Foreign attraction

Foreign attraction

Say "Singapore musical export", and Mando-pop artists like Stefanie Sun and Tanya Chua come to mind. But home-grown musicians are increasingly flying the crescent and five stars outside of Asia and in exotic languages too.

Local beatboxer Dharni is now based in Poland and gigs regularly around Europe, performing in fluent Polish to boot.

And while those who have left for stranger shores and bigger markets say it can be daunting, they also report that there are creative and commercial rewards to not staying on home ground. For Sanjeev Veloo, frontman of Melbourne-based rockers Empra - they launched their third EP, Strange Condition, yesterday - moving to Australia allowed him to spend more time on his music.

"Not to put the Singapore music scene down, but I believe that to truly develop as a musician, you have to go out and experience what it's like in a foreign music industry," he says. "Singapore does not offer you enough chances to play original music regularly."

Life! speaks to Veloo, Dharni, as well as two Los Angeles-based home-grown singer-songwriters, Inch Chua and Corrinne May. Find out why they took their music out of Singapore and how it has helped fuel their artistic passions and careers.

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

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