If I fail, if I succeed at least I'll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity. She lived by these powerful lines from a famous Whitney Houston song that transcended generations. Whitney's gone but her songs impact generations after her even to this day.
Even the likes of 18-year old, UAE born Lebanese-Filipina artist based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Meet Chris Ishak.
She may strike anyone as timid with her petit frame and meek demeanor — until she sings. A ray of light beams as she belts out a Whitney Houston tune that can brighten up a gloomy atmosphere as much as her contagious smile.
Christine who goes by the moniker Chris has been singing since she was about 4 years old. "When I was younger, my mom and all my Filipino relatives used to sing around me and sing with the karaoke." She remembers wanting to do the same. "When I was a kid, my family kept telling me, 'You'll be a big artist one day,'" Chris recalls. They are the ones who inspired her to continue singing. "And well, Whitney Houston of course," she added with a sheepish smile.
Whitney Houston of course
Chris Ishak became visible in the local music scene only recently - January 2019 - but has received success and welcomed with open arms. "My biggest dream as a singer would be to make music that touches people. I'm a firm believer in music saving people and saving lives because music saved me, so I'd want to do the same."
"Well, right now, my main genre is pop and alternative. I'm still figuring out what my sound is. I listen to all genres of music from classical to rock, metal, rap, country, trap, RnB – basically everything – so it does influence the music I create. I'd love to experience different sounds and I wouldn't confine myself to just one. Most of my songs are very mellow and give off a 'relaxing' and 'in your feelings' vibe. Right now with the music I'm working on, it's much more upbeat, a creative direction I haven't explored yet."
"My music and what I write about is constantly evolving. The first song I released 'Here For You' serves as a reminder to anyone going through a difficult time. It's uplifting. Most of the songs I released after that were songs about love. My latest release 'ANGEL' was a women empowerment song. Unreleased songs include raw emotions surrounding topics like depression, loving yourself, and so much more. The message I'd like to send to people is: You're not alone, you're loved, you can love, you'll get through this, you'll be happy."
"I think it was in a movie that I watched a long time ago. I can't remember which one, to be honest. They where they asked the same question. Their answer was "If I could have one superpower, I'd want to be able to refill everything with as much as I want," and that has been my answer ever since. If this power was real, I can use it in so many selfless ways than selfishly. The poverty that I could fix and the people that I could help by 'refilling' their needs would be unimaginable."
"Well, I've actually never joined a professional singing contest, only the ones that used to take place at my old school and my university now. But I did join the "Red Fest School Stars" competition last winter. Unfortunately, I didn't win but the artists who won were incredibly deserving and one of them happened to be a friend of mine, Ollie Chapman, he's brilliant."
"Apart from being a professional singer, I want to be an entrepreneur and one day, a psychologist. I've always had a passion for both business and psychology. I've got one more year left for my undergraduate degree in Human Resources, and a step closer to reaching my goals. I aspire to create something that drives a change in the world."
I want to be an entrepreneur
"To my parents, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love, and trusting me to find the balance between my music and academics. Thank you for supporting me from the start and always encouraging me to do more."
"To kids nowadays, I'd like to tell you something I wish someone told me when I was younger, and something I still constantly remind myself today: Be yourself. You can never please everyone, and not everyone's going to like you, and that's completely okay. Don't give up on your talents; I almost did. I would've regretted it. Teach yourself self-love — the greatest love of all."
"Don't be afraid to talk to someone if you're unwell. I made that mistake, it's haunting. Talk to someone - a friend, a family member, someone you trust. Lastly, be kind."
"Thank you for reading!"