Singer-songwriter JJ Lin is star of this year's Chingay parade

As a boy, local singer-songwriter JJ Lin used to watch Chingay with awe.

He was fascinated by the parade's lively performances and observed how they got grander and more high-tech each year.

"I never thought I would one day be featured as one of the singers," the 33-year-old told fans and media at a press conference yesterday.

He is this year's Chingay Artist of the Year, and will sing the finale song Dreams at the F1 Pit Building today and tomorrow.

The song is the first joint collaboration between Lin, this year's Chingay music director Goh Kheng Long and America-based Singaporean singer-songwriter Corrinne May.

It was composed for this year's parade.

There will be 2,000 local and international performers, including street buskers, cosplay artists and cultural troupes from 13 countries, at this year's event.

It will be the first time the parade has taken place in Orchard Road since 2007 and also the first time spectators will be able to mingle with the performers.

Lin said his participation in Chingay is a homecoming of sorts, having spent recent years based largely in Taiwan.

He said the parade represents Singaporeans' roots and the country's culture and this year being SG50 makes it extra special.

As he takes the stage to sing Dreams, his own dream for Singapore is for it to become a place which creates original music that appeals to the world.

"One day, just like how Korean pop is influencing the music scene now, Singapore music will also influence the world in its own way," he said.

A recording of Dreams can be found on the PassionChingayClub PA YouTube channel.

samboh@sph.com.sg