The journey to fame for Sherine Wong has been filled with many ups and downs, but the beauty queen-turned-jazz singer is far from being fazed. In fact, this new mother of an adorable infant radiates nothing but positivity and warmth.
“As a teenager and coming from a broken family (her parents are divorced), life was tough as I was pushed to be independent (at a young age) due to my mother’s illness and her struggle to provide for me and my brother,” recalled Sherine in a past media interview.
In 1998, Sherine won Miss Malaysia Universe and used the cash prize to further her education at Sunway University. She then put her studies on hold to focus on her modelling career so that she could earn more money and buy a home for her mother.
“Having our own house was crucial at that time as we were renting and moving many times,” explained Sherine, who also participated in the 2004 Miss Asia pageant and took home the Miss Photogenic and Miss Perfect Skin subsidiary titles.
Though singing called to her at a young age, Sherine’s varied interests meant that she became Malaysia’s track and field representative at the Asian Junior Games.
Subsequently, her model looks enabled Sherine to work on numerous television and print campaigns for clients including HSBC, Vidal Sassoon, Levi’s, Samsung and Shiseido. The poise Sherine displayed in these commercials lead to a starring role in Japanese independent film Fly Me To Minami.
But throughout, recording albums and performing at shows was always the ultimate goal for Sherine. After intermittent concert appearances in Hong Kong and the release of several Cantopop songs, Sherine studied her first love jazz via mentor-ships with top musicians in Hong Kong, Japan and New York.
In 2019, Sherine released her first jazz influenced solo album. It offers a series of originals and covers that recall the smoky, languid lounges of yesteryear and performances by past legends that include Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday.
Based in Hong Kong, the 1.75m-tall beauty now runs a music production company with her husband. In the following Q&A with myeppo, Sherine shares more of her life….
How have you adapted to life in the new norm?
As we go through life, especially during this pandemic era, we are often faced with different challenges. Seeing the good in every new situation helps me in adapting and adjusting to the new normal.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. Now I am able to spend more time with my family and catch up on my favourite movies and TV shows; I consider it a luxury indeed.
What has been the biggest lesson learnt during the pandemic?
The art of sanitising.
How do you achieve a work-life balance?
I work hard and I play harder.
What is your beauty routine like?
I use cleanser, toner, serum or booster (depending on where I am and which season), moisturiser, facial masks and sunblock. But I reckon that nature is the best; I love the glow from swimming in the sea and the ocean breeze on my face.
What are your must-have beauty products?
I have been using custom blended products from MTM, facial masks from Valmont and Clarins’ body products for years. A definite must-have is booster and serums from BABOR.
Away from work, what forms of wellness do you indulge in?
I love indulging myself with the sounds of nature as I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. And yes, I am a massage and spa freak. At the end of the day, I say a little prayer and stay close to God.
What are your goals for the near future?
I have just signed a licensing deal with a label and my goal is to release my second album Two For The Road. I am grateful to be given this opportunity and I look forward to sharing more of my music with you.
Having our first baby Elizabeth is a gift sent from heaven and we are enjoying her every moment. My goal is to maintain good health and find a balance in family, work and ‘me time’.
What is your proudest achievement in life?
Since I came from a pretty tough childhood, it was a big challenge to be devoted in my studies while supporting myself financially. Being able to cope, manage and focus and most of all, not give up in such a tough environment is quite an achievement in terms of self-growth.
My proudest achievement is the survival skill and perseverance which I have gathered as an individual. To succeed in life, always be ready to change your plans but not your heart’s desire!
What makes you the woman you are today?
By following my heart, be present and embracing every moment.
What advice would you give to those who want to follow in your footsteps?
I believe everyone’s path in life is different. Just follow your heart and do the things you love.
Most importantly, do not compare yourself with others as a flower does not think to compare itself with a neighbouring flower. It just blooms naturally!