Dick Lee to write 'the next Home' for S'pore's 50th NDP

Dick Lee (right) with music director Sydney Tan (left) and film-maker Boo Junfeng, the creative team behind this year's NDP. They will work on next year's parade as well.
Dick Lee (right) with music director Sydney Tan (left) and film-maker Boo Junfeng, the creative team behind this year's NDP. They will work on next year's parade as well.ST PHOTO: STEFFI KOH

After being lauded for staging an engaging National Day Parade (NDP) this year, Dick Lee will return to helm next year's golden jubilee show; and he has been tasked to write the next big National Day song.

The 57-year-old singer-songwriter, who was also creative director of the 2002 and 2010 shows, said next year's parade organisers have asked him to compose a theme song for Singapore's 50th birthday, which will be celebrated at the Padang.

The new song will hopefully surpass the popularity of his iconic Home, which has become one of the best-loved NDP songs, and is sung at every parade.

"The expectations on me to produce an anthem as memorable as Home are quite daunting, but I've already started doing some research to get inspiration," Lee told The Straits Times. "It is not just an NDP song but a song that reflects and celebrates Singapore's 50 years of independence."

There was no NDP theme song this year, after organisers decided to break tradition and not introduce a new song. This, after most of the new tunes in recent years attracted criticism.

This year, familiar National Day songs such as One People, One Nation, One Singapore were refreshed and given a new spin.

While he is brainstorming ideas for the next big song, Lee also hopes to showcase new original songs from other home-grown songwriters or bands next year.

He will be roping in the same creative team who worked with him on this year's NDP. They include music director Sydney Tan and film-maker Boo Junfeng.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen posted on Facebook that "many people came up to me to say how they were moved by this year's show and for some, it was their best NDP yet". He added: "I'm confident they can make next year's NDP a really special one."

The SAF's Guards Formation, led by Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong Su Kiat, will coordinate next year's show, which will likely feature the mobile column, comprising battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles.

Organisers have already started work, with some heading to Nanjing, China, this week for the Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony to take notes.

With 2015 being a "landmark year", Lee, who is also providing the creative direction for the upcoming year-end SG50 countdown show at The Float@Marina Bay, has promised a show that will be "grand, epic, yet intimate".

jermync@sph.com.sg