Singapore Scene: New music from Nathan Hartono; Gentle Bones and Tay Kewei; TheLionCityBoy

Nathan Hartono has released the English version of his song Dig Deep.
Nathan Hartono has released the English version of his song Dig Deep.PHOTO: WARNER MUSIC SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - These 10 releases by Singaporean acts in the past month include both uplifting tracks and sombre tunes.

While R&B trio brb. and singer, songwriter and producer Yao celebrate positivity in their perky singles, singers like Nathan Hartono and Dominic Chin are contemplative in their tracks.

Also on the list are turntablist and DJ Koflow's new album, as well as rapper TheLionCityBoy's ode to the circuit breaker period.

1

POP/R&B

DIG DEEP

Nathan Hartono

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Fresh from his stint singing this year's National Day Parade theme Everything I Am, Nathan Hartono has released the English version of his song Dig Deep.

The Mandarin version of the song was released earlier in December 2019.

The Singaporean singer-songwriter, who also directed the new music video, says the song is about the struggle of trying to be open.

"Dig Deep is a song about exploring one's vulnerability. It's never easy and is often times a confronting process. The video to this song is a representation of that idea. Of someone trying to face themselves and making an honest effort to dig deeper into their heart."

To mark the song's release, Hartono donated meals to animal shelter Animal Lovers League Official.

2

HIP-HOP

CIRCUS BREAKER

TheLionCityBoy

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TheLionCityBoy's EP Circus Breaker was composed and recorded at home during the circuit breaker.

While the songs featured collaborations with other hip-hop acts and producers such as Akeem Jahat and Kidmeddling done online, the rapper did a lot of the production work himself.

He used his iPhone to record himself and take notes whenever ideas came to him; and audio editing software Logic Pro X on his MacBook Pro laptop to put the tracks together.

"It was exciting to put this project together so quickly," he says. "Honestly, these last few months have been quite a roller-coaster of emotions, not knowing where 2020 will take us next. I know all I can do is just focus on my art, focus on my family and my journey. I put all that energy into these tracks."

3

HIP-HOP/ELECTRONIC

METEM

Koflow

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One of the most prominent turntablists on the Singapore scene, Koflow is back with a new album, Metem.

The palindromic moniker is taken from metempsychosis, a philosophical concept of the transmigration of the soul.

More than just a hip-hop album, the nine numbers sees the veteran DJ expand his chops as a producer, crafting immersive instrumentals that take on genres ranging from funk and drum and bass to dubstep to trap.

4

POP

DON'T YOU KNOW YET?

Gentle Bones and Tay Kewei

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Singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, real name Joel Tan, makes his Mandopop debut with Don't You Know Yet?, a duet with fellow home-grown singer-songwriter Tay Kewei.

He says of working with Tay: "I've known about her achievements for many years and being an established artist with high proficiency in Mandarin, I was afraid she wouldn't like the song at first, so I am so happy she decided to come on board to team with me."

Tay says she was "elated" to work with Tan on his first Mandarin song. "I have heard his English works and they have never disappointed me as the songs were catchy with head-bopping tunes."

Described as the flip-side to a typical fairy-tale love story, the lyrics explore how couples in relationships run through emotions ranging from love to heartache.

5

INDIE POP/ACOUSTIC

PROLOGUE; EULOGIA

Deon

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Singer-songwriter Deon's EP, prologue; eulogia, features acoustic renditions of four songs from his third album eulogia; eulogy (2019).

He says: "I wanted listeners to experience the songs as they were written. Although it might be tough to pull back the layers and expose the core of my songwriting, I feel it brings me closer to audiences and provides a more intimate experience".

The tunes include Change Of Heart, which features fellow home-grown singer-songwriter Dru Chen. Other acts who appear on the EP include home-grown singer Mindy Kon and Shohei Uemura, the Japanese singer who appeared on the Netflix reality show Terrace House: Opening New Doors (2017 to 2019).

6

HIP-HOP/ELECTRONIC

AMAZING

Yung Raja, Alyph and Trifect

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Rappers Yung Raja and Alyph team up with electronic producer Trifect for their new single, Amazing.

Yung Raja says that the uplifting song was designed to brighten up the listener's day. "I wanted to create something that makes people feel good, that has an uplifting and bright vibe to it."

Alyph adds that the song is dedicated to all listeners, regardless of age. "I wanted to write something young kids could follow, for young adults to enjoy and for the older generation to feel the music."

7

ELECTROPOP

ALONE

Dominic Chin

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Singer-songwriter Dominic Chin opens up about living with anxiety disorder on his melancholic single, Alone.

He says: "The song talks about feeling conflicted about my relationships, being totally defeated and yearning for some help while I fight my battles with feeling disorientated by all that is going on in my mind."

It is also a tune for those suffering from a similar predicament. "It's a song to let people who struggle with anxiety issues like me to know that they are not alone, and that I too struggle with it on a day-to-day basis and I'm still here."

8

R&B/POP/ELECTRONIC

MORNING DANCE

Yao

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Singer, songwriter and producer Yao's latest single Morning Dance is designed as an inspirational pop track to start one's day.

He describes the tune as an "expression of knowing that there is truly so much to live for and that being able to wake up alive everyday is truly a blessing".

Yao, who first made waves with 2018 single Scenery, won the New Kid On The Block prize in the inaugural Singapore Youth Music Awards 2019.

9

R&B

MY TYPE

brb.

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R&B trio brb. is looking at the bright side of life with their single, My Type.

As they say in a statement: "We hope to introduce a different energy into our upcoming releases. Our EP relationsh*t was rather sombre and we wanted to write happier songs this time round."

The group is expected to release their sophomore EP in 2021.

10

R&B/POP

DON'T SAY IT

Sarah X. Miracle

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Don't Say It is the first single by Sarah X. Miracle, the new persona for bilingual singer-songwriter Sarah Cheng-De Winne.

The empowering song from her upcoming three-part EP encourages women to recognise their self-worth and not feel sorry for letting a man down.