New awards for emerging pop acts

Home-grown artists such as Nat Ho (above) and new pop-jazz a cappella group The Apex Project performing at the launch of Next last Saturday.
Home-grown artists such as Nat Ho (above) and new pop-jazz a cappella group The Apex Project performing at the launch of Next last Saturday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Home-grown artists such as Nat Ho and new pop-jazz a cappella group The Apex Project (above) performing at the launch of Next last Saturday.
Home-grown artists such as Nat Ho and new pop-jazz a cappella group The Apex Project (above) performing at the launch of Next last Saturday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Part of the Sing50 Fund, Next aims to help young artists in Singapore break into the music scene

An upcoming series of awards will recognise emerging local pop acts as part of a new platform launched yesterday to help young artists break into the music scene.

The initiative, Next, is part of the Sing50 Fund, which was formed in 2015 to promote and preserve Singapore's music heritage and is supported by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

It showcased 20 acts, from newcomers such as LEW and Lin Si Tong to established musicians such as Jack and Rai and Art Fazil, over 10 hours at Max Atria at the Singapore Expo last Saturday.

At the event, Sing50 Board of Trustees representative Serene Goh announced the six awards.

Four recognise the Best Emerging Artist in English, Mandarin, Chinese and Tamil, while two are for Best Song and Best Music Video.

To qualify, solo performers must be Singaporeans or permanent residents. For groups, more than half the members must be Singaporeans or PRs. They must have made their debut on a social media or digital platform, such as YouTube, iTunes or Spotify, within the past five years.

The winners will be decided by an advisory committee of established local musicians as well as representatives from music organisations, record labels and industry players.

Members of the public are also invited to suggest nominations to the committee at sing50enquiries@ gmail.com.

Winners will each receive $3,000 and the organisers will also explore local and regional platforms for them to perform at. The awards will be announced in August.

Pop-jazz a cappella group The Apex Project, which was formed last year and is releasing an EP of four original songs in July, welcomed news of the awards.

Member Ng Chee Yang, 27, winner of Campus SuperStar in 2006, said: "Competitions are a good way to challenge ourselves and see where we stand among our peers. They should not be the be-all and end-all, but through them, we can improve ourselves."

Next is co-produced by non- profit organisation The Rice Company - which manages the Sing50 fund - and music companies Unusual Entertainment and Music & Movement.

The Rice Company director Tan Tee Tong said: "The music scene in Singapore has become vibrant with new and emerging artists for almost every music genre.

"For artists to build their presence, it is important to constantly engage and establish new audiences, which is what Next is all about - music, people and communities."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'New awards for emerging pop acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe