HANNAH TAN「ハンナ」Entrepreneur, Entertainer, Stress Manager
Hannah Tan could be the poster child of the 21st century woman who has everything – brains, beauty and a great personality. While her Kelabit-Chinese parentage has produced beauty that is only too evident, all we need to do is to scratch the surface just a little to reveal a plethora of achievements – academic or otherwise – that is pretty impressive for the unassuming Penang-born girl.
Breaking all records by being voted 3 times by FHM readers as Malaysia’s Most Wanted Woman in 2006, 2010 and 2011, Hannah was catapulted into the limelight when she represented Malaysia in the 2002 Miss Global Petite World Finals in Montreal where she won Second Runner Up and the “Miss Congeniality” subsidiary title.
As a Valedictorian and Merit Scholar, Hannah graduated a year ahead and at the top of her faculty with an Honours degree in Computer Science despite having a full-time job at that same time. She acquired her first of two music Diplomas at the age of 13 and has also appeared in various TV commercials and advertisements for Epson, Panasonic, Citibank, Nescafe, Maybeline, Lux, Celcom, Digi and Maxis, among others. She can also be seen on the covers of magazines such as Her World, Female, FHM, Newman, Stuff, Health Today, Hot!, Hypertune, KL Lifestyle and Off The Edge.
Hannah has also proven her versatility on television by hosting “What Women Want”* (8TV), “Motorsports@Petronas” (Astro Super Sports), “Ringgit Sense”** (TV3), “Girls’ Club” (NTV7), “Looking Good Feeling Good” (NTV7) as well as being part of the cast for “Sketches” (NTV7). Being the first Malaysian celebrity to appear on the local cover of Lime and Shape magazine, it is evident that this multi-talented lady is making waves even beyond our local shores.
As reflected in CD sales in 2007, her first album, “Crossing Bridges” created a buzz even right up to the United States. Being woman of vision, she intends to work towards putting Malaysia on the global map as an Asian hub for music and has initiated it by unconventionally positioning herself as a brand, instead of merely being a singer-songwriter. By collaborating with the same internationally acclaimed composers/writers that wrote chart-topping songs for Natalie Imbruglia, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, Hannah has created a gateway for Malaysia’s visibility among the global major players within the industry.
In addition to the three songs Hannah personally wrote and composed, Crossing Bridges which was mastered in the United States included seven original songs contributed by big names like Jorgen Elofsson, Phil Thornalley, Andrew Fromm and Chris Rojas.
Having an international flavour topped by an all-star team of producers and writers, the album employed a fresh concept which was never before done by a local artiste. Her first Single In Between was already fourth on the Hitz.fm and No. 1 on the X-Fresh charts during the first week of its release before finally winning an award in the Best Pop/Dance category at the 2006 Hitz.fm MET10 Awards.
She is currently based in Tokyo as an artiste under Fillmore Far East Inc (Japan). Fillmore Records released Hannah’s Japanese debut maxi-Single “No More Game” on 3rd September 2010 with a 50 in-store live performance promo tour. Her first Independent Malaysian Single titled “Angel” on the other hand was released in February 2010 at 40 selected Starbucks outlets throughout Malaysia, channeling 20% of the nett sales to an orphanage in the Klang Valley. Featuring Hannah’s own compositions, “Angel” was indeed be one of the most intimate and personal ones on the shelf.
At the same time, her influence among the pop-culture segment of the market is undeniable, reflected in her blogs at www.hannahtan.com (English) and www.hannah-web.jp (Japanese) which she personally updates on a regular basis.
Her Facebook Page on the other hand plays host to more than 66,000 fans (8% aged 13 – 17, 44% aged 18 – 24, 39% aged 25 – 34, 7% aged 35 – 44, 2% aged 45 and above).
Through communication with her e-savvy fans via her blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages on a regular basis as well as a live chat session once every month, it is evident that Hannah is very much looked up to among the youth, with them wanting to emulate not just her style and dress sense but even her drive for excellence.
A clip of her interview with Japanese newspaper Sankei Shinbun which garnered 40,957 hits within less than 24 hours putting Hannah under the “Most Popular” section of the youtube.com front page in the beginning of November 2010 was an encouraging sign of acceptance for our homegrown chili padi in Japan.
In February 2009, Hannah released her first Malay song, a personal composition in English which was translated into Malay by Pot Amir of Malaysia’s leading R&B group Innuendo. Arranged by Shah and Sham Kamikaze and produced by Reymee Hussein of Innuendo, the Malay version titled ‘Indah’ shot into the X-Fresh charts within less than a week of its release into the local Malaysian airwaves.
Because of her strong influence among the youth regionally, Sony Pictures appointed Hannah as the first ambassador for Animax Asia in November 2007. MDeC on the other hand, noticed Hannah’s business and IT talent which indeed set her apart from the rest of the local entertainers and subsequently appointed her as the ambassador for the World Congress on Information and Technology (WCIT) 2008 which was held in Malaysia for the very first time. Often billed as the ‘Olympics of ICT World’, WCIT 2008 was the premier global ICT congress that brought together global leaders from the business, government and academia sectors to impact economic and social development throughthe exchange of ideas and policies.
Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on May 18 – 22, 2008, WCIT 2008 drew over 2,500 delegates from more than 80 countries worldwide. Keynote speakers for the event included some of the most prominent and respected global personalities in government and industry like Bill Gates, Kofi Annan, Ralph J. Szygenda and Dr Craig Barrett.
On 1st December 2007, Hannah took on the Live Earth stage (also known as the biggest stage in the world) for Live&Loud 2007 with a half-hour full fledged performance with her band, dancers and multimedia team right before American Idol’s Eliott Yamin, Shaggy and the legendary Whitney Houston.
In January 2008, she also made her debut into the Malay entertainment scene by playing the lead role in her very first Malay tele-movie, BEZANYA CINTA, directed by the infamous Zulkifli M. Osman. To add on to that, some of her own songs were also featured in the movie, adding to the memorability of her dynamic introduction into an entirely new market segment and proving that racial indifferences should never be used as an excuse in a country like Malaysia.
Arguably one of the most sought after non-Malay female entertainers in the country, Hannah was invited in October 2008 by multiple-award winning film director Afdlin Shauki to play the lead female role alongside veteran actors AC Mizal and Harun Salim Bachik among many others in his project with KRU Productions, My Spy. This film made a hit at the local cinemas on 3rd December 2009 while Hannah sets foot in the Land of The Rising Sun. By December 2009, this ambitious young lady had already taken her first step to regional expansion in the heart of Tokyo in attempt to create additional visibility for Malaysia in the field of creative content and entertainment. Being the first Malaysian to officially venture into the commercial Japanese entertainment scene, Hannah sealed the deal at a whopping RM6M, the highest to date for a local artiste.
Entertainment and business aside, Hannah has nurtured an interest in motor sports and was even invited to race in the MME race in 2007 and 2008, following an impressive drive in the open-wheeler Formula BMW car during one of Formula BMW’s PR exercises. In 2008 she represented the D1 organizers in Japan in the effort to bring this popular drift sporting event to South East Asia, following the participation and impressive performance of team Malaysia in the Tokyo Drift event at Odaiba in June 2008. Having her own kart equipped with a 125cc Rotax Max engine and indulging herself in other extreme sports makes it evident that Hannah also has fitness on her list of priorities. Once a state sprinter, this dynamic 31-year old has proven herself to be a multi-talented lady with a burning determination and drive for excellence in all her endeavours.
Implementing leadership by example, Hannah encouraged youths all over the country and celebrities alike to give back to the society by organizing the 2008 self-funded ‘H’ Factor Nationwide Creative Youth Workshop, a pioneering four-city community service initiative which touched the hearts and inspired the dreams of thousands of young people throughout Malaysia.
At the same time, her 2009 “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” Charity Christmas Concert saw the largest gift collection in a day for the underprivileged children in local orphanages around the Klang Valley, totalling up to more than 650 gifts worth over RM15,000.
She is currently the owner of a boutique software development company, a restaurant and a new breed of social enterprise. Diligent and passionate about all her undertakings, Hannah never fails to impress and inspire. Above all, it is her love and faith in God and her compassion for the people around her that makes Hannah different from the rest. A fighter and survivor, she has come a long way to be here today and is living proof that there is hope for the diligent, even in the worst and most unfortunate situations.
*Ratings for the show increased by 55.55% in the season she hosted
**The show won the award for Best Reality TV Series in the 2007 Anugerah Skrin
“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way, and the dictionary is the only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK.” – Hannah Tan