Mosaic Music Festival 2014: Dreaming of the sun in Singapore

Mosaic Music Festival 2014: Dreaming of the sun in Singapore

Even as everyone living in Singapore is crying out for some rain now, Norwegian indie band Young Dreams are looking forward to coming here for the first time because of the ever-present sunny weather.

Frontman Matias Tellez, 25, says in an e-mail interview with Life! that fellow indie musicians Kings Of Convenience and Sondre Lerche, who also hail from Norwegian city Bergen like they do, have told them "great things" about the country.

"We're looking forward to a bunch of things. First of all, to play and share some good vibes.

"We're also looking forward to the food, the architecture, the people and the culture and we're really looking forward to some sun. I read that Singapore is like 30 deg C around March? We from Norway can't get enough sun."

He and his band will be playing at the Esplanade Theatre Studio on Friday as part of Mosaic Music Festival.

Young Dreams, founded by Tellez in 2010, have certainly been making waves in their home scene. In January, the band picked up a Spellemannprisen, the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy, in the Best Indie Album category for its debut, Between Places.

"It feels great when someone sits down and listens to what you've made. And it feels even better that they liked it so much they decide you should get a prize for it," says Tellez, the driving creative force in the band, who composes, arranges and produces their songs.

Their music, characterised by lush singing melodies and a rich sonic tapestry, has also been making waves beyond Norway.

British music press NME describes the songs in the album as "truly dreamy", with "a pure pop heart you barely notice the strange time signatures and instruments around them". American music magazine Filter hails the band for "packing some serious chops", adding that the album "drips with a youthful joie de vivre".

Tellez started making music in his early teens, releasing his first single, Singing La La La La La, at the age of 14. He released his first album, Tamias Mellez, in 2007, which contained the song Brand New Kicks, which won him a national music competition.

Deciding to turn his focus from being a solo artist to making music with a band, he formed Young Dreams so that he could get friends and fellow musicians to contribute to his songs.

The band's sound, Tellez says, is shaped by the fact that they are based in the the city of Bergen, and not in a bigger Norwegian city such as Oslo.

"Since the big music industry is located in Oslo, we don't really relate to that aspect while creating. So I guess we just do whatever we want without worrying about getting played on the national radio or other media that might get you to make compromises.

"If one is going to make compromises, it has to be for the sake of the composition and the vision, not so that someone can have a smooth radio show."

Their upcoming set here will consist mainly of songs from their debut album but the band also promise to play some special tunes for their fans in Singapore.

"The new tracks won't be released before the end of 2014, so if you want to hear some exclusive stuff, you better come and check us out."

Life! is the official newspaper of the Mosaic Music Festival 2014.


Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio

When: Today, 10pm

Admission: $38 (price on event day) from Sistic (go to or call 6348-5555).

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