Hailing from Bangkok, My Life as Ali Thomas has captivated a whole generation of youths from the Land of a Thousand Smiles with their brand of alternative rockOn September 14, 2016 / By Arman Shah
Hailing from Bangkok, My Life as Ali Thomas has captivated a whole generation of youths from the Land of a Thousand Smiles with their brand of alternative rock music. This September, the four-piece outfit is ready to capture the hearts of audiences beyond Thailand when they perform at Music Matters in Singapore. Here, lead vocalist Pie shares with Arman Shah the band’s journey before their debut show in the Lion City.
Who is Ali Thomas, and what inspired the band name?
“Ali Thomas” isn’t so much a person as she is an alter ego. It’s more of a pen name based on the idea of a parallel life. The name’s origin lies in Greek roots and translates to “another twin”, so the band name technically reads as “My Life as Another Twin”.
How did the band first come together to make music?
I started My Life as Ali Thomas as a solo project back in 2013 on SoundCloud, and was later introduced to Rack, a resident guitarist at a local bar at the time. We played a few gigs here and there before running into Oak, who later dragged Taw into this motley crew.
How would you describe your sound, and who are some of your musical influences?
Our sound is a bit of everything. We didn’t know each other when we started the band, so naturally our sound grew diverse because of our different musical backgrounds. I have more of an American folk sound, Rack grew up listening to Brit-Rock from the 90s, Oak leans more towards industrial and experimental, while Taw studied Jazz but puts more of a Rock twist to things.
You are currently recording your debut album. What has the process been like, and what can fans expect from this album?
We started recording our album almost two years ago. The process has definitely been an experience. This is the first time any of us got to record an album, although Oak and Taw did have some studio recording experiences before. Along the way, we hit a few bumps that caused a bit of delay; but, it’s finally finished now! It’s a full album featuring 10 songs that are quite different from one another; it’s definitely a mood swing album.
Your music videos have a very cinematic feel. Can you talk a little about the inspiration behind “Winter’s Love” and “Cordelia”?
“Winter’s Love” was actually a collaboration between us and 9MS. They’re a crew of film students studying in Prague, and one of them is a friend of Taw’s. They asked if they could use “Winter’s Love” for their film, and we said yes.
We didn’t title the project our “official” music video because we wanted to give them full creative freedom to interpret the song the way they saw it. The video turned out very nice and it surprisingly caught the song at its heart.
“Cordelia”, on the other hand, is our official video. I wrote the song from the sense that we’re always in search of that someone or something that’s close to our hearts yet was never quite in our possession, almost like a ghostly illusion, something you can feel but not hold on to. The music video conveyed just that.
The production team did a great job using the deer’s longing for that ghostly figure to portray the idea and carry the key emotion of the song.
How do you feel about performing at Music Matters in Singapore?
We’re very happy and honoured to have gotten the offer. Music Matters will be our very first show abroad, and for a local band from Bangkok to be given the opportunity to perform for an international crowd is so rare. We never thought this whole thing would have taken us this far. So yeah, we are definitely nervous but excited to be playing there soon.
Have you been to Singapore before? What are your expectations of the city?
We’ve never been to Singapore before. No expectations, but we’re dropping by Universal Studios for sure!
Asia’s premier music and dance festival, ZoukOut is back for another round of epic dusk to dawn revelry. This year, Singapore’s biggest electronic music party is set forOn September 2, 2016 / By Nookmag
Asia’s premier music and dance festival, ZoukOut is back for another round of epic dusk to dawn revelry. This year, Singapore’s biggest electronic music party is set for a super-sized sweet sixteen with the promise of delivering an all-encompassing festival experience by bringing together the very best of dance music within and beyond the borders of Singapore. A two-day outdoor festival of grand proportions, the 16th edition of ZoukOut will be held at Siloso Beach, Sentosa on the 9 and 10 December 2016.
Built on the “One World, One Music, One Tribe, One Dance” foundation that Zouk Singapore has been governed by throughout the 25 years of operations, ZoukOut was created with the intention of gathering a larger pool of music lovers beyond the limitations of an indoor space. Taking cues from the renowned motto, the 16th edition aims to reinforce and uphold the togetherness of the “One Tribe” value that ZoukOut will continue to thrive on.
With the expansion of ZoukOut across cities in Asia and the upcoming move of the club to Clarke Quay, the “One Tribe” theme remains to emphasize the identity of the festival and its mission to unify the like-minded people with one accord. Whether on local or foreign shores, the spirit of ZoukOut will always stay true to being together as one.
A homegrown festival that was born out of the love for dance music in 2000, ZoukOut has continued to grow in leaps over the years and has established itself as one of Asia’s biggest music festivals. This year, ZoukOut has expanded beyond the Singapore borders with its first foray in Boracay, Philippines on 30th April and 1st May 2016. A two-day beach event featuring headliners including the likes of Kaskade and DVBBS alongside other regional and local names, the debut amassed up to 8,000 attendees.
Coming 20th August 2016, ZoukOut will also be taking on Tokyo with the takeover of the Beach Stage at the annual Summer Sonic Tokyo 2016 with acts including Vinai, Sam Feldt, The Chainsmokers, and Zouk Singapore’s very own resident DJ, Zushan. In addition to the stage takeover, there will also be a ZoukOut After Party tie up that will be taking place at VIP club, Ele Tokyo.
Zoukout Girl Search 2016
A campaign face hunt launched alongside partnering agency, Basic Models, nineteen-year- old Angie Watkins was announced on the 30th of June as the ZoukOut Girl Search 2016 winner. Known as the Singapore representative for the latest installment of Asia’s Next Top Model, Watkins will be fronting the ZoukOut 2016 campaign and will be co-hosting the MTV EDM Countdown.
Besides the ZoukOut Girl Search, ZoukOut have also held a social media competition with the ZoukOut Singapore Girl 2016 People’s Choice. Social content creator, Chloe Choo, was selected as the crowd favourite.
First wave of headliners announced
Returning to the Singapore stage after last year’s solo I AM Hardwell gig at Gardens By The Bay, the legendary DJ and record producer Hardwell is set as one of the headliners at the ZoukOut 2016 stage. No stranger at major music festivals including the likes of Ultra and Tomorrowland, Hardwell has continued to dominate DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs poll three years in top three from 2013 at just twenty-eight. All thrillers and no fillers, dance music lovers will be swept with wave after wave of hardhitting anthems across a multitude of electronic styles.
Sprung to international status through his 2013 debut album Clarity which spawned hits “Clarity” featuring Foxes, and “Stay the Night” featuring Hayley Williams, Zedd has since established himself as one of the top DJs and music producers with his most recent “Top Dance/Electronic Album” win at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Expect Zedd to turn up the sandy shores with a heady arsenal of electro-laced pop that will progress into deeper cuts of electro house.
Twice winner of the Singapore Experience Awards’ Trade Event of the Year, All That Matters is returning for their 11th annual independent music festival. Kicking off on Monday SeptemberOn August 29, 2016 / By Nookmag
Twice winner of the Singapore Experience Awards’ Trade Event of the Year, All That Matters is returning for their 11th annual independent music festival. Kicking off on Monday September 12, and running alongside the industry conference every evening until Thursday September 15, the Music Matters festival promises to showcase some of the most promising up and coming bands from the APAC region and beyond.
Over the 4 nights, over thirty acts will take the stage and have the opportunity to perform in front of All That Matters delegates, including leading music industry executives. As in previous years, country specific showcases from the Asia Pacific region will feature as part of the festival schedule. This year, Music Matters has partnered with top Singapore live music venue Millian as showcase partner Tuesday through Thursday. All performances are open to the public and free to attend.
Country specific showcases including the ‘Aussie BBQ’ supported by Sounds Australia also return, bringing the best in Australian talent to Singapore.
Some of the featured bands at the festival this year include New Zealand’s Album of the Year winners in 2013, Aaradhna, Australian music act The Veronicas, whose hit ‘In My Blood’ topped the Australian charts and one of Indonesia’s biggest music stars Raisa. This year Music Matters will take place from 12 to 15 September, during the week between Ultra Singapore and the 2016 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX.
Music Matters has partnered with Singapore GP to give one Music Matters act the chance to take the stage at the Marina Bay Street Circuit! They will join a stellar lineup of international superstar acts including Queen and Adam Lambert, Imagine Dragons and Kylie Minogue. After a vote amongst top music industry executives, Aaradhna was selected to perform at the Sunset Stage in Zone 1 on 16 September 2016.
The world’s premier electronic music festival Ultra Singapore will also incorporate Australian act Slumberjack from the Music Matters lineup into their schedule, joining huge international names such as Alesso and Deadmau5.
Timbre Music returns as the official event partner to the festival, providing production services for performances and also unique, intimate venues across Singapore. Look out for these acts and more to be announced appearing at Barber Shop, Timbre Music Academy, Switch and Timbre @ The Substation, for the duration of the festival.
ULTRA Worldwide, brings its full-scale, two-day festival experience to Singapore. Taking place this September 10 and 11, the eagerly anticipated music festival includes some of the hottest local and regionalOn August 28, 2016 / By Nookmag
ULTRA Worldwide, brings its full-scale, two-day festival experience to Singapore. Taking place this September 10 and 11, the eagerly anticipated music festival includes some of the hottest local and regional acts to shake up the music scene, bolstering a world-class showcase of headliners like Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Alesso, Axwell^Ingrosso, deadmau5, Kygo, NERO (Live), DJ Snake and Zhu.
Check out the ULTRA Singapore 2016 teaser!
While ULTRA Singapore is a truly international collection of the world’s biggest and best DJs and Live Acts, it is also a stage for the local talents to shine on an international platform, gaining a wider audience from the throng of festival goers over the two days. Homegrown talents on show include the likes of MYRNE, who at the tail end of 2015 signed on to Diplo’s Mad Decent label; Shigga Shay, who just performed at the Whitehouse State dinner in Washington D.C.; Rave Republic, the only locally based DJ-duo to grace the main stage; and award-winning local favourite band, The Sam Willows.
Flying the Korean flag on the LIVE Stage is Jay Park and Hyolyn, while countrymen Justin Oh and Raiden will follow up on their performances at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, ULTRA Korea and ULTRA Europe from earlier this year as they play the Main Stage. Australian Slumberjack – who are set to appear at ULTRA Singapore’s official partner event ‘Music Matters’ later in the week –also brings their signature bass-fuelled sounds to the Live Stage, as does South African born Cara Frew, whose new single Invisible has maintained the Number One spot on the @5fm radio charts for 7 consecutive weeks.
The two-day extravaganza will take place at the spectacular ULTRA Park venue hosted in the heart of the city at 1 Bayfront Avenue. Situated right across from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, this event will be the first of its kind to be held at the waterside venue. The site will feature three of ULTRA Worldwide’s most beloved stages in the form of the Main, LIVE and RESISTANCE stages.
ULTRA Singapore marks the start of ULTRA Worldwide’s second Asia run this year. With ULTRA Korea and a SOLD OUT Road To Ultra Thailand event having already taken place in June, part two will see the brand undertake six more stops this September in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Bali and the Philippines all within a two-week span – a festival first and a feat no other event organizer can lay claim to.
Much to the delight of thousands of trance loving Ultranauts, the lineup includes UK super group Above & Beyond, who will be touching down in Singapore to deliver what will surely be an electrifying performance. To add, Swedish superstar Alesso, who, having headlined the first and only Road to ULTRA Singapore to rapturous acclaim, will return for a second year in a row. Just off the back of releasing his debut album, the enigmatic producer ZHU will be performing at his first ever ULTRA Worldwide event, and is guaranteed to bring his finely curated catalogue of new music along for all those lucky enough to be in attendance.
The RESISTANCE lineup will also see Nicole Moudaber, Reboot, Shaded (Live) and Technasia bring the very best that the techno world has to offer directly to Singapore. Three more of electronic music’s most exciting acts will also join the billing, as Carnage, Gryffin and W&W each prepare to bring their own spin to proceedings.
Tickets for ULTRA Singapore are available now. With Early Bird tickets for the event sold out, fans will have to move fast in order to snap up the last remaining Advance Tickets that are on sale now and priced at SGD175 USD, with Premium General Admission Tickets available at SGD200 USD. One-day tickets are also now available, priced at SGD105 USD, with Premium Admission Tickets priced at SGD120 USD. In a new initiative, group tickets are now on sale, with those who purchase five tickets at once receiving a sixth for free.
ZALORA brings you official ULTRA Singapore merchandise
ZALORA will be providing festivalgoers with a comprehensive shopping experience, both online and offline. Browse all ULTRA merchandise, produced in-house, and get them in time for the party on ZALORA’s website.
The 26piece collection features t-shirts and tank tops with the recognisable ULTRA logo embossed on both sides. Additionally, the women’s range includes exclusive, unique pieces that reflect music festival trends, such as tie-dyed fringe tops, raw edge tank tops and cropped tops. Complementing the unisex apparel line are trucker caps with a mesh design as well as reflective sunglasses in eyecatching colours of neon pink, red, purple and black with lime green piping. Prices range from SGD19.90 for a pair of sunglasses to SGD34.90 for a t-shirt.
ULTRA merchandise will also be made available at the festival itself. To reward ardent ULTRA fans, the official ULTRA lineup tee will only be sold at the ZALORA merchandise booth over the two days.
For more information about tickets and the lineup for ULTRA Singapore, stay tuned to ULTRA Singapore’s website.
Japan-listed lifestyle and entertainment company Koshidaka Holdings, opens its Asian karaoke flagship outlet in Orchard Cineleisure, Singapore. Termed Ganso (which means Founder or Pioneer), this Manekineko outlet willOn August 27, 2016 / By Nookmag
Japan-listed lifestyle and entertainment company Koshidaka Holdings, opens its Asian karaoke flagship outlet in Orchard Cineleisure, Singapore. Termed Ganso (which means Founder or Pioneer), this Manekineko outlet will be the seventh in Singapore and the largest in Asia, with 80 newly furnished karaoke rooms, 5 VIP rooms with pool tables and a 150 pax capacity function hall for holding company and private events.
Ganso Manekineko Orchard Cineleisure is the largest karaoke outlet in Asia – and the karaoke outlet in Singapore with all-you-can-eat spread of local, Japanese and international offerings. There are more than 150,000 songs in its library to choose from, updated fortnightly.
Koshidaka Holdings made in-roads into Singapore in September 2015 when it launched its Manekineko Karaoke Chain, after acquiring shares in K Box Entertainment. K Box is a subsidiary of Koshidaka Holdings. By establishing Manekineko in Singapore as a proven business model and showcase, Koshidaka Holdings hopes to springboard its expansion into ASEAN within the coming year, with plans to introduce outlets in Europe and North America as well. Here in Singapore, they will continue to proactively scout for suitable locations to expand the chain. Koshidaka Holdings, which has more than 400 stores from Hokkaido to Okinawa, is the first Karaoke chain from Japan to embark on overseas expansion. Its initial foray was into Korea, where it currently has thirteen outlets.
Ganso Manekineko Orchard Cineleisure features rooms that are bright and vibrant in four coloured theme zones (orange, green, blue and red), each adorned with illustrations of the mascot cat. Targeted at young adults, families and even senior citizens, prices are kept affordable (from SGD12 nett onwards for three hours) with free-flow soft drinks, snacks and ice cream included. Manekineko @ Orchard Cineleisure will also be the only karaoke outlet in Singapore to offer a buffet spread for lunch on weekends and dinner daily so that customers will have a more fulfilling experience, singing and eating to their hearts’ content. Its Singapore chef has also come up with a new ala carte menu, to include local favourites such as Laksa, Braised Pork Knuckle and Chicken Rendang, to name a few.
General Manager of Koshidaka Holdings, Mr Kohei Yamaoka says, “As a market leader in the karaoke entertainment space, we desire to be the place of choice offering guests both young and young at heart, the best karaoke experience possible”.
As part of the group’s effort to continuously provide a delightful karaoke experience, Manekineko’s outlets house state-of-the-art karaoke systems and a library of 150,000 songs (English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Malay, Hokkien and many more) updated fortnightly based on latest releases, hit charts and even customers’ requests. To remain ahead of the competition in the karaoke business, Manekineko customers in Japan are able to download the in-house developed SKIT application to their mobile devices. This application has a host of features, such as song search and selection, personalisation, karaoke system control and even uploading your self-made karaoke contents. Koshidaka Holdings is currently reviewing when to introduce this to the Singapore market, as part of its global expansion strategy.
Three years seemed like forever, until Fred Perry’s epic gig series returned to the little red dot with a new identity and exciting live gigs. Earlier this month,On August 25, 2016 / By Sarah Oh
Three years seemed like forever, until Fred Perry’s epic gig series returned to the little red dot with a new identity and exciting live gigs.
Earlier this month, the British sports and street-wear label brandished a new name for the gig series, called Fred Perry SubcultureLive. Organised in conjunction with Moonbeats Asia, the indie night affair was held at Gallery and Co on 4 August, to much fanfare. Headlined by a DJ set from Jack Savidge of Friendly Fires, the night continued to keep those feet shuffling and party goers enlivened by our home-grown talents such as Subsonic Eye, Specific Islander and DJ collective, Eatmepoptart.
A personal favourite was the trippy visuals by Amanda Tan of Empyreal. Her vision exhibited a cohesive sense of aesthetics, a sensory overload masterfully executed that lent a feast for the eyes. Conjoined with the live gigs, together they created a comfortable world where there was nothing to worry about.
Nonetheless, night owls and indie enthusiasts were down for a night of audiovisual soundscapes, celebrating the dawning of Fred Perry’s gig series – while noshing down hearty grub, sloshing beers by Park Bench Deli, or perhaps taking a swig of refreshing Gin and Tonic by Hendrick’s Gin.
In celebration of Singapore’s 51st birthday, Singaporean all-female quartet The QI Ensemble pays tribute to Singapore’s homegrown Mandopop talents in a music medley. Putting together the well-loved balladsOn August 25, 2016 / By Nookmag
In celebration of Singapore’s 51st birthday, Singaporean all-female quartet The QI Ensemble pays tribute to Singapore’s homegrown Mandopop talents in a music medley. Putting together the well-loved ballads of Mavis Hee, Kit Chan, Stefanie Sun, Tanya Chua and JJ Lin, the tribute looks back at the songs and music videos that shaped the Chinese music scene in Singapore.
Featured songs include 铁窗 (Iron Window) by Mavis Hee, ⼼心痛 (Heartache) by Kit Chan, 开始懂了 (Begin to Understand) by Stefanie Sun, Beautiful Love by Tanya Chua, and 曹操 (Cao Cao) by JJ Lin.
The QI Ensemble is young, invigorating and exuberant, presenting popular works in a style that is both playful and dynamic. They comprise a mix of traditional Chinese instruments (Pipa and Dizi) and modern day Western instruments (Keyboard and Guitar). They have produced music videos of chart-topping hits done in their East- meets-West and youthful style, and have performed at Huayi – Chinese Festival of the Arts, Wan Qing Yuan ‘Night Under the Stars’, Exclusive Preview of The Guggenheim’s ‘No Country’ Exhibition, Resorts World Sentosa’s Lunar New Year Festivities and many more.
For more information, please visit the TENG Company’s website.
The Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFOM) is brought to you by SIFOM Ltd, in collaboration with Arts House Ltd and OperaViva Ltd. Singapore’s first-ever classical music festival isOn August 22, 2016 / By Nookmag
The Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFOM) is brought to you by SIFOM Ltd, in collaboration with Arts House Ltd and OperaViva Ltd. Singapore’s first-ever classical music festival is back for a second year and it promises to be even more spellbinding!
This year’s theme is “Myths and Legends” and the Festival seeks to explore invigorating programmes of evocative classical music inspired by folklore and fairy tales. The Festival will kick off in mid-October with free public outreach programmes and masterclasses, and a series of ticketed orchestral, musical theatre and vocal concerts.
SIFOM aims to place Singapore on the world map of classical music capitals and bring new audiences to concert halls. “The Singaporean brand is undoubtedly an international one. By establishing Singapore as the centre of classical music in the region, SIFOM hopes to further cement Singapore’s global reputation as a major cultural hub,” said internationally-renowned Grammy-nominated Singaporean Conductor, Darrell Ang, SIFOM’s Artistic Director.
A magical, musical take on familiar fairytales
The Festival will open with a full symphonic concert featuring the resident festival orchestra SIFOM Orchestra side-by-side with members of the legendary Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE), under the baton of Maestro Darrell Ang. Recognised as the world’s best chamber orchestra, COE comprises Europe’s stellar musicians who have worked closely with celebrated legends such as Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Vladimir Jurowski, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Sir András Schiff. COE was Cultural Ambassador for the European Union (EU) from 2007 to 2013. At SIFOM, COE will present an imaginary story told through French composer Maurice Ravel’s ravishing orchestration of tales from Mother Goose. Bask in the sensuous music of Sleeping Beauty, the tearful meanderings of wandering Tom Thumb, the oriental gaiety of the Princess of the Pagodas, Beauty and the Beast’s bizarre but touching discourse; and The Fairy Garden’s lush, flowery paradise.
Young performers from the Musical Olympus Foundation take centre-stage
Two opera stars from the Musical Olympus Foundation will perform their favourite showpieces on 13 and 15 October. Chinese bass-baritone Li Ao (winner of Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition) plays the devil Mephistopheles in a famous aria from Gounod’s beloved opera Faust, in which he advises a woman to remain chaste until marriage. Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, from Moscow’s famous Bolshoi Theatre, will sing Cinderella’s closing aria from Rossini’s opera on the fairy tale: now married to the Prince, Cinderella seeks pardon for her evil relatives who have done her wrong.
Maverick violinist, Aleksey Semenenko, who bagged the silver medal at the recent Queen Elisabeth Competition, promises to set the stage on fire from Sarasate’s beloved Carmen Fantasy. Semenenko will also start his evening concert on 13 October with a pre-concert recital featuring music inspired by legends. Lastly, be spellbound by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s powerful symphonic retelling of the colourful adventures of Sindbad the Sailor and the 1001 Arabian Nights: his Scheherazade is full of unforgettable tunes which will leave you dreaming of flying carpets and magic lamps!
Ikan Girl tells the story of good triumphing over evil
Ikan Girl, featuring The Bhumi Collective, tells a story about patience, kindness and the perils of engaging in evil deeds – especially the mistreatment of a fellow being. Inspired by a Malay ancient poem known as the Syair Bidasari, this story is a multidisciplinary performance that incorporates movement vocabulary from Malay dance, bharatanatyam and contemporary dance genres. Syafiqah Adha Sallehi, the composer, is Artist-in-Residence at SIFOM. Percussionist extraordinaire Ramu Thiruyanam will also make a special appearance.
Other events to look forward to include 五 + 5 = ?, a collaboration between Singapore’s Ding Yi Music Company and Vietnam’s Song Hong Chamber Music; New Music in a Mythic Landscape by SIFOM Young Composers offering their take on pieces inspired by local landscapes; and Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg, an orchestra from Germany bringing baroque and electronic music together in a refreshing experiment with styles.
Beyond the confines of the concert hall
“Classical music should not limit itself to the confines of a concert hall. By bringing it to the heartlands, we hope to promote classical music as an accessible art-form, and to nurture a new generation of listeners to classical music today,” said Ang.
SIFOM is delighted to share the joy of classical music to the Singapore community. Through its Outreach Programmes, SIFOM musicians will bring excerpts of the main programmes – such as Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite (illustrating fairytale favourites like Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast) – to various community venues in the heartlands, in parks and malls, at libraries and schools.
With the aim to encourage nationwide appreciation of classical music, SIFOM will collaborate with Sentire Singapore on a music-centric programme for special-needs children. By engaging these children through music, SIFOM composers and musicians will share some simple melodies and composition styles. Through the interaction, the children will learn to express themselves and develop their artistic capabilities. Some of the students will be given the opportunity to experience their music performed ‘live’ at The Arts House on 19 October.
SIFOM kicks off on 13 October and ends 30 October 2016. Tickets are available at a starting price of SGD 36, and there are now tiered Festival Passes which allow the ticket-holder to attend various combinations of performances, starting at SGD 144. Tickets will be available at SISTIC from mid-August.
Vans prides itself in unearthing local creative talent in all aspects of culture. Building on the success of the APAC Musician Wanted initiative in 2015, Vans, in partnershipOn August 21, 2016 / By Nookmag
Vans prides itself in unearthing local creative talent in all aspects of culture. Building on the success of the APAC Musician Wanted initiative in 2015, Vans, in partnership with Bandwagon, is coming to Singapore in 2016, giving the musicians of Singapore an opportunity to play the main stage at the Singapore stop of the House Of Vans Asia Tour.
If you are musical veteran, aspiring rock star or a newcomer to the local music scene, this is your opportunity to get some recognition for your musical talent and support some elevated music acts at the legendary House of Vans events.
From 12 August through 27 August 2016, bands of any skill level are able to submit their profile and chosen music piece – all music genres are welcome! There will be a total of 3 bands selected for the Vans Musicians Wanted Finals where the artists will be battling it out against each other for the prize to play on the House of Vans Main Stage. Don’t miss out on this chance to share your passion with the world and be a part of this year’s inaugural House Of Vans in Singapore. Successful applicants will be announced on 5 September 2016. Stay tuned for more information and keep practicing!
For more details and updates, please check out the Vans Musicians Wanted website.
Seamlessly blending the old with the new, The TENG Ensemble has done wonders to redefine classical music through complex recompositions of familiar tunes. With the release of theirOn August 11, 2016 / By Arman Shah
Seamlessly blending the old with the new, The TENG Ensemble has done wonders to redefine classical music through complex recompositions of familiar tunes. With the release of their sophomore effort “Stories from an Island City” and concert at the Esplanade fast approaching, the outfit’s artistic director Samuel Wong shares with Arman Shah the importance of celebrating Singapore’s heritage through reinvention.
How did The TENG Ensemble first come together to make music?
We started as a collective that aspired to raise awareness of Chinese music. In 2004, we won the First Prize in the National Chinese Music Competition which is organised biennially by the National Arts Council. Following that, a few of us decided to stay within the ensemble to provide for the creation and development of projects in Chinese music.
Since then, we’ve went on a nationwide tour and performed at public venues like The Arts House, the National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and the National Museum during the Singapore Night Festival.
How has your sound evolved over the years?
Inspired by music of our time and from our past, we’ve gotten deeper in touch with our Singaporean heritage and have evolved from a mere Chinese instrumental ensemble to that of an intercultural ensemble. Now, we merge popular styles with classical techniques, and are constantly looking to rework, innovate, update and redefine traditional music.
We are currently working on the canon of folk songs, children’s rhymes and lullabies that are commonly heard in Singapore. Taking inspiration from these pieces, we deconstructed them, modernised them and made them sound completely new, yet retained the warmth of familiarity.
Why is it so important for you guys to celebrate Singapore through your music?
We pride ourselves as being a Singaporean music company, creating Singaporean work by Singaporeans for Singaporeans. With Singapore being a multicultural society that boasts a richly diverse heritage, the stories that we wanted to tell and the works that we wanted to write came quite naturally to us. The different cultures in our society are central to our country’s success, beliefs and value systems, and as such, important for us to showcase.
Most members of The TENG Ensemble are also music educators and we find that amongst the young, while most have a musical memory of these songs, they are starting to forget them. As such, we hope to introduce these songs back to the modern day and to reinvent material from our heritage to make them relevant for contemporary society.
How has social media helped create awareness of your music?
Social media platforms have become a common ground for people to meet and mingle, share their thoughts and ideas, discover new things and find an outlet to express or be at ease with themselves. This is important to consider when we want our music, which is created to be both complex and accessible, to reach an untapped audience for the arts.
Putting our work online also helps us reach an audience beyond Singapore, which in turn enables us to tour in the future, knowing that people out there have heard our music or watched our videos online, and would hence want to watch our live shows. In this sense, music videos that we publish online are both a platform to showcase our work and a marketing tool.
Considering the complexities of stitching together different musical elements, describe your process of creating a song.
As artistic director, I work closely with our composer Chow Jun Yi and arranger Huang Peh Linde. The process starts with me conceptualising and charting the direction for the pieces. Jun Yi then writes the pieces before passing them over to Peh Linde to arrange the accompanying orchestration, which includes the electronics and soundscapes for each piece.
For example, when we were recomposing Singapore’s heritage songs for “Stories from an Island City”, we wanted to make sure that people recognise the original melody but appreciate them in a new way.
I gave Jun Yi a list of songs that would make sense conceptually when put together, and his main challenge was to “modernise” the existing melodies to fit our era. Peh Linde then spent some time analysing his requirements and brought his treatments to reality.
You will be releasing your second album “Stories from an Island City” on the night of your concert at the Esplanade. What can we expect from it, and how does it differ from your debut effort?
We wanted to create a set of musical works that spoke about Singapore’s heritage. They are meant to be accessible yet encompass various underlying themes about urban life in Singapore. We also wanted them to have an educational component and resonate with most Singaporeans. We hope that they can give an insight into our musical past to help us make greater sense of our present.
The second album will feature all the songs from the concert and one bonus track. This is a big difference from our first album, in which we featured original compositions and explored different genres of contemporary music. The first album was a confluence of our musical influences, while “Stories from an Island City” is where we look into what shaped our musical identities.
What surprises do you have in store for us at your upcoming concert at the Esplanade?
This will be the first time that we are holding a full-fledged collaboration with artists from other disciplines to create a multi-sensory experience. The multimedia projections will give viewers something to watch and visually experience the stories we want to tell, while the dance performances will break the fixed spatial dimension of a straight up musical concert.
The audience will also notice how differently we intend to use our instruments. For example, our singer, who is a Baroque countertenor, will sing in Mandarin and Malay when he would traditionally sing in English or Italian. Another example is our pipa, which will be used to imitate sounds of the Indian tanpura in the piece “Storm War” that’s inspired by Munnaeru Vaalibaa.
What does holding a concert on such a grand scale mean to you on a personal level?
We’ve actually partnered with the Esplanade to present shows at the Recital Studio twice; once in 2012 and once in 2013. Both were sold out shows, so the Esplanade decided that we should venture into a bigger space, which is the Concert Hall. We are both thrilled and a little anxious to be playing in a much bigger space, and to a much bigger audience!
That said, we feel like we have really come a long way and we are always surprised by how much we can stretch our capabilities. We are happy that the Esplanade wants to see us evolve and have invited us to be on one of their most prestigious stages, and we are excited to really surprise our fans with “Stories from an Island City”.
Stories from an Island City will be presented live by the Teng Ensemble tomorrow, 12 August, at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
An initiative by National Arts Council (NAC), the Noise Singapore Festival unveils the best of Singapore’s young talents in a curated showcase of original art, music, design andOn August 9, 2016 / By Nookmag
An initiative by National Arts Council (NAC), the Noise Singapore Festival unveils the best of Singapore’s young talents in a curated showcase of original art, music, design and photography. As the country’s largest creative arts platform for youth, Noise Singapore empowers youth, aged 35 and below, to express themselves and embrace their creativity through showcase, mentorship and funding opportunities.
Into its 11th year, the Noise Singapore 2016 Festival brings you homegrown talents in a series of free-to-attend exhibitions and concerts, showing what Singapore’s youth art and music scene is made of.
Featuring over 200 artists, 300 new works and a new venue, this year’s Festival presents an exciting line-up – an anchor Exhibition taking place at Capitol Piazza, music extravaganza and artist market at the Esplanade and other fringe activities.
With the aim of growing a vibrant youth arts scene, Noise Singapore is always keen to collaborate with like-minded partners in order to provide diverse options and opportunities for aspiring young artists.
This year, Noise Singapore collaborates with home-grown merchants SNUPPED, Naiise, EZ-Link and Converse, and programme partner Singapore Night Festival to cast the spotlight on our young artists. These partnerships give Singapore artists and musicians the chance to express their creativity and showcase their original creations with the world.
A key format change announced earlier this year is the extension of the duration of the Noise Mentorship programmes for Visual Arts and Music. Over a course of six months, mentors from Objectifs, OH! Open House and Thunder Rock School will groom aspiring artists, helping them prepare their final showcases. Keep an eye out for them in January – February 2017!
“Through the years, Noise Singapore has attracted many young people by giving them the opportunity to and platform to discover, experiment and showcase their talents. Many have gone on to become household names in Singapore’s creative industries and we are encouraged by our youth’s increasing interest to encounter and engage with the arts,” said Aruna Johnson, Deputy Director (Arts & Youth), National Arts Council.
EZ-Link Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest issuer of CEPAS- compliant cards, launched a set of three 2016 Special Edition National Day ez-link cards featuring the works of young artists, MaryAnn Loo, Lee Xin Li and oodon from Noise Singapore, to celebrate National Day 2016. The fruit of collaboration with the National Arts Council (NAC), the artworks feature unique portrayals of Singapore’s most famous icons and encapsulate the pride of the younger generation towards Singapore’s past, present and future.
For more information of Noise Singapore, visit their website.
“Singapore’s 51st birthday is symbolic of its first step beyond 50 years of success, towards a new future to be defined by our younger generation. To commemorate this momentous occasion, EZ-Link had set out to engage youth artists and inspire their passion for the nation in collaboration with the National Arts Council through Noise Singapore. They have responded with stunning masterpieces which when reproduced onto the ez-link card, a Singapore emblem on its own, present to the public a one-of-its-kind series both in significance and design,” said Mr Nicholas Lee, Chief Executive Officer, EZ-Link Pte Ltd.
“This National Day, in an exciting partnership with EZ-Link, three young talents from Noise Singapore – oodon, Lee Xin Li and MaryAnn Loo – have expressed their national pride through artistic interpretations of distinctive Singapore icons. We hope that each of these specially commissioned ez-link cards, featuring our endearing Merlion and stunning cityscape, inspires the imagination and stirs a sense of pride in our collective journey as Singaporeans,” said Ms Aruna Johnson, Deputy Director, Arts & Youth, National Arts Council.
Exclusively packaged as a limited collectible, the 2016 Special Edition National Day ez-link card set will be available at SGD18 per set on the My EZ-Link Online Shop from 1st August 2016 onwards. Each card set comes with a commemorative folder featuring the young artists and their inspiration for the card design.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents four days of great music at Mosaic Music Weekend from 1 to 4 September 2016. “Esplanade’s Mosaic presentations are always aboutOn August 8, 2016 / By Nookmag
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents four days of great music at Mosaic Music Weekend from 1 to 4 September 2016.
“Esplanade’s Mosaic presentations are always about artists and their music. When you come for a Mosaic show, you are promised a high fidelity music experience, stripped free of distractions,” said Melissa Poon, Programmer at The Esplanade Co Ltd. “We invite all music lovers to come and immerse in the Mosaic experience of discovering and re-discovering artists and music, both familiar and new.”
Mosaic Music Weekend comprises four days at Esplanade with free and ticketed performances and free talks all over the centre by quality artists. Each day’s line-up will allow audiences to experience the diverse interpretations of a different genre.
Jazz kicks off the first day: 1 September 2016, Thursday
At the Café 21 Living Room (Esplanade Concourse), a non-ticketed performance of jazz classics by the Oliver von Essen Piano Trio featuring vocalist Alemay Fernandez, opens the weekend.
The effervescent Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi returns to the Esplanade Concert Hall with her critically acclaimed The Trio Project featuring Grammy-nominated bassist Anthony Jackson and renowned drummer Simon Phillips. Hiromi was talent spotted at 17 years old by the legendary jazz keyboardist Chick Corea and last thrilled Singapore audiences during her 2012 Mosaic Music Festival performance. Her ingenious and impassioned improvisations eclipse the boundaries of jazz, classical and pop. For this concert, the trio will present their latest release Spark.
Singer-songwriters take centre stage: 2 September 2016, Friday
UK artists Lisa Hannigan and Patrick Wolf perform a double-bill featuring their unique brands of introspective, heartfelt folk music in the Esplanade Concert Hall. Hannigan first came to light as an angel-voiced figure singing harmonies alongside Damien Rice. She came into her own as an artist in 2008 with the release of her debut album Sea Sew, which went double platinum. In 2011, her follow-up album Passenger explored deeper, darker emotions and this August, she releases At Swim. Produced in collaboration with Aaron Dessner of The National, the album is one the most anticipated folk albums of the year.
Wolf is a singer-songwriter, poet, composer and producer who released his first EP in 2002 at age 18. This year, he embarks on The Wildsound Tour with new material and a new sound, bringing it to Singapore as part of Mosaic Music Weekend. A multi-instrumentalist, he has also worked with other musicians – playing viola and Celtic harp with longtime collaborator Patti Smith on her Banga tour, dueting with Anna Calvi and invited by Yoko Ono to perform at her Southbank Meltdown Festival.
The Café 21 Living Room will be filled with music by artists such as Anise, whose mostly acoustic music has been described as ethereal and delicate. At the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, audiences can look forward to performances by acts such as genre-defying Singapore band Cheating Sons and singer-songwriter LEW, who is inspired by acoustic and folk tunes.
Electronic and pop acts take the lead: 3 September 2016, Saturday
Korean electronic band Idiotape’s dynamic, synth-driven rhythms and electrifying performances have taken over Seoul. Influenced by Korean classic rock from the ’60s and ’70s, the trio consists of synthesizer players Zeze and Dguru, a producer and renowned DJ, and drummer DR. Idiotape released their debut EP 0805 in 2010, and went on to garner rave reviews for their performances at SXSW and Canadian Music Week. The band performs in a standing room only performance at the Esplanade Recital Studio during Mosaic Music Weekend, fresh on the heels of their latest album release RE.
Randolf Arriola, a veteran Singapore musician who specialises in live looping, will be one of this evening’s acts at the Café 21 Living Room. Oh, Flamingo!, one of The Philippines’ most promising young indie pop bands, will have audiences at the Outdoor Theatre tapping their feet with its melodic hooks.
Celebrating Singapore indie and rock music: 4 September 2016, Sunday
To cap the weekend off, look forward to a day to performances at the Café 21 Living Room by lead singer of Singapore band The Observatory Leslie Low (featuring Sean Lam) and indie experimental folk musician PIBLOKTO.
At the Recital Studio, TOMGIRL comprising Singapore’s Cherie Ko & Australia’s Ted Dore, make their live debut with the launch of their self-titled album. Inspired by classic film noir thrillers, motorbike ganglands and insidious femme fatales, TOMGIRL’s music is edgy, alternative pop bathed in the darkness and drama of noir, and the danger of romantic tension and passion.
DEON, known for his earnest melodies and evocative lyrics, is one of the artists slated for the Outdoor Theatre this evening. Mosaic Music Weekend closes with a performance by Singapore band T-Rex at the Outdoor Theatre. The band—a collaborative effort by members of Singapore indie bands Anechois, Sphaeras and Amateur Takes Control—is known for making music with an eclectic, dazzling and multi-textural sound.
Tickets for Mosaic Music Weekend are now on sale, available from Esplanade’s Box Office at Mezzanine level, the SISTIC Hotline (+65 6348 5555), and all SISTIC outlets. More information may also be found at the Mosaic Music Weekend’s website.
On the 9th of August 2016, lifestyle entertainment groups, Zouk Singapore and Ismaya Live are coming together to commemorate Singapore’s 51st with ‘We the Citizens Fest’. Conceived asOn August 4, 2016 / By Nookmag
On the 9th of August 2016, lifestyle entertainment groups, Zouk Singapore and Ismaya Live are coming together to commemorate Singapore’s 51st with ‘We the Citizens Fest’. Conceived as a music festival geared towards all music loving citizens of Singapore, the concept features a power-packed music line-up of local talents and international headliners, as well as fringe activities to celebrate the nation’s best in the film-culture scene.
On this final National Day celebrations held at the Zouk warehouse on Jiak Kim Street, the stages and decks at Zouk and Velvet Underground will each be scheduled a roster that promise to keep all festival goers entertained throughout.
In the Main Room
The Zouk main room will take centrestage of the festivities, where all local and international headliners, alongside familiar Zouk resident DJs are scheduled to perform. Packed with a stellar line-up, the party kicks off with an electro-laced set by Lincey, followed by the laidback sounds of crooner Charlie Lim. The aural journey then builds up progressively with jawdropping bass by Zushan, the percussive beats of Ta-Ku (AUS), and the infectious dance tunes by Sam Feldt (NE). Hayden James (AUS) will sweep the crowd with his blend of tropical house, and the night will end off with Mark Ronson’s (UK) signature groove of soul and funk.
4:00 to 5:00 pm Lincey (Zouk DJ)
5:00 to 5:45 pm Charlie Lim
5:45 to 6:15 pm Zushan (Zouk DJ)
6:15 to 7:15 pm Ta-Ku (Live)
7:15 to 8:15 pm Sam Feldt
8:15 to 9:30 pm Hayden James (Live)
9:30 to 11:00 pm Mark Ronson
Velvet Underground – Dance
The dedicated local-DJ-only dance stage, Velvet Underground – Dance will feature a crop of home-grown favourites starting with back-to-back hip-hop purveyors LeNerd and Drem (Matteblacc). Helming the deck after will be DJ duo STASSH (Hookstyle & KFC) with their brand of catchy disco, followed by the soulful sounds of Marvin Gold. Rounding off the local set of DJs, RAH (Darker Than Wax) will keep feet happy with her eclectic take on electronic dance music.
Velvet Underground – Lounge
Over at Velvet Underground – Lounge, the theme of local-only DJs follow through with a showcase of up-and-coming talents from POP StudioDJ alongside veteran residents, Andrew Tang and Matthew. While sipping on cocktails, attendees can look forward to take in a varied mix of dance music across hip-hop, house and electronic served up by the next generation of homegrown DJs.
In the spirit of celebrating all things local, Phuture will transform into an intimate movie screening space with intended to showcase home-grown film talents. With a big screen of specially curated local movies, festival goers can expect to sit-back and unwind to a view of films.
B&O PLAY today announced the company’s first wireless earphones with the launch of Beoplay H5. Beoplay H5 is designed for music lovers with an active lifestyle by oneOn July 29, 2016 / By Nookmag
B&O PLAY today announced the company’s first wireless earphones with the launch of Beoplay H5. Beoplay H5 is designed for music lovers with an active lifestyle by one of Scandinavia’s foremost designers, Jakob Wagner, and combines the highly acclaimed Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound with sleek aesthetics and an effortless tech experience. For seamless integration into an active everyday life, Beoplay H5 comes tuned with a variety of sound profiles to deliver best-in-class sound experience in all situations. Users simply choose one of the preset sound profiles in Beoplay App on their smartphone or Apple Watch, such as working out, commuting, listening to podcasts or relaxing, or they can adjust the tonality and staging with the playful and intuitive B&O PLAY ToneTouch interface.
To make sure that users do not leave their earphones behind, Beoplay H5 comes with a magnet built into each earpiece, so users can click them around their neck for effortless wear and easy access to their music and podcasts. Clicking the earpieces together, Beoplay H5 automatically powers down saving battery life.
“Beoplay H5 is the most versatile product we have ever made. It is designed to be worn and used effortlessly, and with the integrated app to change the tonality to what you are doing; it will be a device that enriches the everyday lives of people worldwide. Combined with an active, fashionable and dynamic design that complements your active wear as well as your best outfit, we are very proud to broaden our range of wireless headphones with Beoplay H5”, says Senior Vice President of B&O PLAY Henrik Taudorf Lorensen.
Designed for beauty and comfort
The cable connecting the two earpieces is encased in braided textile, which makes it comfortable against the skin, and is molded directly inside the rubber to prevent dirt and sweat from interfering with the delicate electronics. The housing of the earphones is made of textured rubber and polymer to resist sweat and moisture, and to complement the braided textile cable a diamond cut and radially polished aluminum plate is mounted on top of each earpiece. Human ears are very complex and diverse, so Beoplay H5 have been meticulously tested and improved to get the perfect fit, says designer Jakob Wagner.
“When designing earphones to be worn in the inner ear for many hours, comfort is the most important factor. The human ear is a delicate and fascinating part of the body, and I wanted to honor that and take care for it to make Beoplay H5 sit beautifully in the outer ear and blend in naturally. Soft and yet precise.”
An integrated sound experience with Beoplay App
Beoplay H5 has a 6.4mm dynamic speaker, a small electromagnetic transducer and a Bluetooth 4.2 chip with Digital Sound Processing that allows for dynamic sound tuning. It comes tuned by acclaimed Bang & Olufsen sound engineers for the best all round sound profile that prevents listening fatigue, and you can use Beoplay App for Android, iPhone and Apple Watch to control Beoplay H5 in several ways.
Bang & Olufsen sound engineers have created a variety of sound profiles specifically for Beoplay H5 to match the sound to different types of activities such as working out, commuting or listening to podcasts. These are available as presets for Beoplay H5.
Users can adjust the tonality and sound staging themselves with the playful and intuitive B&O PLAY ToneTouch. The interface lets users feel their way through different sound settings and finding the one that best suits the situation. Once adjusted, Beoplay H5 stores the setting on the product itself until you adjust it again.
Connected to Beoplay H5, the Beoplay App makes it easy to monitor the battery status of the earphones. Users can control the music (play, pause, forward, back), and they can personalize the earphones by giving them a specific color and name in the app. Connecting Beoplay H5 to Beoplay App, users also receive software updates over the air.
Simple and innovative charging
Beoplay H5 comes with a rechargeable battery with a total capacity of 100mAh that gives up to five hours of wireless mobility between charges, which is enough to complete a marathon with battery to spare. Charging Beoplay H5 is easy with the cubic charger that comes with the earphones. Instead of inserting micro-USB cables in the earphones, users simply click in the earphones into the cubic charger and two magnets hold the earpieces in place as they charge. The cubic charger is also available as an accessory, so users can have a charger at home and one for life on the go.
Seven ear tips for optimal fit
For earphones, the fit is extremely important for sound and bass response in particular, so B&O PLAY has enclosed seven pairs of ear tips with Beoplay H5. Three different sizes of rugged, heat sensitive and breathable ComplyTM Sport, where the open cell structure foam guarantees comfort and a near-perfect grip in the ear canal, and four sizes of regular silicone tips. Each Comply ear tip comes with a SweatGuardTM membrane to prevent sweat from entering the sound port.
Price and availability
Beoplay H5 comes complete with a charger and a carrying pouch in Black and Dusty Rose. Both colours will be available from 31 July 2016 onwards at Airport Duty Free, Apple Premium Resellers, Bang & Olufsen Grand Hyatt, Challenger, Newstead and leading independent retailers for a suggested retail price of SGD379.
Skullcandy, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKUL), the performance and lifestyle audio brand founded at the intersection of innovation and creative culture, continues to expand the brand’s signature designs to theOn July 14, 2016 / By Nookmag
Skullcandy, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKUL), the performance and lifestyle audio brand founded at the intersection of innovation and creative culture, continues to expand the brand’s signature designs to the wireless category. Skullcandy introduces the GrindTM Wireless on-ear headphone, adding Bluetooth functionality to one of the brand’s best-selling wired products, well recognized for audio quality, comfort and style.
“Our wireless product innovations were well-received in 2015. In its price band, Hesh® 2 Wireless was 2015’s #1-selling over-the-ear headphone ” said Sam Paschel, Skullcandy Chief Commercial Officer. “GrindTM Wireless will continue our mission to launch headphone styles that change consumers’ expectations of Bluetooth product’s aesthetics and acoustic performance.”
The original Grind has received many accolades and Editor’s Choice nods for its premium audio experience delivered through minimalist industrial design. Grind Wireless features the same simple and iconic design with an engineering focus on elevating Bluetooth audio performance. An integrated amplifier component provides a higher power rating and less distortion and high-end drivers enable greater dynamic range.
Additionally, premium materials such as plush on-ear cushions and a lightweight and durable metal headband maximize comfort. A 12-hour battery life enables all-day wearability. The right ear cup cleverly integrates microphone, call, track, and volume controls just like the wired Grind model. With this addition, Skullcandy continues to build one of the most diverse and best-performing wireless lines in the marketplace.
At SGD159.90, Grind Wireless delivers premium Bluetooth acoustics and functionality. Grind Wireless will be released on Zalora on August 1 and at selected retailers on September 1 nationwide. To learn more, visit One Future World.
Multi-talented local jazz singer and stage performer Alemay Fernandez will release her debut solo jazz album of originals, Hard to Imagine, on 9 July. A solo concert presentedOn July 8, 2016 / By Nookmag
Multi-talented local jazz singer and stage performer Alemay Fernandez will release her debut solo jazz album of originals, Hard to Imagine, on 9 July. A solo concert presented by Singapore Street Festival and supported by COMPASS, will be held at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay’s Recital Studio to mark the launch of the album.
Hard to Imagine comprises 10 jazz tracks with a touch of soul, gospel and blues and is Alemay’s first foray into writing, arranging and producing. It features nine original tracks with six of them written by Alemay in collaboration with her co-producer, musician and songwriter Shawn Letts, bassist Williiam Gathright and pianist, organist, arranger Kerong Chok. Other originals on the album were written by Sara Wee (53A) and Alemay’s sister, Sabina. The album was mixed by Grammy-nominated producer, Michael C. Ross and mastered at the famed Bernie Grundman studio in L.A.. Featuring a total of 20 musicians, Drummers Erik Hargrove (toured with James Brown and Bootsy Collins) and Pablo Calzado (performed with Buena Vista Social Club), Bassist William Gathright (studied with Ron Carter), Organist Oliver von Essen (recorded with Shirley Horn) lent to the sound of the debut album.
Alemay Fernandez said that Hard to Imagine was inspired by a series of life-changing events, which happened in quick succession over the last five years. From the high of finding her life- partner, fellow jazz singer, Richard Jackson, to the low of losing her father, her role model.
While coming to terms with all the changes in her life, Alemay realised that she best dealt with them by expressing her feelings through music. The journey of processing her emotions and the sensibility that followed resulted in Hard to Imagine. For example, the song “My Baby & Me” describes the growing relationship with the love-of-her-life, Richard Jackson. Whereas she found closure in her father’s passing with “How Many Ways” a tribute to the original man-in- her-life, penned by her sister Sabina, for all the sacrifices he had made to bring them up.
Alemay Fernandez said, “It is hard to imagine how much my life has changed in the last five years. I’m thankful for all the ups and downs. While my father’s passing was a turning point, I put all the life lessons he taught me into my music. Together with my life-partner, Richard’s encouragement, this led to the discovery that I could touch people with my songs – from the melody to the lyrics, music has the ability to heal and help us walk through what life throws at us.”
Mentors also played an important part of her journey as a musician. Through the guidance and sharing from the multi-talented performer and composer, Dick Lee, and critically acclaimed jazz pianist, singer, composer and music educator, Jeremy Monteiro, Alemay learnt how to tell her story through music. They will both be attending the concert as special guests.
The concert will feature a stellar eight-piece band which includes Kerong Chok (piano/organ), Munir Alsagoff (guitar), Pablo Calzado (drums) Ben Poh and Will Gathright (Bass) and a three- piece horn section. Guest performers include Richard Jackson, Michaela Therese and Alemay’s cousin, Vanessa Fernandez.
Concert and ticketing information
Saturday, 9 July 2016
Esplanade Recital Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive, Level 2
Tickets on sale through SISTIC
In a bid to raise awareness about the culture and art form that is turntablism, Mongrel has produced a series of three videos, each focusing on different generationsOn June 20, 2016 / By The Rainbow-Monger
In a bid to raise awareness about the culture and art form that is turntablism, Mongrel has produced a series of three videos, each focusing on different generations of prominent scratch DJs from local legends Rough and Koflow, to up-and-comers such as Perk Pietrek and LeNERD.
With the intention of exploring the evolution of turntablism as opposed to providing an introduction to the topic itself, join the folks at Mongrel as they present us with a series of conversations with some of the top DJs in Singapore, and watch as these champions shed some light on what it means to be a part of their community through the years.
Part 1 : The Beginnings
The series of conversations begin with an exploration of the early days of turntablism in the eyes of Rough and Koflow.
DMC Singapore champion 2001
DMC Singapore champion 2003
Part 2 : The Shift
As we move on to the next generation of champions, this part of the conversation focuses on Inquisitive and Ghetto’s views on turntablism’s transition from analog (vinyls) to digital, as well as the changes that came along with it.
DMC Singapore champion 2006 – 2008
DMC Singapore champion 2009 & 2010*
* Ghetto was the last Singapore DMC champion before the competition ceased its run in Singapore.
Part 3 : The Present
After a span of 15 years, the final conversation in the series focuses on exploring the current state of turntablism with Perk Pietrek and LeNERD.
Singapore DMC 2009 2nd Runner Up* and 2010 Vice-Champion
World DMC 2011 DJ Championships Online 3 Times Qualifying Round Finalist
EMP Live Mix Maestro 2013 Champion
The Battle Of DJEN 2015 Champion
All Beats Cineleisure DJ 2015 Champion
* Perk was only 15 when he participated and won second runner up in the Singapore DMC 2009.
Who else would you have liked to hear from? Tell us here : Nookmag
Audio waves wafting from a Cashew Chemists tune embrace the ear drum like the scent of coffee caressing the olfactory nerve in the morning. Here’s an embodiment ofOn May 9, 2016 / By Gracie
Audio waves wafting from a Cashew Chemists tune embrace the ear drum like the scent of coffee caressing the olfactory nerve in the morning. Here’s an embodiment of freshness served in the form of a five-man rock band named after a nutty concept only they comprehend. Yuji Kumagai, Elliot Sng, Brian Chia, Ulrich Chia and Zachary Chia returned with a second EP “Previously On…Cashew Chemists” last December and are journeying on to musical magnificence.
Their year took off with a memorable gig at Laneway Festival and the band is currently working on its greatest project yet (more details in the interview below). In collaboration with Converse, we stole a chat with Cashew Chemists and discovered their desire to remain true to their music, while witnessing how the boys jam in their spanking new Chucks.
Nookmag (N): You guys are sounding super fresh in your second EP “Previously On…Cashew Chemists”! Could you take us through the song writing and creative process?
Yuji (Y): [Youthful exuberance] is pretty much the premise of this EP. It features songs that we’ve been playing for a long time before. They are past materials; we sort of regard them as new-old songs. Our song writing method has since become more different now.
Brian (B): We started playing those songs in 2013 and we played them in Australia a few times. That was before the EP was released. It’s a collection of our favourite live songs that we finally put together for everyone.
N: Before releasing your second EP, you guys took a break from the band. Could you still relate with the materials you came up with previously?
Elliot (E): Brian, Zachary and Ulrich were overseas. When they came back every year, it’ll be something different when we jam. I guess that’s part of our evolution as a band. We still gel well together at the end of the day. We’ve been playing together for so long.
Ulrich (U): After the first EP, we had our own time, doing our own individual stuff like our day jobs. At the same time, we’re also discovering new music. A lot of our new materials are inspired by the music that we were influenced by between the old EP and the new one. We still rub off each other. We tell each other what we’re listening to and we respect each other’s music taste. Whenever we hear about new bands from each other, we’ll just check them out. When we write, it’s quite cohesive and in-sync.
N: You guys rocked the Laneway Festival stage for the first time in January. How was the experience?
U: We were nervous as hell. It was quite nerve-wrecking. We were backstage watching the other acts like Thundercat performing, and we were actually sharing the exact same stage as them. It was exciting at the same time. We learnt a lot about how festivals work and what we can do to improve our sound. For example, we didn’t get to do sound check and it was quite rough and messy at the start.
B: It turned out quite well. The crowd was very supportive. We got pretty good feedback from our friends who came. We had fun. The whole festival was a treat for us. We were pretty drunk after the festival.
Y: Shout-out to Tan Xing Wei, Juhardi and Hanis – thanks guys! If not for them, we wouldn’t be able to pull off the show. They were the important people in the crew. We also learnt that being in a band, we need these people around.
E: I think we had a good time slot, which was 5pm. There was a good crowd. It was very nice to see people singing along and rocking out to our music.
N: After Laneway Festival, any other big plans for Cashew Chemists this year?
U: Coachella, definitely.
E: We’re focusing on writing our full-length album right now. That’s our biggest plan for 2016.
N: What we can look forward to from this album?
E: It’ll definitely be different from our previous two EPs.
U: Much louder, heavier.
N: Is this a natural progression for the band?
U: Yes. It’s going to be different from the pop-rock that we’re doing now, which was more feel-good music. The sound will be heavier. There will not be just one sound in the whole album; our sound will be varied.
N: How do you envision the band conquering stages moving forward?
U: We’re going to write our full-length album and try to tour with it. We’re banking everything on our new album. That’s what going to determine our future, which is quite uncertain.
N: Who are your favourite musicians?
Zachary (Z): The Strobes.
B: Radiohead, Hendricks.
U: Stevie Ray Vaughan
B: John Mayer
U: Gary Clark Jr, Albert King
E: Beatles, Coyote, The Sam Willows
N: How well are you guys acquainted with the local bands?
Y: We’ve got friends from all corners of the scene.
B: The local indie scene is quite close.
N: How do you support one another in the scene?
U: We go to each other’s shows. Whenever we can, we’ll try and promote the shows of other bands too. Buying each other’s merchandise provides financial help. Pleasantry had a huge fund-raising event and it was quite heart-warming to see the whole scene going down to support them. It went really well.
N: How would you like the audience to remember Cashew Chemists?
U: A band that you feel happy watching.
E: Good music, good times.
Y: Good vibes.
N: Tell us more about your personal style and how Converse complements it.
U: We own Converse shoes. We love their classic Chucks – can’t go wrong with that. We don’t really pay much attention to fashion. Zach doesn’t even wear shoes sometimes; he doesn’t wear his shirt…
B: We like to be comfortable.
U: The new Chucks II gives us a lot of comfort with the Lunarlon. It’s light too.
N: Let’s get a little personal here. What are some quirks that you guys have?
E: Yuji talks very softly on the phone. But when he sings, it’s loud.
Y: I think these guys are so weird, it’s become normal already.
N: What’s your general attitude towards your music?
E: Do what you love and…
Y: Love what you do.
U: Our music comes straight out from our hearts.
Y: It’s an extension of our lives. Our lives are always changing. Our creative process and songs will always change. One thing we do not want to do is pander, which is one step above selling out. We just want to be creative.
U: It’s quite evident that our direction changes and will be changing. That keeps us excited about our music and the band. It’s quite inevitable that everybody will grow out of their music influence, genre or music. What keeps us going is playing what we like.
Y: We’ve been lucky that people still like us.
N: What are some challenges that you face?
B: Our different schedules. All of us are working now, so it’s quite hard to find time to jam but we try.
U: We have our day jobs, which are our livelihood. As much as we want our music to work, we need to keep ourselves afloat.
Y: The dream is do [music] to feed ourselves and live comfortably.
Conversation seeks out inspiring individuals who possess a creative spirit and brim with passion. It offers an insight into the lives of these individuals and the things that drives them. This edition is proudly sponsored by Converse.
As featured in the images, Cashew Chemists is decked in kicks from the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Mono collection, a coveted spring release that contrasts against an array of fresh colourways from the brand. The monochrome series is backed by innovative features such as the new Lunarlon footbeds, padded tongue and micro-suede lining. Comfortable and versatile, this series is available in both high-top and low-cut silhouettes.
Available at all Converse boutiques.
RTP: SGD99.90 – SGD109.90
Ulrich is wearing Men’s Chuck Taylor Core Crew Tee
Available at selected Converse boutiques – Bugis Junction, Causeway Point, Junction 8, Jurong Point, Queensway, Tampines Mall, Vivo City, LOT 1 CCK, ION Orchard, Orchard Central, NEX, JEM, Ngee Ann City.
RTP: SGD 29.90
Zachary is wearing Zaki Men Short Sleeve Tee
Available at selected Converse boutiques – Queensway, Tampines Mall.
Photo Credits: Chee BP
Labour Day has fallen on a Sunday, which means another long weekend for the hardworking heroes – hurrah! So, what’s the best way to welcome a long weekend?On May 5, 2016 / By Sarah Oh
Labour Day has fallen on a Sunday, which means another long weekend for the hardworking heroes – hurrah! So, what’s the best way to welcome a long weekend? The answer is a wine and cheese party! Last Friday night, epicureans and Francophiles were revved up for a love affair with wine, cheese and tunes at the Gallery & Co.
Bon appétit, mes amis! There was plenty to eat and drink from a menu of exquisite wines and imported cheese. While five counters bordered the resident café, the biggest queues were for Chaource cheese that was paired with 2013 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé. The appeal was attributed to the cute French sommelier, perhaps. Above all, it was a night of merrymaking with wine, cheese and friends.
As the night went on, the temperature began to rise with partygoers soaking up the sounds of Gallery & Co.’s weekend Block Party. Featuring The Council’s resident Frenchman, Julien Brochard, electronic beats were spun to keep everyone’s feet off the floor all night long. Happy #TGIF indeed!
So what are your plans for tomorrow? Tell us here!
Skullcandy, Inc., the original performance and lifestyle audio brand focused on consumer-centric innovation, continues to deliver on the promise of technology-based breakthroughs with the latest additions to theirOn April 21, 2016 / By Nookmag
Skullcandy, Inc., the original performance and lifestyle audio brand focused on consumer-centric innovation, continues to deliver on the promise of technology-based breakthroughs with the latest additions to their Sport Performance line, XTfreeTM wireless and XTpyloTM earbuds for men and women.
Designed to meet the demands of high intensity interval training – a common training methodology shared across its diverse roster of action sports and team sports athletes – the innovative XTfreeTM and XTpyloTM can enhance even the most intense training sessions through category leading durability and stability without compromised audio
“Whether you’re a weekend warrior preparing for your first 10K race or a world class athlete, we believe there is a power in music to help athletes reach their full potential and accomplish their goals. This inspiration was at the center of our product development efforts; we get the chance to collaborate with athletes like NFL wide receiver Stevie Johnson, professional snowboarder Eero Ettala and long jumper Darya Klishina. The XTfreeTM and XTpyloTM products are built to perform during the high intensity workouts that form the backbone of their training,” said Skullcandy Chief Commercial Officer, Sam Paschel. “We knew if we could satisfy these athlete’s needs that we could make the most durable and secure products in the world available to anyone.”
The pinnacle product in the category, XTfreeTM , debuts Skullcandy’s MicroSportTM Tech – Bluetooth® functionality. At under 16 grams, the innovation is among the lowest profile and lightest design available. These high-performance wireless sport earbuds also include an OnBoardTM microphone and remote that allows the user to take calls, adjust volume, control their music throughout their workout with 6 hour battery life to meet the needs of long training sessions.
Participating in explosive or rapid movement is key for the high performance athlete, which is also why both the XTfreeTM and XTpyloTM utilize TripleLockTM Tech, Skullcandy’s trifecta of proprietary technologies that work together to keep your earbuds securely in place – no matter the activity. The latest of these innovations is Skullcandy’s FitFinTM Tech, which leverages a unique vertical shape to push against the curves of the ear and lock the earbud in place, providing an adaptable and custom fit that adjusts to any ear shape.
Skullcandy’s new sport products also embody durability through the physical construction of the earbuds, which are sonically welded to keep out moisture like sweat and rain. At SGD169.90, the XTfreeTM are Skullcandy’s lightest and most secure wireless sport earbuds. Likewise, at SGD89.90, the XTpyloTM earbuds offers a secure and sweat resistant fit that can survive your most intense workout ever.
Sold out from its initial launch in the United States, the pinnacle sport product is finally available in Southeast Asia, adding to its existing Sport Performance Series of Method and Chops In-Ear.
Skullcandy earphones can be purchased from Stereo Electronics, located at Plaza Singapura #04-06, and VivoCity #02-118/119.