2020 saw a number of unexpected collaborations between Singaporean artists and overseas talents, showcasing the vast variety of local music. This year, our homegrown musicians have provided us with yet another set of impressive collaborations with both local and overseas artists. From J Sheon and Benjamin Kheng, to Nathan Hartono and MYRNE, these collaborations have got us on a roller roaster of emotions, whether it's sobbing on our desks to dancing in our rooms.
Here's a list of nine unforgettable collaborations you can't miss out in 2021.
YAØ and Aisyah Aziz
'Hopelessly Devoted To You' is a cover of Olivia Newton-John's original song from the film Grease by local producer YAØ and singer-songwriter Aisyah Aziz. Dominated by the piano score, their rendition of the tune gives the original a new dimension, with the Christmas carol references in their harmonies, this song is one to remember when the holiday season comes around each year.
Dru Chen and Rangga jones
'Summertime' is a breezy, sensual rhythm by local R&B singer Rangga Jones and Singapore-based Australian singer Dru Chen that teases their beloved to "come through for the Summer time". Released as a song meant to transport listeners away from the bustle of life the pandemic threw us into, the song is a metaphor for celebrating the good times while we can. The single was also included in Dru Chen's second album, Slow Life, released this year.
J.Sheon and Benjamin Kheng
'Fresh Feelings' sees Singaporean singer-songwriter Benjamin Kheng and Taiwanese rapper/R&B singer J.Sheon joining forces to give us an unexpected result: a funky soul song, filled to the brim with gospel and musical theatre references. The track is sung from the perspective of a lover 'simping' (but in a good way) over a Girl Boss. The song is so seamlessly made, no one would have imagined it was created virtually. 'Fresh Feelings' is also Benjamin's first solo release this year since his last EP A Sea that Never Stops.
JJ Lin and Anne-Marie
'Bedroom' is a soulful ballad duet between Singaporean Mandopop star JJ Lin, and English singer Anne-Marie as a part of his English Language EP Like you do released this year. Written by Anne-Marie alongside Tom Barnes, Pete Kelleher, KAMILLE, and Ben Kohn, the track details the heartbroken perspectives of both partners after a breakup. JJ Lin has set his sights on the English market in 2021 after conquering the Mandopop charts, and we could not be more ready. This year, he also featured on the soundtrack of Marvel Studios' Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings with 'Lose Control', as well as selling out his first in-person concert this November in Singapore since the pandemic.
Gentle Bones and Lewloh
'What are we doing?' between Gentle Bones and lewloh combines a textured upbeat track with heartbreaking lyrics of that confusing, gray area of romance in modern society. The track is a part of Gentle Bones' highly anticipated debut album Gentle Bones, which features a plethora of collaborations.
Can we really choose one collaboration from Gentle Bones' debut album? From works with gamaliél, Karencici, and Clara Benin, the numerous collaborations show us the time, effort and soul put into the album, making it so much more unforgettable.
Tabitha Nauser and her fans
A twist on music collaborations, Tabitha Nauser found another way to connect with her fans in a collaborative music video. For her single 'When Will I Be Loved', the pop musician enlisted her fans to send in videos of themselves singing along to the tune for the music video. Directed by Jon Tan, the music video intersects fans' clips in between clips of the singer chilling in her room, making it seem like a comfy homemade video of youthful memories. Following the release of the song, Tabitha also released another single, 'Wont Stop'.
Marcus Lee and Shu Shu
local Mandopop singer Marcus Lee and Taiwanese indie singer Shu Shu banded together for the single ‘Between The Lines (话中有话)', which details the feelings of an inexperienced lover befuddled in love. The song is one facet of Marcus' personal experiences and was also included in Marcus Lee's debut album, For You, I Can (为了你,我可以), released earlier in the year.
iNCH and Jonny Ong
'Wishful Thinking' takes us on a dreamy trip floating on the lilting vocals of homegrown artists iNCH and Jonny Ong. This yearning tune that laments the loss of a loved one encapsulates the all-too-familiar loss we feel when we wish for more than what we can get, but still do so anyway.
This is the second collaboration between the two following their single 'Taking Silence' last year, a heavier rock-inspired song, leaving us wanting more from this perfect match.
Nathan Hartono and MYRNE
DJ and producer, MYRNE, and singer-songwriter Nathan Hartono have joined hands to give us the perfect remix in 'The Difference'. Originally released as a slow ballad single by Nathan Hartono, the remix turns it into a dance track that gets our swaying heads (from the original) bopping to the tune.
Earlier in the year, Nathan also released another single, 'I'm Fine', a Mandopop collaboration with Ty., '最新西部爱情' (Newest Western Love), and EP Edge of Days, which the original ballad, 'The Difference', and 'I'm Fine' is included inside.