PHOTO: ISKANDAR ROSSALI
For most of us, all it takes is a song or two before we decide that we’ve found a musicians that we love. There’s so much good music out there, and with music apps like Spotify, we’re all being exposed to new bands and singers that are emerging all around the world everyday.
But what about our own true-blue Singapore artists? We have a tendency to be a bit wary of local talent. Why? Have we been let down in the past? I have to admit that I’ve always been a bit doubtful about the quality of local music.
Now however, I can confidently say that Singapore music is not that bad. It’s good, actually, and in some cases downright amazing. When I first listened to some of these new bands and singers, I couldn’t believe they were Singaporean (which is a testament to how much faith I had in our local talent). I was really blown away by their music. Not only that but many of the music videos released by local artists are of a very professional standard too.
I can’t list every local artist in Singapore as I myself have only just started delving into discovering the local music scene. However, here’s a playlist of some of the more easy listening songs to get you started! There are bands that are more heavily rock or R&B or indie, but here are some that can be appreciated by everyone. Just try them, you might be surprised. Here's a spotify playlist of the tracks listed below, and you can click on the tracks to hear a short clip (I recommend listening to Bitter by Charlie Sim, its my favourite!).
While we're talking about local music, I have got to congratulate one of our most talented and popular singer-songwriters, Gentle Bones, who recently won two big awards at this year's Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) Awards. His sound is very acoustic and Ed Sheeran-esque, hence he’s often described as the ‘Singaporean Ed Sheeran’ (but he’s more handsome than Ed wouldn’t you say?) If you haven’t heard about him yet, his real name is Joel Tan, and he is a quickly rising star. The 22-year-old has already released two EPs (Extended Play Albums) and played a sold-out solo concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall in June 2016. I could list his substantial awards and achievements to show you how good he is, but the best way is to give him a listen. So here’s a short playlist of Gentle Bones songs from his two EPs; Gentle Bones (2014) and Geniuses and Thieves (2016). It’s worth watching the music videos for the songs too, all available on YouTube!
Another group that you’ve probably heard about is the pop band Sam Willows. Arguably the most popular band in Singapore at the moment, they’ve made a name for themselves with two albums and five hit singles to date since 2012. They have performed internationally as well, having played gigs in Texas, South Korea and Canada. Their music is just that good (and it’s worth noting that their lead Benjamin Kheng is a little too hot to handle, #omg). Here are some fan favourites from the band, if you haven’t heard them already.
For more news on our local music scene, read our stories: The ladies from The Sam Willows share the secret to their popularity and 5 Singapore singers and bands we love