Hunt for Mandopop's Ed Sheeran

Leading the Singapore Song Writing Festival are (from far left) co-organiser Colin Goh, steering committee chairman Edmund Lam and vice-chairman Liang Wern Fook.
Leading the Singapore Song Writing Festival are (from left) co-organiser Colin Goh, steering committee chairman Edmund Lam and vice-chairman Liang Wern Fook.PHOTO: OCEAN BUTTERFLIES MUSIC AND COMPASS

A Chinese songwriting contest is launched to search for original compositions and nurture a new generation of songwriters

The Singapore Song Writing Festival may have local music giant Liang Wern Fook on its steering committee, but it is not just focused on xinyao.

Instead, the inaugural festival aims to promote Mandarin songwriting.

It is organised by home-grown record label Ocean Butterflies Music and the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (Compass).

Mr Edmund Lam, chief executive and director of Compass, expressed high hopes for the festival at a press conference on Tuesday.

He said: "We need to nurture a new generation of Chinese songwriters as the expanding overseas Chinese music market will eventually become one of the biggest music markets in the world providing huge opportunities.

"We are confident that we will eventually find a Singaporean version of Ed Sheeran that will rock the world. It is just a matter of time."

Submissions are open to those aged 15 and older, including Singapore citizens, permanent residents and foreigners with a valid work permit. Aspiring songwriters may submit their applications from today till July 16.

To reach out to youth, local songwriters and singer-songwriters such as StellaVee and Ruth Kueo Miaoru will be heading to various secondary schools and tertiary institutions, where they will perform several of their own songs and talk about the creative processes behind their compositions.

From end-July, 30 to 40 original compositions will be picked for live showcases.

Ten to 12 participants will be chosen from this pool to attend "masterclasses", which are coaching lessons on how to improve their pieces. The masterclasses will be helmed by local and regional singer-songwriters.

Cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 will be awarded to five participants under the following categories - Best Song Award, Merit Award for Lyrics, Merit Award for Melody, Best Vocal Performance and a Popularity Award for the song that garners the most public votes.

The five will also receive a one-year Platinum subscription to Taiwan-originated music-streaming service KKBOX.

The winner of the Best Song Award will receive a pair of round-trip tickets to Taipei to attend the 13th edition of the KKBOX Music Awards.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2017, with the headline 'Hunt for Mandopop's Ed Sheeran'. Print Edition | Subscribe