Local performers take music to schools to inspire next generation of home-grown musicians

Local performers take music to schools to inspire next generation of home-grown musicians
Shigga Shay (left) and Gentle Bones (right) pose for a selfie with their fans

About 600 students of Bishan Park Secondary School got a treat during their afternoon assembly yesterday.

Shigga Shay and Gentle Bones, two popular local acts, were there for the launch of the *SCAPE Invasion Tour 2015.

The tour aims to promote local music and inspire the next generation of musicians.

Shigga's participation in this tour sees him coming full circle.

Watching local bands he loved like Electrico at similar events in his younger days convinced him he could pursue a career in music.

The music bug bit the 23-year-old rapper when he performed at his father's birthday party at the age of 14.

"I felt like I was meant to do this. I just want to perform and entertain people for the rest of my life.

This feeling that I get, I can't get from anywhere else," said Shigga, whose real name is Pek Jin Shen.

His father died of cancer when he was 17, motivating him further to pursue music as a means of expression that other people can relate to.

For young people who want to be musicians, he said: "Stay in school, always work hard and always stay humble."

INSPIRED

Raphael Flores Orpega, a 16-year-old fan of the rapper who danced animatedly to Shigga's performance, said: "I first heard him on the radio.

"I think it's so awesome that they came to perform today. I enjoy singing and dancing and I'm inspired by them."

Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, said he was excited when the tour organisers approached him.

The 21-year-old singer-songwriter, who will enter university in August, recalled his school days, saying: "I was pretty oblivious to the local music scene until I was 16.

"I would definitely have been interested if it had been brought to my school.

"Local music is still an underground thing and the way to develop each new generation of artists is not through the Government but through the youth."

On how music can have a positive impact on youth, he said: "Music has allowed me to express myself clearly and it helped give me a direction in life."

The ex-Hwa Chong student used to be a tennis player, but the many charity concerts organised by his school gave him the platform to perform on stage.

His advice to aspiring young musicians: "Enjoy what you do and don't obsess over recognition. Keep refining your skills. You'll know when you're ready to start."

Chervin Ooi, a Secondary 3 student who screamed enthusiastically when Gentle Bones performed, said: "I was interested in local bands like Sam Willows, but when my friend messaged me to check out Gentle Bones last year, his voice melted my heart.

"Watching the two local artists perform on stage today motivates me to pursue my dream.

"I want to be a singer. I even perform my own music on my YouTube channel."

Another fan, Mohd Iman Mirza, had a signboard with Gentle Bone's name on it and was first in line for the selfie session held after the performances.

CHANCE TO BE HEARD

The Secondary 4 student said: "I listen to both of them on the radio. I particularly like Gentle Bones because his songs are easy to identify with.

"This tour is great because it gives our local talents the chance to be heard."

*SCAPE executive director Christopher Pragasam said: "We hope that through the *SCAPE Invasion Tour, we can bring established acts directly to youth audience in the schools, shore up support for locally made music and inspire the next generation of Singapore musicians and industry leaders."

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WHAT

The *Scape Invasion Tour. Launched yesterday.

It is jointly produced by *SCAPEmusic and Invasion Singapore.

WHY

It aims to inspire young people and aspiring musicians to support, engage and participate in the local music scene.

WHERE

32 secondary schools, junior colleges and higher learning institutions around Singapore.

WHEN

April to November 2015.

WHO

Five headliners will perform - The Sam Willows, Shigga Shay, Gentle Bones, The Lion City Boy and Michaela Therese. Other bands will also join the tour. Find out more at www.scapeinvasion.com

kevingoh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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