The Magic Behind The Music – Songwriters Series Musing

Songwriters MBM 1 Recording

The Magic Behind The Music – Songwriters Series Musing

I stand amazed that all three sessions of The Magic Behind the Music are over. I recall the time when I was invited to put up a proposal for the 2016 July Youth Month by the National Youth Council this early April. I was rather hesitant with the deadline of end April. I did put in a proposal after consolidating some thoughts and ideas that were bounced off with Martin Tang some time back. The wait for approval ended in mid June. We did not action on the proposal before the approval, except to tentatively book the speakers, sound engineer and musicians for the sessions. Without the invitation from NYC as the catalyst, will not be possible since this is not a commercial endeavour.

The heart of is to gather the music community of Singapore for the youths, although not exclusively. The definition of youths by the NYC is 15-35 years old and many music makers might be pleased to know that you are still considered youths! >_< The main idea of the web portal is to have a central place where Singapore Songs can be found, the Songs Bank, and a forum whereby music makers can discuss all matters concerning music. With a central portal where Singapore songs are listed, regardless of genre and language, we hope that the Singapore music can have a louder sound in Singapore and beyond. We hope to see this community filled with hopeful passion, fired up and pushing each other to greater heights. Periodically we will inject some events and projects to give the music community more international exposure and opportunities. The first of these is The Magic Behind the Music.

The supersonic ride started in mid-Jun. The pulling of everything, everyone and everywhere together for The Magic Behind the Music while coordinating with the web designer to get the website rolling were intense. The super short runway for publicity as a new enterprise with a humble budget are not exactly the most ideal situation. Yet, on 23 July we had a full Yellow Box Studios with music enthusiasts to learn from the best in the Singapore music! Thank you Yellow Box Studios for the allowing the use of such a gorgeous space. Borrowing the words from one of the participants, it was a session with his “local music heroes” all in one place, doing the things they do best. We had Martin Tang as producer/arranger, Frank Lee as sound engineer,  Jimmy Lee on drums, Casey Subramaniam on bass, Jonathon Koh on guitar and Chris Sham on keys. Martin Tang did a re-arrangement of BittyMacBeth’s song, Haters Gon’ Hate, which we will post online after Frank finished with the mixing. The new arrangement had a completely different feel from the original. It was quite amazing to witness the process of the song transformation. I love it when attendees say that they were overloaded at the end of the session and needed time to process!

Here is a video of BittyMacBeth’s thoughts about Session 1.

Group Photo

Group Photo of Session 1 at Yellowbox Studios.

MBM 1 Recording

Participants with Frank at the sound board while recording vocals of BittyMacBeth. Photo Credit Daniel Ho @oneclickwonders. Location: Yellowbox Studios

Session 2 and 3 on 30 July were guested by Taiwan guest, Ms Tina Wang, two Korean guests, Mr Kim Se Jin and Mr Jake Lee, and from Singapore Mr Martin Tang and Dr Edmund Lam. We are so honoured to have the presence of Mr David Chua, CEO of NYC. The audience is slightly smaller than expectation, understanding that we are in competition with Ignite festival, Aliwal Night Scrawl and NDP rehearsals, we are thankful for each one who took time out to come. Our lively and bubbly emcee for the day, Mint Leong, brightened up the sleepy faces on a Saturday morning. Not the most ideal time for alertness, but possibly the most available time for musicians in a weekend. Despite the Saturday morning drowsiness, many asked really good and practical questions.

MBM Session2

Front row participants at The Magic Behind the Music Session 2 on 30 July 2016

MBM Session 2 30Jul16

Group photo of speakers, guests and participants of Magic Behind the Music Session 2 at *SCAPE Hubquarters on 30 Jul 2016.

MBM Session3

The Magic Behind the Music Session 3 on 30 July 2016. From left to right: Mr Jake Lee (Korea), Mr Kim Se Jin (Korea), Mint Leong (SG – emcee), Ms Tina Wang (Taiwan) and Dr Edmund Lam (SG COMPASS CEO)

The Magic Behind the Music is only the beginning of more exchanges with music industry partners beyond Singapore. SOOS OIO is right now in discussion with Mr Jake Lee (Korea), about a collaboration album of Singapore and Korea indie artists. We will be calling for songs submissions soon once the details of the project are firmed. So keep a look out for the announcement through Facebook page (

Last but not least, a big thank you to *SCAPE for the venue of Sessions 2 & 3, Yellowbox Studios for Session 1 and APACTix for the ticketing!

Meantime, do take some time to register an account with, and submit your songs in the Songs Bank so that your songs are listed. Do get active at the Forum page and connect with other music makers. FINAL + Yellowbox