As The Esplanade celebrates their 20th anniversary since the National Performing Arts Centre’s inauguration in 2002, they will be presenting a 12 month long programme highlighting and exploring our popular music, as well as its moments in Singapore from the 1960s, the present, and the future that lies ahead, titled PopLore – A Year of Singapore Popular Music.
The momentous event will see a series of concerts, that has already kickstarted on New Year’s Day with Gemilang, hosted by Najip Ali and Nurul Aini, whereby audiences were put on an aural journey through memory lane as they uncovered iconic Malay music moments through performances.
It continues with Xingpop 2.0 in February, where a myriad of artists from the likes of Olivia Ong, Nathan Hartono, and The Freshman pay tribute to iconic xinyao tracks from the 80s to the early 2000s. In March, Blast from the Past, Malam Pop Yeh Yeh, and Getai in Retrospect will make their debuts, uncovering the acts that helped paved the path for this island’s music legacy, as well as celebrating the genres Getai and Yeh-yeh.
The baton will then be passed to veterans Dick Lee and Jeremy Monteiro, as they hold their concerts respectively in June and July, culminating in September with Young Artist Award recipient Charlie Lim, accompanied by his band The Mothership as well as a “to-be-revealed” line-up of artists as they perform their original numbers alongside rearrangements and covers of each other’s tracks.
Mellissa Poon, Programmer at The Esplanade Co shared on their website: “As we mark our milestone 20th anniversary during these unprecedented times, we want to do something to galvanise the music scene which has been badly hit by the pandemic and to renew a sense of community after a prolonged period of being physically apart for many of us.”
“Through PopLore, we come together to celebrate and raise appreciation for Singapore popular music and its history, and document popular Singapore music across generations and cultures, sharing insights that will allow us to build up the music scene of the future.”
Esplanade is also offering a seven-episode podcast series on Esplanade Offstage, deep diving into every nook and cranny in Singapore’s pop scene, including it’s different cultures, subcultures, and time periods. Brian Richmond, Rahimah Rahim, Mohamed Raffee, Li Si Song, Joe Ng, and weish make up 6 of the 25 industry figures slated to be featured in this series.
For more information, head over to Esplanade's website here.