Musicity Singapore 2014 is about creating an experience of and in a space. Our eight participating artists have written 12 original compositions, each one tagged to a particular location in Tiong Bahru Estate. From 25 April, you'll live the experience as you stream these amazing tracks with the web app installed in your phone. And when you do, know that these tracks were recorded, edited and mastered at Beep Studios.
Founded by Kevin Foo and Joshua Wan, Beep Studios started out as The Loft Studios in 2004 and morphed into its present-day self in 2009. In February 2014, Beep moved into its new warehouse-like space in the former Spring Singapore building in Bukit Merah, a space that was built originally for the production of Government media for the National Productivity Board (NPB) in the 1980's. The space boasts a vintage 2,500 square ft, acoustically treated, live room/sound stage that was built to spec in the 1980's, and remains as a testament to the recording and media production history that has developed through the years in Singapore.
Making the decision to work with Beep was a cinch. These guys don't just master music, they make it!
L -R: Wong Wai Huin, Stuart Wee, Kevin Foo, Colin Ong, Eugene Chia (Photo: Marc Nair)
1. What was it like recording these Musicity tracks which are stories of Tiong Bahru?
It is always a privilege to be involved with the production/recording process as we document the art that is produced by artists - from musicians, lyricists, composers to poets and spoken word artists. The range and diversity of the songs and poems really reflect the diverse nature of the lives and buildings that grace the beautiful district of Tiong Bahru. These stories transport us to specific moments in Tiong Bahru's history, they tell of the nuances that often elude the busy individual that might just gloss past the area. They speak of a time past, but still very much relevant in the present.
As the different artists came through the studio, there were many "goosebump moments" as these artists delivered narratives and mental imagery that truly capture the essence of what Tiong Bahru is. I can only hope that these tracks will be heard by many, both locals and visitors alike.
2. How does this resonate with your own approach to music?
I believe that music is an art form that yearns to elicit an emotional response. Musical soundscapes that carry you away to another place in time and space; lyrics that are accessible and relevant; rhythms and harmonies that make your body react in an almost subconscious manner - these are just some of the many tools that a musician, songwriter or composer has that can help him/her craft that piece of art. These artists that have crafted musical and spoken word stories for Musicity Singapore 2014 have done so in a manner that is true to the inspiration - Tiong Bahru - but with an emotional honesty as well. These are pieces that I can genuinely say that I am proud and glad to have been involved with.
PS: Singapore is fast becoming an 'international brand'. Governments are scrutinizing how our nation did it in the past 40 years, MNC's are relocating their regional HQ's here, Tourism is gaining ground, and even the wealthiest individuals in the world are beginning to enter our little red dot. It is with much passion and hope that the music and the art that is produced here in our little island state will stay true and relevant to the culture that is Singapore. We have an amazing talent pool of artists and creatives, and I hope that the music scene/industry will flourish in the decade to come, as more local artists produce world-class work... It is my dream to see music from Singapore become an international phenomenon (and hopefully not in a similar tradition to PSY's "Gangnam Style") :) ----- Interview with Kevin Foo
The Beep Studios Team
Kevin Foo - Producer | Mix Engineer
Stuart Wee - Studio Manager | Recording Engineer
Eugene Chia - Composer | Sound Designer | Audio Engineer
Colin Ong - Composer | Engineer