Pop music has been a mainstay of Singaporean culture, but the past few years have arguably seen a rise of diverse artists, making local pop music a unique and wholly engaging experience for casual listeners — thanks to the efforts of local radio stations populating their playlists with Gentle Bones and Nathan Hartono — and dedicated fans, who continue to support their favourite artists through social media.
While certain acts have been well established, either through large-scale concerts or Milo trucks, here are some that you can count on as they make their ascent through the year ahead. Here's eight of them.
For fans of: Leona Lewis, Rita Ora, (later-day) Charlotte Church
At the young age of 23, Aisyah Aziz has already achieved more than most. The songstress won three awards - one of which includes Best APM Song for her track 'Senyum Saja' - out of her nine nominations at regional Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM) making her the biggest winner of the night. While her plans to release new music are unknown, you can be sure to expect big things from her in the coming year.
Stream her music (including the award-winning 'Senyum Saja') below:
Boon Hui Lu 文慧如 (Wen Hui Ru)
For fans of: Hebe Tian
Perhaps a familiar face to dedicated viewers of Channel 8 television shows, Hui Lu started her career as a child actress, and only kickstarted her singing career with her participation of Taiwanese singing competition Million Star in 2012 and local singing competition The Final 1 in 2013.
Since then, she's been actively pursuing her music career, entering songwriting competitions and releasing covers on YouTube, which have racked up millions of views. In fact, Hui Lu's compositions were picked to be featured on Taiwanese singer Hebe Tien's album, Day By Day.
Now signed to same label as the aforementioned Tien of Mando-pop legends S.H.E, we can be sure to see great things from Hui Lu in the years to come.
Watch Hui Lu's cover of 黃明志 Namewee and '王力宏 Wang Leehom's '漂向北方' (Stranger In The North):
For fans of: Owl City, Never Shout Never, Secondhand Serenade
We called it - 2018 is the year you'll be falling for Falling Feathers.
The former frontman of pop-punk band JJ And The Paperplanes has had a pretty exciting 2017 - single releases, gigs (Music Matters, New Year's Eve at Marina Bay carnival), and even having one of his songs featured (illegally) on a South Korean variety programme.
His debut EP titled Pipe Dreams, which will reportedly consist of a mixture of upbeat and emotional tracks, is slated for release early next year, so we reckon we'll be seeing him around a lot more in the months to come!
Watch the music video for 'Why So Serious' (yes, the song featured on the South Korean variety programme) below:
For fans of: Paloma Faith, Kina Grannis, Zara Larsson
Working hard on the back of a successful 2017 — with the release of single 'Warna' and a Best New Artist nomination on Anugerah Planet Muzik — Isnina is moving into 2018 with a newer and bigger platform for her music.
Stream her music below:
For fans of: Grimes, Halsey, Purity Ring
From releasing her hightly anticipated debut EP Nº, to performing at festivals amongst bigger names in the local and international music scene - even opening for MØ - Jasmine Sokko has had an incredibly successful year. While her plans to release new music are unknown, we can definitely see her getting bigger in 2018.
Stream Nº below:
For fans of: (Early) Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake
The seven-piece alternative-pop band draws inspiration from dance, funk and jazz fusion music, their influences evident in the songs in their self-titled debut EP released in July this year, which includes both upbeat and slower numbers. With a big ensemble and an even bigger sound, we can definitely see RETROFOCUS doing some major things next year.
Stream Retrofocus below:
For fans of: Mac DeMarco, Frankie Cosmos, Turnover
Strip away their dewy, lo-fi production values and you'll find a trio indebted to hooky choruses and glistening melodies. Their debut EP Catflap was an immediate success — physical copies on Bandcamp were quickly snatched away by newly-converted international fans — and it's perfect for summer afternoons. Or, as we say in Singapore, "every afternoon we've ever known".
Listen to 'Girl':
For fans of: Birdy, Tom Odell, Gabrielle Aspin
The songstress made her debut in 2015 with 'Lines', but shortly fell off the radar... until this year, that is. The singer-songwriter made a comeback this year with “new sound and fresher perspective", and an emotional pop song 'July', which we're hoping signifies more releases from Theodora and her return to the local music scene.
Listen to 'July' below: