“Stay safe, stay connected. We will heal the world together after winning this COVID-19. With love, Harry.” That was Vietnamese Pham Van Anh Harry’s dedication to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Vietnam Alumni Chapter and ASEAN Youth Fellowship friends in Singapore, under the SIF’s latest initiative, Gift A Song Project. The ASEAN Youth Fellow’s dedication has since been recorded by local singer Syah Riszuan, together with his cover of Harry’s requested song - Michael Jackson’s Heal the World - for the recipients of the dedication.
This video and 49 other song dedications from the SIF’s community of Citizen Ambassadors and international friends and partners have been uploaded to the SIF’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms in May. Accompanied by messages of encouragement, these gifts of songs have been dedicated to their friends locally and abroad, someone they know who is battling the virus, struggling with economic loss, working at the frontlines of healthcare and essential services or in need of support in times of isolation around the world.
Gift A Song Project was started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected lives in varying degrees, from the frontlines at the hospitals to businesses and families. Tapping on the power of arts for good, the SIF’s collaboration with local artists has allowed for much needed uplifting of spirits as well as the enablement of livelihoods of local artists during this difficult time.
15 homegrown musicians fronted by local music veteran and SIF’s Citizen Ambassador Clement Chow have been commissioned to perform and record a heartfelt rendition of the requested songs from their homes. For them, this is also their way of doing their part for Singapore and beyond, warming the hearts of the weary amid the global uncertainty through music. The musicians involved in this initiative include Kexin Tay, Jordin Tan, Syah Riszuan, Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai and Lisa Haryono, amongst others.
For Clement, it was heart-warming see those dedications. “The beauty of music is that it feeds the soul and is without borders. It creates an outlet for people to express themselves and through that harness the healing powers of music in reconnecting with our loved ones, especially amid social distancing measures. I’m heartened by the dedications that have come through and the positive responses garnered online in support for this project and the community.”
Echoing Clement’s thoughts is another of the artists commissioned for this initiative, Lisa Haryono. She shared, “It was especially meaningful to perform ‘Ku Bahagia (I am Happy)’ in my mother tongue and be able to spread cheer across borders to our friends in Indonesia. It’s an honour to be a part of this meaningful Gift A Song Project which rallied musicians in Singapore and I hope these songs will warm the hearts of the weary and rally everyone to unite and fight the virus.”
As part of the second phase of Gift A Song Project, members of the public are also encouraged to send in their dedications via the SIF website – Gift A Song – from 26 May 2020 as a gift to anyone who is in need of cheer during the current pandemic. As a show of global solidarity, dedications to friends and communities from another country are strongly encouraged. Shortlisted dedications will be recorded and sent to the requesters and recipients via email. Selected videos will also be posted on the SIF’s social media channels from mid-June 2020.
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