Group sing-alongs, hand clapping, swaying to the music and booming speakers — it ain’t a festival without the live music! On any given weekend, there’ll be a chock-full of gigs happening around town in Singapore (who says this town is boring!) and well, the all-things-pop-culture SHINE Festival comes with a pretty stellar music bill as well. All this, on top of a killer urban sports programme and on top of an edgy visual arts segment. So much legit.
Looking at the lineup SHINE has rolled out for us, we’re mighty impressed. Ranging from international acts like David Choi and Arden Cho, to homegrown favourites such as Shigga Shay, the Radikal Forze Crew, The Radon and more, it’s going to be hard to remember that there are other things to check out along Orchard Road.
The local music community is one that is very much alive and growing. Eclectic and diverse, you can get your fix of folk, electronic, soul, jazz, progressive rock, metal, hardcore — pretty much everything that lies on the musical spectrum. And within this spectrum, we have soulful singer-songwriter Charlie Lim, fast-talking hip hop artist Shigga Shay, and enigmatic electronic songstress Weish — all of whom will be performing at SHINE Festival — and were nice enough to stop by for a chat. We asked them about what inspired them to make music, and what being a Singaporean youth means to them.
Here are the personalities you can look forward to this SHINE Festival.
My Dad made me fall in love with music. He taught himself the piano and saxophone, and always played lots of great music at home when we were growing up.
My fondest musical memory is probably discovering Eminem in secondary school.
If you’re talking about being under 18, I’d have to say being young in Singapore for most kids is stifling, uninspiring, and stressful.
Youth is too short!
Just the sheer joy of being able to fall into music without thinking too much about anything else made me fall in love with it; it was a great form of escapism for a kid like me who asked too many questions growing up.
One of my earliest music-related memories was when I was still in primary school, and I would often run to my mother’s upright piano whenever I was feeling down. I would play silly tunes and improvise over anything from Star Wars theme songs, to church hymns, to really bad watered-down Richard Clayderman covers. Come to think of it now, I never had a pet, so the piano was probably my favourite non-human companion when I was growing up.
I’m not that young, or at least I feel a lot older than I really am. (laughs) I think being young means to have a lot of zeal and a slightly reckless willingness to fight for the things that you believe in, even though it probably means a lot lesser to the generation above yours, because they have different priorities in life. But I think it’s an essential part of growing up; having the courage to chase your passion and standing up for something that no one else really cares about.
Youth is being able to make mistakes, having little to lose, questioning everything, and giving yourself second chances.
Music was a great outlet for me to express everything I wanted to express. I guess it was the fact that I could get whatever message I wanted to get across to people that made me fall in love with making music.
I played the flute for 3 years in the Chinese orchestra back when I was in primary school.
Being young in Singapore is a huge blessing. We’ve got such a beautiful city with opportunities everywhere.
Youth is following your heart and making enough mistakes for your dreams to become reality.
What does youth mean to you? If you want to meet these young Singaporean musicians or be part of the SHINE Festival, you can find more information at shine.nyc.sg