Though we just celebrated our jubilee as a nation, Singapore is still a relatively young country that’s probably still not in the big league of Asian cultural superpowers such as Japan or even South Korea. In some international music circles, there is still the misconception that we are part of China! But Singaporean music fans tend to be a forgiving bunch. So you’re forgiven Slipknot.
Luckily, the above mentioned is no longer the norm. With more international exposure through SGMUSO’s overseas showcases and international media exposure (hell yeah Hitman: Agent 47), hopefully our little red dot’s influence in music will extend beyond the solitary namesake track from American singer-songwriter Tom Waits.
In fact, looking back, there is actually a good deal of international musicians that have been smitten enough with our hometown to hit up the +65 in their music videos. So sit back, and enjoy our top five picks! Who knows, you might even be pleasantly surprised.
‘REALiTi’ by Grimes
Released as a homage to her Asian fans, Canadian dream pop sensation Grimes (aka Claire Boucher) released this gem of a music video earlier this year. Shot over the course of her 2013 Asian tour, the upcoming Laneway Festival 2016 headliner can be seen dancing at our very own Gardens by the Bay and quaint theme park, Haw Par Villa. Considering that she went through ‘hell’ to bring us this video, we are definitely counting down the days to the 27-year old’s next album.
‘No More’ by A1
Long before the invasion of One Direction, local teenage girls had their hearts melted by English-Norwegian boyband A1 way back in 2001. Filmed entirely in Singapore, the four-member group filmed the MTV for this single off their second album at the now defunct Tang Dynasty Village theme park. Not only does it feature a very retro Singapore city skyline (sans Marina Bay Sands), the ‘No More’ video even sees the boys breaking out those signature synchronised boyband dance moves.
‘High Life’ by B.o.B
You know Singapore has got some serious street cred when it is featured in an international hip hop video. Starting off suspiciously like a Singapore Tourism Board (STB) ad, American rapper B.o.B introduces the high baller lifestyle from the now famous Marina Bay Sands’ infinity pool. Big ups to the Georgia homeboy for incorporating our iconic Merlion, some bootylicious looking local female talent and beloved national dish chilli crab!
‘Nothingman’ by Pearl Jam
Not a music video per say, this short tour video diary by grunge legends Pearl Jam was shot when they were last here in 1995. Eddie Vedder and co can be seen mucking around Siloso beach in Sentosa and exploring the South Bridge Road stretch of Chinatown. Their documentative effort even captured a Chinese funeral procession that was taking place at the time. Having recently resumed touring again this year, perhaps it’s time for another visit back to our sunny shores?
‘The Gala Event’ by Beastie Boys
Shot in the Keong Saik neighbourhood back in 2007, hip hop trio Beastie Boy decided to use the sleepy surroundings to shoot a pulp noir music video for ‘The Gala Event’ off their instrumental album The Mix-Up. It’s amazing how Mike D, Ad-Rock and the late MCA managed to put out a banger of a performance at the local leg of Good Vibrations and still find time to conceptualise and shoot this gritty production. Plus it also serves as a reminder of how the Keong Saik area has changed in just eight short years.