CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC

Published on 23 February 2017

In a world where bubblegum pop dominates the charts, it’s hard for singer-songwriters to get heard. Still, many singer-songwriters work relentlessly on their music, wearing their hearts on their sleeves as they sing deeply personal songs they have penned from life experiences. Here are six up-and-coming local singer-songwriters we think are definitely worth a listen to.

By: Melanie Lee

SOUL-SEARCHING TRUTH

Andy Philip, 29

Listen to his music here: soundcloud.com/cloudsandshadows

How would you describe your music?

Vulnerable and raw with a tinge of bluntness (I try not to sugar coat). Processing humanity one song at a time.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

I wrote “Found by Love” six months before getting married. I wrote the song from the perspective of a 54-year-old me talking to the not-yet-married me. It’s interesting – it’s only been two years since that song was written and the lyrics are already making more sense to me with each passing day. I’m really glad to have written a song that ages well.

HAUNTING MELODIES

Anise, 26

Listen to her music here: anise.bandcamp.com

How would you describe your music?

Off-kilter, tender and ominous all at once. Most of my music is written with the backdrop of something unhappy or terrible happening. But writing these songs provide calm within the storm. It is cathartic, and yet it reminds me of the cause of the pain.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

It’s called “Still Waters” and it hasn’t been recorded yet. Part of the lyrics go like this: Still waters run so deep/Floating weightless in the tides of sleep/ Still, waters run so deep/ Underneath the surface – it’s a composition that keeps me grounded when things get a bit rough. I wrote this while trying to quell insecurity and past hurts, and trying to find something within myself to love again.

INSTRUMENTAL STORIES

Bennett Bay, 21

Listen to his music here: bennettsg.bandcamp.com

How would you describe your music?

Instrumental folk music with heavy influence from post-rock, classical and cinematic origins. The music intends to paint a picture because they come from images in my mind.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

There’s a song from my new album called “Maybe It’s Time to Come Back Home”. It’s sung from the point of view of a father who is looking for his missing child. While I created this persona, I could feel my heart sink. Never in a million years would I ever want to go through what this character is experiencing – waiting around and wondering if his child would ever come home or is even alive. It reminds me of the importance of family.

SONGS OF SOLACE

Daphne Tan, 28

Listen to her music here: http://noisetrade.com/daphnetan

How would you describe your music?

I’d like to think that my music gives people a private space to be vulnerable and at peace with themselves. My music and way of looking at things have changed over the years…my earlier songs were more reflective and melancholic while my later ones include some positivity and acknowledgement of people who have loved me deeply.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

The title track of my EP – “Where No One Is” – was written during one of the most difficult periods in my life, and reminds me of how much has changed since then. This humbles me, and reminds me to stay rooted and focus on who I am meant to be.

UPLIFTING DITTIES

Jean Tan, 31

Listen to her music here: youtube.com/user/jeantanmusic

How would you describe your music?

My music is primarily written as folk, though I like to add hints of old-school blues, jazz and other genres because I love experimenting. My lyrics are also almost always written as poetry first – often musing about love, life, and loss.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

My favourite is “Blooms”, the possible title track of my upcoming album in February. It sums up my personal journey these past 5-6 years of being in “Winter” and then coming out to “Spring” again. It’s the most honest song in the album. I’m working with Kevin Foo of Beep Studios to produce this track and am excited about how it will turn out.

UPBEAT GROOVE

Shak’thiya, 25

Listen to his music here: soundcloud.com/shakthiya-1

How would you describe your music?

It’s hard to describe as I write songs as a way to deal with something that is happening in my life. When I’m alone, it’s more folk and when I play with my band (The Baits), it’s more influenced by the blues and soft rock.

Tell us about one of your compositions.

Many people have told me that they like my tracks “Mama Told Me” and “Sleep Talk. I’m just grateful that they do. There are plans to do singles and albums soon.

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