6 Instantly Recognisable Hits From Singapore’s Music Scene

Sing50 — the concert to be held Aug 7 at the Singapore Sports Hub to mark 50 years of Singapore’s independence — has begun calling for the public to submit songs that they feel have made an impact on Singapore’s music scene.

Amid the many entries by luminaries such as Dick Lee, The Quests and Tokyo Square, the scene after the year 2000 produced some gems that will go down in history as instant earworms, if they have not done so already.

Do you remember any of these songs?

1) Corrinne May – Save Me

Those who watched a lot of TV after Y2K would remember the hit television drama Chase starring then-MTV VJ Utt on MediaCorp’s English free-to-air Channel 5. The folly of youth, the dreams of tomorrow: oh, how Chase made us dream.

This was probably when mainstream Singapore was introduced to the vocal powerhouse that is Corrinne May. Already making a dent on the airwaves with her 2001 debut album Fly Away, this song cemented her status as a bonafide gem in Singapore’s music scene.

2) Sheikh Haikel – Witulah

After winning televised talent competition Asia Bagus in 1991 as part of duo Construction Sight, Sheikh Haikel burst onto the solo scene with two albums in the early 2000s, For Sure and For Sure Too.

Both albums carried his debut single Witulah, which won Best Local English Song at the 2002 and 2004 COMPASS Awards. With lyrics like that (“I wanna dance with you baby / won’t stop rockin’ with you honey”), it’s no wonder his relationship with former television personality Anna Belle Francis is still going on strong.

3) Electrico – I Want You

The debut single from the band was released in 2004 and shot straight to the top position on 987FM’s charts. We remember this song was the theme song for a Channel 5 drama but can’t quite guess the title of the programme. Anyone remembers that show?

4) Jack & Rai – The Fa La La Song

We’re not sure how, erm, dirty are we supposed to think with this song but the open-ended nature of the famous chorus line was probably what was on your mind in the pubs and clubs back then. This was Jack & Rai’s first single as a duo and one of the most quoted.

5) The Sam Willows – Glasshouse

Lillywhite version or not, we’re pretty sure you have heard this song to death and back. However, that was the amount of exposure it took before The Sam Willows gained recognition as a Singapore band worthy of mainstream attention.

It was also how the Fab Four — Benjamin Kheng, Narelle Kheng, Sandra Riley Tang and Jon Chua — rose to prominence on social media to become the icons they are today.

6) Gentle Bones – Until We Die

Quite possibly the track that took over much of the past year by storm, Gentle Bones was — and still is — the successful product of not having to go through televised talent shows or indulge in gimmicks to promote one’s music in a fickle market like Singapore. All it took was a great song, masterful production and a kick-ass music video to boot.


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