Love The World Soul Rock Bistro & Bar kicks off Singapore’s first ever Christian Contemporary Music competition.
Six bands battled it out at the nation’s first ever Christian Contemporary Music band competition at Love The World Soul Rock Bistro & Bar on July 21. It was the first of several rounds of elimination in the search for a winning band, who will walk away with cash prizes but more importantly, ink a distribution contract with Integrity Music Asia, the main music producer for contemporary Christian music in the region.
Bar owner Seong Koon (fondly known as “Sam”) says of the inspiration behind the event, “I want more Christians to be exposed to this genre [Christian contemporary music] so that when they think of Christian music, they won’t only think of gospel and worship tunes. I like modern music for its flexibility.” As a Christian-themed bistro, Love The World is the only platform for CCM public live band performances in Singapore.
The competition attracted tertiary school students and worship leaders from various local churches. Quintet M2W (which stands for “Made 2 Worship”) comprised Filipino and Singaporean musicians from God At Work church and Faith Community Baptist Church. All of them serve in their church bands and have had professional experience playing for international artists performing in Singapore. Another younger group, The Audinary, comprising students from Singapore Polytechnic and NUS High School, play in a teenage band during dialect church services at City Harvest Church. While some groups delivered their rendition of popular Christian pop tunes by Hillsong and Chris Tomlin, other bands played original compositions, namely “Footprints” by Soul Passion and the upbeat “Beautiful” by ATC (which stands for “Aspire To Compose”). The bands were judged on their composure, crowd interaction and stage presence, among others. The turnout that night included supporters of the bands, their family members, cell group mates and church friends. Two groups of people even had birthday celebrations on that night, which added to the lively atmosphere.
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A strong believer in the power of music, Seong says, “Music has a voice and it has the power to influence people.” This is evident in the Christian-themed bistro’s slogan, “Let music show the way.” The music enthusiast, who also owns the hugely popular Crazy Elephant at Clarke Quay, the first blues bar in Singapore, hopes to minister to searching hearts and be an inspiration to others through music. He has also formerly managed Woodstock, a hard rock club.
Together with Melvin Koh, general manager and music director of the bistro’s resident band, Chapter One, Seong displayed his own musical chops, delivering two intermission numbers, one of which was a classic Chinese track.
Says Daryl Wong, manager for Integrity Music Asia and one of the judges, “Integrity Music’s efforts are concentrated on promoting and nurturing local artists. We want to encourage them to write songs.” Events like this provide a platform for them to be on the lookout for talents. Their latest compilation, to be released in August, includes two of CHC’s originals—“Because of You” and “Sweetest Devotion.”
Out of the six bands, five made it to the next round of competition, scheduled for the week after. Seong encouraged the band which did not get through to persevere on and improve themselves, as he shared his life experience as a former band member himself. Three more rounds of elimination will follow every Wednesday until the finale on Aug. 18.
To find out more about Love The World Soul Rock Bistro and Bar, log on to www.lovetheworldsoulrock.com