Grandfather inspires workplace safety song
Finalist for workplace safety songwriting competition:
Her late grandfather was a victim of a workplace accident.
And that inspired part of the lyrics of Miss Boon Hui Lu's entry for the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council's songwriting competition. (See report on right.)
The 22-year-old Singaporean, who is one of the three finalists, told The New Paper: "My grandfather was a baggage handler at the airport. He was loading luggage onto a plane when a suitcase fell on him, leaving him wheelchair-bound.
"He passed away of old age when I was two.
"I thought about this incident when I wrote the lyrics, 'If I told you a ladder was all you need to let regret rewind'."
It took about three weeks to write the rock ballad Safety, Your Word, Your Life, said Miss Boon.
WSH Council has produced music videos for all three finalists.
Miss Boon said: "I hope to convey a simple message - that neglecting workplace safety and health can leave regrets."
Workplace safety has come under the spotlight again after two SMRT trainees died in a workplace accident this month.
The two Singaporeans - Mr Nasrulhudin Najumudin, 26, and Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari, 24 -were killed by a train last Tuesday.
SMRT has disclosed that a key safety procedure was not followed.
Said Miss Boon: "I listened to my song again after reading the news.
"I really hope that it will make people think twice about the importance of workplace safety."
She started writing songs only two years ago, but Miss Boon has garnered awards at songwriting competitions such as National Environment Agency's Eco Music Challenge and national talent competition Impresario.
Last year, she sold one of her songs to Malaysian TV broadcaster NT7 to be used as a closing theme of its drama series Holiday.
Said the NTU accountancy graduate: "I have always liked singing, but songwriting is at another level.
"I can write songs that demonstrate my own vocal qualities and it is so satisfying to hear people cover your songs."
The former child actress is no stranger to performing. In 2006, she won the Young Talent Award at Mediacorp's Star Awards for her role in Channel 8 drama Rhapsody In Blue.
In 2012, she was selected to represent Singapore in popular Taiwanese reality TV singing competition Million Star and a year later, was in the top 40 of Channel 5 reality TV singing competition The Final One.
She said: "I knew that I wanted to sing professionally when I joined the school choir in Victoria Junior College.
Since graduating in August, Miss Boon has been working as a vocal teacher at Hark Music School in the day and performing at bistros or corporate events at night.
She also uploads covers of English and Chinese songs on her YouTube channel.
Miss Boon's parents, a 60-year-old courier driver and a 52-year-old housewife, are supportive of her.
She said: "For this (WSH) competition, my parents asked their friends and even their friends' children to vote for me.
"I told them to give me five years to find my goal."
She said: "The music industry is very unpredictable. I could be eating cup noodles one day and be signed to a record label the next.
"I see my friends earning a stable income, living a corporate life, and I did think about being like them.
"But I want to live with no regrets."
VOTE FOR TOP SONG
Fifty-nine entries were received for Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council's inaugural songwriting competition.
Participants had to write a song based on the message "I can prevent all injuries and be healthy at work".
The three finalists, chosen by a panel of judges, were announced this month.
They are Miss Boon Hui Lu (Safety, Your Word, Your Life), Ms Cheryl Loon (I can. You can. We all can.) and Ms Tan Kia Ming (Be Safe! Be Sound!).
Judges' votes makes up 60 per cent of the score and public voting makes up for the remaining 40 per cent.
Visit WSH Council's Facebook page and YouTube channel to view and vote for the music videos by April 14.
The winner will receive $5,000 in cash.