SIF'S Gift A Song Project: Spreading Global Cheer Amid COVID-19
Singapore: More than S$30 million in lost income has been reported by freelancers in the creative industries in Singapore since antivirus measures were put in place. The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt disrupted the lives of many. As part of its efforts to bring together communities for a better world even amidst the pandemic, Gift A Song Project is a collaborative project between the SIF and homegrown musicians. This initiative allows individuals to dedicate a song to someone they know who is battling the virus, struggling with economic loss, working at the frontlines of healthcare and essential services, or in need of support in times of isolation. It is also one of the ways the SIF is lending its support to the local arts community during this challenging time.
Fronted by local music veteran and the SIF’s Citizen Ambassador Clement Chow, this initiative has commissioned 15 homegrown musicians in Singapore to perform and record their renditions of requested songs from their homes. Participating artists include Alemay Fernandez, Alexandra Hsieh, Benjamin Chow, Beverly Morata Graffon, Christiane Mikaela, Izat Ibrahim, Jordin Tan, Kexin Tay, Lisa Haryono, Mathilda D’Silva, Michelle Poh, Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Syah Riszuan and Wayne Sandosham.
As part of the second phase of the initiative, members of the public are encouraged to send in their dedications via the SIF website from 26 May 2020 to someone they know – whether in Singapore or overseas – who is in need of cheer. Dedications from one country to another are highly encouraged. Shortlisted dedications will be recorded and sent to the requesters and recipients via email. Selected videos will also be posted on the SIF’s social media channels from 18 June 2020.
The first batch of dedications was made by the SIF’s community of Citizen Ambassadors and international partners and friends from Singapore, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and the US. Accompanied by messages of encouragement, these gifts of songs in various languages have been dedicated to their friends locally and abroad, including unsung heroes and frontline fighters. Video recordings of the performances and dedications – which have reached more than 3 million users – have been uploaded to the SIF’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram.
Jean Tan, Executive Director, SIF said, “Music can warm the heart, lift the soul and heal. We all know someone who is fighting COVID-19, facing economic hardship, or just in need of cheer. Two of my friends were in ICU and I struggled with how to cheer them on which inspired this idea. We can spread the message of positivity and solidarity even as we battle the pandemic. Indeed, it has been encouraging to see Singaporeans and world communities come together to encourage one another through the Gift A Song Project. This project has also enabled SIF to support our local arts community in challenging times.”
“The beauty of music is that it feeds the soul and is without borders. It creates an outlet for people to express themselves and through that harness the healing powers of music in reconnecting with our loved ones, especially amid social distancing measures,” said Singaporean artist Clement Chow. “I’m heartened by the dedications that have come through and the positive responses garnered online in support for this project and the community.”
India-based Sathish Raman from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) had requested for 'Heal the World', dedicated to the health fraternity in India. "I am grateful for this opportunity from the SIF and it is heart-warming to see such an initiative from Singapore that spreads cheer around the region in a time where positivity is much needed. Wayne had performed a beautiful rendition of the song and I hope that it was able to cheer the healthcare professionals on.”
The Gift A Song Project is part of the SIF’s Arts for Good initiative to galvanize community involvement and harness the power of the arts for positive social change, particularly in enabling livelihood and fostering inclusive communities.