Khoo ensures SEA Games' major message is on song

Singapore artiste Daphne Khoo, a former junior gymnastics bronze medallist, performs one of the featured songs at the launch of the SEA Games official album.

Most people know Daphne Khoo as the bubbly singer with the saccharine vocals.

But not many know that the 28-year-old Khoo was a gymnast between the ages of three and 11, and even won a bronze medal at the national championships when she was 10.

So when she was approached by Dr Sydney Tan, the Southeast Asian Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) music director, to pen a song for the SEA Games music album, the singer did not think twice.

It helped that the album's three tenets - dreams, obstacles, and overcoming - resonated with the performer, who battled ovarian cancer for months in 2012.

Said Khoo, who studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston: "I was once an athlete, and although it's long in my past, I feel like I can relate to the athletes and what they're going through.

"Through this song, I hope to convey the message that we all play a part in making our athletes feel (great), and that we're all part of the same team."

Khoo wrote and performed Greatest, which is one of three official theme songs on the 14-track Songs Of The Games.

The other two are Ordinary and Unbreakable, both penned by local songwriter Amir Masoh.

Other local musicians who helped with the project include Dick Lee, The Sam Willows, and Tabitha Nauser.

The album was launched yesterday, and Dr Tan - who arranged and produced the popular National Day song Home - said he hopes the authenticity of the tracks will shine through and appeal to Singaporeans.

Lim Teck Yin, Singsoc exco chairman, added: "We appreciate Singapore's music talents for wanting to be part of the Games' journey and history, and we hope that their words and music will continue to be heard for years to come."

The songs can be previewed free of charge on the official SEA Games songs website (, Spotify, AMPED, and Deezer.

They can also be purchased on iTunes. The album costs $9.98, and includes an e-book with lyrics and musician profiles. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the SportCares Foundation.

Three videos will also be aired on the Games' Facebook page to accompany the album's release.

The first, titled Ordinary, was launched yesterday, and depicts the rise of local football legend Fandi Ahmad, featuring cameos from his sons Irfan and Ikhsan.

The other two, the music videos of Unbreakable and Greatest, feature swimmer Joseph Schooling, bowler Jazreel Tan and sprinter Shanti Pereira, and will be screened at a later date.


This article was first published on March 4, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

More about
SEA Games