The announcement of Mediacorp shutting down indie radio station Lush 99.5FM is a shock to many. Having served local art, music and creative lovers for the past 13 years, the radio station is the only space ruling the airwaves with local as well as alternative content. This is a huge loss to our culture and a step backward to encourage flourishing of the music scene here.
Unfortunately, operational costs are costs nonetheless and we all are living in an economic-driven society. However, all is not lost. The team at Lush 99.5FM are working on the Singapore Sounds project – a movement to feature more local musicians and artists on other radio stations. While awaiting the arrival of this exciting project from the good folks at Lush, here are some things we can do to keep the love for local music burning:
1. Request for Local Songs on Radio
If there is a demand, the supply will have to accommodate – one way or another. So email or call in to your next go-to radio station, and request your favourite local songs to be played on-air! This might actually make local music more accessible to the unconverted, and who knows? This might kickstart a whole new movement while you still get to enjoy local goodness on radio.
2. Attend Music Festivals and Gigs
Singapore actually has a very vibrant music scene that simply keeps growing. Every other weekend or so, your neighbourhood studio and performance spaces would probably have a band launching an EP or just performing their hearts out. If you would like to keep up with the gigs that are happening, look up great resources such as the ever reliant Bandwagon , Singapore Gigs for all things local, Unite Asia for hardcore/punk stuff and Soft.com.sg for the occasional up-date.
You might even want to look up The Gig People for up-and-coming artistes, and the gigs they curate on their own page for you.
Baybeats Festival 2017 may have just ended, but check out 100 Bands Festival, CITY65 Music Festival and IGNITE 2017. Festivals are one of the best ways to support your favourite bands, and always discover new ones, all in one single place.
3. Follow Local Bands on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are just some platforms you can easily be kept in the loop of all the happenings within the scene with different bands. Not only will you be in the first to know about their gigs and new music releases, you will have access to whenever they put merchandise up for sale. You will get to read up on interviews and news that feature them as well.
For more musical up-dates, you might want to follow the bands on their own Spotify, Bandcamp, YouTube channels and Soundcloud (before it is gone).
And after following them on these platforms…
4. Create Playlists and Share Them with Your Own Feed
Be your own curator and put together playlists of your liking, and share them with your own circle of friends. Be it an entire album from one band or 20 songs from various genres, share them on your own platforms. The internet algorithms might work in your favour, and you will have more like-minded friends in your immediate circle to attend gigs with.
The more the merrier, right?
5. SPREAD THE LOVE
If you are already engaging in all of the above, keep spreading the love! Be it a simple action of showing what gigs you are interested or are going on Facebook to Snapchatting bands doing their thing to quoting their lyrics as your Instagram caption, keep your posts tagged back to the musicians. If you would like to take it a step further, invite a friend to join you for every gig you go for – do some catching up and introduce them to the bands you passionately follow.
In your own way, you are keeping the ecosystem of generating interest alive – more exposure for the bands will help them broaden networks and keep making music for you.
And what more can we really ask for?
Tune in to Lush 99.5FM here until its last day. The music station will be deeply missed, and meanwhile, we look forward to the Singapore Sounds project.
Photography credits: Darren ‘Merovign’ Tan