ELLE Power Player: Sandra Riley Tang

Youth, ambition and the X-factor — this member of The Sam Willows has everything going for her 


It’s hard to believe Sandra Riley Tang is all of 24 years old. She’s better known as one-quarter of local indie-folk troupe, The Sam Willows, which has played at international music festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival in Texas, and is the first Singaporean act to showcase at MUSEXPO in Los Angeles.

Back home, the band — signed to Sony Music Entertainment — was most recently seen performing at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 28th South East Asian (SEA) Games in June. They will also perform on 18 September at the 2015 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, and their album will drop later this year.

Outside of her musical pursuits, Tang is also a businesswoman (co-founder of The Yoga Co, Singapore’s first home-concept yoga studio), founder and creative director of online art collective RileyArt, featuring specially curated handmade accessories, art and calligraphy, and web tutorials known as “The DIY Project”. 

No doubt, Tang is having the time of her life — which is anchored by the desire to pay it forward. “Music has been such a big part of my life, helping me through good and bad times, so I feel really honoured to touch others with my music,” says the bundle of endless energy, adding that yoga has also been a wonderful way to be “a woman who’s self-assured enough that she may encourage and help others keep fit and healthy. I feel powerful when I am aware of my body, my mind, my soul... and when I can help someone else.”

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