We could never get bored of the Singha sisters. Sonya “Kat” Singha, the elder of the two, is ravishing to look at and is also considered one of today’s top-notch millennial influencers. But it takes more than good looks to remain relevant, and as the years go by the renown of this celebrity shows no signs of abating. Kat’s core concept of living with gratitude and joy explains, in part, why she continues to be the darling of the television screen and a favourite amongst high-end global brands.
Since last appearing on the cover of Prestige Thailand back in 2018, the now 26-year-old is currently overseeing a handful of businesses alongside of her acting career. In fact, although she is frequently described as a “model and actress”, the other tag she is now commonly identified by is “businesswoman”. With her unstoppable dynamism it would be fitting if she became, at some point, the face for an athletic wear brand. Whatever the case, the way she approaches life is definitely encapsulated by the tagline: “Can’t stop, won’t stop”.
One of her business responsibilities is the family’s Tree Square Plaza community mall at Town in Town, that she now oversees so her parents can take a breather from work. Besides the chores of real estate and rent, she’s also one of the owners of Odtomato, the modern Australian restaurant and bar on Sukhumvit Soi 24. As someone who loves to eat and who also took a course with Le Cordon Bleu, Kat had enthusiastically embarked on this restaurant venture with Gavin Vongkusolkit, a brotherly figure in her life whom she has known for years.
“I’m very lucky that my business partner, Gavin, is very experienced with running restaurants,” Kat says of their delegated duties. “We share our different expertise, so I look over the marketing and PR. There’s so many operational things I’ve gotten to learn ever since doing this, and it’s really improved me and given me skills to deal with front-end problems.”
Then there’s Jetset, the online fashion brand she started with her sister Piraya ‘Pat’, which is still going strong, with over 165,000 followers on Instagram. When she first founded this enterprise, back in 2014, the brand was mostly selling jeans. Today, the label can dress up women from head to toe with over 100 products, spanning caps, tops, pants, and even sneakers. Kat wears these versatile basics herself, as do her fellow top- notch actresses such as Aum Patchrapa, Kim Kimberley, and our previous Prestige cover girl Min Pechaya.
“It’s a snowballing business, that’s consistently grown because we keep accumulating more customers as time goes by,” she says when asked about the company’s growth. “Now that we have such a large data pool, it enables us to understand our customers’ behaviour more, and to pinpoint what products are popular. We really do our best with it, and try to keep improving every day regarding design, delivery, and service.
“I’m always up for developing new products if it has the signature and identity of our brand, is worth your money, and is something that customers want. I wouldn’t limit the possibility of producing anything. When I go to places and see people wearing my clothes, making them feel happy or look better, it feels great. Building up a brand from scratch and seeing its success makes me proud of what I’ve achieved. ”
For those who have missed seeing this television heroine on screen, Kat has recently renewed her contract with Channel 7. She’s now busy on a fixed schedule filming Prik Gub Glua (translated as ‘Chili and Salt’), where she stars alongside Thanwa Suriyajak. This Channel 7 lakorn will be shown during the primetime slot of 8:30pm, and is slated for airing next year.
“I may act only once in a while now, but if I do, I always want it to be something really worthwhile so audiences will love it,” Kat explains. “I wouldn’t say acting is my main career, as I allocate time to other work and aspects of my life equally. I’m always open to whatever opportunities that come my way, and I focus on only doing things that make me happy.”
Kat had taken a two-year hiatus as far as acting gigs were concerned, but she’s visibly excited to take on this new role that capitalises so much on the inherent humour of the battle between the sexes. “I star as a spoiled well-to-do woman, but a chance meeting with the hero makes her reflect on things more,” Kat reveals, describing the role without giving too much of the plot away. “She starts to see things she may have overlooked and starts to live life in a more fulfilling and happy way. When I read the script, it felt really fun and light-hearted. During this time, people may want laughter because they are stressed out from the economy, or Covid-19. If I can contribute by being a part of something that makes people smile, that in turn makes me happy. You get everything from this show, be it drama or humour.”
Looking back, she’s certainly had plenty of joy working in TV comedies. Her previous rom-com work had been in the 2017 television series Pukboong Gub Goongnarng (translated as ‘Pukboong and Goongnarng’), where she starred as the titular characters who were twins separated at birth. Pukboong was a spunky and clever girl from the slums, while Goongnarng was a sheltered, high society heiress.
“That lakorn was very successful and made everyone recognise me, because I starred as a pair of twins,” she recalls fondly. “People liked it, and still call me Pukboong when they see me on the streets! When you portray a character that people like and root for, I feel that they will remember you longer.
“Roles that click with me are ones where I like something about that character,” she goes on to say. “When I read the script, I need to feel or see some me in it to make me want to portray that role. I really love roles where the character is clever, quick-witted, filled with gratitude, and knows what their responsibilities are. It’s a good way to motivate and inspire myself to be a better person too. Sometimes, you do pick up all these little positive viewpoints from lakorns that perhaps you haven’t thought about before.”
When it comes to portraying gratitude towards family onscreen, Kat only has to act naturally, as this outstanding quality of hers shines through in real life at all times. Asked to pinpoint what the most rewarding moment for her had been this year, she answers immediately that it is being in quarantine with her parents, and younger sister Pat.
“I appreciated immensely getting to spend so much time with my family,” the eldest daughter proclaims. “One thing I learned was that there can always be a good thing in something bad if you choose to turn a crisis into an opportunity. This has been a really good year for me, as the pandemic makes you closer to the people you love. This is the greatest reward for me, these simple, happy moments are even better than travelling abroad or whatnot. Just getting to cook, eat and watch TV together to discuss the shows, or to brainstorm things about life, is already a great thing. We are all very close and have no secrets. My parents are like my friends – or best friends even.”
It is widely known that Kat’s best friend forever is none other than her sister Pat, and the two ex-songstresses are still as tight as ever, regardless of global pandemic, marriage, or busy schedules. “I still call her every day for hours,” Kat says with a smile. “If I’m free sitting in a car or up early, I just call my sister and update her on my life. Both of our offices are in the mall so we see each other every day at work. She is my all-time best friend, so we still go out to eat, shop, and travel together as usual. Nothing has changed at all, even though she is married now, as we still spend time together.”
Besides family, another source of joy for Kat is her newfound interest in golf. “I am always seeking happiness,” she points out. “Outdoor activity relaxes me, so I’m really into golfing lately. I like to do things where you can see your personal development; where you don’t even know what you’re doing on the first day and can barely hit the ball, to the day when you finally can and then you challenge yourself to hit it even further. When you see how you grow it’s something to be proud of, but also super fun.”
Speaking of tracking progress, one particular change Kat is ecstatic to talk about is her development from a regular client into a ‘Friend of Cartier’. As one of the many sophisticated ambassadors that the French maison has chosen, Kat’s face has become intertwined with Cartier campaigns and events – an honour she revels in as a true fan of this iconic luxury brand. She admits with a laugh that she is literally the sort of person who wears jewellery on every possible body part.
“I have always been crazy about jewellery since I was a child, but getting older has only made me more obsessed,” she jokes. “I tend to like pieces that are cool and simple, but are also alluring to look at. I was in my late teens when I managed to work and save up for my first Cartier piece. Getting to wear a piece of jewellery you bought and chose for yourself has immense sentimental value. Every piece I wear is embedded with a story, so for me, Cartier is not just an accessory. Their word ‘love’, from the Love collection, for me is also self-love. I think it’s suited to being a present for yourself, as much as for others.”
Besides that piece of jewellery, Kat admits to always treating herself and celebrating life, quite like how she admits to always seeking happiness. “If you can enjoy all the small things that happen to you, that is already a celebration,” she points out. “Listening to your heart enough and understanding yourself as much as you can is very important to me. When you know what it is you desire and focus on achieving that – provided that it doesn’t cause trouble for anyone, of course – then you’ll be happy. People will get that happy energy from you too. Just loving yourself and being proud of yourself is one of the greatest rewards in life. When you love yourself, others will be ready to love you, and you will be ready to love others too. And that makes society a nicer place.”
It’s been said that loving oneself on the inside also results in a more beautiful outer self, and Kat’s consistently radiant outer appearance seems to be testament to that ideal. However, she insists that she never goes on a diet (being the fierce eater that she is) and does not even have a regular beauty regimen beyond coconut oil. It’s curiously simple, but this gorgeous go-getter says it comes down merely to eating from all the five food groups, not getting too full, and never letting herself go hungry.
“You won’t need extra help if you just do that,” she says. “You’ll be happy and healthy, and that will just naturally show on your face. That’s all I’d advise really, drink a lot of water and eat food from all the five groups. As for beauty products, I don’t think there’s a need to use a lot, as much as to use what’s right for you. Nowadays, I lean towards natural beauty products that don’t leave my skin dry.”
For someone so young, who has achieved such fame in the entertainment industry and is also a savvy businesswoman, it’s interesting that her definition of success is neither fame nor fortune. “Success, for me, is to lead life in a way that I wake up every morning and I am happy and proud of myself,” Kat confides. “If you are happy with who you are at that moment, that’s the best achievement. One thing I’ve learned is that nothing is more important that the word ‘happiness’. Do whatever makes you happy. If you get to do what you truly love, everything else will follow.”
It’s to her credit that she has grown to take up this optimistic outlook, and what’s just as commendable is her positive yet balanced outlook for the upcoming new year. “As long as your life graph keeps moving upwards, it doesn’t have to shoot up exponentially and peak within a year,” she muses. “As long as it improves, that’s good enough.”
For some folk these days, keeping such a sunny outlook is probably easier said than done, but none-the-less it’s surely the kind of hopeful reminder we can all give ourselves from time-to-time as we make a fresh start with the beginning of this unpredictable brand new year ahead.