in::music festival partners Taiwan Calling Music festival for two nights of original Chinese songs

The line-up of musicians for Calling in::music includes Boon Hui Lu (left) and Waa Wei (right).
The line-up of musicians for Calling in::music includes Boon Hui Lu (left) and Waa Wei (right). PHOTOS: ESPLANADE – THEATRES ON THE BAY

Eight artists from Singapore and Taiwan come together to raise awareness of Chinese singer-songwriters in the region

Several home-grown musicians will share the stage with singer-songwriters and bands from Taiwan this weekend for two nights of original Mandarin songs.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, in::music series, presented by Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, is collaborating with Taiwan Calling Music Festival to create awareness of Chinese singer-songwriters from Singapore and the region.

This, says Ms Hu Peiyi, 34, a producer at Esplanade, is the main reason in::music was started in 2008. Its programme partner has a similar mission.

She says: "Over the years, we have built a relationship and mutual trust with the founders and organisers of Taiwan Calling Music Festival."

Referring to the collaboration, she adds: "It is also a rare chance for all the musicians to come together, build camaraderie with one another and catalyse future possibilities of collaboration.

"Music is a universal language and we hope that more audiences, whether you speak Mandarin or not, will give the original music works a try and come join us at this gathering."

Eight artists are presented in the festival - singer-songwriters Ling Kai, Boon Hui Lu and Ruth Kueo from Singapore, as well as musicians Waa Wei, Kowen Ko and Zooey Wonder and bands Hello Nico and Coconuts! from Taiwan.


  • WHERE: Esplanade Annexe Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive

    WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, 7pm to 11pm

    ADMISSION: $65 (standard) and $75 (on event day) for each day or $110 for both days from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to This is a free-standing event.

Of these, six have been presented at the Esplanade, either as part of the in::music series or in other programmes.

Boon, 24, is a singer-songwriter who wrote the melody for the 2016 song Your Body Speaks, sung by Taiwanese singer Hebe Tien.

She says she will perform with a full band, which is "different from the usual acoustic setting I perform in".

Excited at the chance to perform with others, she adds that Wei is one of her favourite indie Chinese artists.

As for her fellow Singapore performers, she says: "Ling Kai's style of music is very strongly depicted in her songs and it is also edgy and alternative.

"Ruth, on the other hand, with her sweet and soothing vocals, writes songs that heal the soul with a tinge of bubbly spirit. I appreciate their music very much."

Speaking over the telephone from Taiwan, Wei, 35, says she likes the music by Coconuts! and feels Hello Nico has a lot of potential.

She also describes the music of the Singapore musicians as "very unique" and adds: "I am looking forward to this chance to see them perform live."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2018, with the headline 'Heeding the call of Mandarin music'. Print Edition | Subscribe