Blink – we have passed the midpoint of 2019 and are well on the way to 2020. So much has entered the bloodstream of Made In Singapore music and to celebrate the quality of the output, we’ll be rolling out weekly lists of the best music videos, singles, EPs and albums that have entered the canon between January and now.
This week, we honour the best six music videos in Singapore music of the year.
FARIZ JABBA – ‘Masa’
Singaporean hip-hop’s orange-domed head-turner popped a wheelie on the zeitgeist with his new calling card ‘Masa’. In and of itself, the song was a bold move by the rapper: Abandoning the spitfire intensity of his earlier single ‘Ape Sia’ for lusciously sweet '90s-R&B coos, JABBA seemed intent on making a wholly different kind of impact. And he has been proven right, of course.
Befitting its status as a pop hit, it became a viral phenomenon. But what helped expand its blast radius and the awareness of JABBA’s range was its accompanying music video. A sincere love song requires a correspondingly authentic visual to translate accordingly. Directed by esteemed choreographer Alif Aircho and shot and edited by The Island Boys Collective, the clip sees JABBA dancing in a legitimately impressive lyrical fashion as he meets with his friends and deals with falling in love. Such are his moves that the video has sparked an online dance challenge, embedding it in cultural memory.
Jasmine Sokko – ‘Tired’
Since the release of the visual for her 2018 hit ‘HURT’, Jasmine Sokko has emphatically shown that she is as invested in blazing a niche for herself in the visual realm as she is in her music. With the music video for ‘TIRED’, Sokko showed that she’s on a no-turning-back course of conceptually driven, cinematically minded music videos. Make no mistake: No contemporary Singaporean artist has released a music video as visually spectacular and opulent as her.
Interrogating, as it does, the power of images in shaping perception and in policing established social hierarchies, this video is a consciously meta examination of its own offering. In the clip, colonial history is rewritten, with Sokko as the empress of her domain. Her moves are as transfixing as the director, Choānn’s attention to the panorama of details include setting, cast and action – which go a long way towards making this music video feel like a movie.
John Oakes – ‘NFS’
‘NFS’ is a rocking good time, and is guaranteed to be a great live song. The accompanying music video can be summed up perfectly through its description: “Killer music needs a killer video…”, and we couldn’t agree more. Directed by Daryl Hor (John Oakes) and Andre Lee, the video may be hard to stomach for some, it’s a hilarious spin on the cult classic American Psycho.
In the music video, Daryl is seen dragging a corpse around, in hopes of disposing it. Eventually, he realises he lacks the proper tools and goes shopping for choppers and saws, stopping to get milk along the way. While actual dismemberment isn’t seen, blood splatter is featured heavily in the video. It’s a great visual accompaniment to the track and is bound to be seared into your memory for a long time.
Islandeer – ‘Momento’
The fresh-faced duo of Islandeer, consisting of Christian Jansen and Michael Garcia, combines a myriad of genres such as ‘60s pop, ‘70s rock, indie rock and modern psychedelia on ‘Momento’ to create a sound that’s unique and vibrant. As such, the duo enlisted the help of Singaporean film-maker Grace Song to capture the essence of the track on film. The quirky music video features the duo with pigeon masks as it frolics around Singapore, chilling in a pool and visiting several spots around the country in the process.
ShiGGa Shay – ‘Paiseh’
ShiGGa Shay welcomed 2019 with a song and music video that is, well, buey paiseh. Directed by LA-based Jay Ahn, who also directed for artists such as Jhené Aiko and Ty Dolla $ign, the video sees the integration of digital elements and real-life footage in a purposefully comedic treatment. From the CGI to the over-the-top animation, the music video for ‘Paiseh’ is an intentionally campy package of humour and swag. The song is an anthem for being unabashedly and unapologetically yourself, and the video’s extravagance is an arresting embodiment of that ethos.
O$P$ – ‘The Answer feat. Vandetta’
This video further proves that Master Race and Zushan are ahead of their time in ways that can only benefit the ecosystem of Singaporean music. Geylang Crunk is forever.
That is all.