New award honours local music acts

Gentle Bones was named Best Emerging Act (English). Suthasini Rajenderan (far left) is Best Emerging Act (Tamil), while Aisyah Aziz is Best Emerging Act (Malay).
Suthasini Rajenderan (left) is Best Emerging Act (Tamil), while Aisyah Aziz is Best Emerging Act (Malay).PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO, UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE
Gentle Bones was named Best Emerging Act (English). Suthasini Rajenderan (far left) is Best Emerging Act (Tamil), while Aisyah Aziz is Best Emerging Act (Malay).
Gentle Bones was named Best Emerging Act (English).PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO, UNIVERSAL MUSIC SINGAPORE

The Next Music Awards fetes new pop artists who sing in any of Singapore's four main languages

Singapore's rising music talents were recognised at the inaugural Next Music Awards - a new initiative that recognises new pop artists who sing in any of the country's four main languages - at the Pavilion @ Far East Square on Thursday.

Pop band The Sam Willows won Best Song for Save Myself, a single which was released in July and will be included in their second album to be released next year.

Singer and musician Sandra Riley Tang, 26, who collected the award with bandmate Jonathan Chua, 27, said the win was "humbling".

"This music award is important, not just for ourselves, but also for the whole local music scene. We all help one another and push one another."

Singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, was named Best Emerging Act (English), while singer Kenny Khoo was Best Emerging Act (Chinese).

The Best Emerging Act (Malay) prize went to singer Aisyah Aziz, while the Best Emerging Act (Tamil) trophy was conferred on singer Suthasini. Aisyah performed recent single Mimpi, while Suthasini sang a new song, Kaatrile, at the ceremony.

Aisyah, 23, said: "It's such an honour to get this prize at such an early stage in my career. This is a boost for me to keep on making music."

For Suthasini, whose full name is Suthasini Rajenderan, the award is a validation of her decision to go into music full-time.

The 27-year-old said: "I hope this win will be an encouragement for other artists who are starting out."

Singer-songwriter Linying won the Best Music Video prize for the clip to her song Sticky Leaves, which was directed and produced by fashion photographer Lenne Chai.

Each winner took home $3,000 in cash and a trophy. The nominees are all artists who made their debut in the last five years.

The results were decided by a committee that comprises prominent names in the music industry.

These include Cultural Medallion recipient, singer and composer Dick Lee, veteran entertainer Najip Ali, the Musicians Guild of Singapore chairman and composer, Professor Bernard Tan, and music director, composer and musician Mohamed Raffee.

The committee is led by Ms Serene Goh, advisory board member of the Sing50 Fund and head of content lab at Singapore Press Holdings.

The awards are part of the Sing50 Fund, which was formed in 2015 to promote and preserve Singapore's music heritage and is supported by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

The event is co-organised by non-profit arts organisation The Rice Company, which manages the Sing50 fund; its subsidiary Global Cultural Alliance and entertainment companies Music & Movement and Unusual.

The Rice Company's director Tan Tee Tong said there are plans to make the Next awards an annual affair.

"It bodes well for the Singapore music scene that we have so many talented young artists. Through these awards, we want to give prominence to their achievements and give them the recognition that they deserve."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2017, with the headline 'New award honours local music acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe