SINGAPORE - While this year's National Day Parade (NDP) is poised to be a unique affair as celebrations take place at home instead of in a central location, its theme song is a tribute to Singaporeans' spirit of community.
Composed by producer Joshua Wan and performed by singer Nathan Hartono, the song Everything I Am also encourages Singaporeans to express gratitude and appreciation for one another.
The song had already been planned for since last year, and while Covid-19 put to rest the usual NDP plans for this year, it made the song's message all the more salient.
Dr Sydney Tan, the music director for this year's NDP, said the song was originally written for a normal climate, but its message also applied in the midst of the pandemic.
The accompanying music video, which was directed by local film-maker He Shuming, was released on Tuesday (July 14) on YouTube and the NDP website.
Mr He said he was inspired by the real-life stories of Singaporeans, and sought to create an intimate video that will encourage Singaporeans to rally together.
It is his hope that Singaporeans will "think about the people around us that have impacted us, that have inspired us" after watching the music video.
"It's been a challenging year, but I hope that Singaporeans will remember that we're never alone and that we can get through this together," he said.
The husband-and-wife team of Mr Daniel Tan and Madam Clara Loh, who run OK Chicken Rice in Ang Mo Kio, are among those featured.
The couple delivered free chicken rice to healthcare workers - sending more than 10,000 packets to workers in various hospitals in about two months - and started an online campaign, Cheer Up, for members of the public to donate towards offsetting their delivery costs.
The hip-hop group Redeafination, which comprises individuals from the deaf community who make use of vibrations through the floor to keep in time with the music, also showcases its moves in the Everything I Am video.
Come Makan With Me, where locals invite migrant workers to their homes to share a meal and learn more about them, is also seen in action. This ground-up initiative was started by Dr Mohamad Farid, who volunteers with Migrant Workers' Centre.
In all, 55 stories of everyday Singaporeans who have stepped up in the fight against Covid-19 and helped those in need will be featured in this year's NDP, which will be split into two shows.
Brigadier-General Frederick Choo, chairman of this year’s NDP executive committee, said: “Through these stories, we hope to inspire Singaporeans to continue playing their part to build a better and stronger Singapore, and to remind us that together we can and will prevail through tough times, just as we always have.”
The parade will also be featuring two “unity moments”, which Singaporeans are encouraged to participate in as a show of solidarity.
The first of such moments will take place in the morning, as President Halimah Yacob leads the singing of the National Anthem at the Padang.
This will be broadcast concurrently with flag-raising ceremonies taking place in several locations islandwide, including a hospital.
The pledge will be recited at around 8.20pm, BG Choo added.
While this year’s NDP celebrations will be starkly different to those in previous years, BG Choo said he hoped they will rally Singaporeans to come together in thinking about the nation’s future beyond the current challenges of Covid-19.