Skechers Sundown Festival
Singapore became an Asian music capital 2 weeks ago at the 6th annual Skechers Sundown Festival. The 2014 edition saw 14 artistes from 11 countries in Asia performing at the Marina Promenade and entertaining over 8,000 festival goers.
What started out as a seemingly passive night soon turned boisterous with the mention of Skechers freebies such as sporting accessories for the crowd.
Singaporean and Proud
The festival started aptly at sunset when homegrown rapper ShiGGa Shay came onstage in his oversized black ensemble, dark sunglasses and blonde Mohawk. Bass beats buzzed through the speakers as the true blue Lion City citizen rapped about the Singaporean way of life in a mix of English and Hokkien phrases.
“Born and raised Lion City Kia,” belted ShiGGa with his extravagant arm gestures, and accompanied by the back-up B-Boy dancers from his Grizzle Grind crew.
ShiGGa Shay wasn’t the only one who did Singapore proud that night, as Singaporean YouTube Singer, Jeremy Teng, hypnotized the spectators with his powerful vocals singing popular Japanese songs.
Upon returning from Japan after participating in a prestigious singing competition, Nodojiman The World, Jeremy fluently converses in Japanese instead of English, much to the pleasure of Japanese attendees.
Ironically, it was a Japanese piano rock band, WEAVER, that Singaporean audience in the house patriotic that night. The 3-member group unexpectedly played the popular national day song, ‘Home’ in an interactive piano mash up, much to the crowd’s delight. The trio continued playing their hits ‘Hard To Say I love You’ and ‘Free Will’.
Singapore’s sweetheart, Olivia Ong, had her homecoming at the festival after touring in Japan and Taiwan over the past decade. Her saccharine vocals were evident especially when she serenaded the audience with popular Chinese songs. Her adorable antics of playing air guitar and using a tambourine were well received by the besotted male audience.
From just across the border, Malaysian gem Shila Amzah struck us with her impeccable Chinese pronunciation, which she picked up from her involvement in The Voice China.
With her self-composed Malay tune ‘Cinta Hati’, signature Chinese song ‘Xiang Ni De Ye’ and finally an upbeat cover of K-pop boyband EXO’s ‘Overdose’, she had the spectators transfixed by her liquid-gold voice, reaching every high note with ease.. This comes as no surprise considering that she is a huge K-pop fan herself and plans to debut in Korea as well.
The K-pop stage was not limited to just Amzah’s performance, as Korean boy band CROSS GENE’s appeared with a fiery performance of catchy upbeat tunes and fierce dance moves. The energy was palpable, transcending from the stage to the screaming fan girls clapping their hands furiously and waving their large handmade signboards.
As the festival approached its finale, veteran Taiwanese singer Chang Chen Yue or better known as ‘Ah-Yue’ made his way onto the stage. His signature croaky voice belted out iconic songs like ‘Si Nian Shi Yi Zhong Bing’, and had everyone bobbing their heads and mouthing along to the lyrics.
The audience was enthralled throughout the night with the impressive line up. With a good mix of newbies and veteran rock stars coupled with varied genres and languages, it was hard to take one’s eyes off the stage.
Skechers Sundown Festival paves the way of making Singapore an Asian music hub and we are just hoping the festival can turn up a notch or 2 with some electronic dance music over the 2-day festival next year.