Written by: Claire Goh
Ed Sheeran, Lauv, Troye Sivan, The 1975.
I’m sure some of us are familiar with the discography of any of these internationally acclaimed artistes. And I bet you or someone you know would be going for their upcoming concerts in Singapore!
However, mention local artistes M1LDL1FE, Jasmine Sokko, or Disco Hue to your friends and you might receive quizzical stares. I would be clueless too, if not for my friend’s recommendation of The Sam Willows’ eponymous debut album back in 2012, which introduced me to the local music scene.
Local music, defined as “any genre of music composed or performed by musicians who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents”, encompasses many genres like pop, electronica, folk rock, alternative R&B, and rap. Many artists, bands, producers and singer-songwriters have become household names in Singapore, such as Charlie Lim – who sang last year’s National Day Parade theme song entitled “We Are Singapore 2018”.
Recently, we asked NTU students what home-grown* music they listen to. We have since collated 31 students’ responses for the 30-day song challenge (+1 in case of 31 days). Since the challenge’s inception in 2011, it has been featured on countless Instagram stories where people post a song according to each day’s theme for 30 (or 31) days straight.
Here’s our local twist on the challenge for the month of March! May these tunes accompany you whether you are getting ready to head out, on your commute to school, and studying for your mid-terms. If you have never listened to local music before, we hope this will bring you on a journey of exploration into the thriving local music scene.
*We have asked students to cite English local songs for U-Insight’s readers.
Day 1:#0000FF by Jasmine Sokko
I like how the colour theme in the lyrics matches the vibe of the melody. Plus it’s interesting that she uses the hex code of blue instead of its name in the title (like most of her other songs!) – Tan Nai Lun
Day 2: JU1Y by Gentle Bones
His voice is very unique and I always thought JU1Y was an interesting way to write JULY. – Venice Phang
Day 3: Cosmic Realignment by Subsonic Eye
It just channels good vibes for me and that is what summer is about. – Ivan Kwee
Day 4: Alpine by Linying
Come on here, why’d you come so nearWas it furious fire, was I the only one here – Denise Khng
Day 5: Settle Down by Gentle Bones
It just sounds nice! – Tan Tong
Day 6: Red Lights by P_NEDA
Chill, catchy rhythm and beats that make me wanna dance! – Lim Ji Ah
Day 7: Take Heart by The Sam Willows
I was driving when I heard this song and have liked it ever since. – Harmith Singh
Day 8: Authority by Of Methodist
This song is my drug; I don’t need actual drugs. – Brandon Tan
Day 9: Mustafa by Yung Raja
The song lyrics are funny and it has a feel good factor. – Sonia-Ann Thomas
Day 10: Your Princess Is… by Xingfoo&Roy
I discovered this song during a very difficult time in my life and it makes me sad now thinking about how much i used to be able to relate to the lyrics. – Kristian Pineda
Day 11: Liar by Gentle Bones
It’s a soothing song to hear. – Quek Jia Jun
Day 12: How’s Life by The Observatory
I heard this melancholic tune on the radio in primary school and the lyrics “Do we ever grow up?” still strikes a chord with me today. – Nicholas Oh
Day 13: Fried Rice Paradise by Dick Lee
I would croon this particular lyric to my future girlfriend: “YOU’RE MY CHAO FAN BABY, NICE HOT CHAO FAN BABY. (“Chao Fan” means fried rice in Chinese) – Hariz Lee
Day 14: Right Here Right Now by Joie Tan
It reminds us of the simple pleasures that makes life wonderful. – Ka Xin Yi
Day 15: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Tina
Tina manages to bring emotional depth to this Frankie Valli original. – Anthea Chua
Day 16: Mr Rainbow by The Quests
I discovered a vinyl by The Quests at a local flea market. I was told that this song was apparently a classic favourite in the ‘60s. I was sold. (literally and metaphorically) – Bryce Benjamin
Day 17: Thinkin Bout Love by Nathan Hartono
A song about love, sung with my loved one, will be absolutely lovely. – Reena Mehra
Day 18: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: Scene, The Palace of Sweets
My obsession with sweets probably stemmed from 1998 when my pregnant mother played this song one too many times. – Ariel Tay
Day 19: juvenile by .gif
Life is hard sometimes. – Pang Hao Cher
Day 20: Distraction by M1LDL1FE
This song makes me reminisce over my good ol’ polytechnic days…and the lyrics “We’re made from the same dust, like stars from the same dusk” hits me everytime. – Theo Ng
Day 21: Frank Ocean Song by LEW
I’m a sucker for acoustic guitar whimsical male-voice love songs and Frank Ocean’s name is in the song title. – Ryan Chua
Day 22: Can’t Be Mine by Disco Hue
The beat and lyrics motivate me all the time when I am feeling down as it is really upbeat. – Jaime See
Day 23: B4NGER by Gentle Bones
It’s very catchy and has happy vibes so I think everyone should listen because it can put them in a good mood. – Lu Zhuoyi
Day 24: 2014 by Plainsunset
The band disbanded…which I’m terribly upset about as their music is so good! – Leon Lee
Day 25: In the Good Old Summertime by Susan Lim & The Crescendos
Summer of ‘65, I met Bobby on the boardwalk, we were 17, and this song plays when we walked into a yacht club party. – Joanne Koh
Day 26: Be My Ocean by Gentle Bones
It’s a very chill song, the lyrics are really sweet and I like his voice! – Acacia Wu
Day 27: Broken by Sezairi Sezali
His voice carries the emotions very well. – Soh Zi Yuan
Day 28: Last Day by Subsonic Eye
I like how it sounds because of how the artist sang the song. – Benecia Voon
Day 29: As Tears Go By by Naomi & The Boys
This song inspired me to sing when I was a child because of the lyrics “My riches can’t buy everything, I want to hear the children sing”. Legit. – Veronica Yap
Day 30: JULY by theodora
The lyrics really represent what was going through my mind when I ended things with the guy I was dating, and it ended in July…plus her voice is great! – Belva Loke
Day 31: Okay (feat. Darren Ashley) by Talitha.
A reminder that everything is going to be okay no matter what struggles you face now. – Julian Lee
U-Insight hopes you can take these songs with you as we move into March together, and that they bring additional colour into your vibrant school life!
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