National Day is usually a big event in Singapore.
Whether you are outwardly a patriot or not, there is one day in the year that we put everything aside to celebrate being Singaporeans.
We meet up with family and have a BBQ at East Coast, or get a chalet, or just watch the parade on TV at home as a family. The lucky few that get tickets don their best red-and-white outfits to go see the parade.
And another huge bunch of us find the best spots to watch the fireworks.
But I think the one thing that really gels every National Day together is the NDP song.
I mean, the song-singing portion of the parade is where Singaporeans really shine. Children would have practiced in school assembly in the weeks leading up to the parade.
And adults will be proudly belting along to old favourites. Literally everyone gets involved and it’s usually pretty awesome!
After all, who could forget “Home”?
So every year, we eagerly wait for the release of the new NDP song.
Now that the 2018 NDP song is here, we have 10 facts about it for you!
1. We Are Singapore, circa 1987
This year’s NDP song has taken Singapore by surprise because it’s a modern, indie spin on the original 1987 ‘We Are Singapore’.
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Yeah, it’s that song we’ve always sung during National Day in school.
Our own singer and songwriter, Charlie Lim, is the mastermind behind refreshing the old piece for 2018.
I think it’s really awesome because we all know the lyrics (okay, just that part, but good enough, okay?). We all love the old song.
It will probably make us feel really nostalgic and comforted at the same time, because we all would have grown up with ‘We Are Singapore’, regardless of our age.
And yes, that is also the name of the song.
2. The people behind the song.
So who are the people behind our NDP 2018 song?
Well, besides Charlie Lim, we have singers Vanessa Fernandez, Aisyah Aziz, Shak’thiya Subramaniamm, and Joanna Dong on the vocals (watch from 2:25 and be dazzled by her voice!).
We also have our THELIONCITYBOY belting out his swaggy spin on our Singapore pledge in the song.
And the backing vocals were done by ITE Show Choir.
3. The premise behind the song.
If you’re wondering why he put a modern spin on an old classic, you’re not the only one.
Mr Lim himself attested to being quite nervous at fiddling with such an iconic song.
But think about what BG Fox said: “It says who we are, where we have come from, what we have overcome, and what we aspire to be together.”
Mr Lim talked about his song coming from an honest place.
And think about it for a second.
If you listen to the song in its entirety, he’s made the song convey a very important message.
About what it actually means in this day and age to say, “We Are Singapore”, and stand by it.
4. The meaning behind the video.
The video is meant to capture Singapore for what it is when the glitz and glamour of Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and the glittering CBD skyline is stripped away.
We are more than all that, after all.
It captures the true heart of Singapore – people. We are the energy buzzing through our island home, bringing the city to life.
We are all from different religions, races, abilities, countries, talents, jobs and so on, living in our heartlands.
And yet, we are the same. We are not our differences because they don’t matter (or at least, they shouldn’t).
We Are just…Singapore. Singaporeans.
Can you tell I am totally sold on the theme already?
5. The theme.
The song actually follows the theme of this year’s parade very precisely.
We Are Singapore (seriously).
And the reason it’s in a speech bubble is because it represents the voice of all the people in Singapore proclaiming ‘We Are Singapore‘.
Which is exactly what the song (and video) accomplished.
So this makes the song even cooler.
Because it allows this year’s NDP to be just about all of us and how we make Singapore, well, Singapore!
6. Recent editions of the song.
The song wasn’t only the creative concept of Charlie Lim. Recent editions of the song saw the overall creative direction done by Apprentice director Boo Jun Feng.
However, the entire production of the song and video was done by award-winning director Wee Li Lin, one of Singapore’s first female filmmakers.
A female taking the lead in a usually male-dominated industry and position really shows how far Singapore has progressed in this regard.
It’s really one step forward in gender equality.
This gives us reason to be even more proud and supportive of this production.
And seriously, even if you don’t like the song, you’ll love the video.
7. Notable figures in the video.
So did you know that the video features some notable Singaporeans?
It features a well-known local embroidery artist Teresa Lim. If you don’t know who she is, definitely check her out.
Her embroideries are really something else altogether!
The video also features Cai Yinzhou, who founded Geylang Adventures and is especially known for giving migrant workers free haircuts as a way of appreciating them and giving back to them, as they have given us Singaporeans so much.
Not sure about you, but showcasing unsung heroes like them is much better than showcasing popular Singaporeans like Lady Gaga. Wait, Lady Gaga isn’t a Singaporean?
8. The recording of the song.
This is a pretty interesting fact that I was surprised to come across.
The vocals in the official video of the NDP song wasn’t recorded in a studio.
It was actually the demo of the song that was recorded in his bedroom.
They tried recreating it in the studio, but the demo version just sounded more heartfelt so they left it as is.
So the vocals in the actual track is basically his original demo version of the song and honestly, I couldn’t be happier!
Because there is something so pure, authentic and sincere about it.
I mean, it could have been an HDB. A song made in HDB? Win liao lah.
9. Super relevant for 2018.
It’s no lie that as we all become more educated and politically aware, there are certain things in our landscape that we are unhappy with.
We all want things done in various different ways. We all have our own perceptions on how things should be.
We all have our complaints and dissatisfactions.
But there was a very important line that Charlie Lim wrote into the song: “No, nothing’s ever perfect, but I still call you mine“…
Now this hit me with major feels. More than the video’s portrayal of the best parts about life in Singapore because that also left me feeling quite emotional.
And that’s because with that line, Charlie Lim acknowledged that yeah, Singapore isn’t perfect. It probably will never be Utopia.
But it is our home. It’s ours. And it will always be.
In all its imperfections, its ours.
Coz, erm, We Are Singapore?
10. This Song Has “Won” the NDP 2017 Theme Song
I mean, I don’t want to compare because every song is a great song (geddit?), but one can’t control a cat’s curiosity.
The 2018 song is now two days old, and has garnered 143K views in YouTube. The 2017 song is almost one year old and has over 1 million views.
But that’s not a good representation, so we should look at the Likes / Dislike ratio.
The 2018 version has 4K Likes vs 357 Dislikes, meaning that the “approval rate” is at about 91%.
The 2017 version has 5K Likes vs 3.1K Dislikes, meaning that the “approval rate” is at about 61%.
The reasons are clear. It’s Yanny.
So there you go, 10 facts about our 2018 NDP song.
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