Singapore River Festival returns with a bang

NDP preview fireworks seen from Boat Quay on Aug 3, during a street extravaganza held as part of the Singapore River Festival.
NDP preview fireworks seen from Boat Quay on Aug 3, during a street extravaganza held as part of the Singapore River Festival.PHOTO: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE RIVER ONE

SINGAPORE - Homegrown rapper Fariz Jabba, 22, is known for his relatable lyrics.

His 2018 debut single Ape Sia ("What the heck") is partly sung in Malay, and touches on everyday topics like maggi mee and scrolling through Instagram, saying "goodbye to my data".

"I feel I'm speaking for my neighbourhood. I'm speaking for my culture, combining all the lingo that we use, putting it into song-form," Fariz tells The Straits Times.

In less than a fortnight's time, he will be one of several local musicians performing at the Stream @ Clarke Quay 2019 music fiesta, which is part of the Singapore River Festival.

The free music fiesta, which runs from 7pm on Aug 16 and Aug 17, is a first for the annual festival which returns this month and the next with a slate of events celebrating the island state's diversity and heritage.

Among the other musicians performing at Stream @ Clarke Quay are bassist-vocalist Tim De Cotta and indie pop act Subsonic Eye.

Pop-up kiosks from Chupitos Shots Bar, Harry's, Get Juiced and Le Noir at the music fiesta will also offer locally-inspired fare such as rendang pizza and Milo dinosaur shooters.


Indie pop act Subsonic Eye. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE RIVER ONE

Fariz, who wants to "show everybody a good time" when he sings and dances on Aug 17, will perform Ape Sia, and Masa, an R&B number about a boy pining after a girl. Both draw on real-life themes. He cites some advice his elder brother, comedian Fakkah Fuzz, once gave him: "Don't use any words you wouldn't say to a girl that you are dating."

The Singapore River Festival, now in its fifth edition, takes place in Boat Quay, Clarke Quay and Robertson Quay and is organised by Singapore River One - a private-sector-led partnership which oversees the place management of the Singapore River precinct.


Homegrown rapper Fariz Jabba. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE RIVER ONE

This year's celebration began with a street party extravaganza at Boat Quay on Aug 2 and 3, which came with a view of the National Day Parade preview fireworks.

On Sept 14, the public can look forward to Mid-Autumn celebrations at Robertson Quay, featuring a lantern walkabout, riverboat cruise, and free LED kite shows. They can also try their luck at a human claw machine - where a crane-like device dips guests into a large container filled with prizes - on Sept 14 and Sept 15, with a minimum purchase of $30 at participating outlets in Robertson Quay.

Tickets for the Mid-Autumn festivities are priced at $25 per person or $80 for group of four, and cover the cost of an LED lantern, boat ride, and food and beverage vouchers.

For more information, visit www.srf.sg and facebook.com/singaporeriverone/