Snobbish Locals Prefer Foreign Music

SINGAPORE’S local music scene is a strange one.

Most audiences don’t see local bands on TV, hear them on the radio, or hunt their records at the diminishing number of music stores. But a vibrant world of bands, live gigs, and new music awaits those who are willing to look a little deeper.

So, why don’t they, asks Eugenia Yip, tattooed frontwoman of The Steve McQueens (SMQ).

Known by her stage name Ginny Bloop, Yip is the lead vocalist of the local neo-vintage soul-funk band. Fresh from their Australian tour where they played at the Melbourne Jazz Festival in June, SMQ are planning for the launch of their latest album Terrarium in September.

“People will happily spend $15 to watch the latest Hollywood movie but will think twice (or more) about paying even $5 to see a local band!” says Bloop. Amidst all the struggles of being a musician in Singapore, she feels getting support from local audiences can be the hardest.

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Awareness is still lacking for many local artists.

Nathan Hartono made waves recently with his stint on Sing! China and became a household name of sorts. The Sam Willows enjoy a healthy following on social media and have since established themselves as influencers popping up regularly on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

But, how many can name songs by either artist?

Even SMQ, who have played at major venues and festivals in Singapore and the region over the last five years, seems to go largely unnoticed by most audiences.

Bloop suggests that people have to be more inquisitive about local music if the scene is to grow. With surprising quality and breadth of genres to choose from she believes there is something on offer to suit everyone’s taste.

“Don’t just support it because it is local! Support it because it’s good,” she insists.

Find music that resonates with you, by a band that you like. Buy their albums, go to their live shows, use their merchandise, and help them grow.

Watch the full interview where Bloop talks about making music in Singapore and how local music can take the next step.

The Steve McQueens launched their new album over the weekend at their concert at The Esplanade. Digital downloads of the single and pre-orders for the full album are available on Spotify and Apple Music.

For more information, click HERE.

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