5 artists to look out for at *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021

From math rock to emotive R&B, here are just some of the musicians to check out at the Singaporean hybrid music festival this month

In partnership with *SCAPE

*SCAPE Music Day Out! returns this year with a whole slew of exciting activities for Singaporean music fans and musicians, from panels on important industry issues to feedback sessions for budding artists.

And of course, the hybrid event will offer live performances on the weekend of October 22-23 from some of the most exciting artists coming out of Singapore. It was difficult to pick just five acts to spotlight, but we managed it. Read on for an introduction to some of the musicians who will play at *SCAPE Music Day Out!.

Forests

Over the years since their formation in 2014, emo trio Forests have become beloved in Singapore and beyond for their catchy hooks, riotous scream-sing vocals and infectious math rock guitar heroics.

Despite a recent line-up change, Forests (aka Darell Laser, Niki Koh and Daniel Lim) remain as rambunctious as ever. Sure, you can stream their two full-length albums – debut ‘Sun Eat Moon Grave Party’ and ‘Spending Eternity In A Japanese Convenience Store’ – but Forests songs beg to be heard live, whether it’s for the opportunity to scream their lyrics back at them or for the band’s unpredictable stage banter.

If you’ve never heard of Forests before, check out ‘Kawaii Hawaii’, their biggest song yet, or ‘Tamago’, which according to American publication Vulture is one of the 100 greatest emo songs of all time.

Forests are set to perform on day one of *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021. Physical tickets have sold out, but you can catch their live performance online on *SCAPE Facebook and YouTube pages.

Narysal Nurdanel

Despite having released only two songs to date, rising R&B singer-songwriter Narysal Nurdanel has made quite an impact in the local music circuit.

The winner of the Best New Artist award at this year’s Youth Music Awards organised by *SCAPE, Narysal debuted last year with the single ‘Fade Away’, which showcased his impeccable R&B vocal phrasings and has accumulated over half a million streams on Spotify alone.

Narysal has been honing his talent for over a decade. Between 2012 and 2014, Narysal competed as part of ITE’s A Cappella team, winning the National Championships twice before placing third in the Busan Choral Festival.

Narysal and his friends went on to perform at the Esplanade Concourse multiple times between 2011 and 2015. He now juggles his solo music career alongside work as a vocal coach – a testimony to his precise, powerhouse vocals.

With an abundance of talent and a voice guaranteed to send shivers down your spine, Narysal stands out as a young Singaporean musician to keep an eye on moving forward. He’s working on new music, he’s confirmed to NME, with a projected release date for late November.

Narysal Nurdanel will perform on the second day of *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021.

FERS

In 2018, FERS shared ‘Neverland’, their debut single inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. The lush, chilled-out single marked the beginning for a promising new band, but also the return of members of the now-defunct local groups Enec.e and wyd:syd.

After ‘Neverland’, though, FERS kept fans waiting – for three years. In March 2021, the quartet finally followed up their debut single with the five-track EP ‘Shallow’. The project saw the group expand upon the spacey sound they built with ‘Neverland’, digging deeper into Peter Pan’s exploration of false narratives, frontwoman Ferry’s airy vocals bringing dreamy songs like ‘Mermaids’ and ‘Drift’ to life.

Singapore has long loved shoegaze and dream pop, and the short but sweet ‘Shallow’ marks FERS as one such band to watch. It will be a treat to watch them flesh out their sonic worlds live.

Catch FERS as they perform on day one of *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021. Physical tickets for FERS’ set have sold out but you can still catch their live performance online on *SCAPE Facebook and YouTube pages.

nkei

Budding alternative R&B duo nkei – consisting of Woes member Raizel Gonzales and producer Ian Lee – formed in late 2020, and have released one single, ‘No’, to date.

The band cite genres spanning jazz, indie and neo-soul as inspirations for their sound, all of which are evident on ‘No’. The song starts low and slow, driven by an acoustic guitar and Gonzales’ soothing voice, before building to a jazzy crescendo, complete with layers of saxophones, synths, and percussion.

nkei see their sound as the marriage of “lush harmony with subtly tender melodies and lyricism” that pays tribute to a “classic style of songwriting, valuing the reciprocity between a single instrument and a melody”. They’ve confirmed to NME that they’re readying the release of their debut four-track EP. Starting in late October, the duo will release four singles throughout the course of two months, ultimately culminating in their first project.

Hopefully we’ll get to see nkei showcase their new music when they perform on day one of *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021.

Stopgap

Singaporean indie rock outfit Stopgap are built on the foundation of uncompromising catchy hooks, intricate melodies and high-energy grooves.

From bouncy tune ‘Mind Made Up’ to the subdued ‘The Life’, the five-piece’s discography has something for everyone. Their 2016 debut album – and only record to date so far – ‘Totems’ is a short but sharp collection that best exemplifies the band’s goal of delivering unabashedly good times.

Despite not having released new music in the past five years, Stopgap bring out the crowds every time they perform. After all, they offer a winning combination: pulsating drums, loud, punchy guitar riffs, thick bass and charismatic lead vocals.

Now a decade into their career as a band, Stopgap have toured through India and Australia, and have performed at just about every festival there is in the Lion City. In late 2020, the band teased on social media that they were recording a new EP, with an update coming in January that the songs were in the process of being mixed and mastered.

While a release date for the upcoming collection of songs have yet to be announced, one can only hope that the band treat fans to a taste of new music at during the second day of *SCAPE Music Day Out! 2021. Physical tickets have sold out, but you can watch their live performance online on *SCAPE Facebook and YouTube pages.

*SCAPE Music Day Out! runs from October 18 to 23. See the full line-up of performances here and find more details on the schedule and all activities here.

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