Vocal band Micappella's 'ambitious' National Day song medley shared by PM Lee Hsien Loong


SINGAPORE - Third time is the charm for home-grown vocal band Micappella, whose recent Evolution Of NDP Songs video has gone viral on social media.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also shared the video on Wednesday (Aug 2) and described their work as "ambitious".

Micappella had performed shorter National Day song medleys in 2013 and 2015, but they were nowhere near as popular as their latest effort.

The final version of Evolution Of NDP Songs includes 23 official songs, ranging from Singapura, Sunny Island (1962) to Because It's Singapore!, this year's NDP theme tune.

Band leader Peter Huang, 34, says: "This time, we wanted to take a look-back and put in as many as we can."

He and the rest of the group - tenor Juni Goh, 31, soprano Tay Kexin, 29, alto Calin Wong, 31, bass Goh Mingwei, 31 and baritone Eugene Yip, 35 - spent two weeks researching, arranging and eventually recording the songs and its video, which was filmed in Goh's HDB flat in Bedok.

On July 17, they uploaded the video on their Facebook page and it quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of shares, PM Lee's among them.

"It's an honour to have the PM like and share the video," says Huang. "After all, he's the most Singaporean among Singaporeans."

At press time, the video has been viewed 780,000 times and has received many positive comments. A Facebook user, Eleanor Wong Su Ling, said: "It made me feel proud to be a Singaporean. Thank you guys."

Micappella, which was formed in 2009, have released one EP and two albums, including last year's(2016) MICappella Reloaded, their first with all original songs. A single from that album, One Of These Days, topped the iTunes Mandopop charts upon its release.

The group became prominent in in 2012 when they emerged as runners-up on popular TV singing competition The Sing-Off China.

They have performed around the world, including Germany, China and the United States.

In 2015, they were the first Singaporean group to perform at the London A Cappella Festival.

They also picked up Best Asian A Cappella Album at the 2017 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) in the United States in April.

Huang says that performing overseas has increased his sense of patriotism. "Everywhere we go, people will ask us about Singapore, and we feel a sense of pride when we get to represent our country."

Micappella's National Day medley is not the only video that Huang is involved in that has become popular in the past week. He and two old friends from junior college, Timothy Kua and Bryan Tan, came up with their own ode to Singapore, titled My Little Red Dot.

The song's video on Facebook has been viewed more than 181,000 times since it was uploaded on July 27 and has also received praise online.

"The public response has both overwhelmed and humbled us," says Tan of the original tune. "This was always meant to be an intensely personal piece, but it seems to have resonated deeply with all Singaporeans.

"Everybody can relate to their favourite hawker stalls and the nostalgia of their childhood playgrounds. For a bunch of regular dudes who came together on a whim to write a love song to their country, it's been a massive honour that this has been embraced so lovingly."