When it comes to the Singapore music scene, it does appear that its marginalisation in the 70s and 80s has ultimately caused the scene irreparable harm.

By the time initiatives were launched to support local music in the 2000s, it was too late as the music industry itself was decimated by illegal digital downloading.

Worse still, when Youtube become the platform by which young people could listen to music for free and that was basically the end of recorded music.

This left musicians only with live performances to eke out some kind of living, especially in Singapore but for local audiences, local music is something to be appreciated at zero cost.

There is so much opportunity to listen to free live music in Singapore that it is an uphill task for Singapore artists to charge for their live performances.

I remember when organising events at Artistry Cafe that even a paltry $10 was considered too much to pay for live music, when it was being delivered by a local artist, of course.

Now, my understanding is that with the high cost of operating bars and clubs in Singapore, the very infrastructure that supports Singapore musicians – playing covers no less – is also under threat.

In this digital age, young Singaporeans would rather stay at home and enjoy free entertainment than patronise the ailing night life scene here.

Hard times ahead indeed for Singapore music. Will it return to the dark days of the 80s? We shall see…

still there’s more


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