Sounding the battle call in war on the coronavirus

Right: The cartoon that creative director Kelvin Chan drew to inform and educate people about the coronavirus. Far right: The team behind the song Braver Together includes students from The Songwriter Music College and staff from music company Funkie
The team behind the song Braver Together includes students from The Songwriter Music College and staff from music company Funkie Monkies.PHOTO: THE SONGWRITER MUSIC COLLEGE

An encouraging song, an informative cartoon among ways to unite community

As Singapore grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, veteran lyricist Xiaohan feels she can rally the community in a way she knows well - through the power of a song.

Working with colleagues from her music company, Funkie Monkies, as well as students from The Songwriter Music College, she helped to conceptualise the theme of a song meant to bring positivity and encourage Singaporeans to be united.

Titled Braver Together, it was released on Feb 6 in English and Chinese on YouTube. Both versions have about 2,600 views in total.

Xiaohan, 46, whose real name is Lin Kebang, is an award-winning Mandopop lyricist who has worked with artists such as Eason Chan and Jolin Tsai.

"As musicians, we might feel a bit helpless because we can't do much to help, but right now, with a lot of people staying at home... (they) might pay a little bit more attention... to music," she told The Straits Times on Thursday.

"Although we can't really help very much with fighting the virus or curing patients, what we can do is to actually change a person's mood. We hope that upon listening, they do feel a bit better."

The team members behind the song were among the people trying to make a difference in Singapore's Total Defence efforts this year. Total Defence Day is commemorated on Feb 15 - the day Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.

Local fintech start-up MatchMove believes it is important for Singapore businesses to keep going, even with dampened consumer sentiment at this time.

Ms Nicole Poon, the company's senior vice-president for partnerships, said economic defence means ensuring that the firm's operations are efficient and maximised, so that its partners are fully supported. "This symbiotic relationship between businesses should be protected just like how members within the community should also stand together and protect one another."

 

To warn about the danger of spreading fake news at this time, Mr Kelvin Chan, a creative director at Singapore Press Holdings' Media Solutions Division and an experienced illustrator, started drawing a cartoon in his free time and shared it on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Asked what motivated him to do so, the 49-year-old said: "I created the cartoon strictly to inform and educate. Because I have a very senior parent, my (78-year-old) father, who is following the recent events very closely, I do not want him getting the wrong information.

"With so much information being consumed via our smartphones, it is very easy for falsehood to be spread. Our country's defences, in this case digital, depend on every citizen's due diligence when sharing information."

 The team behind the song Braver Together includes students from The Songwriter Music College and staff from music company Funkie
The cartoon that creative director Kelvin Chan drew to inform and educate people about the coronavirus.  PHOTO: KELVIN CHAN 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'Sounding the battle call in war on the virus'. Print Edition | Subscribe