Stefanie Sun

Stefanie Sun

Stefanie Sun is one of the most famous people in Singapore and one of its most popular musicians. At the age of 36 she has sold a whopping 30 million albums and is still going strong. Though she is born and bred Singaporean, her HQ is in Taiwan and, as you would expect, she is just as popular in China and Hong Kong as she is at home. In those countries she is known as Sun Yan-zi. She by no means just an Asian sensation, however, with a huge following in the US.

One of the reasons why Stefanie Sun's music crosses so many borders and cultural barriers is her ability to sing in various different languages. Much of her output is in Mandarin Chinese, though she also sings in English on numerous tracks. Plus she has a gift for mastering many different Chinese dialects in her music. For example, her hit tune Cloudy Day contained lyrics in both Mandarin and Hokkien.

Yet it is for her musical innovation and beautiful voice that Stefanie is best known. Her 12th albums contain an extraordinary catalogue of powerful, soaring pop music, mixing together styles and rhythms from all over the world in a dynamic sound cocktail.

Her debut LP, Yan Zi, was released in 2000 and was an instant success. Selling nearly 4 million copies across her home continent, it marked Sun out as one of the most talented newcomers on the Asian pop scene. Her second album, My Desired Happiness, third album Kite and fourth album Start were all similarly popular, selling upwards of 4 million each.

So popular was Sun after Start that she was chosen to sing the Singaporean national anthem at the National Day Parade of 2002 and 2003.

Her extraordinary rise continued unabated, with big selling albums and massive tours. In 2006 the first cloud on her horizon came when she put in what was considered a below par performance at the Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan. During her spot, she sang a number of cover versions, though her renditions sounded off key and lethargic. For the first time, Sun's critics turned on her and she was blasted in the Chinese press. However, just one month later, she played a triumphant concert in Taipei, where she sang all the same songs perfectly to a rapturous reception.

Sun's personal life has been as happy and successful as her career. In 2011 she married Nadim Van Der Ros, the founder of the Good Bean Consultancy, who she had been dating for about 5 years, and the following year she had their first child, a boy.

Meanwhile, her hit albums continue to come thick and fast, selling massively around the world. Her 12th record Kepler hit the shops in 2014 and was followed by a massive world tour. The tour ended with a very special gig in Singapore National Stadium in July of that year, making her the first performer to grace its newly rebuilt stage.

There is no question that Stefanie Sun has had an incredible career and, given the resilience, talent and charisma of this young lady, it is quite a good bet that it will continue to be incredible long into the future.

Baybeats Music Festival

Baybeats Music Festival

Southeast Asia's leading alternative music festival, Baybeats 24 – 26 Jun 2016, is your best bet to get your heart thumping while watching prominent Singapore and international acts. Renowned for its variety, the annual three-day festival showcases a large array of genres, from folk, pop, metal, post-rock, emo, punk, electro and everything in between. Located at Esplanade -Theatres on the Bay, the event is 100 percent free and non-ticketed.

The way the festival is able to be free-ticketed is that it serves as a platform for local bands to make a name for themselves. However, the event's focus on fostering home grown talent goes beyond music-making, as it also gathers the best of local talent in other creative fields such as music journalism, gig photography, video arts, among others.

For any local band who wants a shot in the music business, the Baybeats team is always on the lookout for good music bands and fresh sounds for “the next round of music mayhem”. Therefore, local bands can send them their material and they promise to go through every CD. Accordingly, this is a guarantee that the team will not rest until they have the best possible line-up for each festival.

With a festival village that brings together local indie crafters and entrepreneurs, the festival also celebrates the music-loving lifestyle.

The three main performing stages include the Baybeats Arena (Outdoor Theatre), Powerhouse Stage (The Edge) and the Chillout Stage (Concourse). There is also a series of magazine-style interview sessions at the Observation Deck (Library@Esplanade).

The performances are known for being an explosion of adrenaline for festival-goers. From home grown indie to the alternative music scene, the sounds are electric. In 2014, singer-songwriter Jaime Wong drove the audience into a state of ecstasy with his tender yet bluesy showcase of original tunes in a laidback unplugged set.

As well, psychedelic-rock quintet Spacedays at the Arena, or Outdoor Stage, rocked the festival with a multi-faceted, out-of-orbit set that was at times trippy, groovy and soulful. And a hardcore band Straight Forward played a heartrending setset at the Powerhouse stage .

The newcomers from the festival's Budding Bands programme also gave legendary performances. While post-rockers Sphaeras enchanted the audience with complex song structures, the pop-punkers Attention! The New Portsdown made the audience jump to the beat of their sassy tunes. More info at

Singapore most patriotic music

Singapore most patriotic music

Singaporeans have plenty of reasons to be proud: a beautiful island home to live in, a thriving multicultural community, a brilliant education system, good healthcare, booming economy – right now Singapore is a country that has it all. Many Singaporean's have felt the need to set their feelings of national pride to music over the years. In fact, given how small the nation is, it's pretty amazing how many patriotic songs have been written about it.

Here we look at some of the most famous odes to Singapore, including their most stirring, country-praising lyrics.

Song for Singapore – Corrine May

Singer, guitarist and songwriter Corrine May is one of Singapore's best loved musicians. In 2010, she showed that this loved was reciprocal, with the beautiful Song for Singapore.

I want to sing Sing a song for Singapore With every generation there's more to be grateful for So come and sing Sing a song for Singapore You're my brother, you're my sister I'm thankful for my Singapore My Singapore Singapore

There's No Place I'd Rather Be – Jimmy Ye

A Singaporean Chinese singer whose 1993 album Give Me Your Love was a huge success. One of the highlights is There's No Place I'd Rather Be, a tribute to his home country.

There's no place I'd rather be You'll always be a part of me And even though I've roamed the world It's still my home I long to see

What Do You See? – Electrico

Since first hitting the indie scene back in the mid-1990s, Electrico have been one of Singapore's leading rock bands. What Do You See? is their most patriotic song.

See the moon and the stars

Look how far we have come

Look around at our faces

They shine brightly in the sun

With our hopes and dreams

Imagine what tomorrow it may bring

What do you see? What do you see?

Semoga Bahagia – Zubir Said

Written in Malay by famed Indonesian composer Said, the title of this tune translates as ‘May You Find Happiness.'

Sama-sama maju ke hadapan (Together we progress) Pandai cari pelajaran (Clever at seeking knowledge) Jaga diri dalam kesihatan (Take care of your health) Serta sopan-santun dengan kawan-kawan (And be courteous to your friends)

Onward Singapore – Zubir Said

Where else to end the list then with the national anthem itself? Officially in Malay, the English lyrics are below:

Come fellow Singaporeans

Let us progress towards happiness together

May our noble aspiration bring

Singapore success

Come, let us unite In a new spirit

Let our voices soar as one

Onward Singapore

Onward Singapore

Come let us unite

In a new spirit

Let our voices soar as one

Onward Singapore

Onward Singapore

Neon Lights

Neon Lights

Neon Lights, a new major music & art destination festival, will blaze a trail across the region's festival circuit come this November. The first of its kind in Singapore, and taking its cues from the world's greatest music festivals, Neon Lights will illuminate the historic Fort Canning Park on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November 2015 with a rich and vibrant music and arts programme encompassing international and local music, dance, theatre, comedy, art & design installations, spoken word and children's workshops.

Built on an uncompromising philosophy of collaboration and community, the inaugural annual festival will run from 1pm till late each day, and will incorporate every nook and cranny of Fort Canning's three main outdoor event spaces – Fort Green, Fort Gate and OMSQ. Neon Lights promises a premium multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory experience for everyone, regardless of age or interest, set across six stages – Neon Lights Stage, Neon Gardens Stage, Club Minky, Cloud Factory, Lit Up @ Neon Lights and Easy Street.

The first 16 acts of a superbly eclectic music line-up are released today. Handpicked from over 10 countries across 5 continents; Neon Lights' headliners are the legendary hit-makers USA's CHIC feat Nile Rodgers – one of the most influential producers and prolific musicians in the history of popular music - and multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Ireland's Damien Rice who will play his first Singapore show in nearly a decade.

Brilliant cult mavericks USA's Mercury Rev make their long-awaited return to Singapore right off the release of their latest album and upbeat party acts Flight Facilities from Sydney and New Yorkers Ratatat will play their first-ever shows here.

Other acts making their first trips to Singapore include legendary UK shoegaze trailblazers Ride, the hypnotic Songhoy Blues from Mali, Mancunian world-fusion DJ Mr Scruff and the Asia premiere of Kiasmos – the groundbreaking new audiovisual electronic project from Iceland composer and pianist Olafur Arnalds; who needs no introduction to Singapore audiences – his last trip here in 2013 saw him sell out two nights at the Esplanade Theatre. Kiasmos' show will be preceded by Swedish techno demi-god Axel Willner aka The Field.

The Neon Lights and Neon Gardens stages will showcase a stellar music line-up spanning genres and decades, blending international stars with local heroes, including sensory rockers Hanging Up The Moon. Also on the Neon Lights bill so far are cool punk-meets-bossa-lounge act Nouvelle Vague from Paris, gifted Japanese multi-intstrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru, introspective indie folksters USA's Sun Kil Moon and Singapore's Bennett Bay, and the new queen of dream pop USA's Julia Holter. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

Families with kids will be entertained by the interactive sideshow, circus, comedy and cabaret performances at Club Minky, followed by children's wearable art and movement workshops by MySuperFuture at Cloud Factory. For fans of the spoken and written word, Lit Up @ Neon will be a literary treat with performances, readings, panel discussions and interviews.

The holistic festival will feature three distinct performances each night at Cloud Factory by some of Singapore's most innovative sound, video and performance artists, all curated by Noor Effendy Ibrahim, former artistic director of The Substation and Teater Ekamatra. Also, attendees will get to participate in a live street art and culture celebration on Easy Street curated by Recognize Studios and Sideshow, alongside the breakbeats of hip-hop artists and scratch DJs.

“All our favourite outdoor music festivals from around the world have great arts, great food and a real sense of family as integral to their offering. While Neon Lights is first and foremost a music- lovers festival, it's also for people who are looking for something more – performance, workshops, installations, comedy, delicious food and other surprises, all combining to make one of the most nourishing, uplifting weekends of the year. That's the aspiration.” Jennifer Jennings, Producer & Arts Programme Director.

Neon Lights is organised by a team of international award-winning festival experts, including co- founders of Electric Picnic (IRE), Clockenflap (HK) and Harvest Festival (AUS), in collaboration with the experienced and dynamic Singapore team.

Early Bird & Family Weekend Tickets on sale from 9am, Tuesday, 8th September at,, SISTIC ticketing hotline +65 6348 5555, and Limited supply of early bird tickets available and Under 18s conditions of purchase apply. Single day & group tickets on sale soon.