The AZ that rocked 2021: local medley rally
SINGAPORE – From big pop stars to emerging independent artists, local musicians have been prolific over the past year.
With the number of live performances limited due to the pandemic, many musicians have turned to writing and recording new songs. Each week saw a good number of new releases – whether in the form of singles, EPs and albums, or music videos.
On Monday, December 13, Mandopop star JJ Lin and singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, real name Joel Tan, released a music video for their duo and debut collaboration, At Least I Had You. They are also the two most streamed Singaporean artists on the music streaming service Spotify this year.
Lin, 40, who won the Best Southeast Asian Act award at the MTV’s Europe Music Awards last month, released his first English-language album, Like You Do, earlier this year. Tan, 27, is expected to release his debut album in the coming weeks, which will include songs he released last year.
Mandopop diva Stefanie Sun, 43, the third most-listened to Singaporean singer on Spotify, has released three singles this year – most recently The Day Before this month.
In August, Tanya Chua, 46, the fourth most listened to Singaporean musician on Spotify, released her 12th album Depart. It includes Photographs, a duet with the former first lady of France and singer-model Carla Bruni.
Before the pandemic, Malaysian music veteran Ramli Sarip spent most of his time performing and making music in Malaysia and Indonesia. With travel reduced, the 69-year-old made the most of his time in Singapore by working with local musicians for Rasa (Feel) – his 23rd album and his first to be primarily recorded here since the mid-1980s. .
Last month Mohamed Raffee, 60, an established player in the Indian entertainment industry here, made a soft launch for his new album The New Horizon, with a concert at the Esplanade.
Jazz mainstay Jeremy Monteiro, rapper BGourd as well as singer-songwriters Leslie Low and Kelvin Tan have all released two albums this year.
The 45th and 46th albums of Monteiro, 61, were on the list of best jazz albums established by the Jazz Journalists Association, an organization made up of jazz journalists from around the world.
Live At No Black Tie Kuala Lumpur was also featured in the Top 50 charts compiled by JazzWeek, an American publication, while Jazz-Blues Brothers is a collaboration with Italian jazz organist Alberto Marsico. 26-year-old rapper Yung is also making an impact overseas. Raja, whose song Mami was performed on Jimmy Fallon’s American TV show The Tonight Show. Raja also recently released his debut EP, Mike.