Achievements of Baybeats Alumni

By Winifred and Chester

Homegrown music festival Baybeats is celebrating 16 years of bringing alternative music to Singapore’s masses this July.

Perhaps Singapore’s most coveted stage for local bands, Baybeats also provides an opportunity for Singaporeans to check out specially curated regional acts. Local bands get to rub shoulders and learn from industry veterans both local and international. It’s no wonder why Baybeats attracts many aspiring local bands to its auditions – it has the potential to create stars.

Who are some of them? We’re sure you’ll know these names, and you can thank Baybeats for that.

Astreal

Astreal

Genre: Shoegaze

Baybeats Year(s): 2003, 2004, 2006

One of Singapore’s longest running indie acts that is still releasing music today, Astreal has remained faithful to its sound over the years as a Shoegaze icon. Post-Baybeats, they have played stages like major local dance music festival Zoukout and recently, Laneway Singapore in 2017. Astreal released their third album, Light, earlier this year, a decade after their previous album.

Photo credit: Astreal

Nicholas Chim

Nicholas Chim

Genre: Indie folk

Baybeats Year(s): 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 (with Vertical Rush) / 2011, 2016 (as a solo artist)

Prolific veteran singer-songwriter, Nicholas Chim, bares his soul in his delicate tunes. He has played in regional countries such as Japan (for Japan Music Week), Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. He was also the first Asian artist to perform at Maifeld Derby Festival in Mannheim, after an independent trek to Germany. How’s that for a track record?

Photo credit: Marilyn Goh Yun Jin

Linying

Linying

Genre: Electronic, indie folk

Baybeats Year(s): 2015

Since she played Baybeats in 2015, singer-songwriter Linying’s popularity has skyrocketed. She bagged her most achievements in 2016, where her first solo release ‘Sticky Leaves’ was placed on Spotify's American and Global Viral 50 chart. Later in the year, she signed recording deals with Universal Music and Canada-based Nettwork Music Group to distribute her music in Asia and America respectively – making her one of Singapore’s youngest success stories.

Photo credit: Tan Yan Long

Electrico

Electrico

Genre: Rock

Baybeats Year(s): 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013

One of Singapore’s mainstays in the indie music scene, Electrico has achieved much since their first appearance at Baybeats in 2003. The band was the first Singaporean band to receive a nomination at the MTV Asia Awards in 2005, followed by another in 2008. In 2007, they played at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Texas, the largest music festival of its kind in the world. Today, they’re still active as a three-piece comprising the original founding members.

Photo credit: Electrico

The Great Spy Experiment

The Great Spy Experiment

Genre: Indie, rock, dance

Baybeats Year(s): 2006, 2009, 2012

Another household name in the Singaporean indie music scene, The Great Spy Experiment (GSE) was among the first Singaporean acts, along with Electrico, to play the SXSW Festival. They have performed in major cities like London, New York City, Perth, Cannes and Taipei, and the band’s second album, Litmus, was the first English-language music release to top the Singapore iTunes album charts. The band looks back fondly on their Baybeats appearances, citing their third appearance at Baybeats in 2012 as “critical” to the band’s success.

Photo credit: The Great Spy Experiment

Cesspit

Cesspit

Genre: Ska

Baybeats Year(s): 2002, 2015

Originally starting out as a OI and Punk band in 1995 and changing genres to Ska in 1999 while calling themselves The Kanine Disease, they settled on the name Cesspit in 2002. Being influenced by Latin, reggae, folk and traditional music, they have conjured their unique brand of Singaporean Ska. Signed to local underground record label Straits Records, they released their debut, Best Before 050403, a year after their first Baybeats appearance.

Photo credit: Cesspit

Wormrot

Wormrot

Genre: Grindcore

Baybeats Year(s): 2013

Formed in 2007, and only having a vocalist and two instrumentalists, Wormrot is probably Singapore’s most well-travelled band. Cited as one of the top-10 Grindcore bands by Californian publication OC Weekly, they have toured for months on end around Europe and the U.S. They are also the first Singaporean band to play at the famed Glastonbury festival.

Photo credit: Wormrot

The Pinholes

The Pinholes

Genre: Rock and Roll

Baybeats Year(s): 2005, 2006, 2013

Perhaps the classiest band in Singapore, with their signature matching retro outfits, The Pinholes play an eclectic mixture of Rock n’ Roll. They are inspired by The Beatles’ melodies, the breezy harmonies of The Beach Boys, and the stage presence of The Rolling Stones. The mop-haired quartet has a full-length album, Bring Back The Vibe, 2 EPs and multiple singles under their blazers. They have played extensively locally and regionally (Rockaway Fest), and even internationally, at South by Southwest (SXSW) and Canadian Music Week.

Photo credit: The Pinholes

iNCH Chua

iNCH Chua

Genre: Indie, Folk, Alternative

Baybeats Year(s): 2007 (with her band Allura), 2009, 2012 & 2014 (with The Metric System)

After making a stellar debut at Baybeats 2007 with Allura, Inch and her band went on to cement their place in the local music scene. She released her first solo EP, The Bedroom, for free the same year she made her sophomore appearance as a solo artist at Baybeats. Shortly after, the EP gained recognition of many international websites and music blogs, and she was soon invited to play at South by Southwest (SXSW), being the first Singaporean solo artist to do so. She continues to play live backed by her band, The Metric System.

Photo credit: Inch Chua

I Am David Sparkle

I Am David Sparkle

Genre: Instrumental Rock

Baybeats Year(s): 2005, 2016

Who says you can’t enchant audiences without a vocalist? Their enigmatic band name is a translation and wordplay on 70’s Malaysia disco king M. Daud Kilau’s name (kilau loosely meaning shiny/sparkly). They released their first EP in 2006, a year after making their baybeats debut. This award-winning outfit has toured regionally and beyond to countries like Sweden and the United States. They most notably played at the South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas in 2009. They are signed to local record label KittyWu Records.

Photo credit: Leonard Soosay