my shoulder, it was like that feeling man I can't believe like we used to be you know hanging out and [doing] everything [together]."

To evoke memories from his competition days, Sim revealed that he is trying to find the same outfit he wore on the stage of the Singapore Idol in 2004.

"My main aim is to gather as much donation[s] as possible during my segment with Taufik. Hopefully, everyone will be taken back to the same memory lane. I hope to feel young again (laughs), if I can find the same outfit that I wore the same day, I want to bring back the rocker side of me, maybe I will go for the leather stuff."

"President’s Star Charity 2022" will stream live on meWATCH, Channel 5 and Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube on Oct. 30, 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

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Top image via Teng Teng Hor, Sylvester Sim/Facebook