Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Christina Chong Teases La'an's Season 2 and Her Debut Single, "Twin Flames"

Star Trek fans already know Christina Chong from her role as Lt. La'an Noonien-Singh, the Enterprise's Chief of Security, in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. This week, they'll get to see, or rather hear, a different side of Chong when she releases her debut single, "Twin Flames," from her EP of the same name. Between the music release on Friday and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premiering on Paramount+ on Thursday, it's going to be an eventful week for Chong, but she still found some time to speak to via video call about how all of this is happening.

During our conversation, Chong revealed the surprising way that this EP came about, helping her achieve a longtime goal of hers. She also touches on how Star Trek: Strange New Worlds viewers will see something different from La'an in the show's second season. Here's what she had to say.

(Photo: Scarlett Warwick)

Christina Chong's Twin Flames

You have a big week ahead of you. We've got Strange New Worlds Season 2 about to debut. You've got an EP coming out. We've got music, we've got acting. Which of these two things came first for you? Were they a package deal? What's the balance there?

Christina Chong: Neither came first. My first love was dance. That's how I started, and it was always the dream to be a dancer. When I went to performing art school, I then got into acting and singing because you had to; it was a musical theater course. And then acting took over because also, I don't know, I just felt like my first musical theater job I was given, they told me they gave me the role because I acted it, and I was like, "Oh, interesting. Okay." And you know when somebody tells you you're good at something, you're like, "Oh," you start to believe it yourself and believe in yourself and believe that you can do it. So then I started going down that route and then went into TV and film in order to fast-track getting leads in musical theater. So the idea was always to do West End, Broadway as a lead. But then I got into TV and film, and then, I was like, "Oh, this is kind of great."

There was a fork in the road when I was a teenager, I'd been discovered by an A&R guy who'd also worked with Amy Winehouse, Lucie Silvas, and he was like, "Look, if you want to do this pop career, then you need to do it now, otherwise you're going to be too old." But I'd already booked a musical theater gig in Germany for over a year, and I was like, "Oh, I can't turn that job down on a dream of something that may or may not happen."

So I said to myself, "One day, I'll come back to it." And Star Trek, in the strangest of ways, has given me the means and the opportunities to actually go into that for the first time. And so the time to come back to it is now, on Friday, to be exact.

For those who only know you as an actor, what would you say the biggest influences are on the music you're putting out? How would you describe the sound of your music?

For me, what was really important, I was like, "If I'm going to do this music thing, I have to be authentically me, and I don't want to go around copying anybody or grabbing somebody else's style." There were influences, of course. I love Amy Winehouse. Her influence is in the way that she's so real with her lyrics and the way she's so real with who just she is or who she was.

Then more sound-wise, there'd be certain tracks that'd be like, "Oh, I love how that track does this," certain artists here and there, and then I would pull bits of inspiration from different places for one track. But the most important thing was it's got to come from me. It's got to be my words. I'm used to hiding behind a character, which it's actually quite nerve-racking.

But the story behind the EP is about an intense romantic relationship with a guy who I'm not with anymore, but who I called my twin flame. There's this idea that there are people who are two parts of the same soul, so to speak, and then you meet in lifetimes, meet up again. And so it's kind of like the breakup, getting together, the breakup, the healing, and then the other side of the healing, the rebirth of who I am after that.

I was connected with them very randomly. It was very serendipitous, the connecting of how I got to work with Jake Gosling, who is the producer. He's worked with Amy Winehouse, he's worked with everyone, Lady Gaga, all of these places and people. And when I was at his studio, he puts up Polaroids of everyone he's worked with, and I turned up to the studio the first day to write my first-ever song, and I'm like, "Oh my God, this is really intimidating. I don't know what I'm doing here."

But it all came about very randomly. I was looking for a stylist for San Diego for last year at Comic-Con and, randomly, a stylist had tagged me mistakenly in an Instagram post. She was meant to tag her client but instead, she tagged me and went to bed. And then the next day, I wake up and I'm like, "That's not me. Hello." And she's like, "Oh, I'm so sorry." I was like, "Actually, are you free these dates?" And she was like, "Yes, I am."

So we got together and I just happened to tell her that I wanted to go into singing and she's like, "Oh, I know somebody. I have a friend who's a singer-songwriter. I'll put you in touch." Little did I know her friend was the fiancée of Jake Gosling.

She hadn't even heard me sing at this point, but she said -- I don't even know why, I didn't ask -- she said, "I just had this feeling you could." And so she's been instrumental. Olga, my stylist, has been instrumental in helping this happen and helping me along the journey.

Your EP has four original songs on it. Why did you choose this song, "Twin Flames," to be your debut single and to make a music video?

Well, it made sense because I only wrote four songs with Jake, and as we were doing it, we were like, "Hang on a minute, this is a story. This is circular. You could keep going." And with every relationship, there's that same pattern, right? The meeting, the breakup, the healing. Now I'm on the other side, I can meet somebody. So actually, not only did I think it was the one that would probably make the most impact in a visual way because obviously there are flames and the one that I felt most that I could choreograph something cool to, and therefore have a music video to go alongside it, it was also the first step and the beginnings of that relationship. So it made sense to release them in order of how it happened.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
(Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount+)

Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh in Star Trek: Strange: New Worlds Season 2

You're not the first Star Trek star to put out music, going back to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. More recently, Isa Briones did a song for Star Trek: Picard, singing "Blue Skies" for Season 1, and then Alison Pill had a musical number in Star Trek: Picard Season 2. Do you think there's any chance that we'll see your musical talents put to use in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, or do you think that that is a part of you that is not a part of La'an Noonien-Singh?

I mean, listen, if that were to happen, I wouldn't say no. It's kind of part of the plan, if I'm honest, James. "Hey guys, I can sing. Can La'an sing?" But she had that little bit in season one, right? With the Princess and stuff. They didn't know I was going to do that, I just did it on the day. But I mean, listen, anything goes. That's an idea, maybe even to just pitch my songs for a future season of Star Trek. But yeah, I mean, that would be the dream to have all of it come together because the path that I originally set out was musical theater. So if I had that opportunity to come back around to that and do all three, that would be, "Okay, I can give up now." I wouldn't, but I could give up.

Everybody loves to ask about musical episodes ever since Buffy the Vampire Slayer did it years ago. Do you think there's enough musical theater energy in the Strange New World's cast that they could pull that off? It's so episodic compared to the other shows that if any of these Star Trek shows could do it feels like Strange New Worlds would be the one. 

I mean, listen, never say never. We've got Celia Rose Gooding who has a Grammy. Rebecca sang in the Short Treks thing, didn't she? Ethan's sound, I'm sure Ethan can sing because he has a great -- wait, he sang, didn't he? In Season 1 with the egg, when he helped Uhura open up the egg, the humming. I'm sure Anson can rock out something. I don't know how that would come about or how it would happen, but that would be incredible if that were to be in a future season.

What can you say about what fans should look forward to with La'an's story in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2? How is it different from what we saw in Season 1?

She's much lighter this season. That's the journey. There's trauma still there, but we're not playing that anymore. It's simmering underneath. We're moving on. She's lighter, there's romance, there's more fun for her. We see the height of it, I would guess, in Episode 9, which is my favorite episode, which nobody's seen, and when you see it, you'll understand why it's my favorite episode.

I'm looking forward to that because I've seen Episode 3, which is something, so the fact that you picked 9 over 3 makes me think nine must be something else.

Yeah, it's something that's never been done before. With the Lower Decks episode, everyone's like, "Oh, wow, amazing," and it is amazing, but this is equally amazing, just in a different way. It will be a lot of fun. I can't wait for the fans to see that episode.

Is there anything else you like to say or add or let the fans know?

The song will be out at midnight in whatever country you are in on Friday -- so first Thursday night, Friday morning. Spotify and iTunes, SoundCloud, and yeah, social's ChristinaChongx. And if you like the music, please share it.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Release Date

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 premieres on Paramount+ in the United States, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria on Thursday, June 15th. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with the premiere date to be announced later. New episodes of the 10-episode season will then debut weekly on Thursdays.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 is already streaming. It is also available as home media on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4k UHD.