Lydia Low kicks off her Singapore tour tonight at Originals Sing @ Artistry. Joie Tan will be opening the festivities at 8.30pm. Cover charge is $10, proceeds to be shared between the artists. Lydia will also be selling CDs so please bring money!
In the meantime, you can listen to her album Wrecked till Further Notice at Spotify.
I first came across Deon Toh as the drummer for Singapore indie rock band Flybar. But when the band split, Deon decided to get up from behind the drums and become a singer-songwriter. I had the privilege of spending time with Deon when he was a finalist in the NAC Noise-Timbre singer-songwriter programme, and I was the designated songwriting mentor. He passed me Letters, an EP of sorts which he rather humbly described as a ‘demo’, although it sounded very good to these ears.
Since then, Deon has gone from strength to strength, releasing a well received debut album, Antiphonic, and impressing overseas audiences at music festivals in Canada and the UK. Deon is in the process of completing the recording of his sophomore effort and will be heading to Canadian Music Week once more in May. But before then, local music fans will get a chance to give Deon a proper send-off at Originals Sing @ Artistry this Thursday 9th April. $10 cover.
Ariane Deborah will kick off proceedings at 8.30pm.
It’s the first Originals Sing @ Artistry on 11th Feb. A special one for me, personally, as the songwriters featured are distinct artists within the Singapore indie music scene.
Esther Lowless – I first met when she was fronting Indus Gendi – and whose musical career I have been following closely since then. Esther is also an award-winning actress and sometimes it does seem that there is no limit to what she can achieve with her talents. She released a well-received EP in 2013 – Strange Place to Meet – which was presented also as a short film, which you can watch below. A true artist.
Debra Khng approached me some time back to teach her about songwriting and last year she released her debut EP – Wolves in the Night. Debra has certainly come a long way with her unique pop-rock sensibility (Mariah Carey singing Tracy Chapman songs!) and it’s a particularly proud moment for me to present her at Originals Sing. One of the songs we worked on together remains one of my favourite of her songs. Check out the music video for “All of Me” below.
Support your local music scene, my friends – hope to see you pack out Artistry on Wednesday, 11th Feb from 8pm.
Of a Singapore music scene where the majority of venues feature Singaporean songs. Where Singaporean songs are given the same love as foreign songs. Where Singaporeans are not unduly prejudiced against a song simply because it’s written by a fellow Singaporean.
Yes I am biased. It’s true that I love Singapore music because it’s made by people I know and love. But I love good music even more. For Singapore music to be better, our bands/artists need more opportunities to play their own music. It’s common sense, really.
That’s where platforms like StageFright @ Artistry and the upcoming SGMUSO Songwriters Night come in – to give Singapore bands/artists that opportunity. Nobody is born as an adult – it takes time for a baby to become a child and to be fully matured – so it’s the same with musicians/songwriters.
Here are some of the songwriters that will grace the Artistry stage on Wed, 21st Jan – please come down and support us and help make my dream come true!
Last but not least by any means, Joie Tan will close StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January 2015.
I spoke to Joie late last year mainly about her experience building a fan base on YouTube.
How did you get started on YouTube? How old were you? I started on YouTube after watching Alyssa Bernal’s covers. She was a big inspiration for me and I felt like I could really relate to her and grew to become a huge fan. Thereafter, I felt inspired to start my own channel and finally did it in 2008. I was 13.
Mention the word ‘cadence’ during a music theory class and chances are that panicked students will be racking their brains to recall what that term means (true story!). As highlighted in their bio, #sgindie rock band Cadence explains that it is “a section in a musical piece which creates a sense of resolution, or the measure of a cyclist’s pace”.
The bio goes on – “The band’s music runs either fast and loud, or slow and yearning. If it sounds desperate, that’s because it probably is. The sound of five, taking a shot in the dark, hoping to create something to believe in”.
The band consists of Seth Chiam (Vocals, Guitar); Angus Sham (Guitar); Nathan Huang (Guitar); Japheth Ng (Bass) and Dominic Goh (Drums). At StageFright, we have been quite blessed to experience many bands that have delivered stellar performances despite the space constraints at Artistry, using the limitations to their advantage (instead of sulking about them). Stopgap, Catalogue V, Doves & Ravens, Atlas, Enec.e and Sapporo Safaris are just a couple of great examples. So don’t miss Cadence as they open StageFright XVI @ Artistry on 21st January!
Some may say that Singapore does not have a music industry but that it only has a music scene. But even that may not be wholly accurate. Step into any bar or pub with live music and chances are that you will hear a cover band playing Top 40 hits. That’s not a music scene, that’s an entertainment circuit. Singapore needs at least 50% (or more) of its live venues hosting original music but that would take a paradigm shift. Platforms like StageFright @ Artistry is a tiny step in the right direction.
So come on down on 21st January, when you can watch aspiring singer-songwriter Ashlyn Julia in action.
“Drummer turned songwriter. A poet since her teens, she’s wondered a lot about life, love and humanity. One day, Ashlyn Julia discovered a newfound joy when she started to turn her poetry into tunes. From translating expression into beats, she now story-tells in rhyme and voice. Taking inspiration from the little and big things around her, her songs are tales of ups and downs in life. Some say she is too emotional, take a listen, and judge for yourself” is how Ashlyn Julia describes herself.
So if you want a Singapore music scene that can emulate the 70s New York punk scene or the 90s Seattle grunge scene, support your local artists!
I have been fortunate enough to participate in two assessment panels for NAC’s EP grant thus far and it’s clear that there are more and more talented artists out there in Singapore! And the fact that in the two years that I have been curating STAGEFRIGHT, I have never once repeated a performer means that the critical mass of singer-songwriters/bands is definitely expanding.
Fym Summer is a very promising singer-songwriter and I am happy to have her perform at STAGEFRIGHT XIV. Her bio is short but succinct.
“A bathroom singer-songwriter since 2004, Fym Summer, known for her raw, mezzo vocals and honest, narrative lyrics, is set to drop off her debut acoustic-based mini EP titled “Heart” (stylised as “Hevrt”) in January 2015.”
So get an advance preview of her upcoming EP on 21st January at Artistry (17, Jalan Pinang). Support made-in-Singapore original music!
Nothing wrong with playing covers per se but original music is critical for the growth and development of a music scene we can properly call our very own. This is where platforms like STAGEFRIGHT @ Artistry comes in – to provide aspiring songwriters with an opportunity to showcase their own songs. So if you value culture and artistic endeavour, support our songwriters at Artistry Cafe on 21st January from 8pm, where you can see Tiffany…
Having a passion for music since young, Tiffany likes to spend her time writing songs in her free time with her guitar on lazy afternoons. Inspired by artists such as Allen Stone, Nikki Yanofsky, Alicia Keys and many more, she likes to explore different genres such as blues, indie and alternative music when writing new songs.
She currently plays at Zsofi Tapas Bar under the moniker Lazy Susan’s Blueprints every Thursday evening.
An aspiring singer-songwriter in the making, she hopes to share her life in lyrics and drawings that she does as a side hobby alongside music.
The songwriters are the future of Singapore music. Make no mistake about that. STAGEFRIGHT is a platform for the songwriter and in its 16th edition at Artistry on Wednesday, 21st January, we continue in our support of the songwriter.
Cloud & Shadows aka Andy Philip has a elliptical concept of a bio. To wit,
“The absence of pain does not guarantee love.
But the absence of love can be painful and bitter.
Clouds & Shadows explores the realities of life, love and loss through music.
Giving voice to such personal experiences, it hopes to provide solace to the souls of others alike.”
I experimented with 20 Originals performance events earlier this year at a local outlet, which was not perfect but was a good platform to push the novel idea that original music made in Singapore needed to build a fan base in order for the local indie scene to survive.
The biggest difficulty was as usual, getting people to attend. I always laugh when folks describe me as a ‘legend’ cos if that was true I would not struggle to get people to my gigs (especially when the admission is FREE). So that’s the reality — nobody really gives a fuck about original music in Singapore, and in particular, mine.
Of course, that’s a generalization – a sweeping statement. Sure, there ARE people who dig my music, even if it’s a minuscule group. There are people who pay ‘lip service’ – flatterers who maybe believe that they can get something out of me in return. But these are the same people who NEVER attend any of my gigs. So there you go, actions speak LOUDER than words! You know who you are! Aha!
But I digress. Despite the challenges, I plod on. Ultimately, I believe in myself and my music, even if the world does not. And that’s what it’s all about really. Perhaps it’s self-delusion – so what? At least, I know that the handful of people who do turn up on Saturday for this event are truly the people who do believe in me and my music. And for that, I am eternally grateful and that little encouragement drives me to keep moving forward.
So, here’s the deal. Two sets of 10 songs each. The first set will concentrate mainly on the 90s (and mostly ‘love’ songs) and the second set will focus on newer material (mostly ‘hate’ songs) and will also see the debut of four new songs that will form the bulk of my upcoming 2015 EP. See you there if you’re interested. And oh yeah, NO FUCKING COVERS!
Verhaal are a Rock Band formed in Singapore in 2014. Before joining the band, the members had already played on several bands , performing on numerous events/occasions. The band consist of Jeslynn (Vocals), Dominic (Bass), Dedry (Guitar), and Marcus (Drums). The band enjoys writing radio-friendly tunes, incorporating diverse style of Rock and Pop music to their works.
What I liked about Khairul Ridzwan was that he had the balls to approach me at Artistry and asked whether he could play! So let’s find out more about him, shall we and make sure you come down to check out his original music.
Khairul Ridzwan is an aspiring artist born in Singapore. He started playing the acoustic guitar since the age of 14 and eventually progressed to singing a few years later, Khairul has written and performed several original and cover songs. Occasionally, you can find him busking during weekend nights along the streets of Singapore or playing in local cafes. Currently studying Diploma in Music and Audio Technology in Singapore Polytechnic, Khairul aspires to be an original singer and songwriter, evoking feelings from his stories to touch his listeners.
Next up in STAGEFRIGHT XV @ Artistry — Yap Wei Chiang!
Wei Chiang is currently an aspiring singer-songwriter and college student. Whenever he’s not busy studying, trying to get to lectures on time, playing Ultimate Frisbee or Dota 2, he spends his time ruminating on life, love and what it means to live growing up in Singapore. Writing since 15, most of these personal experiences find their way into his songs; songs which he hopes are honest and relate!
The fifteenth edition of Artistry’s curated original music showcase takes place on 12th November from 8pm. Power of Pop will highlight the six artists/bands who will be featured. First up, Eliah Leong.
Eliah Leong is a 23 year-old Chinese-Philippino, who was born and bred in Singapore, and speaks proper Singlish. Eliah started singing when he was 7, picked up the guitar when he was 15, and wrote his first proper song when he was 18. Eliah has written about 10 songs ever since, and his vocal style is evolving continuously as he discovers and learns to sing new songs. He enjoys a wide variety of musical genres.
Ralegh Long is a London-based singer-songwriter that Power of Pop recommends highly as he evokes timeless musical references with his original compositions. Catch him at Artistry tonight from 8pm with support from the hugely talented Pixel Apartment. Entry by donation. More details below.
Ralegh Long is a Singer-Songwriter from London. After two critically acclaimed E.Ps, his debut album is expected in Spring 2015. This pastoral debut features a cast of collaborators including Tom Dougall of Toy, string-arranger Louis-Philippe, and Jack Hayter (ex-Hefner).
Pixel Apartment is an experimental one man band consisting of electronic musician Jordan Chia. A multi-instrumentalist and visual designer, he links both worlds seamlessly into a unique experience. Get immersed in ultra-sub frequencies and beats from outer space.
Pardon my French cuz I am stoked as FUCK to be able to present – in conjunction with Artistry, a very special edition of Originals Sing where we jointly bring to you two of my favourite alternative pop bands in Singapore viz. Obedient Wives Club and Lost Weekend. Cool vibes and cool tunes – what more could a music fan ask for? It happens this Wednesday (18th June) from 8pm. Cover charge – $10 (proceeds of which to go entirely to the bands). Don’t miss this!
Six months after launching Emo FASCISM at Artistry, I was back to promote the release of #alpacablues EP with The Groovy People in tow. There wasn’t much of a crowd there but I do appreciate the kind friends who took the trouble and effort to demonstrate their support. Much obliged! These ranged from my latest RP students (Josephine, Fatin & Wei Ren!) to the legendary Vernon Cornelius (of The Quests!).
Photo by Don Shiau
In the final analysis, I was just happy to be playing with some of my favourite people viz Patrick Chng, Ray Aziz, Nelson Tan, Benjamin Ang & Eileen Chai – all of whom I love and respect so much! It was historical occasion as well as I actually opened for myself for the first time! Basically, I did a 30 minute solo acoustic set before playing a full set with The Groovy People.
All good fun for sure, and it was great to have an appreciative crowd. Sure beats having a packed house ignoring you and talking to themselves! In any case, two more shows before DON’T SPOOK THE ALPACA is done. This coming Saturday (15th) at Hood Bar from 8pm (supported by the amazing Another Sunday Afternoon!) & next Saturday (22nd) at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre from 8.45pm. See you there!
In the meantime, #alpacablues is available at Bandcamp for US$1 until the 15th March! Get it now!