• Singaporean musicians need to find ways to be Singaporean

    One of Singapore's best-known music personalities tells 938LIVE’s Bharati Jagdish it took him a lifetime to find the confidence to say that the music he wrote was Singaporean.

    Dick Lee is one of Singapore’s best-known music personalities. A singer-songwriter, whose song, Home, written almost 20 years ago, still resonates with many Singaporeans and has become almost a microcosm of Singaporean-ness.

    His career spans more than 40 years and he remains relevant, composing pop music, scores for musicals and national songs. Today, he also works in fashion, advertising and events management.

    He went “On the Record” with Bharati Jagdish about his deepest regrets, his upcoming passion projects and what musicians today need to do to succeed in a competitive global market. But first, his beginnings as an artist.

    Dick Lee: For me, growing up was not an easy time because I was a teenager, getting into musical trends and basically pop culture was forbidden then. There was a huge clamp down on the negative aspects of Western culture. For example, rock music equalled drugs. So if you wanted to embrace pop culture, you would have to somehow get involved with heavy metal somewhere along the line.

    Bharati Jagdish: Did you?

    Dick Lee: Of course I did and parents were very wary if their kids played guitar, even. Rock concerts were banned. Long hair was banned. And so all these things that were cool were illegal, so to speak.

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