The relatively low-key singer-songwriter has been making big waves here with her mellifluous, velvety voice and heart-melting tracks. Her ambient and poetic single, “Sticky Leaves”, earned a spot on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart and she’s now one of the most sought-after acts, having performed at big music events like Baybeats. Look out for her debut EP set to be released this year end!
2. Nathan Hartono
Ok, Nathan Hartono’s been around for a while, but the jazz crooner is now ready for the world stage. You may have seen Nathan’s audition for China’s singing competition, Sing! China, that went viral on Facebook a few weeks ago. His performance was lauded by Na Ying as “warm and honest”, and we’re so excited to see what comes next. His vibrant, feel-good single, “Electricity”, is so catchy and fun to groove along to!
Emerging on the scene with lots of heart, soul and talent to offer, Jarrold brings a unique blend of acoustic folk and pop music that embody his personal experiences and poignant observations on life. His first single and accompanying music video released late last month, “Sliding Back”, is a catchy and thought-provoking piece on human struggles, faith and values. Expect more when his debut EP is released towards the end of 2016 – look out for it here.
Rebecca Tan, also known as BECKA, is also new on the scene. She just launched her self-titled first EP featuring a mix of pop, soul and jazz tunes like the ultra-catchy “Be Alright”, soulful “Fallin'” and upbeat “20 seconds”. The bubbly, bilingual singer brings a whole lot of fun, groove and musical talent, and is definitely one to keep on your radar.
5. Joie Tan
The smiley and amiable singer songwriter, whose name is french for “joy”, is a musical force to be reckoned with. Her powerful yet tender vocals and deft knowledge of her craft make for pleasant, soothing music as heard in her energetic and feel-good single, “Stay”.
6. Gareth Fernandez
If he looks familiar, that’s because you’ve probably seen him on Channel 5’s The Final 1 last year, in which the soul-R&B singer was a finalist. His suave demeanour and smooth vocals probably helped him earn a spot on CLEO’s Most 50 Eligible Bachelors of 2016! Gareth’s single, “Bit of Your Love”, reached #2 on 987FM and has over 45,000 hits on Spotify.
If soul-pop/funk music is your jam, bittymacbeth’s catchy melodies are right up your alley. Armed with a bass guitar, a loop pedal (that’s the device that loops sounds to create layers of harmony and rhythm) and plenty of soul, her debut EP “Beauty For Ashes” was launched in May this year.
8. Charlie Lim
With a seven-city tour of Asia under his belt, including Hong Kong, Indonesia and Seoul, Charlie Lim is perhaps on the cusp of international fame. His music reels you in with a nuanced mix of genres like post-rock, indie-R&B and electo-pop carried along by a soothing, soulful voice.
9. Jaime Wong
Affectionately known as Singapore’s “soul sister”, Jaime’s sincere, dulcet and mesmerising vocals will tug at your heart strings with songs on some of life’s biggest themes: love and loss. Having released her EP last year, you can catch Jaime performing at various gigs across the island.
Lewis Loh, aka LEW, is an acoustic folk singer-songwriter who first came into the spotlight last year in a music video, leading the Singapore Police Force band in a heartfelt rendition of the National Day theme song, “One Singapore”. That’s right, the 19-year-old aspiring singer is also a corporal in the SPF! He regularly puts up original songs on his Youtube channel, and you can catch him next in September at the Esplanade Theatres on the bay.
(Read on for a bonus mention!)
Bonus mention: Daphne Khoo
The sprightly singer-songwriter is no stranger to the local music scene, as one of the finalists in the first season of Singapore Idol. Having battled ovarian cancer over three years ago, she is currently a successful DJ at Power 98FM and continues to inspire others with her life and work.
What’s next? Daphne will be performing at Concert Matchstick at the Kallang Theatre alongside fellow headliners Joie Tan, Nathan Hartono and Charlie Lim (all in this list!). All proceeds from the concert will go to the Bone Marrow Donor Programme.
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Text: Elizabeth Liew