Xinyao Heading Towards the Climax

Xinyao Heading Towards the Climax

Singapore Chinese folk-pop music, also known as Xinyao emerged in 1980s and according to singer-songwriter Liang Wern Fook, who is a pioneer in that genre, it shouldn't be just about nostalgia.

Innovations are required and for engaging new audience, it should be featured on new platforms, he adds.

For this reason, in November, pioneers of xinyao, Wong Hong Mok and Liang as well as Lee Wei Song, a famous composer will be featuring in a real life concert.

As a part of Crescendo, a new xinayo-themed drama, the snippets of filmed concert will be aired. The drama will debut in October on Channel 8. Liang, 50, a recipient of Cultural Medallion said that people are of the view that xinyao concerts just are able to attract middle-aged audiences. He also cited the movie That Girl in Pinaforce (2013), which included a xinyao soundtrack. That movue appealed to new immigrants and students who did not have any memory of xinayo. Liang spoke on Tuesday at a press event for the concert. He, Lee and Wong (better known as Huang Hongmo) will also appear in the drama. While the cast, including Ann Kok, Darren Lim and Christopher Lee, will be in character.

According to Liang, who is behind Singapore Pie and Xi Shuo Chang Liu (a xinyao classic), the set list of the concert is still in works. One thing is for sure, Liang is bound to give a fresh spin on classics. For instance, it can be a duet new talents such as the local singers Bonnie Loo or Ling Kai or with “old friends”, Lee and Wong. Wong, who has been turning the Chinese poems of local poets into famous songs and made a great impression with his self-written title track of also his debut album, will also sing his new compositions.

Although the tunes from South Korea and Taiwan are prominent these days on the Asian music horizons, but he isn't discouraged. Wong says that the composition should not be stopped just because of the reason that they are not being given due attention and it should also be determined that why the listeners have been turning to other songs instead of xinyao. He also says that they can start over and find some suitable new material. If the songs are good they will surely gain traction and back then they did not know that xinyao would be able to get so much attention of the listeners.

Lee, 47, says that he would like to make his contribution to local music by utilizing his abilities to groom the new talent. He and Si song, his twin brother, have mentored the Singapore's Mandopop singer Stefanie Sun. Singer-songwriter Ling Kai, their new protégé has appeared last year on Sing My Song, a reality TV singing show of China's CCTV.

The Lee brothers are widely considered to be established hit-makers, having written songs for famous Asian pop heavyweights like Jacky Cheung and Jam Hsiao.

Lee also says that even the local Singaporean behind-the-scenes talent, musicians and music arrangers are sought after by the overseas singers. So they need to believe that there is no shortage of talent in Singapore.