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  • Writer's pictureTan Armado

Support Local: 3 Singaporean Music Artistes to Look Out For!

Growing up, I have always heard about our local artistes making waves in the music scene globally. I am sure we have all heard of local homegrown music talents such as JJ Lin, Stefanie Sun, Nathan Hartono, The Sam Willows and Gentle Bones.

Personally, my music tastes have always been heavily geared towards mainstream Western artistes such as Ariana Grande, Conan Gray and Dua Lipa (Yes, I know how original). However, there was always a part of me that felt an inclination to embrace what was present to us locally. There was that incomprehensible sense of guilt for not paying much attention to the local scene.

Recently, I decided to spice things up a little and dive further into exploring music within the Singapore scene and boy did it not disappoint. The type of music I was exposed to, was a complete one-eighty from the ones I listened to daily.

Singapore music had its own unique and refreshing sound, the songs are mellowed, raw and emotional and you could easily tell that the song lyrics are written from the heart and deeply relatable.

It is important to note that globally, the music scene has changed drastically over the years. Gone are the days where discovering musical talent were limited to televised shows such as American Idol or within the local context, Singapore Idol and the Final One.

These days, technological advancements have allowed us to easily chance upon newfound artistes and support their music with a simple touch of a button or with the help of an algorithm. The salience of technology has also allowed for artistes to build their brand, increase their outreach and accessibility to their songs.

Here are some of the Singaporean artistes that are breathing life into the local scene and a must-add to your Spotify playlists:

Dominic Chin

[Photo Credits: Umami Records]

24-year-old Dominic Chin is a personal favourite of mine amongst the artistes in the local music scene. I first stumbled across his music when I was browsing songs on my "Release Radar" on Spotify and that was when I first heard HERE, a beautiful soothing tune written as a tribute to his late grandmother.

He may look familiar as he had graced our TV screens during the 2019 National Day Parade performance segment. Or you may recognise him as a breakout star back in 2014 when he made headlines and gained widespread recognition for his touching tribute to Singapore’s Founding Father, Lee Kuan Yew with his original song, You First Believed.

Since then, Dominic has been dominating the local music scene, releasing bops back-to-back, clocking in with 15,854 monthly listeners on Spotify. Listening to his music, you can’t help but notice his amazing vocal range and how he pours his feelings and heartfelt emotions into his songwriting.

Dominic has recently released reimagined renditions of his songs from the 2020 EP License to Cry in collaboration with other local artistes such as Sherman Zhuo and Gail Belmonte. Blessed with unique vocals, sick pipes, and a flair for expressing his thoughts and feelings through songwriting, I believe the best is yet to come for him.

Song recommendation: SHY

SHY is an upbeat, energetic song that highlights the importance of mental health, inspired by Dominic’s own experiences. The song is a powerful anthem that intends to spark the conversation of why we are not ‘okay’ and prompts us to share with others, to grow together.

Jason Yu

[Photo Credits: Jaydenation]

Picture this: You’re taking a nice evening stroll along the busy streets of Orchard and from the distance, you hear a charming voice accompanied by the strumming of a guitar. You’re drawn towards the melodious voice and you turn the corner to discover a man serenading a large bustling crowd with pop medley tunes. Though this is a rare sight these days, that was how Jason Yu started by busking along the streets of Singapore.

Jason’s artistry lies within his unique talent to create beautiful heartfelt tunes accompanied with delicate emotional lyrics that brings his listeners through a journey along with him. His critically acclaimed single, Hearts Release, which idealises honesty and possibilities, was released in 2018 and has over 1 million streams to date.

In recent years, Jason has released his EP titled Ideals earlier in March. The lead single, I Miss You pens his thoughts and sentiments borne towards home and his family while studying abroad. The 5-track EP is accompanied by other numbers that encapsulate Jason’s personal stories and experiences. It encourages us to pursue our ideals and keep them close to our hearts.

It takes a great deal of courage to put oneself out there to pursue their passion and Jason is an embodiment of this. He wears his heart on his sleeves and he intends on fully invigorating the local music scene in the years to come.

Song Recommendation: Now I Know

Now I Know is a beautiful ballad inspired by Jason's own experiences with realisation, loss and regret. The song explores Jason's journey in bearing the consequences of a falling out, learning from the episode and improving one-self from it.

Lew Loh (lewloh)

[Photo Credits: lewloh]

I’m sure that anyone who has delved into the local music scene has heard of lewloh. 25-year-old, Lewis Loh, professionally known as lewloh, is a local singer-songwriter that has a natural talent for penning down profound and heartfelt lyrics and creating palatable melodies.

Back in 2015, Lewis was dubbed as the “Singing Cop” after being a viral hit when featured as the lead singer in the Singapore Police Force band’s rendition of Our Singapore. His 2020 single, Robots is a raw emotional song recorded within a single take that reflects upon the societal expectations we face and the pressures that stem from them.

Over the past years, Lewis has been consistently releasing a wide array of songs, a 13-track album titled Lullaby in 2017, michigan/missinghim in 2021, a total of 3 EPs and over 10 singles. Lewis’s songs are written and composed with intense precision and he never fails to translate raw emotion into perfectly crafted lyrics that listeners identify with on a personal level. If you’re a fan of the folk-pop genre, you should give him a listen.

Song Recommendation: summer boy

summer boy explores Lewis's remorse after a failed summer fling. The euphonious track resonates with listeners as Lewis bears his heart through this vulnerable track.

If you ever have the time, please support these artistes by giving them a listen! I've always found it therapeutic playing their songs after a stressful week of school. The pleasant, calming, and soothing vibes evoked by their songs hit differently.

These artistes are sharing their personal experiences through their music and I’m optimistic that the local scene will no doubt prosper and thrive further in the years to come!

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