Long gone are the days when Singapore musicians played second fiddle to their international contemporaries. The latest act to disprove the misconception that local artists are somehow subpar is none other than Singapore-born Natalie Ong.
Taking the X Factor Australia competition by storm last year, the then 15-year-old Ong quickly became a stand-out performer, effortlessly making it to the top 12 and earning praises from the judging panel consisting of Adam Lambert, Guy Sebastian and Iggy Azalea.
Eight months since her appearance on the reality programme, Ong is back with a vengeance with her first ever single ‘Get Gold’.
A Fierce Debut In The Right Direction
Get Gold is a strong and, if I may, fierce entry into the scene by the teenager, but if you’re thinking of taking the she-grew-up-overseas narrative, Imma stop you right there.
Produced by Josh Wei alongside a music video directed by Vadbibes, also known as Jasper Tan, Ong’s debut single was a result of Singaporeans coming together and producing magic.
In an Instagram post, Ong describes how the track came together.
“I been blessed thus far in my career to be part of X-Factor Australia and to have the opportunities I have after was out of this world,” she wrote. “However, I’ve always wanted to start my career back home in Singapore and to be able to work on a song. I see how much the music and arts scene have changed here.”
“[I] came across SHINE Festival that happened last year and it was so in line towards what I believe in. In pursuing your dreams. In never giving up. I decided to take a crazy leap,” she added.
Many people have been asking me how this song came about. I’ve been blessed thus far in my career to be part of X-Factor Australia and to have the opportunities I have after was out of this world. However, I’ve always wanted to start my career back home in Singapore and to be able to work on a song. I see how much the music and arts scene has changed here. Came across Shine Festival that happened last year and it was so in line with what I believe in – in pursuing your dreams, in never giving up. I worked on the song together with @joshwei__ and we pitched it to the folks at @nycsg. They loved it. And even supported me in producing this song and connecting me with the right people in the local music industry. Here I am now, with my new single and I’ll be performing this live for the first time at @shinefest Hope you guys like it! #OwnYourDreams
Inspired by SHINE Festival, an annual event hosted by the National Youth Council to inspire youths in pursuing their dreams, Ong decided to write a song for this year’s festival with Wei and pitched the song to SHINE.
Having loved the message and the song in its entirety, SHINE connected Ong to the right people in the local music industry and supported her in the production of the single.
‘I Get Gold When I Get In’
In the track, Ong talks about doing what it takes to achieve her goals, even if it means being misunderstood or underestimated at the start.
Ong pulls no punches as well, starting the song by calling out her critics.
They call me heartless
They call me salty
But I bring the flavour
How about you?
Hoping to inspire like-minded youths who have aspirations in pursuing their dreams, Ong sings in the pre-chorus of Get Gold:
‘Cause I was born with a purpose
Put on this earth
With something to prove
I’ll climb the highest of mountains
Riskin’ it all
For the perfect view
If you haven’t already listened to the track and watched the music video on YouTube, check it out below.
Pursuing Your Dreams
Besides supporting the production of Ong’s first single, SHINE Festival has been a guiding light for youths in Singapore to pursue their dreams, no matter the field.
The festival’s Talent Development Program, for instance, has connected many youths in the past with the right people in their industry of choice. In past years for instance, aspiring musicians and singers have had the chance to be mentored by Charlie Lim and ShiGGa Shay.
This year, mentors such as music producer Kevin Foo, The Sam Willows’ Jon Chua, media specialists AMOK and the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association will be guiding the best of the best youth musicians, creatives and gamers in Singapore.
Sometimes the best roads are the ones less travelled, so hats off to you, SHINE, for making the dreams of youths of today possible!
If you’re interested in checking out some of the works that this year’s chosen youths have produced with their mentors, do head down to SHINE Festival 2017 from June 30 to July 2 at Orchard Road.
The event will mark the start of Youth Month for all of July, with a wealth of promotions and initiatives dedicated specifically for the youths of Singapore. For more information, visit www.shine.nyc.sg or http://www.facebook.com/shinefestival.
Brought to you by National Youth Council.