Interview by Khalil Adis.
“I love living in HDB estates. There’s a great sense of community here.”
Heartland girl with the edge
It’s hard to not miss Rosalyn Lee.
Hip, vivacious yet quirky in her own ways, her voice and face have become so ubiquitous that she has grown to be part of our lives. She’s there when you wake up before the crack of dawn on “The Rude Awakening” on Singapore’s hit radio station 98.7FM. She’s also there staring at you on the bus and MRT looking ‘fierce’ as a model for SILKPRO’s ‘Hairvolution’ campaign.
Recently, she made it on the front page of NYLON and 8 Days, pushing her further as today’s ‘IT’ girl. Yet, Rosalyn knows this is just part and parcel of her job. Interestingly, while others see her as a “celebrity”, she sees herself as a regular person who is not afraid to speak her mind. She is also someone who feels right at home eating at the hawker centre in her estate or at a plush restaurant. She is after all your regular-girl-next-door who grew up in an HDB flat.
“I love hawker fare just as much as haute cuisine, the latter only on super special occasions.”
Before fame found her, Rosalyn was on the other side of the camera, helping to cast and audition talents for various local programmes on MediaCorp. She is also a trained dancer who used to perform professionally at the SAF Music and Drama Company prior to entering the media industry. Now, she is a personality in her own right with a huge following on TV and radio.
Although Rosalyn has interviewed an illustrious list of A-listers like Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Jessie J, David Guetta, to rock legends like Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Gene Simmons of KISS, she is not one to be fazed by the limelight and international celebrities. Nevertheless, she counts her brush with Daniel Craig at the world premiere of ‘The Golden Compass’ in London, where she was hosting a red carpet segment for Channel 5, as one of her most exciting press junkets to date.
Away from the glare of the spotlight, I sat down recently with Rosalyn as we reminisce about the past and to kick off this interview for a brand new column on my blog. Called ‘At Home With…’, here, Rosalyn shares her thoughts on what makes a home, well, a home.
Where is home?
Home is a 4-room HDB flat on Upper Boon Keng Road.
Is your home owned or rented and how long have you been staying there?
My brother and I own it. We’ve been staying here for close to seven years now.
What’s your favourite spot at home? Why?
I don’t have a favourite spot. More like a “no choice” spot because our home is a small space. I’m always on my bed because I can be a lazy person. It is so convenient- I sleep, work and sometimes eat in bed. Sloth much?
What’s the great thing about your neighbourhood?
I love living in HDB estates. There’s a great sense of community here. People from all walks of life gathering at the common spaces practicing dance, music, taichi and playing sports. I love the cheap (but good) hair salons that line the void deck area, the market across the road that boasts the best ‘kambing soup’ in Singapore (Upper Boon Keng Food Centre) and Kallang MRT which is just 5-minutes away by foot.
And the not so great?
The littering. People throwing things out of their kitchen windows so much so that the ground floor area at those spots look like trash-land. I don’t know why but it seems to happen at only HDB estates!
Have you ever had fans or neighbours stalk you at your home? How do you deal with them?
Ha ha ha. No lah. Singaporeans tend to be very shy. There are a few friendly ones who’d strike up a conversation with me at my lift lobby. All casual, nothing stalker-ish.
What do you look forward to do at home after a hard day at work?
Really? Kick back on my couch and zone out in front of the TV watching Food Network Asia.
Are you a high or low maintenance person? How so?
If you were talking about the effort I put in to upkeep a certain lifestyle, then I would say pretty average. I love hawker fare just as much as haute cuisine, the latter only on super special occasions. I hardly shop – I’m not into designer goods or fussed about keeping up with fashion trends. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought new clothes! I don’t like clubbing because I am pretty much a homebody. I like quiet meaningful moments with people who matter.
What’s your most treasured possession?
I don’t place importance on value of the things I own. They’re just things. I don’t have an attachment to them. I have thrown or given away brand new clothes, bags, electronics and make-up because I get them for free but have no use for them. So no, I don’t have a physical object that I treasure most. The things I treasure are intangible… like friendship. And those, I definitely don’t own.
Describe your typical day.
On weekdays, I get up at 5 am. I’m in the studio by 6 am to host the morning show on 98.7FM. I get done at 10 am. I’d stay back to do some editing and then head home to have brunch with my boyfriend. Then, it’s zoning out watching a bit of TV before taking an afternoon nap. Naps only happen when I don’t have meetings or events to host in the afternoon. Dinners are usually family time – that’s when my brother gets home from work. Then, it’s either a movie or just time the Internet surfing for content for my radio show the next day. Events and shindigs happen every other day. However, unless I have a super good reason to go (like if it is required for work and so on), I would skip it. Free flow of alcohol is not a draw for me anymore.