Getting chummy with Pally Cheryl Loon

A marketer by day and musician by night, she works with various like-minded professionals in the music industry at gigs and events. Cheryl started singing at the age of 11 and was heavily influenced by her dad who freelances as a musician and guitar instructor. We caught up with Cheryl to understand more about this deep passion of hers.

How did you come about discovering your interest in being a performer?

My dad. He’s a freelance musician himself. As a kid, he would get me to ‘jam’ with him for hours at home and even at his gigs. I remember the first two songs he taught me were Lemon Tree by Fools Garden and More Than Words by Extreme.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far?

It wasn’t easy when I went full time on music two years ago. What kept me from progressing was the lack of resources but I hung on by continuing to do my best and putting myself out there. I later realised that opportunities are actually endless.

Looking back, I’ve definitely come a long way and met a handful of amazing people within the industry. Although I'm now back in the corporate rat race, that is not to say that I have given up on music! I still do gigs 3-4 times a week and weddings/corporate events occasionally. Friends always ask how I do it and if I feel drained. But to me, it’s really about prioritising and knowing your needs and wants.

So just in case you’re wondering, I’m back to a 9-5 schedule due to practical reasons. In fact, not much has changed (in a good way) since I got back to my day job except for the fact that I have to wake up earlier and reshuffle my priorities. Music is of course still in my top 5.

Being the disciplined person Cheryl is, her daily routine revolves around four main things. Work. Gig. Workout. Read. Repeat. Priortising alone time, family time and then exercise, Cheryl feels extremely passionate music genres including Top 40s, 90s & Jazz, but will always be excited to explore something new, especially if that is what clients appreciate.

Cheryl offers her performance for weddings, corporate events, roadshows & festivals through PallyExpert experience for those who wish to liven up your event. We continued our conversation to know her better.

Any happy moments and what made it so?

Let’s just say I’m still working on attaining happiness from within because throughout my life I’ve been relying on external factors to make me happy and the problem with that is those things can be taken away from you.

Tell us one recent achievement.

Music wise, not exactly very recent but end 2015, a friend offered me the opportunity to perform at Sketchers Sundown Festival which was my biggest show ever.

Any painful moments and what did you learn out of it?

Many revolving around relationships, work, self. That we come to this world alone and we will die alone. Self-care is of utmost importance - Emotionally, mentally, spiritually and aesthetically. Family is of course equally important and I learnt that at the end of the day, they’re the only ones who truly and genuinely care for you from the core of their heart. Without them I’m nothing.

How do you avoid it?

One can either choose to just live the life with no care in the world (which isn’t wrong because it’s a personal choice) or choose to embrace all these painful events and grow as a person. I’m not one to avoid problems even though I wish they didn’t exist but it’s part and parcel of life. Life isn’t a bed of roses.

Are there any funny or horror stories you’d like to share?

Recently at a gig, someone from the audience wanted to come up on stage to sing a song. He was pissed drunk and because we didn’t really know how to reject him, we proceeded to jam a couple of songs with him what turned out to be a disaster. He was shouting in the microphone that the speakers started to buzz, midway he dropped the mic on the floor and knocked over our music stand. The funnier part was his friends were signaling him to get off stage but after several failed attempts, they had no choice but to come up and drag him away themselves.

What is the ultimate goal for being a great performer?

To garner a good following of regulars, fans and eventually making big bucks from our passion for music. But I feel that the goals for every performer vary.

Choose one: Money or Experience

Both have to be in tandem for satisfaction.

Leaving you with Cheryl’s favourite quote “You can’t choose what’s true but you can choose how you want to react to it and take back a lesson from there.” You can catch Cheryl at the following residencies: Thursdays @ Five Square (7.30pm to 10.45pm); Wednesdays & Fridays at The Alchemist Beer Lab @ South Beach (7.15pm to 10.15pm).

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