I love this poster done up by Switch 🙂
I was looking forward to this performance because the rehearsal got me so excited! You can’t see it from the photo below, but the stage is really high. Super nice to perform on!
I was supported by very awesome musicians. Here’s Eileen Chai on violin:
Peter Yeo on drums:
Nelson Tan (from “In Each Hand A Cutlass”) on bass (check out the bass strap):
and James Yeo on keys and Justin Low on guitar!
It’s very interesting to hear from Switch that they can only plan 2 months ahead for featured artists…. this is a sure sign that we are sorely lacking when it comes to original artists (who compose in Mandarin). Yes, we do have tons and tons of singers singing in various pubs/cafes/restaurants across Singapore. But very very few actually compose originals and even fewer among them can spare the $ and time to cut an EP album. It really is a chicken and egg issue.
Because the truth is, most SE Asians want to listen to covers in pubs. As a pub singer, you love to sing, and to please the crowd (and the bosses), you have to be in touch with all the latest covers, which usually means taking time to update and learn. If you sing your original song on stage, the applause definitely does not match the applause for you doing a cover song (If it does, then it means you’re made it to the point of being recognised for your song-writing ability, but it rarely happens in Singapore without marketing your original songs on radios and TV like hell first).
It’s very interesting that foreigners (from the West) are appalled that bands and singers do covers in pubs here. When I go to England, it’s equally appalling to me that people do NOT want to listen to covers; they will go to a pub and hear the originals by this certain band, and if they like what they hear, they ‘follow’ the band, and tadah~, that’s how small bands can become really big in US/England if they do tours across cities. It is actually possible to build a name, just because there is an APPETITE for original songs from unknown musicians.
In the last few years, we have witnessed the increase of venues for open-mics, and I have to say that some talents’ works are astonishingly good and, even performance-ready. We need to keep open-mic venues alive, for one day, we just may tip it over and have as many, if not more, people wanting original songs rather than covers. And that is when, original artists can truly have enough support from their fellow countrymen.