17th Oct 2012, by Adeline Lum, CM –
Sherman Chung, a rising Hong Kong singer, has a child-like faith unraveled by the tides of change in the entertainment industry.
In 2005, Sherman won the same award bagged by Anita Mui, Leon Lai, Sammi Cheng, and Eason Chan; she won the “24th annual New Talent Singing Awards Hong Kong Regional Finals”. In 2009, Sherman also got four awards for her song, a Letter to Myself, in the Hong Kong Music Awards.
On October 12, I was privileged to interview Sherman on her walk with God. I also attended the “Heaven’s Love Music Rally” organized by Starpark on the next two days, which included both local artistes and Hong Kong artistes, namely Sherman Chung Shu-Man (鍾舒漫) herself, Wong Cho-Lam (王祖藍) and Zac Koo Hao-Jeng (高皓正). There, Sherman bared her heart of how God showed her who she is in His eyes.
Sherman trapped in a cage of fear
Brought up in a Catholic school, Sherman decided to be a singer, being distinctly excellent from her peers in arts and music.
“For math and chemistry, I dare not say that I am the best. But in arts and music, I believe that I stand out among my peers even from high school,” said Sherman. Her passion in music lasted till her college days in United States until one day; Sherman lifted her desire to be a singer to God in prayer.
“I told God that I really want to sing. I said, Lord can You please help me to become a singer? I earnestly begged Him,” said Sherman.
And boy did God moved! Sherman came back from United States for her summer holiday in 2005 when “New Talent Singing Awards Hong Kong Regional Finals” was also held in Hong Kong at the same time. However, she held back from joining.
“I am a passive and introvert person. I would rather die than to go on stage, because I get so nervous meeting the audience,” said Sherman.
Sherman recalled that twice, she was nominated as the president for the piano club in high school, but she excused herself from the nomination. During that time, she was also selected as a back-up dancer for a celebrity, but she would avoid the limelight by dancing at the back.
“I would lie to my choreographer, saying that my mum was unaware of me performing as a back-up dancer. Hence, I cannot be visible to the camera,” said Sherman. She recalled herself being someone with low self-esteem, not believing in her talent and ability.
Nevertheless, she recognized the opportunity to realise her dream of becoming a singer in the New Talent Singing competition that year. Despite her resistance being on–stage, she decided to take the challenge to join. And Sherman emerged as champion. She later underwent intensive training in singing.
What is a songbird without a voice?
However, her future in singing went bleak when she lost her most valuable asset- her voice, a while after she won the competition. Sherman was devastated, and became hungry for God’s Word. She prayed to God, promising God that she would follow Him if He returned her voice.
“I told God, that if You give me back my voice, I will follow you. I will not care about anything in this world, but I will just follow you,” said Sherman.
Sherman prayed and prayed, voraciously reading the Bible. At the depth of her despair, she grew impatient with God and complained to Him. Turning to the Bible, God told Sherman to be patient through a verse. Later, a friend introduced a Chinese traditional doctor, who is incidentally a Christian. Sherman faithfully followed the doctor’s instruction to make the traditional medicine, and drank if for six months. After that, her voice came back!
Sherman got angry with God
Her relationship with God grew. Nevertheless, Sherman was still fearful of performing on stage despite getting her voice back.
“I had two concerts then, but I would be so nervous that my whole body felt like it was being pricked by a thousand needles. Do you know how many times I practiced for my concert? More than hundred times, and you would think that nothing can go wrong,” said Sherman.
Sherman’s concerts did not reach her expectations. She began to doubt whether she should be in the entertainment business.
“I tried so hard. Although I like to sing, I dislike this passive and introverted part of me. Every time when I step out to a concert or a press conference, my whole body resisted going there. It felt like a punishment. How can I be a singer when I am like that? What is wrong with me?” said Sherman while recalling her thoughts.
In despair, Sherman prayed to God, asking Him why He did not bless her concerts if she was His child.
“Did I do something wrong? Did God dislike me?” asked Sherman.
While she was praying, Jaeson Ma, a Christian music artiste based in United States, called her to meet. So, Sherman went, thinking she could pour out her qualms to Jaeson.
Freed from her invisible cage
What Jaeson told Sherman during that meeting changed her perception towards God.
Jaeson said, “Sherman, even when you think your concert was a flop, when you finished singing, the first person to clap his hands is God. He is your biggest fan.”
At that time, Sherman realised that whether she failed or succeeded in her concerts, God still love her unconditionally. The pressure to be someone else on stage was lifted. In that meeting, Jaeson also invited Sherman to perform one song in his concert.
Sherman said, “I was asked to sing a love song but I really wanted to write a song with God. A lot of voices in my head were discouraging me to write due to the short time I have to the concert. But I wrote the song in one night and performed on stage.”
Sherman made up her mind that she was going on stage to worship God, not to perform. Still feeling nervous on stage, she closed her eyes and clenched her microphone while singing her written song, “Heavenly Love.”
After singing, she opened her eyes and found her audience crying.
“I was shocked and I did not know what was happening,” said Sherman.
Listen to Sherman’s written song, Heavenly Love (天愛), in this video:
Her producer’s daughter told Sherman that Sherman’s first line already moved her into tears, and she asked Sherman to record this song. Two single hits for this song were released, followed by a song album with the lead song “Heavenly Love.” With no promotion, “Heavenly Love” sold very well in Hong Kong.
“We did not spend any money in promoting. God is our best promoter!” said Sherman.
The songbird flew high with the wings of God’s Love
So, Sherman wanted to write another song with God, but a lyricist gave her another song, called “a Letter to Myself”. Reluctant due to her desire to write, she later gave in after the encouragement of her friend through prayer. That song got her four awards, and it became a hit even among other Hong Kong artiste.
“Hong Kong artiste like Sammi Cheng Sau Man, William So Wing Hong and Andy Hui Chi Onn will come to me and compliment the song, saying they want to sing it in their concerts,” said Sherman.
Watch this video clip for Sherman’s award-winning song, a Letter to Myself (給自己的信):
Recently, she went to Korea to hold her concert. While she sang “a Letter to Myself”, the audience was on fire for God. Sherman was surprised with their energy and attempted to join them.
“Suddenly, I felt God saying to me, I am here with you. My hands rose naturally and I hugged myself with a gentleness I cannot fathom. I started crying on stage. And my hand would lift up and wiped my tears away softly from my face. It felt like God was doing that for me,” recalled Sherman.
Later on, Sherman’s sister-in-Christ prayed and interceded for Sherman. She told Sherman that Sherman was to God, a perfect diamond with all blemishes removed.
She encouraged Sherman with Philippians 3:13-14: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Sherman realised she was bonded in shackles from the failures of her past. To God, Sherman only need to be herself, the person He made her to be. Completing her testimony on stage, Sherman told the audience how real Jesus is to her.
“When I am on stage even now, I am here to worship God. Jesus is with me now, right here beside me,” said Sherman as she made a circling gesture on the place beside her.
Sherman Chung, a beautiful songbird released by God from her cage of fear, made up her mind to follow God in every step of her singing career. May God use Sherman mightily in the music industry in Hong Kong, and other Asian countries.
To get a video recording of Wong Cho-Lam, Zac Koo Hao-Jeng and Sherman Chung Shu-Man at the “Heaven’s Love Music Rally 2012” (in Cantonese), please email email@example.com or contact Jessmyn Kan at 03-79713171.
For more information on Sherman Chung Shu-Man, please go to: