Dreaming BIG with Gene Phoa
Singer, songwriter and producer, Gene Phoa, left his marketing career to pursue a career in the music industry. Gene rediscovered his passion for music during an impromptu ‘Open Mic’ whilst on a trip in India. We were thankful that Gene shared his story as it inspired and encouraged students to follow their inner voice and pursue their passions at our Adelaide and Playford Altitude Day Roadshows.
We asked Gene a few questions about what it takes to dream BIG:
What was a dream you had in high school (or Year 9 specifically)?
I attended my first concert while I was in high school (The Living End at the Thebarton Theatre). Aside from inspiring me to see more live music, that experience planted the seed for wanting to be “up there” on stage one day too.
Can you share with us a goal that you have achieved and what it meant to you to achieve it?
Back in 2016 I set a goal to learn how to sing and “pursue music” for the next 5 years. Those 5 years are just about up and I am so glad to have embarked on this journey and stayed the course. It has taught me about how much we can change, grow and achieve if we consistently apply ourselves to something over the long term. Most importantly, it has helped me become the kind of person that I am proud of becoming. Regardless of what happens in terms of our outward success, I think that’s the most important thing – that we are happy with who we are and are becoming.
Gene Phoa sharing his passion for music with students
Gene Phoa speaking at Altitude Day
While chasing dreams there are moments of highs and lows (mountain tops and valleys if you will)… what motivates you to continue chasing that dream when you’re in the valley?
Purpose and vision. In terms of “Purpose”, I keep on coming back to my “why”. Why am I doing this? Why did I get into this in the first place? In terms of “Vision”, I constantly keep an eye on the person I want to become, the life I want to live and the impact that I want to have in this world. Overall, I see vision as where I am heading and purpose as the fuel that’s driving me to get there – two crucial elements on any journey!
What piece of practical advice would you give to young people who want to start, or are in the process of chasing a dream?
Learn everything that you can about your field and develop your core and complementary skills within it. It could start with taking a subject at school and extend to studying other sources (books, podcasts, videos), daily practice and mentorship. Simply put, aim to be a master of your field but always be a student who never stops learning and growing!
All dreams, big and small, are valuable. What are 5 dreams you are currently chasing?
Five dreams I’m currently chasing are:
- Topline a Song: I’ve been wanting to write/sing for a music producer for a while now and that’s currently in the works
- Record and Release my Debut Single: Stay tuned for an end-of-year release!
- Travel the East Coast: While I have travelled extensively overseas, Australia is a beautiful country that I want to see more of
- Learn Mandarin: Despite having Chinese roots, I did not learn Chinese growing up and want to start taking classes
- Form a Band: As the saying goes, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”