Melody Tan: A Rising Star in Music and Science

Melody Tan: A Rising Star in Music and Science

Melody Tan Yong Xin (陈永馨) is a Malaysian singer and bioengineering PhD candidate who has impressed audiences with her talent and versatility. She rose to fame after becoming a contestant in the third season of The Voice of China in 2014, where she sang Wang Leehom’s “The Things You Don’t Know” (你不知道的事) during the blind auditions and made it to second place in Yang Kun’s team. She has also released a single titled “Love, Written for You” (爱只为你写) in 2016.

But Melody is not just a singer. She is also a scientist who is passionate about improving the diagnosis of oral cancer using optical imaging. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in bioengineering at Rice University, where she also interns at the Baker Institute for Public Policy Center for Health and Biosciences. She has written about vaccine misconceptions in the Texas State Legislature and started a group equipping students to engage with policymakers.

Melody has also explored various roles in the STEM field, such as global health, medtech innovation and design, and cancer policy. She was a 2019 Mirzayan Fellow at the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, where she worked on cancer policy and participated in AWIS’ advocacy day on Capitol Hill. She is also active in grassroots community organizing and has organized a STEM forum where local candidates discussed their stances on issues such as women’s health.

Melody is an example of a woman who excels in both music and science, and who uses her skills and voice to make a positive impact on society. She is a member of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and encourages other women to build a network of supportive peers and mentors. She believes that networks are critical when faced with systemic issues such as sexism, sexual harassment, and toxic work environments—especially when there’s a power differential as there is in academia.


Melody’s musical journey began when she was born in New Zealand in 1993 and moved to Malaysia with her parents at the age of three. She studied at the College of Music at Guangxi Arts Institute in 2013 and won an intra-school competition. She also sang in a hotel and received a higher pay than others as she was from Malaysia.

In 2014, Melody decided to audition for the third season of The Voice of China, a popular reality singing competition. She impressed the judges and the audience with her rendition of Wang Leehom’s “The Things You Don’t Know”, a song that expresses the longing for a lost love. She chose Yang Kun as her mentor and advanced to the final round, where she competed against Yu Feng, a rock singer from Beijing. Although she did not win the title, she gained a lot of fans and recognition for her performance.

After The Voice of China, Melody continued to pursue her musical career and released her first single “Love, Written for You” in 2016. The song is a romantic ballad that showcases her sweet and powerful voice. She also collaborated with other singers, such as Luo Yunxi, who starred in the music video for her song “Summer Never Ends” (夏未央).