"Singing cop" Lewis Loh is more than a handsome face in uniform - he is also an aspiring singer-songwriter who dreams of pursuing a future in music.
The 19-year-old recently made waves online as the singer fronting the Singapore Police Force (SPF) band in its rendition of National Day theme song One Singapore, composed by Dick Lee and originally performed by Lee and JJ Lin.
The video, which also features footage from SPF's past 50 years, went viral after it was posted on the SPF Facebook page on Aug 9, attracting more than 400,000 views and over 9,000 likes to date.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared it on his own page last Friday, calling it a "beautiful rendition" and thanking the SPF for "keeping us safe all these years".
Corporal Loh, who shares his birthday with Singapore, is into his eighth month of national service with the force. He told The Straits Times he jumped at the chance to be in the jubilee video when he heard the band was looking for a singer.
Putting the 2 1/2-minute clip together, however, was a painstaking process, as the vocals alone took five hours to record. He recalled: "There were moments where it was quite frustrating and tedious. We wanted to maintain a high-quality standard and make sure that it was presentable to the public."
Cpl Loh has been playing the guitar and drums since he was 11 years old, and took up singing three years ago. While studying for his International Baccalaureate at Hong Kong's Sha Tin College, he took music as one of his subjects.
Cpl Loh, who cites acoustic singer-songwriters Ed Sheeran and Nina Nesbitt among his musical influences, has a YouTube channel with more than 40 videos of himself performing both original songs and covers. He has also played gigs at venues such as Timbre@Substation and the Esplanade.
He was even talent-spotted over YouTube last month by a producer for NBC's The Voice, who invited him to audition for the American reality TV singing competition.
Without commenting on whether he will take up the offer, Cpl Loh said he does eventually want to study song-writing and music business in the United States.
But he added: "I want to see where my music takes me here in Singapore before I make any decisions."
He said he was "humbled and overwhelmed" by the responses the SPF video garnered from netizens. Most had commended the band's rendition, although a number had something to say about the corporal's looks as well.
"Now, we have a very good, handsome singing police officer, wow," commented Facebook user Suzana Teo. Another netizen, Ms Lily Pang, wrote: "Wow, we have got a good-looking singing cop in the SPF with a beautiful voice belting out Our Singapore."
Cpl Loh, who is single, said: "I felt a sense of pride when my friends and family told me that they enjoyed our version.
"I feel like I am now one step closer to reaching my dream."
You have heard Dick Lee and JJ Lin, now take a listen to SPF Band’s rendition of this year’s National Day theme song, “Our Singapore”. Travel through time in this video to see how SPF has evolved over the past 50 years. Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy National Day! #SG50 #SPFPridePosted by Singapore Police Force on Saturday, 8 August 2015
This article was first published on August 19, 2015.
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