Artists felt the buzz, had a blast

Iconic singer Rahimah Rahim felt "nervous" performing in front of the massive crowd at the National Stadium last night.

"I'm quite a perfectionist and the crowd was very, very big, so I have to say that I was quite nervous," she told The Straits Times after performing her segment.

The 59-year-old sang a Malay medley called Yang Gerek, alongside rock legend Ramli Sarip, pop yeh-yeh pioneer Jeffrydin, folk rocker Art Fazil and Singapore Idol 2009 winner Sezairi.

This is the first time the five of them have sung together.

"It was so much fun performing with them though, because we're all old friends. If the crowd was happy with our performance, it must be because of them," she said humbly.

"All I know is that I had a really good time. I've done many shows, but I'm so proud to be a part of this one because it marks SG50."

Another performer who had a blast last night was 11-year-old violinist Sandhya Saravanan, who played with the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra (MFO) throughout the night.

The bubbly Primary 5 pupil from Rosyth School was one of 26 amateurs selected through auditions to perform alongside the orchestra professionals, as part of a special mentorship programme developed for Sing50.

She has been playing the violin since she was four, and said: "This is the biggest show I've ever played in, but I wasn't nervous. I was just very excited. I hope I did okay."

One of the biggest highlights of the show was the segment where 50 pianists shared the stage with renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang, simultaneously playing 50 Steinway-designed Lang Lang baby grand pianos.

Music teacher Benjamin Loh, 54, one of the 50 pianists, described the event as a "wonderful learning experience".

The adjunct faculty member at Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts and Lasalle College Of The Arts, said: "I have never played in a group this huge before, so you need to stay very focused.

"Also, this being such a massive stadium, you have to make sure you pay very close attention to the conductor, or the reverberating sounds of the place may play tricks on you and you'll get the timing wrong.

"The whole thing has been great, though. Some of the kids who played here tonight are really very talented, and it's nice that they get such a big platform to showcase that talent."

Rapper The Lion City Boy, otherwise known as Kevin Lester, also liked how the concert allowed veteran performers to share the stage with younger rising talents.

The 30-year-old performed in the segment titled Lion City Rap, alongside Najip Ali, Sheikh Haikel, Shigga Shay, Black Eyed Peas' and 14 amateur kid rappers.

He said: "Haikel and Najip are like the fathers of music and entertainment, and then you have me and Shigga Shay, who are like the next generation. Then the organisers invited 14 kid rappers to join us too, and they signal the future of Singapore rap and hip hop. I think that is just great."

Filipino-American, one of the few non-local performers last night, said that from what he could see, Singaporean musicians have what it takes to become successful in the international arena.

"I've had a great time working with the amazing creative rappers and musicians from Singapore, and I think they definitely can make it big internationally," he said.

"I hope Singaporeans are supporting their own acts too."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2015, with the headline 'Artists felt the buzz, had a blast'. Print Edition | Subscribe