||This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2008)|
Life in Singapore
Conscription in Singapore
Singapore has an urban musical scene, and is a centre for rock, punk and other genres in the region. The 1960s produced bands like The Crecendos with hit songs like "Mr Twister". The Quests, who had hits like "Shanty", "Don't Play That Song", "Jesamine" and "Mr Rainbow". Naomi & The Boys, with a household hit song "Happy Happy Birthday Baby" as well as other pop-rock bands including The Thunderbirds, The Trailers, The Western Union Band, October Cherries and The Silver Strings. Folk music includes the ethnic Chinese, Malay and Tamil sounds.
Folk music 
Peranakan folk music is noted for its fusion of English in Malay-inspired tunes, largely because the Peranakans themselves are often conversant in both languages. Contemporary tunes continue to be composed based on the Peranakan culture, such as "Bunga Sayang", a theme song from Dick Lee's musical "Kampung Amber". The song became an often-sung staple of the National Day Parade, and gained international exposure when it was performed for the opening ceremony of the 117th IOC Session at the Esplanade.
Pop and rock music 
Singapore's pop scene began in 1960, when the Blue Diamonds performed, and really launched after Cliff Richard & the Shadows arrived a year later, thus launching the beat boom. Like much of the world, the British Invasion began in 1963, led by The Beatles. Some bands remained instrumental, while others incorporated singers. Soon, British R&B became popular, and spawned a local Malay variety. Pop stars of the 1960s included Naomi & the Boys, D'4 Ever, Antarctics, Mike Ibrahim & the Nite Walkers, Swallows, Ismail Haron & the Guys and Les Kafila's.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s saw the rise of rock bands such as Sweet Charity fronted by the charismatic vocalist Ramli Sarip. The band had such an influence in the Singapore and Malaysia music scene that it later led to a rock explosion in the mid 1980s.
The 1990s produced bands with alternative and indie influences such as Concave Scream, Humpback Oak, The Padres, Oddfellows, Livionia, with the band KICK!, signed to the Pony Canyon label, making a strong wave in the POP scene with a slew of radio hits & a strong fan base.
Lion City Hardcore 
Lion City Hardcore(LCHC) is the hardcore punk scene of Singapore. The establishment of LCHC dates back to the late 80s/early 90s. Pioneered and established by local hardcore group Stompin' Ground which soon after the release of their album "We Set The Pace" exposed much of hardcore punk music both in Singapore & South East Asia and soon spawned more local and regional hardcore bands. Much of the local hardcore scene in Singapore were derived and influenced by the New York Hardcore(NYHC) scene. The LCHC scene is still[when?] thriving with bands such as Overthrown, Sidekicks, Mouthful of Air, Suhaimi And The Union Of Equals, Straight Forward and etc. Bands from around the world have performed in Singapore, including the Canadian Comeback Kid, American hardcore punk bands Sick of It All, youth crew group Bold, Boston hardcore band Bane, Death Before Dishonour & straight-edge group Have Heart, Cruel Hand, Terror and First Blood originating from Los Angeles.
Metal has a small but not insignificant presence in Singapore's music scene. For the past few years, Singapore has seen a rapid increase of metal bands making Singapore a stop for them to perform. Bands like Iron Maiden, Exodus, Morbid Angel, Slayer, Dream Theater and Helloween have played in Singapore to receptive crowds, at venues such as Fort Canning Park and Singapore Indoor Stadium. Small to medium scale gigs are held almost weekly at locations such as BlackHole212 or Substation. Most recently, on 15 February 2011, Iron Maiden played to a crowd of 12,000 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
There have also been many notable local metal bands in the growing underground scene.
Special mention includes:
- Black metal stalwarts Impiety whose name has traveled way past our humble shores,
- Extreme Metal veterans Rudra who created a new metal genre called Vedic Metal and a cult following worldwide. The band has also attracted the attention of Musicologists. Several papers have been published about Vedic Metal and the band,
- Bastardized: Pioneer Doom Melodic Death metal band existing since 1993. "With Love, With Hate, With Grief, With Pain." EP released under Valentine Sound Productions 1994. Poetry styled album "The Over Burdened" expected release in 2013.
- Local Death metal band Absence of the Sacred had the honour of Kevin Talley, current drummer for Dååth and ex-Dying Fetus drummer, to session for them.
- Wormrot has recently been signed by UK record label, Earache Records.
Metal bands in Singapore run the gamut and include bands from many varying subgenres. However it is not uncommon for bands from the more underground genres to view bands from more mainstream genres with disdain.
Unfortunately, there is little support for metal in Singapore's mainstream media. However, Metal music of this generation are lucky to be featured occasionally on Brader Bo's show, Vicious Volume of RIA 89.7fm. Oshiego was also featured in Lime Magazine's 30 Hottest Local Acts, a compilation CD, with the song "Now Suffer" originally from the titular EP. hI
The local heavy metal scene in Singapore is not daunted by the lack of support from the local mainstream media, and has established its own ways of disseminating information by utilizing popular internet based social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. One notable organisation is Heavy Metal Tribune, which features many local metal acts as well as others from other parts of the world, mainly to allow each region to reach out to one another, while providing local metalheads to know what they are up against.
Heavy Metal Tribune also provides gig organisers with a platform to publicise their events, via their Facebook wall or its monthly publication.
List of Singapore Metal Bands (Previous and Current) 
- Abhorer (Black/Death/Thrash)
- Absence of the Sacred (Death Metal)
- Aeondrift (Avant-Garde Progressive Electro-Metal, Nintendo Core, Djent)
- Age of Sinfonia (Symphonic Metal)
- Analdicktion (Brutal Death Metal/Grind)
- Assault (Melodic Death Metal)
- Azra-el (Melodic Death Metal)
- Bastardized (Doom Melodic death Metal)
- Bhelliom (Death-Thrash Metal)
- Cardiac Necropsy (Death Metal)
- Chaos Aftermath (Futuristic Metal, Melodic Death-Thrash Metal)
- The Corruptor (Death N Roll)
- Dante's Theory (Djent, Technical Death Metal)
- Dyeth (Death Metal/Grindcore)
- Deus Ex Machina (Death-Thrash Metal)
- Doxomedon (Brutal-Technical Metal)
- Draconis Infernum (Black Metal)
- Dystopian (Black/Thrash Metal)
- E-thereal (Melodic Death Metal)
- Eibon (Melodic Black Metal)
- Exuberance (Melodic Black Metal)
- Fall of Mirra (Experimental/Hard-Core Metal)
- Harvester (Melodic Black Metal)
- Hella Morrigan (Black/Doom Metal)
- Helvette (Black Metal)
- Impiety (Black/Thrash Metal)
- Incarnation Ov Seth (Melodic Death/Black Metal)
- IronFist (Sex Metal)
- ITNOS (Brutal-Technical Metal)
- Kaliyuga (Melodic Death Metal)
- Kalodin (Melodic Black/Death Metal)
- La'Dies 靈骸 (Industrial Punk Metal)
- Luna Azure ( Expressionistic Ambient Black metal)
- MetalGunz (Heavy Metal/Rock & Roll)
- MeltgSnow (Heavy Metal)
- Meza Virs (Gothic/Black/Death Metal)
- NoRestForTheWeary (Deathcore/Djent)
- Oshiego (Death-Thrash Metal)
- Pycho (Old-School Death Metal)
- Rudra (Black/Death Metal, Vedic Metal)
- Sanity Obscure (Progressive Death Metal)
- Scaphoids (Progressive Thrash Metal)
- Soul Devour (Death Metal)
- Suicide Solution (Heavy Metal)
- Thy Fallen Kingdom (Thrash Metal)
- Tormentress (Thrash Metal)
- Truth Be Known (Death-Thrash Metal)
- Vrykolakas (Death Metal)
- Vulgate Dogmas (Deathcore/Death Metal)
- Wormrot (GrindCore)
- Xanadoo (Thrash Metal)
- Magnicide (Emo-Grindcoredoks)
Two Singapore rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, Heritage and Zircon Lounge, showed tendencies to create music beyond conventional rock idioms. In the late 1980s, Corporate Toil baited audiences with noisy electronic performances influenced by industrial/new wave bands like Suicide or Einstürzende Neubauten. In the 1990s, Kelvin Tan produced literally dozens of albums of avant folk and improvised guitar, as well as assembling the short-lived Stigmata featuring bassist Ian Woo and saxophonist Kelvin Guoh. Zai Kuning, largely known as a visual artist and dancer, lived for a period in Japan and collaborated musically with Tetsu Saitoh, a famed Japanese cellist. Zai also created his own form of Malay folk and gypsy blues music, singing incantations in his deep tenor while playing a loose form of open tuning guitar.
By the late 1990s and into the 2000s, a group of experimental laptop artists appeared: George Chua, Yuen Chee Wai, Evan Tan, Ang Song Ming. Straddling the world of digital effects and acoustic instruments was the duo aspidistrafly, who eventually gained an enormous following in Japan, producing their own music and running their kitchen.label. The Observatory, a supergroup formed from the ashes of Leslie Low's folk rock Humpback Oak trio, have been widely regarded as one of the best bands in Singapore. With every album, they have pushed at the limits of the song form, incorporating prog rock, jazz, avant garde guitar, drones, black metal, and more. Outsiders Engineered Beautiful Blood blazed a hot trail of no wave improvised rock, then stopped playing in 2009. However, their members eventually formed a larger improvised rock ensemble, I\D, which itself would splinter off into smaller groups and configurations. Around the middle of the 2000s, another grouping calling themselves Under the Velvet Sky wowed audiences with their performances that evoked prog rock, free jazz, traditional Malay and Chinese music, and more. Again, the loose nature of the collective enabled them to create other projects such as Gulayu Arkestra, Five Leaves Left.
The influence of an expatriate community cannot be ignored. Lindsay Vickery (Aus), Tim O'Dwyer (Aus), Darren Moore (Aus), Brian O'Reilley (US), all at some point associated with the music programmes at LASALLE College of the Arts, were involved in organising showcases and festivals of experimental and improvised music. Their interaction and collaboration with local players energised the local experimental music community.
Bands and Soloists 
Alternative and indie rock music influenced bands in the 1990s such as Concave Scream, Humpback Oak, The Padres, Oddfellows, and Livionia. In the Pop/Rock genres were "KICK!", Lizard's Convention & Radio Active.
Recently, alternative, metal, grindcore, punk rock and rock acts from Singapore who may have gained some profile in countries other than the city-state of Singapore include Analog Girl, John Klass, Firebrands, Stompin' Ground, Ling Kai, Inch Chua, Ronin, Anna Judge April, Electrico, Force Vomit, 4-Sides, Vermillion, West Grand Boulevard, Plainsunset, Etc, Caracal, Popland, The Great Spy Experiment, Sky In Euphoria, Rancor, Saw Loser (formerly known as Pug Jelly), Malex (Power Metal), A Vacant Affair (Post-hardcore band), For Better Endings (Experimental Hardcore band), Death Metal and Rudra who are significant for creating the genre "Vedic Metal".
Singaporean Ex-Pat Musicians 
As Singapore is a small country without a large music scene, many Singaporeans have left the country in order to pursue their artistic interests or were moved by their parents at an early age. Notable examples include violinist Vanessa-Mae, conductor Darrell Ang, singer-songwriter Dawn Xiana Moon and Sophie Koh (Australia)
National Day songs 
Of particular note to the Singaporean music scene is what are often collectively known as National Day Songs (国庆主题歌). Written as part of Singapore's nation-building efforts, they either incorporate local folk songs (such as "Chan Mali Chan"), contemporary songs ("The Magic Is You"), or are specifically composed around a particular theme for the National Day Parade which is held every year on August 9.
In 1984, Stand Up for Singapore, was initially created for the sole purpose of celebrating Singapore's achievements in 25 years of self-government. Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and composed by Hugh Harrison, the song struck a chord with Singaporeans, especially when they heard it performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and so the first 'official' National Day Song was born. The government, realizing just how much the public enjoyed singing as a way of celebrating, commissioned a new song for 1986. As a result, Count on me Singapore, also composed by Hugh Harrison, arranged by Jeremy Monteiro and performed by Clement Chow, became the 2nd 'official' National Day Song. The trend continued the next year, 1987, with We are Singapore, again composed by Hugh Harrison and arranged by Jeremy Monteiro. Then, in 1990 with the addition of One People, One Nation, One Singapore composed by Jeremy Monteiro with lyrics by Jim Aitchison for the nation's Silver Jubilee - 25 years of independence, the list of 'official' National Day Songs topped out at four.
Since 1998, National Day Songs have become less 'grandiose' and more popular in nature being composed for and sung by selected local artists and sometimes even included in their albums to be marketed overseas.
- 1998: "Home" (家), by Kit Chan
- 1999: "Together" (心连心), by Evelyn Tan and Dreamz FM
- 2000: "Shine on Me" (星月), by Jai[disambiguation needed] (English version) and Mavis Hee (Mandarin version)
- 2001: "Where I Belong" (属于), by Tanya Chua
- 2002: "We Will Get There" (一起走到), by Stefanie Sun
- 2003: "One United People" (全心全意), by Stefanie Sun
- 2004: "Home" (家), remixed version by Lin Junjie, Kit Chan
- 2005: "Reach Out For The Skies" (勇敢向前飞), a duet by Taufik Batisah and Rui En, composed by Elaine Chan. (The Chinese version is sung by Rui En only).
- 2006: "My Island Home" (幸福的图形), by Kaira Gong
- 2007: "There's No Place I'd Rather Be", by Kit Chan (陈洁仪) and Will you - Various Local Artiste
- 2008: "Shine for Singapore" (晴空万里), by Hady Mirza (English version) and Joi Chua (Mandarin version)
- 2009: "What Do You See" (就在这里), by Electrico (English version) and Kelvin Tan (Mandarin version)
- 2010: "Song for Singapore", by Corrinne May
- 2011: "In a Heartbeat", by Sylvia Ratonel
- 2012: "Love At First Light", by Olivia Ong & Natanya Tan
Other community-building songs:
- 2005: "Sing Our Wishes" - Also used as official song for Ministry of Education schools for Racial Harmony Day 2005
- 2005: "We Can"
An ad-hoc offshoot of these National Day Songs are the songs specially composed for groundbreaking events. A prominent example was the song Moments of Magic, written by Hype Records CEO Ken Lim specially for Singapore's millennium celebrations towards the end of 1999. It was performed by three notable singers - Fann Wong, Tanya Chua and Elsa Lin. The music video was directed by Singapore filmmaker Eric Khoo.
The Esplanade 
The 2002 launch of the arts centre, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, has served to focus the island's multi-genre music making. It is now the venue for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's subscription and gala concerts. In addition, the arts centre has ensured a representation of classical and traditional music from the four primary cultures in the land. In particular, the regular festivals of Hua Yi, Pesta Raya and Kalaa Utsavam ensure that interpreters of these different repertories are heard on a regular basis.
The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay also presents 3 music festivals, including Baybeats which aims to groom the local alternative music scene and youth culture, providing opportunities for youths and the music community to participate and enjoy their own music at low cost. Many ticketed as well as non-ticketed performances at Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay feature local musicians from Singapore.
See also 
- Drummer KEVIN TALLEY To Guest On ABSENCE OF THE SACRED Album
- MusicSG - digital archive of Singapore music
- SOFT - It's Music in Singapore
- National Day Parade website
- Official Sing Singapore website by National Arts Council
- Official website of Inch Chua
- Official website of Ling Kai
- Heavy Metal Tribune - Singapore Metal Music Fanzine
- The Stylers and the Non-Stop Music Craze in Singapore