Singapore nu-jazz outfit The Steve McQueens drop soulful new single ‘Firefly’

Singapore nu-jazz band The Steve McQueens have released their long-awaited brand new single ‘Firefly’ via Singapore based indie label Umami Records, exactly 143 weeks after their last release, full length album ‘TERRAЯIUM’ in 2017. The release comes fresh off the band’s ‘Nerd Lounge’ tour at the start of the year where they played shows at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Tokyo Big Romantic Jazz Festival and the Esplanade Singapore.

The Steve McQueens have provided the following statement announcing the new song:

“Firefly generates its own light
Firefly generates its own beauty
Passion flies like fire
Passion dies with no desire
Passion is beauty
– The Steve McQueens”

‘Firefly’ is the lead single of The Steve McQueen’s new EP ‘Nerve Endings’, scheduled for release on 7 August 2020, featuring music from the band’s ‘TAPE’ tour in 2018. The band is currently writing and recording new material for their fifth album, ‘The Observer’, to be released in 2021. The band provides some insight into the thinking behind the project: “The Observer stands apart, an indifferent spectator at the ongoing culture clash between the jazz traditionalists and the new guard, smiles quietly to himself and just makes music.”

‘Firefly’ by The Steve McQueens is available everywhere at this link.

About The Steve McQueens

The Steve McQueens refuse to be pedestrian; they don’t live in the transient, or the touch-and-go. Swerving between cool seduction and gripping magnetism, they are ambitious to light the world up with their progressive brand of self- titled neo- vintage soul- funk. They have played to growing attention at festivals like the Tokyo Jazz Festival and Summersonic (Japan), Java Jazz (Indonesia), SingJazz (Singapore), Melbourne International Jazz Fest (Australia) and Jarasum International Jazz Festival (Korea). The quartet formed in 2013 as a forging of four mercurial talents in Singapore, a small country punching above its weight in Southeast Asia’s music scene. Critically acclaimed, The Steve McQueens will leave an indomitable mark on any listener with their music.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster thus far has included releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Singapore electronic producer Xinister teams up with Asian-American rapper Blahza on new single “Break”

Singapore electronic producer Xinister collaborates with Los Angeles based Asian-American rapper Blahza on ‘Break,’ released via Singapore based indie label Umami Records.

The lo-fi rap tune emphasizes the importance of staying humble while grinding and hustling for that big break. Blahza shares, “Rappers nowadays feel like they have to be loud and obnoxious to get on. This song has a similar message, but approaches it in an opposite style. Plus, with the whole COVID-19 thing going on now, I feel hating is at an all-time high. People seem to be so quick to point fingers.”

Known for his intense, high-energy trap/dubstep tracks which have already been featured on Spotify’s Bass Arcade, Beast Mode, Dubstep Don, and Trap Mojito, ‘Break’ is Xinister’s first hip-hop production. “I want to be more versatile and to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone”, shares Xinister. “With ‘Break’, I was going for a chill COVID-19 stay home vibe. Blahza definitely killed it.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, from their homes on opposite sides of the world in Singapore and Los Angeles, both artists went back and forth to write and produce ‘Break’ without ever having met each other in person. Xinister says, “it’s just two guys from different countries, only talking to each other online, yet we connected with each other instantly.”

“It was pure musical chemistry”, adds Blahza.

Xinister has 3 more singles planned for release in 2020, and Blahza will be releasing his LP, Sad Songs For Happy People over the next 12 months.

Listen to ‘Break’ by Xinister and Blahza everywhere at this link.

About Blahza

Los-Angeles based Asian-American hip hop artist and producer Blahza’s makes music with a larger than life sound about his afflictions, aspirations, and accomplishments, inspired by the American counterculture of the late 1960s and music from the early 2000s.

Blahza recorded, mixed and mastered Blueface’s record ‘Next Big Thing’ in 2018. In 2019, Blahza opened for Members Only at the first stop of their album tour, and released his EP ‘Bloom’.

Born and raised in Van Nuys, of Puerto Rican and Chinese parents, Blahza grew up surrounded by music and diversity. He fell in love with rap music and especially how it bridged different cultures.

Blahza is currently working on his full-length debut album ‘Sad Songs For Happy People’ slated for release later this year.

About Xinister

Singapore electronic producer Xinister is known for his intense, high energy trap/dubstep tracks which have already been featured on Spotify’s Bass Arcade, Beast Mode, Dubstep Don, and Trap Mojito.

With more than a million Spotify streams, Xinister’s music has also been featured on Russian football club FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s YouTube channel totalling more than 4 million views.

‘Break’ is Xinister’s first hip hop track and will not be his last as he continues to develop his versatility with several more releases planned across genres the rest of this year.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster thus far has included releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Image and details provided by Umami Records in a recent press release.

 

Hong Kong R&B artist Gareth.T releases his first single ‘best me i can’

Hong Kong R&B artist Gareth.T has released his first single ‘best me i can’ via Umami Records. A smooth R&B song filled with lush harmonies and soulful grooves, ‘best me i can’ is about making the most of our short lives, and always striving to be the best version of ourselves.

Hong Kong R&B artist Gareth.T has released his first single via Singapore based indie label Umami Records – ‘best me i can’. A smooth R&B song filled with lush harmonies and soulful grooves, ‘best me i can’ is about making the most of our short lives, and always striving to be the best version of ourselves.

Currently based out of Boston while studying at Berklee College of Music, Gareth.T shares his personal story behind the song: “I wrote this song after my grandma passed away recently. Even though we weren’t that close and it didn’t emotionally affect me too much, it really got me thinking about how short and fragile life is, and that time doesn’t really stop for anyone. So in the song I kinda reflect on my 20 years of life, and I’ve come to a conclusion, that I’m going to try to be the best me I can, everyday.”

Being a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer allows Gareth.T the complete creative freedom to express his own unique style, and you can hear this throughout his repertoire. In this self-produced track, Gareth.T takes influences from 80s/90s R&B and combines them with modern elements like the drums and 808s, creating a novel blend of new and old.

“I think the line ‘best me I can’ would be the most important thing in the song, and the part I like the most as it’s a really simple concept to get. But with some lush harmonies and the soulful groove, the cheesiness of the line is taken away.”, said Gareth.T.

Gareth.T has been releasing a track every month in 2020 and will be keeping up this prolific pace moving forward.

‘best me i can’ by Gareth.T is available everywhere at this link.

About Gareth.T

Hong Kong R&B artist Gareth.T coalesces the smooth tones of R&B and the rough edges of hip-hop music, using his diverse musical experience to tell his unique story. Currently based in Boston while studying at Berklee College of Music, Gareth.T was born and raised in Hong Kong, bringing an eastern metropolitan perspective to his music. A classically trained violinist, Gareth.T is also a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer, allowing him the complete creative freedom to express his own unique style. Gareth invites you to accompany him on his journey throughout this year as he  continues to craft his soulful, experimental soundscape.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster thus far has included releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Image and details provided by Umami Records in a recent press release.

Singapore pop artist Dominic Chin releases new single “Better”

Singapore pop artist Dominic Chin has released BETTER, the fifth single of his 7-track debut EP License To Cry, via indie label Umami Records.

BETTER is a poppy, free-spirited song about the joys of being high on love. Dominic Chin shares: “This song is inspired by love! There’s a quote that says ‘falling in love is the best high without breaking the law’, and I fully agree! The whole chorus talks about how flowers smell better, time passes much slower, the sky is BLUE-ER. How you don’t ever want time to stop when you’re with the person you love.”

Fun, playful melodies accompany Dominic’s beautiful and infectious vocals, leading up to unapologetically brash and compelling choruses which he proudly belts out. “I felt like it needed a quirky aspect too, and that’s why I sang ‘You-you-you’ with a slight yodle. AND I love showing off my whistling skills. I have been practicing for years, finally I can properly show it off!” shared Dominic.

Dominic Chin invites us to embrace the unbridled joy and warmth that emanate in his song: “Sometimes we are afraid to love because we are afraid to be hurt, and we don’t say what we feel as much, we don’t communicate enough. Let this song be a dedication to your significant other. Being in love is scary but it’s one of the most beautiful things in the world for humans to experience. ‘The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.’”

A music video follows this release, as well as a custom Instagram AR filter, which fans can use to get the same “hearts on face” makeup (without the mess) as seen in Dominic’s music video and album art. The rest of Dominic Chin’s EP will be released in the second half of 2020, leading up to his debut show at the Esplanade Singapore on 21 August.

BETTER by Dominic Chin is available everywhere at this link.
Try out the Instagram AR filter here.

About Dominic Chin

Singapore pop artist Dominic Chin creates music with his distinct voice and a blend of electro-pop, soul and r&b. Fuelled by life and all its awkward contradictions, Dominic writes songs from the heart that resonate deeply with his audience.

The 24 year old singer-songwriter from Singapore started covering songs on YouTube in 2010, and his channel has more than 9200 subscribers and 1.3M views. After the viral success of You First Believed, a tribute song he wrote for Singapore founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew in 2014, he was compelled to start writing more originals. He released his first single CLSE2U in 2018, followed by SHY, HERE and AWARE, and his songs have been featured on major Spotify editorial playlists including ‘Electro Mix’ and ‘Singapore’s Top Acts’.

 

Israeli indie-folk singer-songwriter VANNA releases ‘Let Me Fall’, the second single from her upcoming debut EP

Israeli Indie-Folk singer-songwriter VANNA releases Let Me Fall, the second single of her 5-track debut EP High Hopes released via Umami Records. This song explores the meaning of embracing the vulnerability that one has while falling in love. The ambient production centred around a finger picked acoustic guitar and pulsating bass lines exudes a powerful calming feeling to listeners’ ears throughout the song.

Produced by Roy Avital of Tel Aviv based indie-electronic trio Garden City Movement and mastered by Matt Colton (James Blake, Muse, Coldplay), Let Me Fall is an ambient-folktronica song about letting yourself fall completely in love, and embracing the vulnerability that comes along with that. “When you fall in love, you expose yourself to getting hurt. It’s an endless paradox. When you let someone enter your inner world, you’re allowing them to gently break down your walls and then amazing things can happen.”, shares VANNA, “I was scared that one day I’d lose this feeling, and when it really happened I felt so alone trying to move on. This is the risk you take for falling in love.”

VANNA builds up the energy from the verses to the choruses, culminating in the bridge. “And all I could ever ask is to be someone else / To know what I am for you to feel that you want me too / And I wanna clear my head I don’t wanna be so scared / To leave all my fears behind / To know you’re on my side”, she sings, before releasing all that tension in the final instrumental drop.

VANNA tells the story about how she wrote the song: “At one of my gigs I did a cover of RY X’s Deliverance, adding a minimal beat and playing on my keyboard. When I finished singing the cover I kept going with the beat and sang a new song, which became Let Me Fall. It was a special moment. After I finished singing I told the audience that I felt like a rapper improvising lyrics on the go. I said I hoped that someone in the audience recorded it because this would become my new song.”

A music video accompanies the release of this single, directed by award-winning independent filmmaker Matan Balalty and French-Israeli artist Noémie Dahan, shot at the Beit Talal In Jaffa featuring four professional contemporary dancers.

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, of Indian and Iranian parents, VANNA grew up immersed in music, culture and diversity. Creating music is her way of confronting and understanding the turmoil she feels within herself, and she hopes her songs will touch others going through the same struggle. She is also a graduate of the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Over the last 3 years, VANNA has been working closely with producer Roy Avital on her debut EP High Hopes, delivering a delicate fusion of indie electronic, pop, and folk influenced by artists like RY X, Oscar and the Wolf, SYML and Sóley.

‘Let Me Fall’ by VANNA is available everywhere at this link.

Photo and details provided by Umami Records in a recent press release.

HubbaBubbas teams up with Korean indie star Kwak Pareunhaneul on new single

Singapore indie-pop trio HubbaBubbas collaborates with K-Indie darling Kwak Pureunhaneul on their brand new single Rumble Under My Toes, released via Singapore based indie label Umami Records. The release also includes a Korean
version of Sunset In My Pocket featuring Kwak Pureunhaneul, of which the original version has just been nominated for five categories at the Singapore Youth Music Awards 2020.

HubbaBubbas’ first show in Korea was when they played at Seoul’s indie music festival Zandari Festa in 2017. They loved the country so much that they went back again to tour in 2019, and that was when they wrote this song with Kwak Pureunhaneul, also known as “Hongdae IU”, a nickname she picked up from her time on Korean television talent show series Superstar K.

Stephanie of HubbaBubbas shares about the story behind the song: “When we were facing uncertainty, we weren’t able to find much music to relate to because a lot of the music that we were listening to always had a clear feeling of the artist’s emotions – joy, sorrow… and for good reason. But we felt this was a part of ourselves that was not so clear, and we wanted to encapsulate it in a song. We also thought that perhaps there were people out there who felt the same way, and we found Kwakpu. She shared with us her personal reasons for being on a hiatus from music, and you can feel her emotions from her performance in the studio.”

A music video accompanies this release, as well as several behind-the-scenes videos telling the story of this collaboration and the band’s Korea tour.

HubbaBubbas are working on their new EP titled ‘New Home’, which they will start releasing at the end of 2020.

Rumble Under My Toes by HubbaBubbas is available everywhere here.

About HubbaBubbas

Singapore indie-pop trio HubbaBubbas comprises lead vocalist Stephanie Lim, guitarist Ryan Chan and beatboxer Mervyn Ye. The band is the recipient of the inaugural Singapore Youth Music Awards 2019 for Best Cover Artist, and have been nominated for five categories at the Singapore Youth Music Awards 2020. Their debut EP Amy(gdala) was released in Aug 2016 at a sold-out EP launch.

HubbaBubbas have been called upon to perform at events like the 2015 SEA Games, the ASEAN Paralympic games, Singapore Night Festival, Music Matters 2018, Bangkok Music City, as well as Zandari Festa, South Korea’s largest music festival, among others.

“Now what sets HubbaBubbas apart is that they aren’t your typical band. With siiiick guitar playing, crazy intense beatboxing and insanely beautiful vocals, they bring something totally different and fresh to the table” – Native Entertainment

“Quirky indie-pop ditties bookend the five-track EP, including the infectious feel-good electro-pop tune ‘Dancing on the World’, which was composed for the 28th South-East Asian Games in Singapore last year” – Time Out

About Kwak Pureunhaneul

Kwak Pureunhaneul is a singer-songwriter, also known as the IU of Hongdae. She talks about her honest life stories with her acoustic guitar and soothing voice, which helped her quickly establish her realm in the industry. Despite her young age, Kwak Pureunhaneul is capable of singing, composing, writing lyrics and even arranging. Let’s find more about her beautiful musicality.

Kwak Pureunhaneul first picked up the guitar when she was a high school student and then released her first album, “Without a Present,” upon graduation. She made herself known in the indie scene with the project gig “Hongdae IU” and secured her spot with the EP,

This singer-songwriter also took part in the audition program Superstar K7 and is set to release her second full-length album this fall.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster thus far has included releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Singaporean electronic producer Foxela and singer-songwriter Chelsea Cara release ‘wanted you so bad’ via Umami Records

Seventeen-year-old Singaporean electronic producer Foxela and singer-songwriter Chelsea Cara have released their brand new single ‘wanted you so bad’ today via Singapore indie label Umami Records.

Chelsea decided to write the song after experiencing rejection from someone she really liked. “I tried to show the dilemma I was facing and the painful choices I had to make,” the alt pop singer-songwriter shares, “I had all these emotions I was trying to make sense of.”

“Am I building a wall just to break it / am I strong enough to hold it down / but with one look, oh no you got me now”, sings Chelsea, building up to Foxela’s cathartic instrumental drop. She channels her frustrations with a delicate but soulful performance that feels at home with the song’s tropical house-inspired production.

“The drop is definitely my favourite part of the song”, shares Foxela, “I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone and I’m really happy with the result.”

‘wanted you so bad’ is the second single the 2 classmates have worked on together, the first, ‘Live On’, was released earlier this year. Foxela will be keeping up the prolific pace of his work through 2020, with a new release planned for every month, including upcoming collabs with Dr. Boomy, DNAKM and Tyraz.

wanted you so bad’ by Foxela and Chelsea Cara is available everywhere.

About Foxela

The alias of 17-year-old Singaporean electronic producer Nigel Quah, Foxela is a non- Grammy-winning artist, crafting music with a blend of future bass, future house and a touch of pop. At the age of 17, Foxela became the youngest Singaporean to reach a million streams on Spotify.

Nigel ventured into the realms of music production at the tender age of 9, sharing his older sister’s Macbook when she didn’t need it for school. Since starting the Foxela project in 2016, his prolific pace has led to more than 40 releases already under his belt. In 2019, he released As You Do, which reached #13 on Spotify’s official Singapore Viral 50 chart, surpassing Billie Eilish and BTS, both of whom have yet to respond to his offers for a collaboration. This was followed by Wild Love which has more than 330K streams on Spotify.

Foxela has also been featured on various Spotify editorial playlists such as Top Hits Singapore, Singapore’s Top Acts, Electro Mix and Party Life.

“His is a sound that is informed by the titanic sweep of the spectrum of electronic music, where ‘dance’ is only a signifier and not the endgame.” – Hear65 (SG)

“With well over a dozen tracks under his belt, it is safe to say that you can expect more from this talented up-and-coming producer in the near future.” – Orange Magazine (PH)

About Chelsea Cara

A bright new upcoming talent hailing from Singapore, Chelsea Cara debuted in 2020 with her first feature, ‘Live On’, with Foxela and brittle bear. She is an aspiring singer-songwriter who mainly writes pop songs while exploring other genres such as r&b and lo-fi.

Writing songs from her own personal experiences, she wishes to touch and inspire young hearts through her music.

Israeli singer-songwriter Vanna releases debut single High Hopes via Umami Records

Israeli singer-songwriter VANNA has released her debut single High Hopes via Singapore based indie label Umami Records on Friday, 6 March 2020.

Produced by Roy Avital of Tel Aviv based indie-electronic trio Garden City Movement and mastered by Matt Colton (James Blake, Muse, Coldplay), High Hopes is a song about not giving up, even in the darkest, loneliest moments of one’s life. “In the end we must ‘run slow, with high hopes’, be patient, and face the future with optimism.” shares VANNA, “I wanted to let people know that they are not alone and there is always hope.” A gently fingerpicked acoustic guitar sits at the centre of Roy’s production which he combines with VANNA’s unique voice, wafting a piano, strings and other instruments in and out, immersing the listener into the raw emotions of this song.

A music video produced by award-winning independent filmmaker Matan Balalty, set in the beautiful forests of Mount Eitan in Jerusalem, accompanies the release of this single.

High Hopes is the title track of VANNA’s debut EP which will be released throughout 2020. Over the last 3 years, VANNA has been working closely with producer Roy Avital on this EP, delivering a delicate fusion of indie electronic, pop, and folk influenced by artists like RY X, Oscar and the Wolf, SYML and Sóley.

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, of Indian and Iranian parents, VANNA grew up immersed in music, culture and diversity. Creating music is her way of confronting and understanding the turmoil she feels within herself, and she hopes her songs will touch others going through the same struggle. She is also a graduate of the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

VANNA’s next show will be at the Hateiva, Tel Aviv on 23 April 2020, and she is planning a tour to Singapore, India and Nepal in the fall of 2020.

High Hopes by VANNA is available everywhere at this link.

Details and image provided in a recent press release.

Upcoming Singapore electro-pop/R&B band “In the Now” drops debut single with Umami Records

Upcoming Singapore Electro-pop/R&B band IN THE NOW drops their debut release via Umami Records, “Fool” on Friday, 28 February 2020.

 “Fool” is a song about unrequited love, where our hero is in denial, constantly clinging to the hope that one day the subject of his infatuation will change her mind, even though he knows he should move on. Layers of dark melancholic synths and dreamy electronic pads build into a heartfelt chorus, and when words are not enough, culminates in an unexpected drop. Topped off with a sprinkling of trap and future bass elements, the innovative production on this cleverly crafted track entices the ears with something special.

 “I wrote this song hoping it would touch others who relate to the same heartbreak I felt”, shares Alex of IN THE NOW. “We wanted the song to sound really different from what we normally do”, said Dan, the producer of the group, “we experimented with many different versions of the drop before we got something we were all happy with, bringing together the right amount of contrast and energetic release.”

A music video directed and produced by Singapore creative collective YungTauFoo and Homies accompanies the release of this single.

IN THE NOW are four teenage friends and schoolmates from Singapore comprised of producer and vocalist Dan Rafael, and vocalists Akmal Hussein, Rahmat Damansari and Alex Gryffin. They are currently working on an EP of 6 songs to be released in 2020, written and produced by themselves, whilst also completing their tertiary education.

“Fool” by IN THE NOW will be available everywhere from Friday, 28 February 2020 at this link.