'Authentic' Fakesong: The Sing Singapore Campaign

Shzr Ee Tan


Every two years, in the euphoric aftermath of National Day celebrations in August, individual soloists and choral groups congregate in a large hall to sing to an assembly of a few thousand cheering fans. With glitter in their hair and feet tapping out choreographed sequences, they belt out catchy tunes bearing lyrics about building 'nation strong and free' ('We are Singapore'), or 'One People, One Nation, One Singapore'. The televised gala night is the climax of the song festival/competition known as Sing Singapore, conceived in 1988 by the Ministry of Information and the Arts to 'promote singing as a way of life, and develop a strong sense of belonging to Singapore': concert or propaganda?

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