Veteran Canto-pop singer Sandy Lam Yik-lin remembers how tough it was starting out in the music industry, but says it's even harder now. Last week in Malaysia she received an outstanding achievement award at the 5th Global Chinese Music Awards. Lam (left) said she was worried that novices faced a huge challenge. 'I've been through different Canto-pop eras. The way the industry operates now is so different from the past,' said the 39-year-old. 'We had more time, space and opportunities. But now, there are less opportunities for new singers. You have to train yourself up in a very short time and be even more hardworking and dedicated.' Later this month, Lam will sign with Gold Label. Her new record, as yet unnamed, is due for release next month. It will be her first album since 2001's Truly ... Sandy. Lam also plans to stage concerts in November.