Artistes from Singapore have enjoyed tremendous success not only within the country but in other parts of the world as well, most notably in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and others. Many Singapore-born artistes have become household names but not many people know of their origins. Without saying much, some assume that these artistes are Taiwanese or even from China because of their language and looks. Here are the top artistes who have been hugely successful from Singapore.
Singapore Chinese Artistes
- A-do – No one really knew that A-Do, whose real name is Do Cheng Yi was once a construction foreman. His first album came out in 2002 where he has since grown to become a global superstar. Today, A-Do has 7 albums to his name where he has won awards like: Best New Act and Best Local Artiste at the Singapore Hit Awards.
- Stefanie Sun – Stefanie Sun is perhaps the most popular artiste who has come out from Singapore in the last decade or so. She entered the music scene in 2000 with her hit single ‘Ti O O’. By 2004, Stefanie has released a total of 8 albums. Her popularity spanned across the region into China, Taiwan, Malaysia and beyond. Having sold more than 30 million albums, Stefanie is regarded to be among the most popular artistes from Singapore.
- Corrinne May – Her full name is Corrinne Foo May Ying. Born in 1973, Corrine is a very popular singer, songwriter, producer and musician. She is known for releasing some of the best folk songs which is a remarkable achievement for a Singaporean. She plays the piano and acoustic guitar together with her sultry voice. Corrinne is based in the United States where she entered the scene in 2001 before going on to release 5 albums.
- Daphne Khoo – Daphne is among the graduates of the first Singapore Idol season. She has been a popular face on media having been involved in Idol-On-Demand and competed in The Dance Floor contest as well. Born in Australia, her first album came out in 2007 where she has since moved on to become one of the top singers in the region today.
- Dick Lee – Born in 1956, Dick Lee, who also goes with the name Richard Lee Peng Boon is actually of Peranakan descent. Dick is a very popular singer, composer and songwriter. Besides that, he has a reputation of being a playwright as well. Dick has been involved in the music industry for many decades now where he was recently known for being a judge on Singapore Idol. Having been in the industry for so long, he has more than 15 albums to his name and some very remarkable singles which has been sang by renowned artistes like the late Leslie Cheung.
- JJ Lin – JJ stands for JunJie. JJ Lin is a very popular singer, songwriter, producer and he acts as well. In 2003, JJ Lin burst into the scene with his first album which saw him wining numerous awards. He also sings in Hokkien, Cantonese and English. Besides singing, JJ has written songs for some of the top artistes in the region including A-Mei and Harlem Yu, to name a few. He holds a Guinness World Record for signing the most number of CDs in the shortest time which averages about 2.7 seconds.
Singapore Malay Artistes
- Hady Mirza Born in 1980, Hady’s full name is Muhammad Mirzahady Bin Amir. He specializes in pop, soul, hip-hop and R&B music. This artiste was the winner of the first Asian Idol after winning the second season of Singapore Idol. Coming from a family of Buginese descent, Hady started singing at the tender age of 8. His debut album came out in 2006 which was self-titled and was one of the best-selling albums in Singapore having reached Platinum within 4 days. Since then, Hady has continued to release more albums and won awards as a remarkable artiste within the region.
- Taufik Batisah – Taufik is the winner of the first Singapore Idol. He is known for his significant voice with a recent release hip-hop song that propelled him to more success. Born from Indian and Buginese descent, Taufik has already released 5 albums to his name while contributing to several movie soundtracks. Taufik sings in English Language and Bahasa Malaysia where he not only sings, but write songs and acts as well
- Hetty Sarlene – Born in 1984, Hetty Sarlene Abdul Hamid is a pop Singaporean singer who has been around since 1999. Besides singing, Hetty acts as well. Her name was inspired by Hetty Koes Ending, a very popular Indonesian singer during the 80s. Hetty Sarlene has been performing since 5 where in 1999, she finished fourth at the Asia Song Festival then. Known for her sultry voice, Hetty sings pop and R&B music.
- Rahimah Rahim – Born in 1992, Rahimah Rahim or Rahimah Fayaz entered the singing scene when she joined Singapore Adol. Her renditions in the competition saw many people taking notice of her strong voice which she says inspired by Amy Lee, The Cranberries and Alanis Morissette, among others. Her unique character and somewhat flamboyant hairstyle is what makes Rahimah such a distinguished persona in the entertainment industry of Singapore.
Singapore English Artistes
- Jacintha Abisheganaden – Jacintha was born in 1957 and is a renowned Jazz and Bossa Nova singer from Singapore who is well-established since she started out in 1975. The singer, songwriter and actress is fondly known as Ja and is a founding member of TheatreWorks Singapore, a top-notch performance company in the country. Coming from musically-inclined parents, Jacinta is highly inspired by Barbara Streisand where she started out winning Talentime in 1976 before taking home the Best Female Performer in 1981 as an actress. Besides singing and acting, she has been a judge in Singapore Idol as well.
- Ming Bridges – Born in 1992, Ming Bridges, whose real name is Yee Ming Bridges is a singer, songwriter, an actress as well as model. She plays the guitar and piano and has been around since 2005. The beautiful singer who is of Australian-Singaporean descent move to Singapore at a tender age of 6 months. She first won the Teenage Icon competition in 2006 when she was only 13 and has grown to become a major celebrity in Singapore having won awards in singing as well as a model.
- Jeremy Monteiro – Jeremy Monteiro is known for his music in Jazz, Latin Jazz and Classical. In Singapore, his reputation goes as a renowned musician and composer. Jeremy plays the piano, keyboards and organ where he has been active since 1976. As an illustrious artiste, Jeremy has been called the King of Swing in Singapore where he has already been recognized after being awarded the Cultural Medallion in the year 2002. Coming from a family of music, he began his career as a professional musician at the age of 16. Since then, he has moved on to play in some of the top events in the world including the Montreux Jaxx Festival, the Singapore Arts Festival and a the Mosaic Music Festival, to name a few.
- John Klass – The multi-talented John Klass has a voice that is so recognizable, almost every Singaporean can associate to him. He has been in commercials and taken the role of MCs at concerts and shows. John is a singer and songwriter where he first became popular when he was with the local group KICK!. He has since go solo where his voice has brought him to places and much success. He once represented Singapore at the ASEAN Song Festival while winning numerous awards as a recording artiste.
When Singapore does something or enters any market, they do so with much effort and success. That is the way it is with the music industry. Whether it is pop, rock or folk music, Singapore has one of the most developed sectors in terms of music. After all, it is the market that attracts top international acts all the time, so you can consider it to be extremely popular.
Big money making sector in music
In terms of revenue generation, music is one of the major attractions for Singapore. Live performance has become a common event here while concerts are held almost every weekend in major arenas.
Booming music industry worldwide
Despite negative perceptions of piracy and declining sales in the music industry, the global music market has been growing quite steadily. This comes around with the growth of social networks like YouTube and Facebook which has been imperative and crucial for exposing aspiring artists to the world. The same situation is happening in Singapore with reality shows like The Voice and Asia Got Talent producing some remarkable artistes in recent years.
Streaming Music Industry
Where artistes could grow in the past, streaming music has changed how they market and distribute their works of art today. Names like Stefanie Sun and JJ Lin have become global ambassadors and consumers today no longer rely on CD sales anymore. In fact, downloading MP3 files are no longer the trend even especially with the advent of streaming music like JOOX and Spotify.
When Apple launched the iPod, it was to make music more affordable and accessible and this wave caught on in Singapore. Hence, subscription-on-demand music is now the order of the day. What it has does to the music industry is that streaming music has become so cheap, piracy has become almost redundant. What more in a piracy-conscious market like Singapore?
Music Listeners in Singapore
In a recent survey carried out in Singapore, it was found that:
- Singaporeans love to listen to music – nearly 99% of Singaporeans listen to music. Among them, 93% of them listen to music at least once a week and more than 60% of them listen to music daily.
- Singaporeans love their local talents – slightly more than 70% of Singaporeans listen to local artistes
- Music has a special place with Singaporeans – about 30% of Singaporeans set some time of the day just for listening to music be it local or foreign
- Music languages – more than 75% of music listened to in Singapore are in English followed by Chinese, Instrumental, Korean and Malay
- Music consumption in Singapore – music consumption in Singapore are mostly popular among the youth which are from 15 to 24 years old. They make up about 75% of the total. 52% of those above 65% listen to music.
- Accessing music – YouTube is the top channel used to access music in Singapore, covering about 60% followed by Spotify which is about 20% and then other apps. However, paid streaming services for music only constitute to 10% of the ways Singaporeans listen to music. Most of them listen through their own offline libraries (26%)
- Live music performance – Singaporeans love to attend gigs and concerts. The preference however is still on foreign music. 31% of those in the survey attended one form of live show or another with only 18% attended Singaporean performances.
- Discovering new music – new music is discovered every day. 90% of the listeners discovered them through offline channels and media like radio and recommendations while about 50% of them go them through online videos and other web-based platforms
Singapore Radio Stations
This station runs on 88.3Mhz and plays mostly Chinese and English entertainment where it is available both on soundwaves and the web.
Running on 89.3 MHz, Money FM is mainly an English talk radio station. It plays mostly classic hits which is one of the more recent additions to the radio industry in Singapore.
One of the few stations that plays Malay entertainment, Ria is available on 89.7MHz which is quite established in Singapore. It is one of the stations operating by MediaCorp that has a variety of programmes.
Gold FM is available on 90.5 MHz. Targeting the more adult listeners, it is available across Singapore and is one of the oldest stations here. Gold FM plays mostly English hits, oldies and classics.
One FM is quite an exciting station played over 91.3 MHz. This station plays a lot of rock music whether they are mainstream, contemporary or classic mostly in English Language. The station is owned and operated by SPH Radio
Kiss 92FM plays mainly English Adult Contemporary music. Operated by SPH Radio, it is available on 92.0 MHz.
Symphony 92.4FM is available on 92.4MHz. It plays mainly classical English music and is known to be one of the oldest stations in Singapore
This station is one of the major channels from MediaCorp. It plays mostly Chinese pop music and is available on 93.3 MHz.
MediaCorp’s 938Now is one of the major English talk radio stations in Singapore. It provides information and new via its frequency of 93.8 MHz.
The Warna 94.2FM is a unique station by MediaCorp that offers music in Malay and Arab language. The genre is mainly Adult Contemporary as well as a source of infotainment streamed online and through its 94.2 MHz frequency.
This station plays mostly English Adult Contemporary music. Owned and operated by MediaCopr, Class 95FM is available over the web and on 95.0 MHz
Capital FM is perhaps one of the most popular radio stations in Singapore. Owned and operated by MediaCorp, it plays mostly classic hits and oldies in Chinese.
Hao FM plays mostly Classic Chinese hits. Its talk radio genre is quite popular with its listeners who tune in at 96.3 MHz as well as online. This station is owned and operated by SPH Radio
MediaCorp’s Oli 96.8FM is among the few stations in Singapore that offer Tamil and Hindi entertainment. It is one of the oldest and most established station in Singapore where it has music and infotainment via 96.8 MHz.
This station is owned by MediaCorp. It plays music and entertainment in both English and Chinese languages. Love 97.2FM is available on 97.2 MHz
This station is available on 98.0 MHz. it offers a wide range of English language entertainment and adult contemporary music since 1994.
This station is operated by MediaCorp on 98.7 MHz. It plays mainly English music and entertainment and is one of the most established radio stations in Singapore.
UFM 100.3 is one of the few Chines Adult Contemporary radio stations in Singapore. It runs on 100.3 MHz and is available online on web stream where it plays Chinese pop music as well.