Micappella's video of "ambitious" National Day medley shared by PM Lee

Micappella, comprising (above from left) Peter Huang, Eugene Yip, Goh Mingwei, Tay Kexin, Juni Goh and Calin Wong, formed in 2009.
Micappella, comprising (above from left) Peter Huang, Eugene Yip, Goh Mingwei, Tay Kexin, Juni Goh and Calin Wong, formed in 2009.PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE

Home-grown vocal band Micappella's Evolution Of NDP Songs goes viral on social media

Third time is the charm for home-grown vocal band Micappella, whose recent Evolution Of NDP Songs video has gone viral on social media.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also shared the video yesterday and described their work as "ambitious".

Micappella performed shorter National Day song medleys in 2013 and 2015, but they were nowhere near as popular as their latest effort.

The final version of Evolution Of NDP Songs includes 23 official songs, ranging from Singapura, Sunny Island (1962) to Because It's Singapore!, this year's NDP theme tune.

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Band leader Peter Huang, 34, says: "This time, we wanted to take a look back and put in as many songs as we can."

He and the rest of the group - tenor Juni Goh, 31, soprano Tay Kexin, 29, alto Calin Wong, 31, bass Goh Mingwei, 31, and baritone Eugene Yip, 35 - spent two weeks researching, arranging and, eventually, recording the songs and its video, which was filmed in Mingwei's HDB flat in Bedok.

On July 17, they uploaded the video on their Facebook page and it quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of shares, PM Lee's among them.

"It's an honour to have the PM like and share the video," says Huang. "After all, he's the most Singaporean among Singaporeans."

At press time, the video had been viewed 788,000 times and received many positive comments. Facebook user Eleanor Wong Su Ling said: "It made me feel proud to be a Singaporean. Thank you guys."

Micappella, who were formed in 2009, have released one EP and two albums, including last year's MICappella Reloaded, their first with all original songs. A single from that album, One Of These Days, topped the iTunes Mandopop chart upon its release.

The group became prominent in 2012 when they emerged as runners-up on popular TV singing competition The Sing-Off China.

They have performed around the world, including Germany, China and the United States.

In 2015, they were the first Singaporean group to perform at the London A Cappella Festival.

They also picked up Best Asian A Cappella Album at the 2017 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (Cara) in the US in April.

Huang says performing overseas has increased his sense of patriotism. "Everywhere we go, people will ask us about Singapore and we feel a sense of pride when we get to represent our country."

Micappella's National Day medley is not the only video that Huang is involved in that has become popular in the past week.

He and two friends from junior college, Mr Timothy Kua and Mr Bryan Tan, came up with their ode to Singapore, titled My Little Red Dot.

The song's video on Facebook has been viewed more than 181,000 times since it was uploaded on July 27 and has also received praise online.

"The public response has overwhelmed and humbled us," says Tan of the original tune. "This was always meant to be an intensely personal piece, but it seems to have resonated deeply with Singaporeans.

"Everybody can relate to his favourite hawker stalls and the nostalgia of his childhood playgrounds. For a bunch of regular dudes who came together on a whim to write a love song to their country, it's been a massive honour that this has been embraced so lovingly."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2017, with the headline 'NDP medley is a big hit'. Print Edition | Subscribe