Singing tips from stars
Catch the Hear65 Sing Along SG karaoke-cum-concert session and sing along with homegrown stars such as singer Charlie Lim. (Photo: Lee Chang Ming)

Singing tips from stars

If you have always dreamed of singing a duet with a star, don’t miss Hear65 Sing Along SG. The month-long karaoke-cum-concert series allows you to do just that.

The live music series takes place online every Saturday evening until 13 June. It features homegrown singers and musicians from various music genres and the line-up includes singer Charlie Lim, who is known for hits such as Bitter and Least of You.

The artists perform their original works, and lyrics to their songs are displayed onscreen in a karaoke format, so that audiences can sing along with them from home. Each session is hosted by actress-host Munah Bagharib. She will interview the artists and facilitate questions from fans during the live chat segment of each session.

The series is part of Hear65, a national movement that celebrates all forms of Singaporean music. It is presented by music media company Bandwagon, in partnership with the National Arts Council. The broadcast is available via Hear65’s social channels such as Twitch and YouTube.

Read on for singing tips from host Bagharib and singer Lim – bonus: we find out their song-of-the-moment – and be sure to sing along on Saturday.

What are your 3 tips for singing – on stage or at karaoke?

Lim: Warm up before a show. It’s always good to do some scales, yawns and lip trills to loosen your vocal chords, jaw and extend your range comfortably. I like to stretch my whole body too if possible, especially if it’s going to be a long set!

Always activate your diaphragm when breathing instead of just puffing out your chest, which only partially expands the lungs. You want to make sure your core is tight and that you’re always “supporting” your breath – something I learned in the choir in secondary school, which I never thought would come in handy.

Avoid eating or drinking dairy and caffeine as they dry up the vocal folds. When that happens, my go-to herbal remedies include pi pa gao (a Chinese herbal cough syrup) and Throat Coat Tea. They have saved my life more than a few times.

Bagharib: Karaoke – it’s a whole operation and it needs teamwork! Before you enter the room, discuss with your friends what genres you’d like to cover. Will you go from pop to RnB, then rock and some good old love hits? Or are you just rojak-ing, mixing it all up? It is crucial to have a system. Otherwise, everyone will hog the song selection screen, songs will keep getting skipped over and everyone will end up sick of the fickleness. Where’s the fun in that?

Don’t hog the mic. My group of friends and I are so cordial at karaoke, it’s kind of funny. We’re always passing the mic around, so everyone gets a chance to sing. It’s not a big deal, but everyone likes to be included, even if they, i.e. me, can’t sing.

And if you can’t sing, work it! Honestly, karaoke is super fun because it’s like your curated club mix, and you get to sing along with your buddies. Don’t stress, just work it!

Which song expresses how you feel now?
Lim: Blue World by Mac Miller, although his entire album, Circles, has been my go-to soundtrack during a time like this. I was listening to it a lot when I was based in London earlier this year, before the pandemic, which was one of the best times I’ve had away from home. Listening to it now brings me back to that place.

Bagharib: Stuck with U by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber is my stay-home bae song. It’s such a lovey-dovey, feel-good song, and I feel that way most days. On days when I don’t, it keeps me happy and hopeful.

Replies have been edited and condensed. Sing along to all four episodes here.

We can’t wait to share more awesome content with you. This is going to be so much fun.

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