When Winifred “Wini” Tan is not helping clients as a financial consultant, she is rocking out on the drums.
Wini is from Singapore, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in science, as well as both of her master’s degrees in Finance and Advanced Portfolio Management. She has been a self-employed financial consultant for several years, with a client-base of over 300 people.
She was drawn to financial consulting by the stability it offered her, while also being able to pursue other passions, like music.
Wini has been playing music for almost her whole life, starting with a keyboard instrument called the electone and then gravitating towards drums.
“I was the only girl in my category,” Wini says.
As a female drummer, Wini has faced backlash by family members and even other musicians, who think that she shouldn’t play because she is a woman.
“Women can’t do that” and “Why are you pursuing that when you could just be at home?” are comments she is all too familiar with hearing.
The music industry in general can be tough for women, as it is still very male-dominated. Wini explains that it is often hard to get gigs — “people might look more at your looks than your skills.”
There is also a lack of representation for Asian, female drummers, but this only makes Wini want to play more.
She and her friend started a band called AltoDuo, playing a fusion of math rock and lofi hip-hop. The two bandmates write and produce their own music. Wini says she enjoys creating unique, synthetic soundscapes for people to enjoy.
“Music is quite universal, whether it’s drums, keys, or electone. There’s a way to make a melody impact other people’s emotions and help them groove,” she says.
Along with performing and recording music, Wini works part-time as a music teacher at a local music school. She loves being able to pass her musical knowledge onto others.
She also helps to manage Anadigi Sound Lab, a recording studio in Singapore. Wini’s friend owns the studio, and he has been helping her strengthen her audio engineering and music business skills, which both apply to her own band.
“It’s challenging and dynamic at the same time in a studio because you meet different people with different needs,” Wini says.
Being a self-employed consultant and musician has allowed Wini to make her own schedule and prioritize her health. She lives with a condition called thalassemia minor, which gives her anemic symptoms like fatigue, pain, and shortness of breath.
Growing up, Wini was very active, participating in martial arts and other sports. She unfortunately dealt with bullies in school, which pushed her to prove herself to others.
“I wanted to show people what I could do, because of people looking down on me,” she says.
Wini ended up having a lot of sports injuries which deteriorated her health, and she needed to find a way to manage these injuries.
When she started university, Wini discovered the power of yoga. It was a way to keep her active while also helping with the symptoms of her health condition.
“I got more than what I asked for. [Yoga is] not just injury management but I got stronger, better endurance, better posture, breathing techniques. Eventually I want to be able to unite my mind and body as one,” she says.
In the future, Wini hopes to continue with all of her endeavors but to spend more time with her loved ones. She hopes to start a family with her husband.
Wini’s band was recently picked up by an independent music label, so they plan to record and perform more music in the future. You can find their music here!
“Never let any situation hold you back. If you dream of something, try to make it come true, even if it takes years. Find people you can trust along your journey, because you don’t want to walk alone.”
Wini believes women should be recognized for our many accomplishments. “Seeing other women be featured in all the things they’re good at touches my heart,” she says.
“I hope with more of us standing up and with more voices advocating for independence, the role of females in societies and families alike would change for the better, with lesser judgments and a more loving, more recognizing society.”
Follow Wini on Instagram!