This International Women’s Day, we present a special edition of Fashioning the Future, where we turn the spotlight on inspiring individuals who are forging their own paths in male-dominated environments and find out what keeps them going.

Jean Goh (better known by her stage name Jean Seizure) is no stranger to the Singapore music and entertainment scene. The multitalented singer-songwriter and former child actress—you may recognise her from iconic dramas such as The Price of Peace (1997), and Stepping Out (1999), as well as short films such as Autograph Book (2003)—is also a certified Krav Maga instructor, a stunt actress (she’s part of Ronin Action Group, a stunt team helmed by Golden Horse-nominated fight choreographer Sunny Pang), and even dabbles in drag.

The daughter of ’70s mando-pop singer parents, Wu Gang and Xiahui, Jean grew up in a music-filled household. She honed her singing skills, spending her free time writing songs and posting music on YouTube, which led to more performances and more exposure. Fast forward to today, Jean has been featured on New York Times Square’s famous billboard alongside other talented international musicians as a Spotify RADAR artist and an EQUAL ambassador for Singapore and Malaysia in 2022, and also as the first-ever Spotify GLOW artist representing Asia in 2023.

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Jean Seizure
Co-ord: Jacket; trousers, H&M. Sneakers, rings, bracelet, Jean’s own. Photo: Wee Khim

Here, Jean chats with us about balancing her multiple careers, breaking barriers, listening to her body and prioritising herself.

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

I’m a singer-songwriter mostly but I am also a Krav Maga instructor and stunt actress who paints and does drag once in a while. 

You’re a multi-disciplinary artiste with many talents. How do you balance multiple careers and do you have a favourite?

I allocate time to cultivate my different careers during different points of the year so that I’m constantly progressing and working on something that feeds my soul. It’s a tough fight choosing a favourite between acting and music but my favourite would be the latter because it allows me to express myself the most authentically and it reaps the most wholesome benefits, like getting to meet musicians and producers who inspire me or people who relate to the experiences that inspire my music.

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What have been your biggest struggles and triumphs in stunt and krav manga?

My biggest struggle is managing my trauma response when training. I sometimes get hit by crippling panic attacks during exercise due to unpleasant experiences I’ve had in the past. It can happen out of nowhere during even moderate trainings and the symptoms can get really painful in bad cases. I’m still learning how to manage this and it requires me to listen to my body and prioritise myself—something that I’ve always found difficult to do growing up. The triumph, however, is surviving hours of grading to get to Krav Maga graduate level and becoming a Krav Maga instructor in spite of these shortcomings. 

How do you succeed in a male-dominated environment?

I’m lucky to have met people and continue to get to work with people who appreciate what I bring to the table without letting my gender get in the way. I’ve put in a lot of time and effort into building a path for my work to speak to the ones who matter and I’m protective of my working space. I believe that the right people will find their way into your life eventually, including men I know who make wonderful team players, so not losing hope and believing in yourself and your value is important during this process. Sometimes, we get discouraged from venturing into certain environments because of the disadvantages they may come with, but from my journey, being the minority could also turn out to be an advantage because it makes it easier for you to stand out. 

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Jean Seizure
White outfit: Blazer, H&M. Earrings; nose ring, Jean’s own. Gloves, stylist’s own. Photo: Wee Khim

How does your work positively impact Singaporean women and/or women of the world?

I believe and hope that my work would encourage more women to find the courage to be curious about the things that they have always wanted to try but somehow didn’t, and to look at fear in the face and watch themselves overcome it over and over again. 

Are there any assumptions of women you would like to change?

Women can have good taste in music too. A lot of women fans get discredited for their taste in music because of this pre-existing stigma, where they are relegated to “girls who know nothing about ‘real’ music”. I’ve also read about talented artists getting lesser credit than they deserve once they start garnering enough fangirls. But women supporters were (and still are) the driving force behind many great, successful musicians that people of all genders listen to today. 

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What inspires you?

Life, people and emotions inspire me. Creating something that resonates with somebody inspires me too. I especially love how there are so many ways to experience life, so many scenarios that could make up so many different versions of a person—yet we’re still able to all feel seen through a good 3-minute song. 

If you could have dinner with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Stephanie Hsu for her amazing embodiment of her character in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Michelle Yeoh for her amazing journey as an actress who also does her own stunts. My mother because food is our love language and we should cherish our time with our loved ones as much as we can.

Photographer: Wee Khim
Stylist: Gracia Phang
Digital Editor: Gloria Tso
Digital Content Manager: Navin Pillay
Producer: Cindy Ow
Video Camera Operator: Lawrence Teo
Hair: Karol Soh using Keune Haircosmetics
Makeup: Manisa Tan using YSL Beauty
Stylist’s Assistant: Isabella Low