Composers of NDP 2021 theme song overwhelmed by positive response online

Music producer Evan Low and singer-songwriter Linying said the positive reception to their NDP composition has been heartening. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - The composers of this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song have been overwhelmed by the reaction online, putting paid to their initial fears about it.

Singer-songwriter Linying, 27, and music producer Evan Low, 31, told the media on Monday (July 5) evening that they took up the project with much trepidation, but the positive reception to their NDP composition, The Road Ahead, has been heartening.

"I'm quite grateful because I was so prepared for the hate but it turned out well," said Linying.

The song has garnered over 400,000 views on YouTube since its release last Friday and many online described it as "one of the best NDP songs" or a "heartwarming" tune amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Linying said she hopes the song will encourage those battling the pandemic on the front line and remind them that they are making a difference in keeping Singapore safe.

"I often feel quite jaded... If I want to do something good or make a difference, will it really cause any change? This is a message to myself and others who think like me, that even an ocean is made up of a multitude of droplets. I really wanted to humanise that aspect of the collective," she said.

Mr Low said writing the theme song was a daunting task even though it is his fourth time being involved in NDP.

"It is my first time writing the theme song, rather than assisting in arrangements, and knowing all the good work that has been done in the past, (I wondered if) I would be able to live up to expectations," he said.

Linying said it is difficult to write a song that "speaks for an entire population".

"I do love this country and there's so much nuance that is hard to convey in two lines. What really helped was to distil what's honest, and many of these feelings are quite simple, like reminding us of our humanity and being good to one another," she said.

The composers said they are grateful for having the freedom to express themselves through the song.

"For us to have creative control over the whole process from start to end was very liberating because we were able to bring out the emotions that were personal to us," said Linying.

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Mr Low said that there were hardly any revisions to the lyrics.

The Road Ahead will be performed on National Day by Linying, and singer-songwriters Sezairi Sezali, 34, Shye-Anne Brown, 18, and Shabir Tabare Alam, 36.

An accompanying music video was directed by film-maker Huang Junxiang, 33, and animation film-maker Jerrold Chong, 30.

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