Music scene needs 'new blood'

SINGAPORE - Here's the trouble with Singapore's music scene: It needs "new blood", singer Kit Chan said yesterday.

"You still see the same people, for better or for worse...it's good for (those in the industry), but what does it mean for the continuation of the industry?" the home-grown artist said.

Chan, 40, was responding to a question from My Paper about whether she agreed with comments made in January by Hype Records head, Ken Lim. He had said that the local music industry is "on the verge of extinction".

"I wouldn't say (exactly that), but I think we need to do something to rev it up again," Chan mused. "I think he was being a bit dramatic." Now, the pair are doing their bit to try to give the scene the rejuvenation it needs.

Together with the winner of the first season of Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah, they make up the mentoring and judging panel of Lim's new reality singing contest, The Final 1.

The show, which premieres on April 24, will take viewers through the process of grooming an artist, and hopes to crown a winner who can sustain a successful career.

It attracted over 1,000 entries, and boasts a grand prize of $50,000, plus a recording contract worth the same amount.

For Chan, who is one of the country's biggest Mandopop exports, the decision to join the show was not an easy one.

Over the years, she had been asked to judge "every single" such televised competition, like Idol and Campus Superstar. She turned down all the offers.

She explained: "I wasn't ready. It was an outright 'no, I don't judge'."

Though she was reluctant when contacted by 48-year-old Lim, he won her over. She likes that the show "educates" the contestants and the audience, and highlights the fact that it takes more than just a good voice to make it big.

Turning 40, said Chan - who has more than 20 years of experience under her belt - added to her decision to judge.

She now feels "more mature".

"Before, I felt like I wasn't fit to (judge). Now, I feel like I have the confidence," she added.

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