Crossing generations and genres

Mandopop star Stefanie Sun’s tune Simply, Love with streetwise rapper Shigga Shay (both above) shines, while singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and singer Sezairi Sezali also give impeccable performances.
Mandopop star Stefanie Sun’s tune Simply, Love with streetwise rapper Shigga Shay (both above) shines, while singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and singer Sezairi Sezali also give impeccable performances. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Mandopop star Stefanie Sun’s tune Simply, Love with streetwise rapper Shigga Shay shines, while singer-songwriter Charlie Lim (above) and singer Sezairi Sezali also give impeccable performances.
Mandopop star Stefanie Sun’s tune Simply, Love with streetwise rapper Shigga Shay shines, while singer-songwriter Charlie Lim (above) and singer Sezairi Sezali also give impeccable performances.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Veteran singers collaborate with new talent and sparks fly in Singapore golden jubilee project

REVIEW / THEATRE

SING, LOVE - THE CONCERT

The Coliseum/Last Friday

The SG50-supported Sing, Love project to create new music in tune with Singapore's golden jubilee is a commendable idea - get established veterans to work with rising music talents and let the sparks fly.

And the result was certainly interesting - streetwise rapper Shigga Shay dropping verses on a song by multi-million-selling Mandopop star Stefanie Sun, singers Joanna Dong and Sezairi Sezali trading lyrics in Mandarin and Malay, pop-folk starlets The Sam Willows blending harmonies with veteran singer-songwriter Jimmy Ye.

And who would have thought that a Jeremy Monteiro-led jazz tune would ever have a rap break, courtesy of THELIONCITYBOY?

Last Friday, the performers, including singer-songwriters Corrinne May and Charlie Lim, played the songs live for the first time at the Sing, Love concert in front of a 1,200-strong audience.


Mandopop star Stefanie Sun’s tune Simply, Love with streetwise rapper Shigga Shay shines, while singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and singer Sezairi Sezali (above) also give impeccable performances.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Seasoned showmen that they were, the performances themselves were impeccable.

Ye, on pianos, and The Sam Willows were a chirpy and sprightly bunch.

Their collaboration, Come Back To You, had a driving, rootsy Mumford & Sons feel to it and their five-part harmonies were a joy to listen to.

The biggest team-up of the night was Singapore's King of Swing, Monteiro, jazz songbird Rani Singam, crooner Nathan Hartono and rapper THELIONCITYBOY.

Their tune, Love Sings, was a gleaming, rousing number with Singam singing in Tamil, Hartono in English and THELIONCITYBOY delightfully rapping in all four official languages.

Sun, who revealed in a press conference after the show that she was taking a much-needed break after her current extensive tour ends, was clearly the crowd favourite.

Her mid-tempo Mandarin tune Simply, Love with Shigga Shay shone with a slow build-up, while Dong and Sezairi's Starlight was a sanguine bilingual song with an earworm of a chorus.

Standing out from the night's buoyant proceedings was May, on electric piano, and Lim, on acoustic guitar, for the contemplative and solemn Kite.

Hearing the blend of their dulcet voices was surely one of the highlights of the night and the stirring duet was followed by Lim's brooding solo performance of his tune, Light Breaks In.

But while the music itself was delectable, the overall show had a bit of an identity crisis, as though it could not decide whether it wanted to be a concert, a variety show or both.

Since there were only five songs to highlight from the Sing, Love project, the show was stretched with too many fillers.

Each performance was preceded or followed with banter between host Danny Yeo and the acts, but these chatty interludes often ran too long, breaking up the rhythm of the show.

And, really, instead of having to hear Yeo rattle off the names of the sponsors and seemingly all the people and companies behind the Sing, Love project, it would be far more enjoyable to hear the artists fill up the time with more songs.

Still, witnessing acts of different generations and genres come together in harmony was a delight, and it makes one wish for more of such collaborations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2015, with the headline 'Crossing generations and genres'. Print Edition | Subscribe