Established music stars join hands with young talents to create songs for SG50

Classical veterans T'ang Quartet and singer-songwriters Corrinne May (above) and Charlie Lim are working together for Kite. -- PHOTO:  ALOYSIUS LIM
Classical veterans T'ang Quartet and singer-songwriters Corrinne May (above) and Charlie Lim are working together for Kite. -- PHOTO:  ALOYSIUS LIM
Classical veterans T'ang Quartet (above) and singer-songwriters Corrinne May and Charlie Lim are working together for Kite. -- PHOTO: SAMUEL CHENG
Classical veterans T'ang Quartet (above) and singer-songwriters Corrinne May and Charlie Lim are working together for Kite. -- PHOTO: SAMUEL CHENG
Local rapper Shigga Shay. Shigga Shay and singer Stefanie Sun are working together for Simply, Love. -- PHOTO: AGING YOUTH
Local rapper Shigga Shay. Shigga Shay and singer Stefanie Sun are working together for Simply, Love. -- PHOTO: AGING YOUTH
Home-grown indie band The Sam Willows (above) are working together with singer-songwriter Jimmy Ye for Come Back To You. -- PHOTO: THE SAM WILLOWS
Home-grown indie band The Sam Willows (above) are working together with singer-songwriter Jimmy Ye for Come Back To You. -- PHOTO: THE SAM WILLOWS
Starlight, the first song to be released, is performed by Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali (above) together with Joanna Dong. -- PHOTO: SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Starlight, the first song to be released, is performed by Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali (above) together with Joanna Dong. -- PHOTO: SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Homegrown singer Stefanie Sun. Sun and Lim Peh rapper Shigga Shay are working together for Simply, Love. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC
Homegrown singer Stefanie Sun. Sun and Lim Peh rapper Shigga Shay are working together for Simply, Love. -- PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC

Amid the flood of SG50 projects, the music album Sing, Love stands out because of the high-profile artists who are contributing to it.

The five original songs are performed by better-known acts paired with upcoming or lesser-known artistes. Starlight, the first song to be released, is performed by Singapore Idol winner Sezairi Sezali together with Joanna Dong, who is primarily known for her work in musicals such as If There're Seasons.

The other four songs, which will be released subsequently, are performed by veteran singer-songwriter Jimmy Ye and indie band The Sam Willows (Come Back To You); Mandopop superstar Stefanie Sun and Lim Peh rapper Shigga Shay (Simply, Love); classical veterans T'ang Quartet and singer-songwriters Corrinne May and Charlie Lim (Kite); and Cultural Medallion recipient Jeremy Monteiro, jazz singers Rani Singam and Nathan Hartono and rapper TheLionCityBoy (Love Sings).

Most of the songs are written and composed by the performers, although xinyao giant Liang Wern Fook co-wrote Simply, Love with Shigga Shay and composers Chen Jiaming and Ruth Ling contributed to Starlight.

The theme of the album is Our Family, Our Home, and each song is a unique interpretation of Singapore, and what family and home mean to the various artistes.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ling, who is also the album's executive producer and creative director for music, says the only brief to the songwriters was that the songs must not sound too much like National Day or SG50 tunes.

"We wanted to produce songs that could be written and enjoyed even outside of SG50," says Ms Ling. "We find that this way, we can come up with much more unique angles than the usual National Day tunes."

Starlight, which she co-wrote, is about a well-travelled Singaporean who yearns for home, and discusses the idea of having courage to embark on any journey, whether literal or metaphorical.

Of the Mandarin and Malay number, she says: "When we blended the two languages, we intended to explore how Malay would sound with Mandarin. We feel that the different languages used in one song represent the various cultures in Singapore better than if it were in a single language."

She declines to divulge the budget of the project but says that it is funded by an SG50 grant and the contributors were paid.

Each of the five songs is accompanied by a music video. Among the directors helming the videos are acclaimed film-makers Kelvin Tong and Brian Gothong Tan.

The five songs will be made available for free downloads at main sponsor IMC Live Group's website (www.imclive-group.com). Starlight is already available. The other songs will be released in phases next month, leading up to its official launch on July 3 with a one-hour performance at The Coliseum in Resorts World Sentosa.