Local singer-songwriter Linying breaks into boys' club
Local singer-songwriter Linying becomes first female artist here to sign multi-rights deal with Universal Music S'pore
The girls are catching up with the guys.
In recent years, it seemed like only male acts in the English-language music scene were getting signed to major record labels here.
But singer-songwriter Linying has broken into the boys' club.
It was announced recently that she signed a multi-rights deal with Universal Music Singapore, becoming the first Singapore female artist to do so.
It includes recording rights, live shows, endorsements and merchandising - similar to the contracts of Universal Music Singapore artists Charlie Lim and Gentle Bones.
The 22-year-old told The New Paper that she hopes the move will allow her to take her music to a bigger audience.
She added: "(Signing to a label) feels like a little box that's been ticked...
"I'm very excited about the ways we can work together on the many aspects surrounding the music."
Earlier this month, Linying released the title track of her debut EP Paris 12 under the Universal Music Singapore label. The EP will be out on Sept 30.
This is set to be the breakthrough year for Linying.
She will be touring Europe later this month and early November,and then performing in Australia and Singapore in November.
With her 2015 debut single Sticky Leaves amassing more than a million plays on music streaming service Spotify since its release, Linying is not exactly a new face on the scene.
She has collaborated with Gentle Bones on his single Liar, which was released in June.
She was also Featured Artist of Spotify Spotlight 2016 and worked with European house giants Felix Jaehn and Lost Frequencies in 2014.
On whether more local female artists are being recognised, she said: "I don't see that more female artists are being signed to labels than before.
"They've always been a very significant part of the industry, (ever since) artists have been celebrated and recognised for their compositions.
"What I do see is major labels being more focused on the music itself above any other consideration.
"The focal point for an artist should be the music itself... That will be valued and treated as the main feature, the central point of the project."
On why they decided to bring her on board, Mr Lim Teck Kheng, head of strategic marketing/artists and repertoire at Universal Music Singapore, told TNP: "It's all about the music.
"Linying is such a unique singer-songwriter.
"She writes and performs with so much soul and her music has such a great emotional connection with her listeners."
It is evident that critics and fans alike are mesmerised by Paris 12.
It's No. 1 on Spotify's Singapore Viral 50 playlist and the music video on Facebook has more than 126,000 views.
The newspaper USA Today also praised the song, saying: "It all builds to a big moment of catharsis, but one that maintains a level of restraint.
"You expect the huge drums to come in for a send-off, but Linying holds back, just enough, and it works."
Linying said: "The initial response is looking wonderful so far...
"To me there's nothing better than seeing people react to the music you make in any way - whether they love the sound of a song or (the song makes them) feel understood and therefore less alone.
"That's always been the most wonderful thing music has meant to me and why I wanted to do the same."
Female DJs 'equally' skilled as male peers
PHOTO: WARNER MUSIC SINGAPORE
Model-turned-DJ Nicole Chen has signed to Warner Music Singapore, becoming the first female EDM (electronic dance music) artist to do so.
The 30-year-old told TNP: "I decided to do so as I will be moving towards doing more commercial music than before."
She has played at major EDM festivals such as Ultra Japan and Ultra Korea 2014.
And after six years of making a name for herself on the EDM circuit, Chen's debut single Looking For Love, featuring US-based vocalist-producer Max Landry, was released last week.
Warner Music Singapore also represents local male DJ-producer MMXJ.
Being part of the male-dominated EDM industry, Chen, who has more than 400,000 fans on Facebook, said it was "amazing" as many of her peers have gone unnoticed.
Chen hopes for more platforms to showcase female DJs.
"We have equal abilities as that of our male counterparts.
"We just need more exposure and support from the community," she added.
Ms Daphne Yeo, marketing manager for Warner Music Singapore, said the label "has always been consistent" in supporting and releasing music from female artists like Inch Chua, Kelly Poon and Corrinne May.
Ms Yeo said: "Nicole has carved a name for herself on the DJ circuit and it is the right time for her to naturally progress into being a full-fledged producer-musician...
"Gender equality is indeed an important factor to consider - and it should be for any industry. Having said that, we look out for talent and musicianship above anything else."