Singaporeans love a good sing-along song. I remember opening up my primary school songbook as a little girl in Bedok and singing ‘We Are Singapore’ and ‘Count On Me Singapore’ to myself in my mother’s bedroom. It may have been a strange hobby for a child, but when Karolyn Poon, a great friend and tour-de-force for the Singaporean community here as the First Secretary for the OSU in London, suggested over dinner that I should write a song for SG50, it takes me back to the brilliance, simplicity and sheer ‘sing-a-long’-ness of those evergreen Singapore national songs.
For Singapore’s milestone 50th anniversary of independence, I believe an upbeat, exciting song which celebrates and acknowledges our success and ‘never-say-die’ spirit so far, with still more ambitions and dreams to look forward to, is a message that resonates with us. Indeed this jubilee year has been quite a rollercoaster ride for us as a nation, with the passing of our great leader Mr Lee Kuan Yew, winning the FA Cup with our spectacular LionsXII team, losing precious young lives at Mount Kinabalu and a record-breaking performance at the SEA Games, amongst many challenges and triumphs.
Hence the song, ‘Singapore, It’s Where We Belong’, was born, this time in my own bedroom, 14,000km away. I have written this song with much love and respect and I am so honoured and flattered that it has had a positive response after I performed it for the first time at Singapore Day 2014 in London.
We live in a visual age, so through encouragement from friends and family, and support from the SG50 committee, OSU and SUKA, we are accompanying the song with a video showing and acknowledging Singaporeans from all walks of life and our day to day reality; eating, cooking, commuting, working, playing, hanging out together, implicitly capturing the spirit and sense of belonging which bonds our people and community. This theme is embodied in the ‘making-of’ the video – most of the footage was crowd-sourced, taken by real people, of real people, at real events and situations. I was also privileged to collaborate with two talented and promising Singaporean dancers, Zunnur Zhafirah and Maybelle Lek, whose beautiful choreography we get to enjoy in the video. I am so grateful to everyone who made this video what it is! Full credits will be released alongside the video, which will be live very soon.
For Singaporeans overseas, hopefully the song brings on nostalgia and is a call for us to remember where we belong, and that everyone can make a contribution to our homeland no matter where we are.
For more information on how to join and get involved with the Singapore UK Association, please visit www.suka.org