Let’s face it, Neon Lights is surely topping some of the best icing on the cake when it decided upon its stellar line-up this year. With some of the most talented and killer acts in the world coming to a two-year old festival in Singapore, MNA is taking a more inward approach focusing on Singapore and the region’s home-grown acts.
One of MNA’s truest passions is in highlighting the indie and growing music scene in the region. Advocating some of the most recent start up acts and their approach towards performing and distributing their work and how it’s lifting the standard of the scene in the Asian region.
One of Singapore’s most popular music export this year – the one news that spread across the globe and catching international attention – is Linying, a Singaporean indie-electronic singer songwriter. As humble and poignant as her name portrays, Linying, at only 22 years old has recently signed a multi-rights deal with Universal Music Singapore, becoming the first Singapore female artist to do so.
For more worldwide distribution and visibility, she has also signed with Nettwerk Music Group, an influential North American music management, label and publisher known for helping acts such as Coldplay, Avril Lavigne and Tiesto break into the American Market. Her most recent singles – “Sticky Leaves”, “Alpine” and “Paris 12” – are released by British-based Akira Records with Singapore music company Umami Records handling her music in Japan and rest of the world.
One of the rarest talents yet to be discovered on an international platform is .gif (pronounced as dot gif). Fusing dark beats, agile lyricism, immersive vocals and masterly production, this duo made up of Weish and Din presented electronic music that expands, compress and questions every aspect of the making of this age old genre while referencing modern, dated and influential theatre and film. Discover them with a fresh mind and be open to surprises. We shall not review anymore.
Joel Tan, a.k.a Gentle Bones, is not a stranger to the music scene. Recently signed to Universal Music Singapore, he has garnered some international hype when he wrote and recorded two songs as part of a compilation album – Songs of the Games – for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore. As the first Singapore artists signed to a major label, he claimed his fame way before that; debuting his first single in 2012 “Until We Die” that went on and charted at #1 on the iTunes chart, subsequently, “Save Me” and “Elusive” followed and charted at #1 and #3 respectively on the same chart. Earlier this year, he performed to two sold out concert at Esplanade, one of Singapore’s most prestigious entertainment venue.
Disco Hue, our newest baby in town, is a four-piece electronic-pop act from Singapore. Their debut EP, “Arcade”, is now released on all digital stores and is gradually gaining fan base across the island state heavily performing at every indoor and outdoor event space available. This band has already been featured on various publications including Juice and Cleo Magazine and recently voted as one of the 50 most-streamed Singapore music on Spotify. Being chosen to strut their ‘thing’ at Neon Lights is a huge step forward for an act as such and we’re definitely going to see more of them from now on.
Cashew Chemists has come a long way since their their very first EP in 2012. Set to record their first full length release this year, they have gradually moved on from its Beatles-inspired pop-rock love song antics to searching a deeper self-examination of their personality in their songs. The 5-piece rock ‘n’ roll band is known for their strong and sharp guitar feat that ranges the very beginnings of delta blues, pop 60’s to exploitation of the modern day guitar bass and drum sounds.
Saving the best for last is our beloved Yuna. Being the only Malaysian act on this list, the song-bird has just too much to give and one can only be mesmerised by her voice and let’s not start with her uncountable successes and achievements. Boasting some of the international collaborations in her recent years, her recent projects include an upcoming release of her latest album – Chapters – with Verve Records. She has previously recorded with international starts including Rhye, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, DJ Premier, Usher, Jhene Aiko and collaborated with some of the most talented producer such as David Foster.
For the full Neon Lights programme, please click here.
Pic above: Linying to perform at Neon Lights 2016. Photo courtesy of Neon Lights.