Singapore’s music scene heavyweights like Dick Lee, Stefanie Sun, Corrinne May and Kit Chan (among others) and young guns like Nathan Hartono, Gentle Bones, Tabitha Nauser and The Sam Willows are proof that Singapore does indeed have a pool of talent. But is that where it ends?
The answer is a resounding “no” because we have uncovered some incredibly talented music makers who bring something fresh to the table with every work and/or covers that they produce. Here, we would love to introduce some of our favourite local musicians that have impressed us and has got us grooving and vibing to good beats.
Ffion Williams, simply known as Ffion, is one of the newer ones on the block. When the 21-year-old crooner combines her velvety smooth pipes with the soulfulness of her electro-R&B melodies — which wowed the crowd at the Esplanade where she showcased her music earlier this year — her haunting songs make perfect company for late nights or long rides home.
Don’t let Theodora Lau’s cherubic smile fool you – her husky vocals and chill-tempo beats are the total opposite of childish charm. Like a more upbeat Rachael Yamagata, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter has made an appearance at local music festivals like Noise in 2014 and Baybeats in 2015 (a performance which was very well-received), so do keep an eye on this one.
We’ve got Shigga Shay slaying the rap game in the house, but who says there’s only room for one? 28-year-old Loewe-loving rapper, Nur Ahmad Muhaimin aka Mean XS, breathes new life to the rap scene in Singapore with his up tempo beats and mad tongue-twisters that got the public grooving at his gigs which include Gastrobeats at this year’s iLight Festival as well as the recent 100 Festival in July (which featured 100 local musicians stretched over 3 weekends) among others.
#4: Jasmine Sokko
Jasmine Sokko’s music is nothing short of hypnotizing. Sokko’s deep house genre combined with her haunting vocals and catchy hooks makes her music perfect club hits or music festival DJ deck staples. And we weren’t wrong because the twenty-something year-old Sokko was part of Ultra 2017’s much-raved line up this year which is quite a feat for someone of her age group.
#5: Ken Loh
If he seems familiar, it’s because Ken Loh has been busking in the heart of Orchard Road in front of Wisma Atria and Mandarin Gallery on weekends for a while now. Crooning to covers of the likes of Damien Rice, Ed Sheeran and Kodaline among others with his guitar in tow, the bespectacled 19-year-old with tattoos injects his own flavour to his renditions of covers with his soulful voice and infectious youthful energy, easily drawing crowds during his busking sessions and performances — including one at Sofar Sounds (Singapore) and Art Stage to name a few — every time.
#6: Sam Rui
Put Sam Rui’s sultry vocals together with an uptempo electro-R&B beat and what you get is music to groove long nights away to. The 21-year-old songstress was not only part of the line up at major festivals including Singapore’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival and Ultra this year, her single “Better” was also a chart-topping hit on Spotify’s “Singapore Viral 50” category upon release last year. Off work, Rui is seen rubbing shoulders with the likes of acclaimed local singer-producer Gentle Bones and friends, so we foresee amazing collaborations coming up in the future for her.
#7: Riot!n Magenta
Electronica, trip-hop beats and lead singer Eugenia Yip’s enchanting voice makes Riot !n Magenta sound like a well-blended mix of Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, and Banks. The band (who has performed at Baybeats and released their first EP in 2013) is every cool kid’s audio go-to if you’re looking for mellow yet powerful melodies to chill out to on a Friday evening with a beer or two in hand.
#8: Lincoln Lim
Singer-songwriter-music teacher, Lincoln has taught music and penned numerous songs during his time in the music scene since he was merely 14-years-old. After the success of his time in the duo called Hariz & Lincoln, Lim decided to step out on his own and groom his own identity as a musician. This year, Lim has finally released his first studio single “Her” that speaks about a controversial issue in the most heart-wrenching tune that will be sure to touch the hearts of many. We look forward to what else this artist has in store.
#9: Leon Markcus
Leon Markcus is everything a Gen Z represents — vibrant, opinionated, and mature beyond their years. At only 20-years-old, the newcomer has showcased his latest single, electro-synth heavy “Alive” at the Esplanade in August this year, so we’re looking forward to more uptempo offerings from this one.
This story first appeared on www.harpersbazaar.com.sg
Main Image: @sammirui Instagram