Your Letters

Give local musicians a larger stage in their homeland

I am very proud that local singer Joanna Dong finished third in the Sing! China contest.

Together with Nathan Hartono's second-place finish in the same competition last year, it is clear that Chinese audiences recognise that Singaporean musicians have world-class talent.

The question, though, is why hardly any Singaporeans have heard of these immensely talented musicians before they were recognised overseas.

There are probably many reasons, including a subconscious bias that local musicians are inferior to foreign ones.

It is time we put that notion to bed. I hope Singaporean musicians can be given larger platforms to display their ability on a national scale. The most obvious vehicle would be our local radio stations.

Singaporean artists like Nathan Hartono, Electrico, The Suns, Concave Scream, Inch Chua and Gentle Bones have recorded many great English pop or rock songs.

But they get very limited airplay, if any at all.

Not all Singaporean musicians are diamonds. But, some clearly are. It is time we let them shine bright in the spotlight.

Sean Cheng Wei Xiang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 15, 2017, with the headline 'Give local musicians a larger stage in their homeland'. Print Edition | Subscribe