Singaporeans' songs

Who says Singaporeans know only to complain?

Instead of being armchair critics, some are coming up with their own patriotic tunes for the National Day season.

Chief among them this year is Shine Singapore, which has English and Mandarin versions. The English rendition has garnered more than 63,000 views on YouTube since it was posted on July 14.

At least three such original compositions have been posted online so far, and Shine Singapore appears to be the most popular. It is performed and composed by singer-songwriter Lorraine Tan, 34, who has written three National Day songs since 2011.

But she hastens to add that her works are not meant to replace or compete with the official NDP songs. "I just want to do something for my country and show that we can step up and do our best to get our own songs out there."

She owns Wedding Harmony, a company that writes customised wedding songs and provides live performances. And this, she says, was how she was inspired to write National Day- themed songs. "I've written more than 150 songs for wedding couples. Many of them told me I should write songs for National Day too as my songs bring out positive feelings."

Shine Singapore will be the centrepiece of a charity concert that she is organising and headlining next month. Called My Singapore 2013, the 90-minute gig will be held at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Aug 6. She hopes to raise $400,000 from the show for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Another tune doing the rounds online is composed and produced by Mr Amos Teo, founder of Hark Music School of Pop. It is performed by part-time singer Fairus Adam, and can be downloaded for free at soundcloud.com/ harkmusicsg/keeprunning.

The school says the song has been played on radio stations 88.3 Jia FM and Power 98 FM. At press time, a preview of the song has garnered 7,686 hits on YouTube.

Students are also getting in on the act. Formalisms, a rock group made up of students from Singapore Polytechnic, have produced a music video for an original tune, From The City To The Shore. Says 19-year-old singer Beth Yap: "It's aimed at Singaporeans who are familiar with the places mentioned in our songs, such as anybody who has eaten at Adam Road hawker centre or gone to Changi Airport, even if it was just to eat and shop."

The video, which has garnered more than 600 views at press time, can be seen at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=z-ax0ONkar4.

Like the official NDP anthems, these songs by amateurs have also drawn their share of cheers and jeers.

Shine Singapore's YouTube video, for example, has 688 "likes" and 46 "dislikes". Still, Ms Tan says she is heartened by the positive comments, many of which describe the song as being "touching" and evoking a "feeling of pride".

Music industry veteran Jeremy Monteiro, who has worked on several official national songs, welcomes the trend of Singaporeans coming up with their own National Day-themed songs. "It's a good thing that people are willing spend their time and resources coming up with their own songs. It's a great way of expressing their patriotism."

For tickets to the My Singapore 2013 charity concert, which are priced from $28 to $148, e-mail mysgticketing@singapore.com or call 9168-2947.