Interview: Chinese Music Star And TAG Heuer Global Ambassador, G.E.M.Written by Melissa Kong
In town for pre-F1 festivities, the multitalented songstress shares what TAG Heuer's #DontCrackUnderPressure hashtag means to her.
She’s been called the “Taylor Swift of China” and it’s not hard to see why. At just 25 years old, the Chinese performer G.E.M. has already made a name for herself as a composer, dancer, musician and actress. The talented entertainer began her music career at 16 and has a loyal fan following of 23 million and counting.
Now China’s top-selling female artiste, G.E.M. (short for “Get Everybody Moving”) rose to new heights of fame in the 2014 edition of the Hunan television show, “I Am A Singer” and is the only Asian female singer to be listed in Forbes’ "30 under 30" list of musicians.
While she’s in great shape, the TAG Heuer Global Ambassador admits to occasionally indulging in her guilty pleasure—peanut butter. “I could just sit on the floor, open the drawer, (take out the peanut butter) and just eat!”
The singer also admits to having a soft spot for the colour pink, as seen in her special TAG Heuer Formula 1 edition. “The design was my preference—black with a hint of pink. It looks really cool,” she enthuses. To her, the ideal watch would match her whole outfit but also send a message. “The spirit of the watch actually gives you motivation throughout your daily life,” she explains.
G.E.M. with fellow TAG Heuer global ambassador, Red Bull Racing driver, Daniel Ricciardo
TAG Heuer’s slogan is #DontCrackUnderPressure. As their global ambassador, what does that phrase mean to you?
It means that whatever the situation is, look ahead and know that the diamond is already formed. Don’t focus on still being carbon because if you crack, you’re always going to be carbon.
Have you ever cracked under pressure?
I feel like if I’ve ever cracked, I wouldn’t be here already. Because it doesn’t matter if I succeed or fail—it’s not the end of time. You always have a chance to stand back up. I feel like life is a never-ending story. You might be at some low point but you have a choice anytime (to pick yourself up).
How do you deal with the low points in your life?
By talking to my friends and family—that’s really important. A man can never survive alone. I feel like there would be times you help others and times others help you.
How has your perception of TAG Heuer changed since you became an ambassador?
I know more about the spirit of TAG Heuer; it’s not just a watch for me now. There are a lot of very inspiring stories I’ve heard about how the brand was made and what’s the history behind it. The more I know, the more I respect the brand.
What has the experience of being a TAG Heuer ambassador been like?
I think it’s really challenging! TAG Heuer has been taking me to lots of different places and most of it has been really challenging! I really never thought I’d be singing up in the mountains and it’s really hard! The first 30 minutes I was out of breath. I was so nervous to be honest. But yeah, don’t crack under pressure (laughs). I embody the spirit (of the brand) and I’m encouraged by its spirit.
Which has been the most memorable place you’ve performed at?
The Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland I mentioned earlier. I struggled but I made it in the end. I actually couldn’t even stand up. After singing half a song, I felt like I had to sit down. And I had to take off some clothes because they were too tight! I needed 30 minutes to get used to the weather and the altitude.
Complete this sentence: “If I could turn back time, I would…”
Play more basketball when I was young so I could be a little taller (laughs). I’m actually joking. If I could turn back time, I’d go back to a week ago when I was in Taiwan and I didn’t eat too much so that I would be lighter now!
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".