After Hours: Performics' human beatboxer Cheong Chee Jun

Music inspires and provides a refuge for industry professionals in the advertising world. One of those who pursued a passion for acapella and beatboxing to disconnect from work is Performics Singapore's associate manager, Cheong Chee Jun (pictured), who discovered his passion for acapella when he was in school.

He joined an acapella group in university known as NUS Resonance, where they would perform at gigs such as carolling or private events. During that time, acapella became more mainstream and The Esplanade began organising vocal festivals, offering Cheong and his friends opportunities to perform at the outdoor theatre.

Upon graduation, Cheong and a few of his university friends wanted to keep the hobby alive and decided to meet once every two weeks to sing. They took on gig opportunities, whenever available, and met on weeknights after work to rehearse. They mainly performed at private events such as weddings or corporate functions and learn of those gigs through word of mouth. Cheong sings tenor and is responsible for the percussion aspect when it comes to acapella.

For Cheong, his passion for acapella allows him to disconnect from work and offers him something to focus on as he would have to memorise his parts of the performance. He added that performing with his friends reminds him of the joys of teamwork, which is something that is evident in work every day.

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"We have this saying in the group 'Friends before band'. First and foremost, it's about coming together as a group of friends to sing, drink and keep the friendship alive," Cheong said.

He advises agency professionals to not let their stress at work follow them home, especially in today's highly-connected world where everything can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Cheong stressed the need to "guard [one's] space" and follow one's passions, as it keeps people grounded.

Cheong joined Performics in 2015 as a media planner before moving on to the associate manager role in 2016, according to his LinkedIn. Prior to that, he was an account executive at Mindshare.

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(Photo and video courtesy: Cheong Chee Jun and The Outside Edition)

Previous episodes of After Hours:
After Hours: Queen of the kitchen Stefanie Liew
After Hours: Professional Doodlers Joji Jacob, Jessie Lam and Eugenia Clara
After Hours: Valerie Madon Cheng’s Licktionary