art jam - Nanyang Technological University

art jam - Nanyang Technological University

art jam

Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Feb - Mar 2010, Issue 20.

MICA (P) 175/12/2009



8 Modern Citizen 10 Giselle 11 Beauty & The Beast

12 JP 13 katncandix2 17 Mosaic Music Festival

26 West Grand Boulevard Interview

art jam

Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

Cover Credit: The Esplanade Co Ltd

editor’s note

Dear Readers,

We’re back! In this issue of ArtJam, we are going all music on you. 2010 is shaping up to be a great year for

music lovers as there will be a bunch of international acts making Singapore one of their stops in their Asian tour.

The Mosaic Music Festival promises to bring an exciting line up of both well-received performers from different

parts of the world, making the Esplanade the place to go to for an experience for your ears.

NTU Cultural Activities Club presents the Nanyang Arts Festival. Already in its 8th year, the organisers are going

to deliver two months featuring the best of what NTU can offer.

Keep those post secrets coming in! Visit to share and see even more post secrets

(that are deemed too ‘wild’ to be published).

Warmest Regards,


Jan - Mar 2010, Issue 20.

MICA (P) 275/01/2008



publication team


Danny Wan


Audrey Lim


Devika Shinde

Maryam Mohamed Mokhtar

Victoria Chang

Nur Asyiqin

Samantha Soon

Jennifer Dhanaraj

Audrey Lim

Cherie Thio


Mervyn Chua

Jonathan Kwa

Graphic Designer

Natalie Tuang

Xpress Print Pte Ltd

Tel: 6880 2881

This is a Publication of Nanyang Technological University Cultural Activities Club

To advertise with us or list your events in ART JAM, email us at



where to find Art Jam


17 26

• All Junior Colleges • All Polytechnics • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts • NTU • NIE • SMU • SIM


• Alliance Francaise AGF Theatre • DBS Arts Centre • Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay • *scape Youth Centre

• The ARTrium • The Substation • Victoria Concert Hall • Victoria Theatre • Aspire Cafe • library@esplanade

• National Museum • The Garden Slug


Download the softcopy of ArtJam at



Nanyang Arts Festival


Nanyang Arts Festival Calendar


Modern Citizens




Beauty & The Beast


JP Gumbo




Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Patrick Watson


+65 Indie Underground


Mosiac Music Festival


Concert Preview




WGB Interview


Doinky Doodles


Post Secret

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CAC press

Nanyang Arts Festival

“Colors, like

features, follow

the changes of

the emotions.”


Text: Devika Shinde

Photos: Mervyn Chua

And the best place to see all these colours emoting and

expressing is right now, right here on NTU campus! Nanyang

Arts Festival (NAF) is back and in its 8th year, NAF 2010

brings to NTU ‘COLOURWORKS’ - a two month extravaganza

filled with vibrancy and vigour, beauty and brilliance symbolic of


Kicking off the two-month celebrations was the Festival Opening

Ceremony on 20th January at Canopy K outside LT1A in NTU.

Starting from 10:30am, the pre-opening featured the guest band

Seville. The official Opening Ceremony was abuzz with numerous

activities. It showcased the first ever sand sculpture in NTU and all

institutions, specially commissioned by JOOheng from Sandworkz.

Named Sandra, the pretty damsel highlights NAF’s theme for

the Festival - the use of sand to illustrate the multitude of ways

of presenting visual and performing arts. The day also kickstarted

the quest to set a Singapore Record for the ‘Largest Sand Art

Montage – Colourworks’. Award-winning groups like the NTU CAC

Salsa En Sync, Breakdance, NIE DanceFuzion, Chinese Drums and

Choir treated the audience to a blend of groovy dance steps, slow

soothing music and vigorous strong beats. Following that, a miniconcert

by the guest band – Aries Kaizer rounded up the official

ceremony. Throughout the day, NAF balloons dotted the campus

and each of the performances left everyone asking for more!

If you enjoyed the Opening Ceremony of NAF 2010, then you are going

to love the next two months on campus. NAF 2010 will be rocking,

for sure!

As part of the bid for Singapore Records, NAF aims to collect a

whopping 1000 sand art pieces. Open to one and all, just look around

campus for the sand art booths and contribute your creativity to

assemble a giant montage of sand art pieces that NAF will display at

the Closing Ceremony. Be sure to be a part of the ground-breaking,

history making event and revisit your childhood as you enjoy making

limitless sand art designs!

NAF 2010 aims to explore art from different perspectives associating

each form with a colour and an emotion. So there is ‘Hot Stuff’, with

loud music, groovy dance moves and stunning visuals, ‘Green Week’,

where you explore how saving the earth can go hand in hand with

art and ‘The Deep Blue Scene’, the time when you can slow down

and explore the many facets of art that will set you thinking. In the

Green Week around Valentine’s Day, put all your creative juices to work

and challenge yourself to create gifts for that special one using only

recyclable materials! This art challenge with a twist promises to be

exciting and to give your gift a whole new different meaning of love,

not just for that someone special but for the world as well! So give your

love an exclusive ‘Green He(Arts)’!

CAC press

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CAC press

In the next two months, get ready to be mesmerised by the amazing

performances and concerts of the NTU CAC Piano Ensemble, Choir

and Chinese Orchestra. NTU CAC Symphonic Band will be having their

very own concert “Live in Singapore”, which will premier new works by

Mr Satoshi Yogisawa. In addition, CAC Special Projects, Impresario – a

nationwide talent search competition, Arts From The Heart (AFTH), Guitar

Ensemble and Joint Dance Concert will sure burn the stage with their

activities and performances!

Rocking the NTU campus will be various workshops teaching self-defence

techniques of Wushu, simple Photoshop techniques and Tap Dance

and Lindy Hop dances. Get a chance to be more creative with Balloon

Sculpting, Batik Painting and Handicraft making. Try your hand at Western

calligraphy and make your own Manga drawings! Rock out with the guitar

like a Hollywood superstar with Guitar Hero Jam and have a blast with

your friends. Vent your feelings and thoughts using colours and graffiti

during Graffiti Week. Relax and rewind with movies like Step Up, Fame:

The Movie, Wall-E, V for Vendetta and Inglorious Bastards. Join in the hall

performances and lunchtime performances of Taekwon-do and Wushu.

Never will there be a dull moment on campus!

CAC press

Ending the festival on a high note will be the Closing Ceremony, held at the IMM Garden

Plaza. It will showcase all the festival highlights and achievements to NTU and the public!

The Closing Ceremony will be a concert-exhibition, featuring performances by external

bands and NTU arts and cultural clubs, such as CAC’s DanceSport Academy. It is also

the grand day when NAF will display the Singapore Record - Largest Display of Sand Art

Montage ‘Colourworks’!

Join NAF 2010 for a smashing good time right till 27 th March 2010! Look out for the NAF

calendar near Canteen A, pick up our informative event guide or just simply log on to www. Feast your ‘sand-ses’ at Colourworks today and experience the magic of colours

in life!!

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Calendar of Events

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Model Citizens

Text: Maryam Mokhtar

Photos: The Necessary Stage

In its latest offering, The Necessary Stage provokes audiences into analyzing relevant

contemporary Singaporean issues, as it invites them to explore the journeys of three

women bound by circumstance, in Model Citizens.

Model Citizens, which runs from March 3 rd to 14 th at TNS’s Black Box, features a stellar

cast of Goh Guat Kien, Siti Khalijah and Karen Tan as three women facing their own

personal emotional and psychological struggles: an MP’s wife, a maid and her employer


The play chronicles the lives of the maid, whose lover has just stabbed an MP, the wife

of the MP, who struggles to keep up her brave front, and the maid’s employer, whose

attempts at re-connecting with her children have so far been futile. Model Citizens looks

at how these three women, whose fates seem intertwined, are forced to look to each

other as they search for comfort, solace and salvation.

Playwright Haresh Sharma and director Alvin Tan, in signature style, break language and

social barriers, in this presentation of a multi-lingual piece that tugs at the very heartstrings

we share regardless of race, gender and occupation: through an examination of the very

nature of human relationships.

ArtJam got Siti Khalijah and Karen to dish out some quick bites on the rehearsal

process and find out what it’s like to be part of an all-female ensemble, and

what all humans, not just women, have in common.

ArtJam: Siti, you play a unique role in Model Citizens.

When you first saw the script for the play, what was it

about your character that stood out for you?

Siti Khalijah: The fact that she’s very manipulative and a

pretty good actress! Even as I was reading the script, I

felt like I’ve been fooled by her a couple of times.

ArtJam: What is it like taking on the role of a maid?

Did anything funny or interesting happen during the

rehearsal process?

SK: I really enjoyed playing Melly because she’s very

‘happening’. She’s hardworking, loyal, confident and

knows how to have fun! And also because this show is

very multi-lingual (I’ll be speaking in Bahasa Indonesia,

Guat Kian will be speaking in Mandarin and Karen will

be speaking in Baba Patois and English), we have to be

extra attentive and really listen for our cue to enter with

the next line or blocking. So of course when we first

started out it got pretty crazy because we weren’t sure

and ended up panicking ourselves!

ArtJam: Is there a unique chemistry and energy that

exists with a female-only cast during rehearsals?

SK: Of course! We can go from talking about the script

and our characters and suddenly go into womenly

things like flabby arms and bulging tummies! But

seriously, I think the chemistry between the 3 of us is

really wonderful. We can connect emotionally and ‘feel’

each other when we’re performing.

ArtJam: Were there any quirks about your fellow

cast members that helped liven up the rehearsal


Karen Tan: I think the funniest would be the conversations

between Alvin, who speaks no Mandarin, and Guat

Kian, who speaks very little English. It’s panto at its


ArtJam: Karen, your role as the employer of the maid,

is one that a majority of Singaporeans can identify and

connect with. What was it like getting under the skin of

your character?

Model Citizens

March 3 rd -March 14 th

3 – 6 & 11 – 13 March 2010, 8pm

6 – 7 & 13 – 14 March 2010, 3pm

The Necessary Stage Black Box 278

Marine Parade Road #B1-02 Marine Parade

Community Building Singapore 449282

$27, $22*


Karen: Actually, I should qualify that I play a woman

who happens to employ a maid, as opposed to making

a Maid Employer a character type. Just like Siti plays

a woman who happens to work as a maid, and Guat

Kian plays a woman who happens to be married to an

MP. It actually makes a huge difference to how we see

the women.

My character is also a wife and mother; she reads a lot;

she’s effectively tri-lingual, speaking English, Mandarin

and Malay; she is bound to her family by love and duty;

she resents foreigners who make a lot of noise and

mess…and suddenly, she’s a person that many people

can identify with, and not just by women who employ


ArtJam: All three characters have their own struggles,

yet they seem to be tied by a common thread. Do

you think this emotional thread is characteristic of

the relationships between women, regardless of the


Karen: It’s easy to say that the women are united by

emotional grief and the ability to exact change in the

way men can’t. However, I like to believe that men

and women are born with the need to communicate,

no matter the circumstance. And we all find a way to

connect with each other. We really mustn’t let modern

theories and ideas rubbish that.

But this being theatre, then the situation has 3 women,

and their journeys to help each other, and in the process,

hopefully find salvation for themselves.

*Concession for students, senior citizens

and NSF. Prices exclude $3 SISTIC handling fee.

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Love. Beauty. Betrayal. Redemption.

This March, the Singapore Dance Theatre proudly

presents French ballet ‘Giselle’, which promises a

dark take on love with its tragic but romantic plot.

Since its Parisian debut in 1841, ‘Giselle’ has been the

oldest consistently performed ballet in the world, not

only due to its dazzling array of dance techniques but

also its artistic direction and its engaging plot. ‘Giselle’

is not only a classical dance act but also a blockbuster

ballet that deals with love, mystery, otherworldly beauty,

excitement, danger and death. Many critics have even

dubbed ‘Giselle’ as the ‘Hamlet of ballets’. In ‘Giselle’,

love is expressed with the abstract and subtle beauty

of body language.

Handsome nobleman Albrecht, is mesmerised by the

beautiful village maiden Giselle and disguises himself

as a peasant and promises eternal love to her. Yet,

unbeknownst to Giselle, Albrecht is already betrothed

to Bathilde, the Duke’s daughter.

Upon realising the heart wrenching truth of Albrecht’s

betrothal, and perceiving unrequited love, Giselle

throws herself upon Albrecht’s sword and dies. Upon

her tragic death, Albrecht comes to realise his true love

for Giselle and mourns at her tomb.

However, the plot does not merely end with Giselle’s

tragic death. Upon death, Giselle becomes a wandering

embittered spirit known as wilis, which exists to seek

revenge on unfaithful and deceitful men.

Will Giselle ever forgive Albrecht and embrace love once

again? Will Albrecht ever be able to convince Giselle of

Text: Victoria Chang

Photo: Singapore Dance Theatre

true love? Will this seemingly romantic and yet tragic

ballet ever end happily?

In charge of staging for ‘Giselle’ this time is Swedish

artistic director Janek Schergen who is currently

working in the Singapore Dance Theatre company.

Before working with the Singapore Dance Theatre,

Mr Schergen has been ballet master of the Pittsburgh

Ballet as well as Artistic Director of the Nashville Ballet.

With such an illustrious background in ballet, one can

be assured that ‘Giselle’ is in capable hands under Mr

Schergen’s direction.

Step out of reality and into this hauntingly beautiful

performance of a classic and unforgettable ballet set to

an evocative and lingering score with Singapore Dance

Theatre’s ‘Giselle’.

Title: Giselle

Date: 11 March 2010

– Fundraising Gala Performance and Dinner

12 to 14 March 2010

– Regular Performance Nights

Venue: Victoria Theatre

Time: 8.00 pm

Ticket prices: 11 March - $500, $250, $150

(Tickets are available from SDT office ONLY)

12 to 14 March - $88, $68, $48

(Through SISTIC and SDT)

We apologise that we are unable to admit infants

in arms and children below 3 years old. Children 3

years old and above will require a ticket for entry.

Tickets will be available from 4 January 2010

Beauty & The Beast

W!LD RICE’s Beauty & The Beast gives the

classic fairytale a local rubdown and unveils it with all the

flair that we’ve come to expect of their pantomimes.

Listening to the chatter of children and their party

clappers and waiting for the curtain to rise, I wondered

if the production could sustain the interest of both

young and mature audiences. It rises to the challenge


Beauty & The Beast coaxes its young audience into

the tale by engaging their participation. Karen Tan’s Ah

Ma Chao Chao opened the show by warmly initiating

the audience into their roles in driving the story and

connecting with the characters. At times, the effect

came across as a little too Blue’s Clues (“Where’s

____?”, followed by children excitedly shrieking “There!

Behind!”), but there were stellar moments where the cast

seized on to audience reactions and played off them,

cleverly ad-libbing to the laughter of the audience.

Alfian Sa’at’s script juggles the two audiences and

sizzles as a cocktail of laugh-out-loud moments and

references that pay homage to the big events of 2009.

In one scene, there is a cringeworthy Ris Low tribute that

plays out in the banter between Beauty’s two campy

sisters (think “boomz” and “half zebra half leopard

beegini”). In another, a conservative magician insists


Text: Nur Asyiqin

Photo: Sirius Art

she’s on page 73 (in the phone directory), a sly wink

at the Dr Thio Su Mien’s “I’m on page 73” declaration

during the AWARE saga.

Emma Yong shines as the level-headed, strong-willed

Beauty. Her voice, as always, is amazing, soaring

through Elanie Chen’s musical compositions. RJ

Rosales’ Beast, though awkwardly endearing, ends up

being overshadowed by the rest of the cast. The other

characters elicited laughter through their expressions,

but him spending most of the show with a mask

concealing his expressions, placing him at a

disadvantage. For those who can stomach the camp

(and I ate it up), Chua En Lai and Darius Tan as Beauty’s

two over-the-top sisters are comedy gold. Flouncing

around stage on heels, and flashing their petticoats at

the audience, they brought catty fun to the show.

Hossan Leong’s direction makes Beauty & The Beast

a flurry of visual pleasure and well-timed comedy. The

costumes are eye-catching, particularly during the

opening and ending numbers where gowns and ruffles

fill the stage, the props are meticulous and the set is

well put together, and very effectively used. The forest

swings open to reveal the interior of Beauty’s house,

the Beast’s castle looms in the background and the

LED rose wilts and blooms, suspended over the rest

of the cast.

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M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2010

Live Fringe Theatre: ‘JP’

Outrageous. Hilarious. Fascinating.

Japanese Theatre Group , Gumbo, definitely lived up

to its reputation of performing energetic, comedic and

colourful plays with a serious twist. Their play ‘JP’

was part of the line-up for this year’s Singapore M1 Fringe

Festival. Despite frequent injections of slapstick comedy,

the play turned out to be highly entertaining and thought


The actors opened the first scene with elaborate costumes

and equally dramatic make-up complete with huge grins

on their faces which brought about an almost frighteningly

cheerful contrast to the darkness of the theatre.

Throughout the play, the actors kept up with their

enthusiasm with exaggerated motion and extreme

expressions on their faces, causing the audience to laugh

uproariously. Actor Mitsuru Yanase portrayed egotism at

its extreme while actress Kayo Tamura portrayed female

promiscuity with such extremity that it resonated deeply

with the audience despite the play’s positive ending of

repentance and change.

Unlike most other conventional plays, ‘JP’ proved to be

extremely interactive. Members of the audience were

invited onstage twice to interact with the cast during the

play. Cast member Ryo Nishihara energetically exclaimed,

“Hi Singapore!” to the audience and shook hands with

members of the audience in midst of the play. Often, the

actors would directly question and address the audience

as well, allowing them to experience the emotions that the

cast was trying to portray.

Text: Victoria Chang

Photo: Iain Bond

Figurative language was often humorously translated

into literal acting as well. The cast was not inhibited

by the sexual themes of the play and gamely threw

themselves into their respective provocative roles.

While ‘JP’ was comedic due to frequent sexual

innuendos and exaggerated acting, underlying

the humorous front were themes that dealt with

the absurdities and inconsistencies in human

behaviour. Said cast member Yuko Nishimura

during the play: “Why do we hide and protect our

true selves? We are happy when we live in truth,

though it is difficult.”

Though the members of the cast had little knowledge

of the English language, ‘JP’ was painstakingly

performed in English. This use of English was

previously coined as ‘Japlish’ by critics due to the

heavy Japanese accent of the actors which added

to the humour of the play. Says Karo Tamura, who

both directed and acted in the play, “We wanted

to perform in English in order to connect with the

audience in a better way, rather than have them be

distracted by English subtitles.”

Indeed, “JP” proves that Japanese Theatre Group

Gumbo is one theatre group to watch out for in

the arts scene. One can definitely look forward to

experience even more of their quirky and meaningful

works in time to come.

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2010

Text: Samantha Soon

Photos: AsiaMuse


This year, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2010 brings us Taiwanese folk pop duo, Katncandix2, for a twoday

show as a highlight of the festival.

The night began with a thought-provoking question, ‘What do you think dreams are?’ making the audience reflect

on their own ideals and lives. Their album title which is also the title of a song, “Little Flight”, was an apt beginning

to the concert as their music brought us into their very own ‘B612’, the theme of the concert.

Katncandix2’s music bears no resemblance to the sweet and airy cotton candy (a direct translation of the group’s

Chinese name). Together with SSJ, the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist, Ball, the duo brought us a night of

acoustic and original music with their eleven-song set. Ball’s natural vocals gave a fresh touch to SSJ’s melodies.

The charm of Katncandix2 thus lies in its ability to draw near to their audience, not only through the music they

make, but also through their stands on the masses’ ideals and principles.

As opposed to mainstream Taiwanese pop, Katncandix2’s music maintains a positive spirit, even when it sings of

heavy issues such as world peace and environmental protection, or even the usual theme of love. The double love

song in the set, ‘Girl’ and ‘Please love him for me’, sings of facing heartbreaks with an optimistic outlook, and not

to give up on love even when it fails.

What was unique about the duo, was that while SSJ, the main composer of Katncandix2’s melodies was quiet and

shy, lead singer Ball loved to engage with their audience in between songs, and she would talk about anything;

from stories behind songs, to the journey of their music career: how they started out as street performers to where

they are today, signed under a major record company under the support of Taipei’s Cultural Affairs. Katncandix2

is a testimony to the songs of encouragement they sing, ‘We are the same’, ‘Blossoms everywhere’ and ‘Lacking

of courage’, where they urge their audience to take an active step towards fulfilling

dreams they believe in.

The night ended with their original ‘Future?’ with visuals of environmental

damage, where they repeatedly sang ‘Do you see? This is not the future we

want’, advocating people to play a part in protecting our Earth. The concert

was brought to a perfect end by their debut single ‘2375’, imploring the

audience to never forget their earliest dreams and ideals.


A fresh take on Taiwanese pop

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

All eyes were clearly on Karen O, including the giant inflated

eyeball backdrop as she took her place with guitarist Nick

Zinner and drummer Brian Chase on stage as part of the

Yeah Yeah Yeahs. One of the most electrifying front-women in rock,

she did nothing but enthral audiences throughout the two hour

sold out set.

Her eccentric dance moves and stage antics kept audiences

guessing as to what she would pull off next. And this included

her choices of threads as well. Coming out for the concert opener

‘Runaway’ in bright, neon stockings and an equally colourful romper,

Karen O truly made her glow among the dim lighting. She got her

‘leather on’ in ‘Zero’ when she emerged with a heavily studded

leather jacket that spelt her initials at the back. She also worked

the crowd into a frenzy when she emerged in a long robe and an

elaborate headdress that provided a theatrical aesthetic that fit well

with O’s dramatic and somewhat unique stage performance.

The show truly started with a bang when guitarist Zinner played

the familiar wicked, crunchy riffs to the obvious crowd pleaser

‘Phenomena’ from Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ sophomore album Show Your

Bones. Although quiet and timid, which was a stark contrast to

the more flamboyant O, both Zinner and drummer Chase showed

off their individual talents especially with songs like ‘Date With the

Night’ and ‘Y Control’. While singing ‘Boy you’re just a stupid b***h

and girl you’re just a no good d**k’, O violently stomped on a black

box, releasing an intense shower of shiny red Y-shaped confetti

that dazzled the audiences with glee and awe.

Devoted Yeah Yeah Yeahs fans must have been delighted that

the set list equally covered all of their albums including Fever to

Tell (2003), Show Your Bones (2006) and It’s Blitz (2009) and even

played ‘Miles Away’ from their self-titled debut EP. The Esplanade

theatre morphed into a massive dance party with club-ready hits

such as ‘Heads Will Roll’ but the true highlight was during the

encore when Karen O melted the 2000-odd hearts with an acoustic

rendition of ‘Maps’. As she repeated the lines ‘Wait, they don’t love

you like I do,’ it is pretty clear the audience thought otherwise. One

can only anticipate the next time the New York indie superstars

step into our sunny island.

Text: Jennifer Dhanaraj

Photo: Jonathan Kwa

Patrick Watson


Text: Jennifer Dhanaraj

Photo: Jonathan Kwa

With light coming out of a strange contraption made up of five megaphones strapped onto his back, Patrick

Watson and his band walked into the crowd singing the first encore piece ‘Hearts in the Park’. This is just

a taste of Patrick Watson’s sold out live performance at the Esplanade Recital Studio; experimental and

avant-garde but yet at the same time, fun and playful.

Patrick Watson, whose band is named after him, opened the concert with ‘Fireweed’ that perfectly showed off his

lush vocals, which included his heavenly falsettos as well. Every bit of the musical mad scientist that is so often

used to describe him, Watson ran around the stage from the piano to the megaphones to the perfectly utilized

digital loop machine. The digital loop pedals enabled Watson to beautifully recreate in a live setting the complex

layering of vocals so exquisitely achieved in the band’s studio albums especially ‘Wooden Arms’ (2009).

Despite the band being named after him, Watson certainly did not steal any attention away from the other three

members. The chemistry between the band members was palpable during the performances as they engaged in

playful on-stage banter in between songs.

Especially impressive was percussionist Robert Kuster who was able to create a myriad of sounds with the use of

various objects. Kuster showed off his skills in ‘Beijing’ where he expertly clanked on different metals that included

pots and pans. We can definitely imagine the sounds of Beijing with the help of Kuster as Watson sings, “It was

the sound of the city/Speaks to me”.

During ‘To Build a Home’, the studio was transformed into a pitch-black room. Not being able to see a thing, the

audience grew completely quiet as they were fixated on Watson’s rich, quivering and ghostly vocals that were

accompanied by the beautiful piano chords.

Taking advantage of the wonderful acoustics at the recital studio, Watson performs an acoustic version of ‘Man

under the Sea’ as he engages the audience to sing the line ‘Just me, the fish and the sea’ repeatedly but in different


The best part of the concert had to be when Patrick Watson came out for another encore announcing that they

wanted to try out an improvisation that was reserved for the occasional fun audience. He asked the audience

to shout out random phrases that the band would then piece together to produce a song right there and then.

Phrases like ‘The mating habits of ants’, ‘Boy in Blue’, ‘Pitch Black’ were thrown at the band. Clearly impressed by

the imagination of the audience, he declared that Singapore had the craziest ideas ever. Bassist Mishka Stein along

with Angell and Kuster immediately started playing their respective instruments and surprisingly, it all came together

seamlessly. Watson then joined in and strung the phrases that were thrown at him in such a coherent manner.

It was a privilege to witness the songwriting process of the band and it was at that point where one could see

exactly how tight the band was, with regards to their musicianship. The concert soon ended and it really, did feel

like the most intimate, whimsical and surreal dream.

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Text: Audrey Lim

Photo: Universal Music Singapore

Music: +65 Indie Underground

Released last December, the 3-CD compilation offers a selection of

some of be the best tunes in the local music scene since the ‘80s, more

specifically, the rock and indie scene. +65 Indie Underground frees itself

from the restrictions of any subgenre of rock music and manages to

balance well-known bands such as Electrico and Force Vomit alongside

lesser known but still, talented bands. Taking the place of song lyrics in

the CD booklet is instead a write-up of every band that is featured in the

CD, a thoughtful move for listeners.

The variety of sounds in disc one ranging from pop-rock to indie to instrumental rock provided an

accurate indication of what was to come in the following CDs. Listeners unfamiliar with instrumental

rock will find themselves intrigued by the sounds of Amateur Takes Control, Muon and I Am David

Sparkle; all of whom deliver this relatively unexplored genre excellently in the first disc. “April” by

Analog Girl and B-Quartet’s “Personal Space” both had an eerie but mesmerizing quality about

them. However, “Personal Space” was especially outstanding musically as it started out with a

simple accompanying melody which slowly grew heavy and jarring, but slowed back down just in

time to a quieter and simpler tune. Aspidistrafly closed the first round with the soft but haunting

tune “Red Toe Nails” that whetted my appetite for more. The first CD is an excellent listen and will

most likely resonate deeply with the younger generation of rock music listeners as it features local

favourites such as The Great Spy Experiment and Electrico.

With songs like “The Girl From Katong” and “Siti” the second CD was characterized by distinctly

Singaporean sounds. While merit should be given to the second CD for having maintained

consistency in the sounds, it eventually grew tired on the ears halfway. Standout tracks have got

to be Plainsunset’s “Find A Way” that carries an addictive tune with catchy lyrics that go “I have to

find a way to keep myself from thinking of you” and Sugarflies “What About” helmed by a female

vocalist. Stompin’ Ground injected a much needed heavy vibe with their song “Tunnel Vision” into

an otherwise tame offering in the second disc.

The third disc offers a rare listen into the early days of the local rock scene starting from the ‘80s.

“Circling Sqaure” by Humback Oak opened the last disc with a melancholic tune and equally

wistful lyrics. Instead of suffering from ear fatigue, it only served to heighten my anticipation of what

was to come in the following tracks. The range of genres hinted at the diverseness of local bands,

and provided hints of the roots of local rock music. From laidback country rock (The Noame), to

trash punk (Nunsex) to electronic and experimental (Convent Garden), it was an honor to be able

to listen these pioneer bands. Convent Garden’s electronic tune is still musically relevant today,

perhaps best exemplifying how music transcends everything, almost. Zircon Lounge’s “Guide

These Hands”, as well as Daze’s “Sexy Little Boy” showcased the deep, hypnotizing and rich

vocals that lure listeners into a trance.

Granted, +65 Indie Underground may appeal to only a small segment of the market but this does

not discredit the compilation as having a solid collection of quality songs. What this compilation

does on a bigger scale is to offer Singaporeans a glimpse into the local music scene and what

it has to offer; that is, a myriad of brilliant bands. Listening to the CDs is like taking a walk down

Singapore’s rock music history and witnessing its evolution from the early ‘80s till today. In fact,

at the very end of the whole journey, I cannot help but smile with pride at how far the local music

scene has progressed. The recognition and acknowledgment given to the local music scene is

epitomized by this compilation.

If this does not make you run down to the music store to buy this compilation, this should:

“3 CDs for the price of 1! Cheap leh!”

+65 Indie Underground is available at all major music stores and available for online purchase at Special thanks to Universal Music Singapore.

Mosaic Music Festival


bumper crop of talented artistes from all over the world are set to

touch down at our sunny island for the upcoming 10-day Mosaic

Music Festival at the Esplanade. They will be joining local talents to

give performances representing a diverse range of music genres such as

Alternative Rock, Reggae, Jazz and even Tango. Music lovers are in for a

treat! ArtJam features five artistes performing at the festival.

Prices with an * have a special concessionary discount for students, NSF and senior citizens.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds


Text: Cherie Thio & Audrey Lim

Photos: The Esplanade Co Ltd

When: 12th March 2010 @ 7.30pm

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

How Much: $40*, $60*, $80, $100, $120

American musician Kenny Edmonds will open the Mosaic

Music Festival with a bang on the 12th of March. His name

might not ring a bell but you probably would have heard

his R&B or Pop tunes on the airwaves before.

This 10-times Grammy winner has written songs like “Take

A Bow” for Madonna and “End of the Road” for Boyz II

Men. Other famous acts he has written and produced

songs for include Whitney Houston, Fall Out Boy, Kristiana

DeBarge and Mary J. Blige. Not only has he won Grammy

Awards, but he has also earned the public’s stamp of

approval. His songs have been a huge commercial success and have sold a whopping 500 million and

counting units in singles and albums sales.

Having 125 of his songs making it to the top-10 R&B and Pop hits all over the world is indeed no mean

feat. Kenny Edmonds has definitely left his mark on the music scene as an iconic songwriter and music


Kenny Edmonds has also proven his mettle as a musician, with 11 solo albums to his belt. Coming to the

Esplanade to perform with his trusty guitar, audiences can expect to hear a repertoire of contemporary

R&B tunes and acoustic rock songs in his smooth dulcet vocals.

He even has a stretch of Indianapolis highway dedicated to him, christened the “Babyface” Highway.

What else can you ask for? This Friday concert on the 12 th of March will be the best way you will ever

start your weekend.

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Dinosaur Jr.

When: 16 th March 2010 @ 8pm

Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio

How Much: $40*, $60**, $80, $100

Dinosaur Jr is an alternative-rock band that hails from

Massachusetts, USA. Bursting out on the music scene in

1984, the band has Murph on the drums, Lou Barlow on the

bass and J Mascis on the guitar.

With legendary Kurt Cobain as one of their self-professed

fans, Dinosaur Jr’s music has elements of rock and punk.

They were known as the pioneers of their genre in the mideighties.

Their almost deafeningly loud music with trademark

guitar noise gives their songs an unmistakable distinctive


This band shocked fans when they reunited in 2007 after an

unhappy breakup 20 years ago. Nevertheless, their music seems to be better than ever. Their latest album

“Farm” received glowing reviews from critics. One magazine went so far as to say “How Dinosaur Jr. came to

be this good - arguably better than their late 80s/early 90s heyday - shall remain a glorious mystery”.

Rolling Stone wrote “Dinosaur Jr. set the standard for convulsive indie-rock guitar fireworks in the Eighties.

Incredibly, the band’s original lineup - guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph - hasn’t lost

a thunderous step.”

This is one band you should be looking out for.

Pink Martini

When: 17th March 2010 @ 7.30pm

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

How Much: $40*, $60*, $80, $100

If you were me and unknowingly visualised the singer Pink

when you read Pink Martini, then the both of us could not

be more wrong. Pink Martini is a band or ‘mini-orchestra’

of 12 international players on instruments such as violins,

the harp, guitar and drums. They are also joined by lead

vocalist China Forbes.

Undoubtedly as talented as Pink, China Forbes is also

their chief songwriter. Pink Martini is an all-rounded band

that plays many genres and they are supported by China

Forbes’ chameleon-like voice. From heavy French love

ballads to quiet and angsty Japanese songs, she changes

the tone of her voice to suit each different song perfectly.

Pianist and bandleader Thomas Lauderdale formed the band in 1994. Although the band was formed

in Portland, Oregon of North-Western America, they are not the average American band. Made up of

international singers from all corners of the world, they play songs in almost every language. This includes

Arabic, Japanese, French and Portuguese.

It’s like a United Nations meeting, with music instead of talk.

Their music perspective is to show an alternate side to America. Rather than familiar iconic American

symbols such as McDonalds, Starbucks, and Hollywood representing American commercialism culture,

Pink Martini’s American symbol is the Statue of Liberty. They want to show the melting pot culture in

America, with the patchwork of different races living together in the same country.

So don’t forget to book Pink Martini on the 17 th of March!

The Go! Team


When: 17th March 2010 @ 7.30pm, 18th March 2010 @ 10pm

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

How Much: $40*, $48* (on show date)

Two of their videos are featured on YouTube – “Doing it

Right” and “Milk Crisis”. The Go! Team might sound like a

cheerleader group and the opening bars of “Doing it Right”

is scarily reminiscent of a High School Musical tune.

But don’t be fooled, because their music is in a different

genre altogether. Borrowing elements of rock, their music

is made up of mostly guitar, drums, Hip Hop rap and

interestingly enough, Double Dutch chants. Double Dutch

chants are the chants that little kids repeat as they swing

two long ropes in opposite directions while other kids skip

rope. The most prominent movie that featured Double Dutch

chants was Disney’s “Jump In!” starring, ironically enough,

High School Musical alumnus Cordin Bleu.

Band leader and creator Ian Parton formed the band to create music with elements of guitar and Double Dutch

chants simply because those were his favourite things. The Go! Team is now a sextet, a mixture of British and

Japanese musicians from both genders. Based in the UK, they debuted in 2004 with “Thunder, Lightning,

Strike” and followed up with 2007’s “Proof of Youth”.

The Go! Team is your way to go if you like happy and catchy songs. Their loud, joyful and fun-filled tunes

that are perfect for parties will soon be echoing at the Mosaic Music Festival so catch them for an amazing


Shugo Tokumaru

When: 19th March 2010 @ 9.30pm

Where: Esplanade Recital Studio

How Much: $30*

Shugo Tokumaru cannot be more different from most

well-known Japanese artistes in Singapore. Unlike

Ayumi Hamasaki, Arashi and such, Shugo Tokumaru’s

style is probably more similar to Jason Mraz’s breezy

and quirky songs.

Shugo Tokumaru debuted in the year 2004 with his

album “Night Piece”. His songs are influenced with

elements of Folk and Electronica music. What makes his

music so uniquely his is that he makes use of all sorts of

instruments like guitar, melodica, banjo, flute, toy piano,

drums and everyday items like ashtrays.

Self-proclaimed to play over 100 instruments, Shugo is as different as you can get. Through the different

items used to combine with Shugo’s gentle vocals, the overall effect is deceptively yet charmingly

lighthearted and warm.

Despite being little known in Singapore, Shugo Tokumaru is an indie sensation in his home country

Japan as well as the United States and Europe. Before flying to our island for the Mosaic Music Festival

performance, he will be going on a music tour to UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Spain in January.

His music has also earned warm reviews in Rolling Stone and other music publications.

Shugo records almost all of his music by himself with his Mac computer, and painstakingly records

himself playing each instrument separately. In his live performance at the Mosaic Music Festival, the

audience can expect Shugo singing all his songs while strumming his guitar in a 5-man band. Mark your

calendar for the 19th of March and get your tickets quickly because they are selling out fast!

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Mosaic Music Festival

ArtJam: Why is your music described as Indonesian


Ras Muhamad: Reggae music has many styles and

sub-genres; you have the “Roots” that was popularized

by legendary artists

such as Bob Marley,

Peter Tosh, the

Abyssinians and

Burning Spear.

You have “Lover’s

Rock” that is

mostly romantic

tunes, then there

is “Dub Reggae”

that focuses

more on ambient

instrumental sounds

such as reverbs,

delays and echoes

with little or no

vocals at all. The

most recent style of

Reggae is Dancehall,

born in the late

1980’s. Some call

this style “Ragga” or

“RaggaMuffin” due

to the vocals being

closer to “rapping”

with a series of

melodies and a

distinct “riddim”

(rhythm), two kick

drums on the 1st and 2nd measure and a snare hit on the 4th measure.

I ‘m a “Roots” artist but I wanted to experiment with

“Dancehall Music” and explore the sound because

I found that no one in Southeast Asia was properly

creating Dancehall music the right way. At worst


Text: Audrey Lim

Photos: The Esplanade Co Ltd

For the upcoming Mosaic Music Festival, Club M.I.A will feature rising talents from Asia

who will be bringing a variety of music genres such as reggae, hip hop and rock to

the our shores. The three artists are Indonesian dancehall-reggae artist Ras Muhamad,

Taiwanese hip-hop band Kou Chou Ching, and Thai funk-rock band Apartmentkhunpa.

ArtJam speaks to them to find out more.

Dancehall music was relatively unknown and unfamiliar in

Southeast Asia and sometimes mistakenly categorized

as “HipHop and R&B”, many misunderstood that

artists like Sean Paul and Shaggy are Reggae artists

themselves. So, I

wanted to step up and

introduce Dancehall to

Southeast Asia without

forgetting to respect

the Jamaican people

but I know that I cannot

“copy and paste” the

whole style because the

Asian flavor has to be

there, I need to make it

more Indonesian.

ArtJam: Is there

something distinctly

Indonesian in terms of

your musical style?

Ras Muhamad:

Most of my Dancehall

compositions are in

minor and vocalized by

chanting and eastern

melodies, which are

influenced by traditional

Indonesian music.

I personally feel that

Indonesian Dancehall

lyrics have to be mostly

in “Bahasa Indonesia”,

our official National language. In my song, “J-Town

Rock”; I wanted to paint an audible picture of the hard

and street life of Jakarta. The melodies of this tune

are clearly eastern and the vocals are in a “Betawi”like

traditional chant that goes “HEY JAKARTA


It means “Jakarta Metropolis and the city of dreams”,

a far reach where many had their hopes and dreams

broken by the harsh reality of this colossal metropolis,

the chorus of this tune is reminiscent of the street

chants of the Betawi people, the original people

of Jakarta. Other examples would be “Runaway”

and “Hot like Fiya” both of the tunes are in eastern

melodies. So there are 3 distinct characters for

Indonesian Dancehall, language, vocalized chanting

and the melodies.

ArtJam: Where do you draw inspiration from?

Ras Muhamad: I draw inspiration from life and my

environment. My parents inspire me, my friends inspire

me and the struggles of the Indonesian people inspire

me. I admire those who live for others and stand

up against injustice, their fighting-spirit and bravery

motivates me to be more than an entertainer, that

music is not just mere entertainment but a platform

of social change and uplifting humanity. World leaders

that still inspire me to this day include the 1st President

of Indonesia Sukarno for social justice, independence

and the building of character of the Indonesian nation.

Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia for tolerance, unity,

the brotherhood and goodwill of the human race. And

Comandante ‘Che’ Guevara for equality, self-sacrifice,

courage and determination. I try to channel their

ideas, philosophy and vision through my music and

live performances without overstating it. Their fightingspirit

is my spirit.

ArtJam: You were raised in the US, how does that

influence your take on music in terms of sound and

the lyrics that you write?

Ras Muhamad: Being raised in the U.S. broadened

my mind for music, I had many influences from Hip-

Hop and rock but I found “my calling” with Reggae

music. Something about the Jamaican ‘riddim’ that

hits the heart and soul, we call it the “vibez”, intricate

and yet so simple. Music reaches all nations, color,

race and creed. So my vision of music is to bridge

and communicate my homeland and the world. The

Indonesian people’s cry is “MERDEKA!” meaning


“Freedom!” therefore I must be free to create my

music the way that I feel like making with no limitations

by outside powers such as the Indonesian music

industry. I pride myself on being an independent

artist, not relying on record sales or major labels. I am

free to collaborate with whom I choose; I am free to

create and direct the music that I want therefore no

one can steer, commercialize and change the sound

productions that I wish. I rebel against that old way of

thinking that every kind of music has to be produced

in a “Pop” standard and formula.

ArtJam: Your songs mostly deal with subjects like

“corruption, social injustice, political leadership and

humanity”. Why is it that you choose to sing about

such serious topics?

Ras Muhamad: Music especially Reggae music is

reality music, I think that music has to reflect reality

and the state that we are living in. It is my duty as

a Reggae musician to be a voice of the younger

generation, a voice of the people and a musician of

the people; also a defender of the oppressed, the

poor and the downtrodden. I do not choose to sing

about corruption and injustice, it’s just that I feel that

is necessary as a musician to convey the people’s

feelings. The economic gap in Indonesia is widening

day by day, the saying “the rich are getting richer and

the poor are getting poorer” is still relevant. We need

to raise awareness and provoke thinking socially as a


ArtJam: Is there any message that you hope to bring

across through your music?

Ras Muhamad: My message in the music is simple,

love and peace. But how can you have peace without

justice? All you’d have is anger and frustration, when

the poor has no right for education, social welfare,

better healthcare and wages; music needs to play a

part to raise society’s awareness of living conditions,

to lift us all out to a better and just world. One way

to build that world is to work collectively and have

oneness of humanity’s struggle.

Ras Muhamad 21

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ArtJam: What does Kou Chou Ching mean?

Kou Chou Ching: Kou Chou Ching, literally translated,

actually symbolizes a farmer working hard at harvesting

his crops. However, it has a darker meaning which can

be interpreted if you understand the Hokkien dialect. We

deliberately played around with the language as we are a

group that creates and composes songs using different

languages. Linguistics is a deep and profound subject.

Through the textured meaning in our group name, we hope

that everyone will be able to seriously look at the existential

purpose of every language and break the existing social

hierarchy in languages.

ArtJam: One very distinctive quality about your music is

the mixing of old and new sounds; like using traditional

instruments while rapping. Why is this style of particular

interest to the band?

Kou Chou Ching: Sampling is an important technique in

hip hop music. Producers and musicians in America are

very influenced and inspired by the tunes that they have

grown up with, mainly blues, funk and soul music. Through

hip hop, new life has been given to that genre of music,

allowing them to gain acceptance today. Similarly, we are

using traditional music from Taiwan to create a style of

hip hop music that is distinct to Taiwan because we like

traditional music and we hope that everyone will look at

them seriously and love them. Through sampling, we hope

to eject youth into the music and to provide an avenue

for youths to regard the so called ‘traditional music’


ArtJam: The band blends traditional sounds like “Nan-

Guan” with popular music styles. What is a “Nan-Guan”?

Kou Chou Ching: Nan-Guan is a type of traditional music.

Compared to the more boisterous Bei Guan, Nan Guan

is relatively softer. It originates from Quanzhou in Fujian

Province and is often used when making offerings to the

Gods. We often joke that Nan Guan is equivalent to the

jazz music of Taiwan, but of course, not in terms of music

theory. The music that we extract from Nan Guan usually

has a graver tone and style, which is more similar to the

Trip-Hop of western music.

ArtJam: Do you find it challenging

having to blend traditional “Nan-

Guan, Taiwanese Recital Chants,

Taiwanese opera, Hakka Eight

Notes, Taiwanese and aboriginal

songs with Hip-Hop, Reggae and

other popular music styles”

Kou Chou Ching: We faced a lot of

problems when we first started composing,

as our education in Taiwan did not include any

contents on traditional Taiwanese music. When we

were young, we learnt the western musical scores and

style of music, thus we spent a lot of time accumulating

information and fumbling through. In addition, due to

the influence of western music, majority of Taiwanese’s

traditional music has also been altered to different

degrees. The most well preserved music is actually

music from before World War II, but most of them are not

obtainable from the market. Most of what we have been

able to collate are versions that have been re-recorded

or revised and a large portion do have varying degrees of

disparities from the originals. Moreover, as this is a new

form of music not done by others before, we do not have

anyone to learn from either. Traditional Taiwanese music

is also unlike western music which usually has a scale. In

contrast, most of traditional Taiwanese music has a high

pitch. One can arguably say that it doesn’t have a low

pitch at all. Therefore, we need to add in a suitable Bass

Line, and at the same time, make sure that we do not

destroy the original style of the traditional music. It is also

hard to sample these music as the traditional music does

not have a 4/4 beat (i.e: it does not hav ea regular tempo).

As a result, we need to listen to the music a lot of times

before we can find a suitable portion to sample.

ArtJam: Any musical influences?

Kou Chou Ching: We are heavily influenced by Japanese

DJ Krush. He infuses a lot of Japanese traditional

instruments in his compositions and this is also what

inspired us to try out this style of music.

ArtJam: What can one expect at a Kou Chou Ching


Kou Chou Ching: This will be our first trip to Singapore.

Taiwanese Hip Hop music might be a stranger to

Singaporeans who may be more accustom to a number

of pop musicians. What we will be bringing is a different

kind of Hip Hop music. Through our music, you will be

able to experience a lot of the messages that we bring

from Taiwan and we hope that everyone will be able to

enjoy what we have prepared.

Kou Chou Ching

Tul Waitoonkiat

Club M.I.A. featuring Ras Muhamad, Kou Chou Ching & Apartmentkhunpa with DVJ Azz

When: 20 th March 2010 @ 9.30pm

Where: Heineken Music Club

How Much: $30*, $38* (on show date)

(* with one complimentary drink. All patrons must be above 18 years old)


ArtJam: What does your name mean and why did you choose that name?

Tul Waitoonkiat (vocalist of Apartmentkhunpa): Apartmentkhunpa is actually a name of an apartment building

in Bangkok. We accidentally saw the building while we were eating noodles. I do not know the reason why we liked

this name but it was just something that sounded catchy.

ArtJam: How would describe your music as?

Tul Waitoonkiat: Our music is very old fashioned. We love rock ‘n’ roll but each member comes from different

musical background. To make it easy, we call our music “old school rock ‘n’ roll”.

ArtJam: What can one expect at an Apartmentkhunpa show?

Tul Waitoonkiat: Truthful storytelling and music improvisation with long solos done in a very old fashioned way)

but if you don’t understand a word of our songs you can still be driven by our raw guitar sounds and danceable


ArtJam: Why did you guys decide to play for Mosaic Music Festival?

Tul Waitoonkiat: We think it’s a good idea to go to Singapore to share our music with new audience, and hopefully

we can make new friends

ArtJam: The band sings about a wide range of topics ranging from “politics, ancient myths, philosophy, fashion,

Bangkok nightlife, and music business to pop culture”. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Tul Waitoonkiat: I write the songs to cure my depressions and sorrow. I think my inspirations come from the

need to feel comfortable with myself, every time when something bothers me, I’ll write it down on paper and try to

transform those negative thought into something that I can enjoy. For me songwriting is a form of psychotherapy.

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Concert Preview

2010 is starting to seem like a really good year for music lovers in Singapore. Having international

acts like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Green Day, Muse, just to name a few, grace our tiny shore with

their performances at the start of the year, the upcoming months can only get better! In this issue,

we sass out must see acts at the annual Mosaic Music Festival and preview upcoming concerts in the

month of March, oh yeah!

Paramore Live in Singapore:

7 th March 2010

Before Twilight catapulted the young band into

mainstream success, Paramore, hailing from

Tennesse, USA, was already making waves in the

rock music scene. Needless to say, all the girls

wanted to be like front-woman Hayley Williams,

while the boys dreamt of getting it on with her.

Paramore consists of Hayley Williams (main vocals),

Josh Farro (lead guitar/backing vocals), Jeremy

Davis (bass guitar), Zac Farro (drums), and Taylor

York (rhythm guitar. The Grammy nominated band

is set to rock the stage at the Singapore Indoor

Stadium come 7 th March 2010 (finally!).

Ticket prices are S$68, S$88 and S$108, exclusive of

booking fee.

Text: Audrey Lim

Photo: Midas Promotions

Jeremy Cowart

Imogen Heap Live in Singapore:

29 th March 2010

Having earned the reputation of being somewhat of

an indie goddess, Imogen Heap is bringing her own

unique brand of indie, electronic tunes to Singapore

as part of her Ellipse tour. The twice Grammy

nominated artist will be performing on the 29 th of

March 2010 at The Esplanade Concert Hall. Since

learning how to play music from a young age, Imogen

Heap has dabbled in many musical projects; one of

her most recognized projects was being part of the

British electronic band, Frou Frou. Interesting fact:

She plays instruments like the keytar, the hang and

the array mbira. So be smart and grab your tickets

before they are gone.

Ticket prices are S$68, S$88, S$108, S$128 and S$148,

exclusive of booking fee.

Text: Audrey Lim


head’s up



RCGNTN, which stands for the word recognition,

is a website that is dedicated to promoting

local talents who are, more often than not,

constantly being sidelined by mainstream media

channels in favour of established foreign acts.

The notion of Singapore talents being inferior

to their Western counterparts is not only passé

but also ignorant. While some may choose to

despair at the lack of support given, Samantha

Lo and Lu Yawen have channeled their energy

into creating RCGNTN. The website is seeing a

growing number of contributors who write about

topics ranging from music to architecture and

culture. So if you feel fervently about our local

talents, send in your articles to them and you

could be part of the team. Indeed, RCGNTN

walks the talk and its promise to promote local

talents applies to all areas, not just music and

art. When we asked them what constitutes to

‘talent’, they replied: “An individual passionate

in the craft who will strive to perfect it in their

own vision, no matter the consequences and

obstacles they face. That deserves recognition.”

Well put, we concur.

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West Grand


West Grand Boulevard is

a local band that’s been

around for the last five years.

Comprised of members Jude

Lee (Bass), Bryan Gamboa

(Vocals), Syed Hyder (Drums)

Erik Evangelista (Guitars) and

Dharma Sadasivan –

(Guitars/Vocals) this 5-person

band has been around the

circuit long enough to have

acquired a healthy fanbase.

Known for their lively,

energetic gigs, adrenalinepumping

alt-rock beats, and

subsequent mosh pits, WGB’s

earned the heavyweight

street-cred that makes

them a band to reckon with.

Text: Abha Apte

Photos: West Grand Boulevard

ArtJam: Which genre of music would you say your work belonged to, and

what are your major influences?

Dharma: We were all always absolutely sure that we didn’t want to label our

music as a particular kind. If I’d to answer that I’d say we don’t belong to any

particular genre, because we don’t want to limit ourselves by being slotted

into only one category. I guess our fans, though, would say we’re alternative

pop-rock. But then we’re still growing as a band and we hope our musical

style evolves continuously. And one of the main reasons being in WGB is fun

is because of the freedom we allow ourselves, by playing exactly the kind of

music we feel like playing, without giving in to genre classifications.

Jude: As for musical preferences - I like metal, Dharma was a classical

violinist, Erik’s into ska-punk – we have different inclinations, but a lot of

similar tastes which our music’s influenced by. The Foo Fighters – they’re a

huge inspiration; they’re an amazing band.

ArtJam: How long have you all known each other and how did you meet

and decide to form a band?

Bryan: We’d all been playing in different bands, actually, before WGB was

formed. Our previous lead – Daphne Cook – and Jude knew each other

since they were what, fifteen? And then they sort of started playing together.

Syed joined us recently on drums and Bryan on vocals. As far as deciding to

form WGB, we had sort of started playing together for fun.

Jude: We didn’t even have a proper name in the beginning. But after a while,

the five of us had gotten pretty settled it, and WGB just fell to place.

ArtJam: How was your experience right when you had just begun your

music career? Was it very hard breaking into the music scene?

Jude: This is a funny story, because we never really thought we’d get to

where we are now. And things were crazy when we started, because first

we used to jam together, and then we hooked up with organizers and things

started happening.

Dharma: Our sound engineer, Leonard Soosay, he’s a brilliant

guy. He helped us out a lot. And then suddenly we were playing

shows back to back. It was crazy, and really hectic, because

we’d finish one show and we’d have to leave and pack up to

reach the next one, and this used to go on continuously. But

getting a break was something we hadn’t planned or expected,

and since then it’s been good, though maybe a little slow.

Jude: It’s taken five years to release this new album, but

the sound of it’s really huge, it’s a lot of growth since we first

started out.

ArtJam: You’re releasing a full length album this year, right?

And it’s your second album?

Bryan: Yes, that’s right. We’re five years old now, our first

album was called ‘Waiting for You’, we released that four years

ago in 2006. We’re going to be releasing our second album

very soon now. We’re almost done with it, actually, and it’ll be

out in the next, what, three weeks?

ArtJam: Can you tell me a little about your new album?

Dharma: Content-wise, it’s quite different, from our old album.

It sounds really, really fresh. It deals with a lot of very diverse

themes - there are some political themes.

Jude: Yes, Dharma’s the one who can get political subjects

right without going too far into things.

Dharma: And then there are themes of social perspectives, of

positivity in life, of death – this album is about a lot of different

things, and they mainly centered around human condition.

ArtJam: How would you describe your growth from your first

album – “Waiting For You” to the one you’ve just come out with?

Jude: We’ve changed a lot since we started out and made

that album, we’ve become so much more mature. I think that

this new album reflects that, lyrically and otherwise.

Bryan: When we started out things were different, but after

such a long time of being together we’ve all grown as persons,

and we’ve definitely let this influence the album. So yes,

maturity is the one thing that’ll be most evident if you check

out our new album.

Dharma: But it definitely has that energetic, loud, dancefriendly

feel to it. We’ve always wanted to make music that

we really believed in, regardless of anything else, and we think

we’ve achieved that pretty well here.

ArtJam: What are the main themes or topics of most of your


Dharma: Well, it depends. Our first album had a track I wrote

for my ex, another Daphne wrote for her ex. It had this breakup

feel going on. But we still retain the loud, catchy sounds and


work them into our songs. And with our new album, things

have gotten amazingly fresh, it sounds huge. There’s no other

word for it.

Jude: I think we sound much better, and so much bigger.

The long break definitely helped us get a very new feel for

this album.

ArtJam: Which tracks to you perform most at shows, and

which ones do the crowds respond to the best?

Jude: DKNY, without a doubt. It always gets the energy going,

and somehow the crowd always responds the best to that.

Now We Will is pretty popular too. Come to think of it, the way

people react with the name DKNY is funny, because we never

really had a meaning for it. Dharma decided to call it that, and

he has no clue what it means, either!

ArtJam: Which were your best and worst stage performances

so far?

Jude: Philippines, it’s got to be Philippines. Philippines and

Baybeats, actually. Everything was fantastic, and the crowds!

Dharma: The crowds there actually appreciate what the

music’s all about and there’s so much energy; they were

fabulous places to play at. And the worst, well, we’ve had

some bad experiences, with technical failures and stuff, but

nothing really stands out as awful.

Jude: We’d played in NUS a long time ago, for example,

and that was pretty bad. It was an acoustic set, and Bryan’s

microphone stopped working, Dharma had problems with the

equipment. And then there was this one time when Bryan – he

gets really into it when he sings – he was doing this spin and

he just toppled over, it was hilarious. So yeah, we occasionally

have moments like these.

ArtJam: Other than being part of this band, what other work

do you do?

Dharma: I’m studying law in SMU right now, actually, I’m

a grad student there. I used to do research before, for this

health care company. Jude teaches guitar at Timbre Music

Academy, Bryan works at an events firm. Syed’s actually a

businessman, you could call him that. And Eric, he’s into

freelance broadcasting.

ArtJam: The best thing about being a locally well-known band?

Jude: I don’t know about that, ‘well-known’? (laughs) But we

always thought that the best thing we could achieve as a band

was people liking us for WGB’s music, not its band members.

Compared to some other bands, perhaps, we’re all pretty lowkey,

and being known for our work instead of our personal

lives or anything like that – it’s the best appreciation we could

receive. And I dare say that we might have even achieved this

in a way.

27 art jam

art jam 28

heads up


ne of Singapore’s best kept secrets is Doinky Doodles,

a cosy shop found at 33 Bali Lane. Selling a diverse

range of handmade items from T-shirts to postcards

under one roof, it is a shopping haven for the shopper with a

taste for quirky designs with a unique twist.

A few streets away from Bugis Junction, Doinky Doodles is

located on the second floor of a shop house. Local designer

Weng Pixin, 26, is the brains behind this humble shop. Having

studied painting at LASELLE College of Arts, Pixin has been

sewing her own toys since she was ten. She created the

Doinky Doodles label in May 2008 and explains to ArtJam the

meaning behind the quaint name.

“It was invented after a series of frantic and fun text messaging

with a friend. Doinky is a made-up word to describe the fun

and colourful nature of my works, and Doodles represent the

drawings, sketches and random ideas that come to me before

every fresh creation.”

Vastly different from your usual department store selling only

mass produced items, every product in Doinky Doodles is oneof-a-kind.

Her passion for creating her designs and pieces can

be seen in her dedication to complete every item by herself.

Yet, all her fantastic works share one thing in common. They

exude creativity, positivity and fun. If you are feeling blue, this is

the place to go for an immediate lift to the spirits. The moment

you open the door to the staircase, you are immediately

greeted by cheerfully painted animals on the walls. The warm

atmosphere in the shop with happy colourful items surrounding

you will certainly bring a smile to your face.

Playing in the sandbox

with Doinky Doodles

Location: 32 Bali Lane (2 nd Floor)

Contact: 6292 2248


Text: Cherie Thio

Photos: Doinky Doodles

When asked how she comes up with design ideas, Pixin says

that imperfection makes up a big part of her inspiration.

“Imperfection embraces the fun and freedom in art making.

There’s room for mistakes, there are no rigid rules to abide by.

Everything is made up. Art making should be fun, like playing

with mud in the sandbox.”

She adds that the individualized faces on all her plush toys

are inspired by various kinds of personalities, “from cartoon

characters… to any intriguing individuals you see while walking

around the neighborhood.”

She is not only a talented designer, but one with an environment

cause to boot. Seeing it as a “duty to be as environmentallyconscious

as possible”, every product is made using recycled

materials. Even product labels and shop promotional leaflets

are printed on excess paper left from printers.

Pixin also believes in giving back to the community. Whenever

she has wholesale orders, she liaises with the Mother-&-

Child Project that gives women from disadvantaged families

sewing jobs.

Doinky Doodles is the perfect place to shop for a unique

present for a special someone or the decoration to liven up

your working space while you are studying. If you cannot find

anything to suit yourself in the shop, you can also make a

custom order. What more are you waiting for? Head down to

Doinky Doodles for a different shopping experience now!

post secrets

29 art jam

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