Noise Singapore, now in its fifth year, is seen by many as Singapore’s foremost youth arts festival.
An initiative of the National Arts Council, the festival is dedicated to showcasing and developing the creative talents of youths below the age of 35 in Singapore.
A vital component of Noise Singapore in developing young talents is The Apprentice Program (TAP). Noise Singapore 2010 saw its fourth batch of apprentices go under the guidance of veterans in the music, photography and art & design industries.
Among them, there were 10 apprentices and five mentors in the music apprenticeship programme.
Like previous years, the apprentices in the music category get to record their original songs, which are then compiled onto a Noise Singapore CD. Opportunities to be on an album and to perform at various platforms are just some of the perks of being an apprentice.
Siti Zahidah, an apprentice under renowned producer Jason Tan, said, “I've been playing music for the past couple of years so I figured that The Apprenticeship Programme would be the perfect opportunity for me to take my music to the next level.”
“Judging from the turn-out of events right now, it has definitely opened up many doors for me and I am very grateful for that.”
Another singer-songwriter, Deborah Lee, who’s under the mentorship of Don Richmond, agreed.
“I wanted to learn from people working in the music industry and in learning from them, develop on my song-writing and production techniques. I'm planning to produce my own CD this year, so it was an opportune time to find a music mentor. “
Veteran singer-songwriter Kevin Mathews is a mentor for the second consecutive year and he was only too glad to get involved.
“I got involved because I wanted to play my part in the development of our music scene and to share some of my experience to young musicians.
“So far, it has been a blessed time as I've really connected with my apprentices and I consider them close friends. I have been so encouraged by their progress and I have definitely learned much from them as well.”
Mathews added that the programme was a “tremendous means” to develop young Singaporean musicians by providing direction and guidance essential to build talent and creativity.
“With respect to the big picture, the programme is crucial in bringing the Singapore music scene to a different level.”
So what have the apprentices gained from the programme?
“It’s definitely the confidence that I have in my abilities,” said Siti. “When I first started out, I was unsure of how people will react to my music but after the programme, I am definitely excited to put my music out and be open to comments because I've learnt that you cannot please everyone.
“To quote from Jason, if I get to entertain just a single person out there with my song, I will be contented. I suppose the rest will just fall into place eventually.
“There's no limit to what you can do with music if you are willing to experiment and work hard. I've also learnt that there's a lot of talent here in Singapore,” said Deborah.
Catch Siti, Deborah and other young talents at the Make Some Noise! weekend at the Esplanade from 5 to 7 March!
Esplanade Concourse: Rebecca Burch (7.15pm), Siti Zahidah (8.15pm)
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre: The Repose (8pm), Monochrome (9pm) and Tacit Aria (10pm)
Esplanade Concourse Jeremy Soh (5.15pm), Julian Kwok (6.15pm), Celina Foo (7.15pm)
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre: Make Some Noise featuring For This Cycle (8pm), Blind Meets Mute (9pm) and Duxton Plains (10pm)
Esplanade Concourse: Narisa Chan (5.15pm), Deborah Lee (6.15pm), Crystal Goh (7.15pm)
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre: Pervy Boy (7pm), Returning Ambience (8pm) and Catalogue V (9pm)