ELLE Power Player: Melissa Tham

Almost 10 years in the music biz and finally this jazz singer’s star is rising


Her name might not yet be familiar but trust us, here’s the girl who’s set to make it big in the local music scene. Singer Melissa Tham, 29, is hardly the newbie, being already quite a fixture in the jazz circuit. She’s racked up solid experience as a performing artiste, having spent the past nine years gigging with the likes of Jeremy Monteiro and the Christy Smith Quartet. 

Looking at her Size 0 frame, one would never guess that it contained a voice that big. Similarly unexpected, for an Asian singer, are her vocal stylings that are reminiscent of jazz greats like Anita O’Day and Peggy Lee. It’s a voice that deserves a bigger platform, which has been a long time coming.

This year, Tham’s shining moment 
has finally arrived, nicely in time to mark
her soon-to-be decade in the biz. She was recently named SingJazz Emerging
Jazz Vocalist of the Year 2015, an accolade followed shortly by another major
career milestone — the release of her solo debut album, Falling in Love Again

All these, and now making it into 
ELLE’s list of women to watch. We think 
it’s an indicator of bigger things 
to come, along with more exposure 
and recognition. Fame, however, has never been a priority for her. “I didn’t get into singing to be a superstar. The attention is great, but only because it feels great to have touched someone with my music and voice,” she shares. 

Tham aims to emote her songs
 better, write more originals and continue to enjoy the music she performs. “I feel powerful knowing what I want and actually going for it, instead of dreaming about it,” she says of her ambition.

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