Finally some time to breathe! As mentioned in my previous blog post, I performed as part of the Singapore Day celebrations in London’s Victoria Park.
The OSU also asked me to picnic with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and his wife, to make them feel welcome. I obliged, and got in position, and withstood the mobs that were surrounding our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He was greeted by the crowds like a rockstar! Such a positive reception. So what a surprise when the PM seated himself at my mat! He was very friendly, and I managed to tell him that it would be an honour if my song Singapore, It’s Where We Belong, would be chosen for Singapore’s 50th National Day Parade. He is a very cool guy, taking ‘selfies’ with everyone. Also present was our Minister in the PMO Grace Fu, and Deputy PM and his wife.
I’m also glad there was a video of the occasion (I’m at 0:13 seconds), because I was too busy making sure everyone was served and too self-conscious to ask for a ‘selfie’ because everyone was watching us eat!
I had never anticipated that my music would lead me to meet such political powerhouses. Funny how life turns out, huh? Thank you Overseas Singaporean Unit for inviting me, I feel very honoured to be part of such a well-run operation catering to over 10,000 people. They also managed to turn on the sun overnight. Haha
Also, we managed to get this video – shhh! – of our performance. I have to thank Anu B and Natalie Y for doing backing singing duties. I’m very glad that the audience seemed to enjoy it – it was great fun composing the song. I made sure that the instrumentation represented the main races – there’s erhu, tabla and kompang sounds and some hip arpeggios going. This vid was taken through the backstage monitor but it’ll do for now! Hopefully the vibe comes across.
We also shared an artistes room with the main celebrities of the day – Gurmit Singh, Hossan Leong, Chua En Lai & Michelle Chong (of the Noose) and the Dim Sum Dollies. We also got to know the Great Spy Experiment and the very chirpy and friendly Jack & Rai. It was eye-opening to see the level of professionalism they displayed and they made it look so easy for the audience at the front. Backstage was a flurry of impromptu rehearsals, costume changes, waiting for the cue to come on. The weather on rehearsal day was cold, so we were very lucky that the weather starkly improved the next day!
The production team were all great people who made sure everything ran like clockwork and fixed all technical issues pronto. We also got all manner of goodies and food. Singaporeans really know how to take care of their countrywomen and men.