Stärker Music Carnival 2017 successfully concluded with full house attendance

The second edition of Stärker Music Carnival wrapped up successfully last Saturday, 4th November 2017 as the sold out event recorded a turnout of almost 1500 people. Initiated by Stärker Group, and supported by Cross Ratio Entertainment as its Official Music and Event Organiser, the annual music event attracted music lovers of all kinds, celebrities, individuals from the music industry including producers, managers, artistes etc. This year’s performance lineup embraced a variety of music genre. From emerging to established acts, pop, rock to electronic, audience enjoyed a 6 hours live show brought by local and regional acts.

Prior to the doors opening, queues already started forming as many came early to secure good spots in the free seating/ standing venue. It was not long before the event ground was quickly swarmed and filled up with audiences.

The event first kicked off with the final round of Stärker Music Jams, where the four emerged finalists (GIRI, RABCDE, Motus and Sabby and the Cats) performed their crafts . Apart from cover songs, these talented emerging musicians also made their voice heard by proudly presenting their original pieces to the crowd and judges of Stärker Music Jams - renowned producer Jim Lim and Talent manager Willy Tan.

Leading up to the headliner act, 5 established homegrown acts - Jasmine Sokko, The Facade, Disco Hue, Ling Kai and Alfred Sim first took over the stage with each of them putting up a full set performance.

Known for her catchy pulsing synths, singer-producer Jasmine Sokko performed hit songs such as her debut single ‘1057’ and familiar covers such as ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears. Interestingly, when the electronic artiste first started her music career, she was also part of the event last year as one of the promising emerging talents of Stärker Music Jams. A year later, she is back at the stage again, this time as one of the main lineup of the event - proving her tremendous growth over the span of a year.

Alternative Pop band, The Facade, then took over the stage and appealed to the audience with their signature sound - pop, rock with a tinge of blues. The crowd was seen jamming to their groovy beats of their setlist which included songs such as ‘Vanity’, ‘Better Than This’ from their latest EP, ‘Vanity’.

Previously part of the Stärker Music Carnival 2016 lineup, Synth Pop band Disco Hue returned to the stage for the second time. As always, they were able to easily hype up the crowd with their catchy chart topping tunes such as ‘Plastic Hearts’ and ‘I’ll Be Waiting’.

As the night drew in, there were more exciting acts awaiting mandopop fans. Bilingual singer Ling Kai rocked the stage with her recent releases such as ‘本能 (Unlearn)’, ‘狼来了 (Wolf)’ and cover songs like ‘喜剧之王 (King of Comedy)‘ by Li RongHao.

Ling Kai’s performance was followed by veteran singer Alfred Sim as he invited the crowd to a massive sing-a-long session with him. He performed many familiar favourite songs, including his first original chart-topping single ‘一直都在 (Here, Always)’ which was selected as the soundtrack for Mediacorp Channel 8 blockbuster drama, ‘When Duty Calls’. Like how the saying goes, ‘old is gold’, Alfred also captured the hearts of many older audience with cover songs such as ‘每天爱你多一些‘ by Jacky Cheung and renowned cantonese song ‘海阔天空’ by Beyond.

All four finalists who performed earlier on, were gathered back on stage for the announcement of the Stärker Music Jams winner. After much anticipation, pop/funk/R&B band RABCDE was crowned the winner of Stärker Music Jams 2017. The winning title earned them a fully sponsored Music Video and single recording, residency programme with Stärker Music, a sponsored LEVI outfit set and one year management deal with Cross Ratio Entertainment.

Taiwanese vocal powerhouse, A-Lin made her grand entrance with her first song ‘未单身 (Pseudo-Single, Yet Single)’, which was only released last August. She performed for almost an hour with a repertoire ranging from her iconic hit songs to recent releases such as ‘给我一个理由忘记 (Give Me A Reason To Forget) and ‘忘记拥抱 (Forgetting Your Embrace)’. Her usual bubbly and quirky personality was reflected through her goofy moments in between songs. Many were even caught off guard when she requested for a glass of beer on stage and then later initiated to toast with the audience.

Even though this was her third visit to Singapore this year, local fans still lived up to what the A-list star often described them as - ‘热情 (passionate), just like the local weather’. Amongst the audience, there were supporters with LED boards, many of them even whipped out their phone flashlight and sang along with her. It was evident through the undying cheers from the audience that they loved her show.

As part of the German beer culture, the carnival concluded with a beer barrel ceremony where A-Lin was invited to tap off the barrel with a mallet. Before leaving the stage, A-Lin made an impromptu decision to surprise all her supporters with an additional song. She did a cover of R&B singer Tamia’s ‘Officially Missing You’, ending the event on a high note.

Photo Credits: Starker Music Carnival 2017

Ling Kai EP Launch Party - 'Unlearn'

Ling Kai’s EP Launch <UNLEARN> media conference was organised by artiste management company Cross Ratio Entertainment, was held yesterday on 5 October 2017, at SWITCH by Timbre.

Kicking start the conference , Ling Kai shared her thoughts and feelings of releasing this EP with YES 933, DJ Kunhua, who was the host for the media conference. She reflected on her journey of being an artiste for the past decade. Through this introductory segment, it was evident that the homegrown singer-songwriter has certainly returned stronger, with a more mature mindset this time.

It was followed by an exclusive Music Video premiere of her new single “Unlearn”.  Following, they spoke about the large scale production of the Music Video, which took weeks of conceptualisation and preparation. Over 50 production crews were involved in the two days filming. A full size room was specially customised and built - which was later demolished for the later scenes of the video. During this segment, the director of the MV, Glenn Ng, was invited on stage to share about the finer details of the music video and explained the reason why it took so many people to produced this special video.

Another highlight of the conference was the appearance of Jim Lim, notable producer in the Mandarin Pop industry. He expressed his pleasant experience of working on the EP with Ling Kai.  

She performed a few of her new songs from the EP with full band, which includes Dumbfounded “目瞪口呆”, Wolf “狼来了,Eat, Drink, Sleep, Repeat “吃喝拉撒”。

After the media conference, Cross Ratio Entertainment had also organised a listening party at the same venue, showcasing her EP<UNLEARN>.  Fans, friends and family of Ling Kai, and even local celebrities such as Ya Hui, Alfred Sim, The Freshmen, Jack & Rai all came down to support Ling Kai and her joyous occasion, filling up the venue to its full capacity.

She serenaded the audience with a high energy full set of  songs from the EP, some original songs from her previous EP, ‘Honestly’. In between the set, she highlighted her key source of inspiration and stories of creating her originals to the audience. She wrapped up the listening party with her EP title track, ‘Unlearn’, accompanied with the melodic tunes played gracefully by the violinist.

photo credits: Henzy

The Façade <Vanity> EP Launch Party

In conjunction with the release of their long-awaited debut EP <Vanity> that was released under local record label Cross Ratio Entertainment on 21 June 2017, local alternative pop band, The Façade, found overwhelming success at their EP launch party on the 25 June 2017 at Esplanade Annexe Studio.

The night kick-started on a high note with local electronic act, Jasmine Sokko, opening the show. Following her set, the audience truly came alive when The Façade came on and opened their set with an extended version of their hit single ‘Better Than This’. Sharing about the inspirations behind their songs, the band played proceeded to play their widely popular singles ‘Victim’ and ‘White’, as well as ‘Hearsay’ - a new track that is fresh off their debut album. The band surprised the audience by playing two unreleased songs that they’ve written – ‘Crazy’, as well as ‘Half’ that was led in to by their cover of The Click Five’s ‘Jenny’, which the audience sang along loudly to.

The band also covered a few crowd favourites such as Charlie Puth’s ‘Attention’, and DNCE’s ‘Kissing Strangers’, putting their own spin on each of the songs with their unique arrangements. Fortifying their versatility, The Façade members, Brendon Chua and Jereld Ang, did a special acoustic segment during which they played ‘Kiss Me Slowly’ by Parachute.

The night was full of surprises by the band as they brought up the lead vocalist of Second Sunrise, Abbey, to sing a duet to Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ with The Façade’s lead vocalist, Brendon Chua. At the end of the night, the fervent crowd could not get enough of The Façade, in which they enthusiastically went up for an encore number, covering Ed Sheeran’s chart topping single, ‘Shape of You’ which saw the crowd dancing and singing along.

In conjunction with the EP launch party, The Façade’s <Vanity> album has claimed the No. 5 spot on iTunes’ Singapore Alternative Chart and their latest single ‘White’ is still going steady on Spotify’s Top 50 Viral Tracks Singapore All Genre Chart.

Photos credit: Jazreel-Anne

Alfred Sim's Debut Solo Rock Concert - 'Huayi LIVEHOUSE'

Just one year ago, local singer Alfred Sim released his debut eponymous album. The EP launch was held at Switch by Timbre, and the event saw a full-house crowd. Despite only officially pursuing music for a year, Alfred has already participated in various large-scale events locally and regionally, and is a well-seasoned performer. This year, Alfred was invited to perform for ‘HUAYI – Chinese Festival of the Arts 2017’, which concluded last night (3rd February). His first solo rock concert took place at Esplanade Annexe Studio, titled《HUAYI LIVEHOUSE》.

The concept of LIVEHOUSE is a new one – and rather aptly, Alfred Sim was the first Mandopop artist to grace the stages of Esplanade’s Annexe Studio. Needless to say, a rock concert would be severely lacking without the accompaniment of a full-band; as such, Alfred’s LIVEHOUSE performance featured a four-piece band (consisting of a bassist, guitarist, drummer and keyboardist/music director), all of whom are active musicians in both local and international circuits.

In order to better embody the spirit of the concert, Alfred replaced his signature look with a never-seen, rock-esque makeover. In addition to sporting a trendy jacket from local fashion brand, Hardy Hardy Singapore, Alfred’s previously brown hair was also exchanged in favor of a more refreshing ash-grey hairstyle. 

Alfred Sim kicked off the show on a high note with <My Friend>, an explosive rock ballad off his debut album. After which, the singer continued to heat up the atmosphere with another original, titled <Glimmer>, as well as a cover of singer Gary Chow’s <3-7-20-1>. Having invited to perform the theme songs for many local Mediacorp drama series, Alfred Sim also sang two of the most familiar tracks: the theme song of drama ‘The Journey: A Voyage’ titled <Homeland>, as well as the theme song of last year’s blockbuster drama ‘If Only I could’, titled <The Beautiful Times>.

One of the highlights of the concert is the exclusive preview of Alfred Sim’s brand new unreleased track <Here, Always>. The new single is co-written by Alfred and local renowned music producer Jim Lim, and well-known lyricist Zheng Lesheng.

  Winning the champion title of 2014 Project Superstar competition, Alfred Sim also performed a medley of the famous covers that he had sang during his competition days. The medley includes songs like <Zheng Fu>, <Wo Yuan Yi>, <Re Qing De Sha Mo>, <Ting Hai>, <Na Ge Nan Ren> and <One Night In Beijing>, bringing back fond memories of fans who have been supporting him since then.

Other than performing his originals <Lover> and <Make A Phone Call> off his album, Alfred also belt out the recent famous hit song <Mo> by Chinese singer, Na Ying, as well as a revised upbeat rock version of the classic song <Kiss Goodbye> by Jacky Cheung.

Another highlight from the concert which brought the crowd to a high point is Alfred’s cover of Hong Kong band BEYOND’s rock classic <Wo Shi Fen Nu>. The song is one of the most challenging of the set due to its tedious Cantonese enunciation and high beat tempo. To round up the concert, Alfred also chose one of his most memorable performed covers, and another of BEYOND’ most well-known classic, <Hai Kuo Tian Kong>.


Flying Syrup 'Spirit Of 8' EP Launch featuring FXTRT

Since launching their self-titled debut album in 2013, Singapore-based alternative rock band 'FLYING SYRUP' has been working on new material and has made a return with sophomore album, <SPIRIT OF 8>. The album officially launched on the 3rd of December 2016 at Hood Bar & Cafe, and was organised by the album's PR and Marketing agent, Cross Ratio Entertainment.
The launch started with opening act 'FXTRT'. The band started their set with "Maggie" and "Ground Beef", previously unheard material. Subsequently, the band performed more familiar tunes such as "Elephants", as well as a handful of other originals from their debut EP titled <PALETTES> , which includes "Purple" and "Rome". Throughout the set, visuals created by Annie Hung illuminated the stage's backdrop.

Shortly after, 'FLYING SYRUP' took the stage. Aan (bassist) and Beni (keyboards), primarily based in Jakarta, flew in specifically for this occasion. The headliners played for a set consisting of about 20 songs, and showed no signs of slowing down towards the end of the night.

Throughout the two hours, the band performed songs from it's debut album such as "You Remember" and "Backdoor", reworked and spruced up with additional melodies. The band also prepared a medley of songs by The Killers, "Roxanne" by Police, and "Desert Rose" by Sting - all of which were completely rearranged. In addition, the band debuted new singles - "Principles" and "You Said", along with "Killing the Angel" and "Find Your Way".

In particular, "Principles" and "You Said" were performed with accompanying music videos, projected onto the stage's backdrop - leading to a more compelling overall experience. Notably, "Principles" was shot in Jakarta and was featured on Bandwagon. The event saw crowds of almost 200 and many CD sales, a resounding success.

<SPIRIT OF 8> album is now available on iTunes and all digital platforms. Physical albums are available on Cross Ratio E-store at the following link: http://crossratio.tictail.com/product/flying-syrup-spirit-of-8


Stärker Music Carnival 2016

Stärker Music Carnival, an initiative supported by Cross Ratio Entertainment as its official music partner, ended on a high note with “Queen of Drama Theme Songs” Della Ding Dang closing the festival with one of her popular favourites, including familiar tunes like 《相恋一个爱》,《我爱他》,《我是一只小小鸟》and 《猜不透》. The audience made repeated calls for an encore, displaying spirited enthusiasm and high energy throughout the afternoon and evening.

Staged on 1 October 2016 at Zhongshan Park, the Carnival saw a gathering of fans of Ding Dang, one of whom shared the microphone with her when the Taiwan-based artiste walked into the crowd for a personalised meet-and-greet while belting out a tune. This was after the singer gamely participated in a traditional beer barrel-knocking ceremony typically performed at the start of Oktoberfest. With mugs of Stärker Fresh Beer in hand, she, together with the two emcees, heaped well-wishes on the Stärker Group.

The Carnival also marked a new chapter in the music career of local emerging talent ASTRONAUTS , who was announced as the winner of the VOLT competition.

Starting from 3pm, Stärker Music Carnival opened its doors and welcomed an enthusiastic crowd that eventually swelled to more than 500 music lovers. In addition to catching Della Ding Dang performs, they were also there to support established local acts 'Tay Kewei' , 'Charlie Lim' , 'Disco Hue' and 'LEW'. The four shared the stage with three other finalists from the VOLT competition: Marcus Makes Music, Jean Tan and Marian Carmel.

The resounding success of the inaugural Stärker Music Carnival also has the Stärker Group making plans to stage another one in 2017. Consequently, in the near future, VOLT will kick-start again, inviting local emerging talent to audition and, if they make the cut, perform a set at Stärker Music Zhongshan Park. Musicians interested to participate in the initiative should watch out for updates on Stärker Music’s Facebook and Instagram pages.


Tay Kewei 'Chi' Concert

After seven years of waiting, homegrown singer-songwriter Tay Kewei finally held her very first full-fledged solo concert ‘Chi’, on 17th June 2016 at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Presented by Cross Ratio Entertainment, and co-sponsored by Starker Music and Peugeot, ‘Chi’ is Tay Kewei’s first large-scale solo ticketed show since her album launch concert held at the Esplanade Recital Studio seven years ago. Other than family, close friends and fans, many celebrity friends such as Janice Koh, Jeannette Aw, Sora Ma, You Yi and others, also came down to support the singer-songwriter.

Two upcoming bands, Fillory and The Façade, both also under the management of Cross Ratio Entertainment, kicked off the night as they performed as the opening acts for their company’s 'Big Sister'.
Fans witnessed the growth and evolution of Kewei’s music and individuality as an artiste over the past seven years, as she challenged her past works with a brand new arrangement supported by a full 6‑piece live band. The concert was designed into three segments. The first segment consists of the classic hit songs of Tay Kewei, portraying the glamorous side of a singer at his/her highest career peak.

Tay Kewei’s latest EP <7 years> is available at all good record stores and at Cross Ratio E-store: http://crossratio.tictail.com/. The physical EP is also available in Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, while the digital release is available on iTunes worldwide.


VOLT: Amplifying Local Talents 2016

VOLT is an initiative by the Stärker Music arm of the Stärker Group in collaboration with Cross Ratio Entertainment, launched in early 2016 to support and amplify previously unknown but gifted singers. The initiative ran weekly from April to October 2016.
The initiative showcased artists such as 'Keith Soo-Tho' , 'FILLORY' , 'Marcus Makes Music' and many more.


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