Disclaimer: In Real Life is a platform for everyday people to share their experiences and voices. All articles are personal stories and do not necessarily echo In Real Life\u2019s sentiments. Clinton Jerome Chua is a 27-year-old singer from Miri, Sarawak. Growing up, his dream was to become a singer. Clinton has loved singing since he was 2 years old. Born in Miri, he is of Chinese and Melanau descent. He started belting out chords when he was only 2 years old. From school and church choir, followed by various singing competitions, he hustled with a single-minded dream. Gradually, Clinton carved a name for himself on the local music scene as a singer. In 2015, he joined a singing contest organized by Universal Music Malaysia and Hitz.fm, and won a trip to Japan to watch Ariana Grande\u2019s concert. He took his mom with him. Meeting Ariana Grande \u201cWe were at the meet and greet, and I was too giddy to say anything, so my mum asked Ariana if I could sing to her.\u201c The video has been uploaded on Youtube, and as of Dec 2020 it has almost 500,000 views. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vfeGvxkOUEAc \u201cMeeting Ariana means the world to me because I grew up listening to her music. I began following her when she just started out,\u201d Clinton said. \u201cAriana and I are both the same age, so to watch someone my age obtain so much success gives me hope that I can achieve similar greatness too,\u201d he said sincerely. Being on I Can See Your Voice Malaysia Earlier in 2020, he was on I Can See Your Voice Malaysia, the Malaysian adaptation of the South Korean mystery music game show of the same name. In the show, a guest artist is presented with a group of 6 \u2018mystery singers\u2019. With clues like photos, videos, as well as lip-sync performances, the guest artist and a celebrity panel eliminates \u2018imposters\u2019 from the group until only one surviving mystery singer is left. In one episode, Clinton became the one surviving mystery singer, and he performed a duet with the guest artist, Shila Amzah, wowing the audience. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vu99Q2dy-bPY \u00a0 How did he learn to sing like that? \u201cLots and lots of practice. I make it a habit to sing songs originally performed by females. That\u2019s how I train.\u201d Do people get surprised by his vocal register? \u201cSometimes they do. Some people would not believe that it\u2019s me singing\u2014I don\u2019t know why haha!\u201d \u201cI do get instances when people would just stare at me and not believe what\u2019s coming out of my mouth.\u201d His performance on ICSYVMY boosted Clinton's fanbase. A big percentage of them are Sarawakians who are pleased to see themselves represented on the national stage. Pre-Covid, Clinton was living a hectic life, performing gig after gig. \u201cIt was show after show. I did not have time to be truly creative.\u201d Then Covid-19 happened. And life came to a screeching halt for Clinton. His regular shows got cancelled or postponed. And when his gigs dried up, the money did too. \u201cAs I speak, my bank account has never looked worse,\u201d he admitted with a bitter laugh. \u201cMy head is barely above water, and to be honest, it\u2019s really taking a big toll on me. I have commitments to attend to.\u201d Still, Clinton is staying positive and believes that things will get better. A mantra he observes is: \u201cThis is just a season and it too shall pass.\u201d What really helped is making original music \u201cSuddenly, I had all this time on my hands. So I started to create. I dropped two music videos since the pandemic started, and also my latest single, Ain\u2019t Nobody Else.\u201d https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?vfCpSKarrBlY \u201cWhen fans listen to my music, an accumulated number of streams convert into royalties. Every month, I earn up to 100 USD (RM 400) from Spotify and YouTube.\u201d \u201cI\u2019m really thankful to people who listen to my music, because that\u2019s what\u2019s helping me pay my bills now.\u201d At the end of November 2020, his song Ain\u2019t Nobody Else made it to the third spot on Rakita.my\u2019s listener-voted #LOKALAH Chart Show. At the time of writing, he has 7.3k subscribers on YouTube where he regularly sings cover songs. He also has 3 original songs on Spotify: Ain\u2019t Nobody Else, Don\u2019t Wanna Wait, and Rewind. A second source of income for Clinton Clinton, like many others because of this pandemic, has learned not to depend solely on only one source of income. \u201cI respect and appreciate the hard work musicians put into their craft, but one source of income is not enough in this economy.\u201d 3 years ago, Clinton started creating content for brands. He\u2019s tied to social media agencies that engage his services for promotional work. This helps him make ends meet. Did singing prepare him as a social media influencer? \u201cAs a singer, my craft and who I am is like a brand \u2014 singing has taught me to present myself better when it comes to working with brands and their campaigns.\u201d As more people are stuck at home, there\u2019s been a rise in e-commerce, which translates into increased business for social media agencies. And Clinton is grateful for that. Ariana Grande\u2019s advice for Clinton was: \u201cYou\u2019re gonna get a lot of no\u2019s, but keep going.\u201d Similarly, he encourages those with singing aspirations to just go for it. If I could give advice to my younger self, I\u2019d tell him: \u201cDon\u2019t settle on only making music. Be sure to venture into other things too like business, or other passions. The world is your oyster.\u201d Clinton is hopeful about the future and is on the lookout for new opportunities. And that\u2019s what he\u2019s been doing: hustling. In the meantime, Malaysians can check out Clinton Jerome Chua on YouTube and Spotify. For more stories like this, read: After Malaysia\u2019s Borders Were Closed, Here\u2019s What 5 Pilots Are Doing To Survive and The MOH Called Me After My Neighbour Tested Positive. Here\u2019s What Happened. If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook & Instagram.