War on the local music front
Singapore, Lion City—In an internationally televised address on
Tuesday, a determined Paul Zach vowed that the local music scene would defeat
"whoever exactly it is we're at war with here."
"Our enemy, be it bubblegum popstars,
manufactured boybands, the manipulative radio airplay, a multinational coalition
of cash driven recording companies, or just plain old citizens that refuse to
recognise the pool of talent available in our small lil’ island, ... be
warned" Paul Zach said during an 111-minute speech from the Substation.
"The local artistes are preparing to strike, directly and decisively,
against you, whoever you are, just as soon as we have a rough idea of your
identity and a reasonably decent estimate as to where your base is
Mr Paul Zach is acting with the full
support of local musicians who have authorized him to use any necessary force
against the undetermined attackers. According to insider reports, the move
enables him to declare war and to reclaim the local airwaves with the numerous
local songs available at the moment. In addition to those responsible for the
eradication of good local music, Mr Paul Zach is also determined to lash out on
those who have the image that foreign acts are so much better than local ones.
"Who sells local CDs? Roxy Music. Who
plays local music? Passion 99.5. And in case you haven’t noticed these are
both rather obscure CD stores as well as radio
stations," Paul Zach rambled
on. "Take for example Stephanie Sun and Tanya Chua – both home-grown
artistes but both only made it big
here after they have proven to the highly critical crowd here that they can be
successful in foreign lands such as Taiwan and Hong Kong.”
Mr. Ramli Sarip, one of Singapore’s oldest resident musician, tried to steel the community for the possibility of a long road ahead. "We have always been part-time musicians because there is always that fear that we need something else to fall back on. It’s about time we should be given support so we can leave these fears behind and concentrate on a professional career."
"Christ," Mr. Sarip,
affectionately known in the community as Papa Rock, continued, "so what if
you hold band competitions where the winners get nothing more than a few measly
dollars and new equipment. What we want are recording contracts!"
At this juncture, recent Talentime
winners, Cherry Chocolate Candy notably sneaked out of the press conference,
presumably to avoid further conflict regarding their supposed contract from
"We are lucky
enough to end up playing covers and at certain clubs. But we are not
releasing our own produce. We have to work to live and not live to work. “says
a very jaded local band member Mr. Ezal Bin Sani. “ This is a business where
contacts are very important – its about who you know instead of what you
The almost two hour long speech was concluded by Mr Paul Zach himself, “I
guess there needs to be a paradigm shift in the mindset of the listeners - which
in turn is very dependent on the media heads here. Although you see so many
supporters at local gigs, an important thing to note is that it’s always the
same old people plus its free – so that is the main crowd puller, not the
quality of the music itself.”
In a significant and symbolic stand, the local artistes congregated onstage and rendered an acapella version of the National Anthem.
Muhammed Faizad Bin Salim