The festival and conference Music Matters, which is held annually in Singapore, is always a fantastic opportunity to discover new music talent from around the world, and this year was no exception. Over 30 bands and artists from 10 countries played across six venues in Singapore last week, and I was lucky enough to head along and catch many of them in action. Here are five of the acts who really caught my attention; artists who I’d never seen live before!
Aaradhna (New Zealand)
The musical highlight of the entire week had to be Aaradhna from New Zealand. She was the sort of performer that managed silence an entire room full of industry people – no easy feat. Her voice was impeccable (that level of control is out-of-this-world) and she’s supported by a great backing band. I can’t say enough good things about her – but you need to see her live to find this out for yourself. Set to tour Australia later this year with Kylie Auldist, don’t miss her in action. She’s destined for greatness.
Bad Pony (Sydney, Australia)
I was totally floored by this band – the indie rock group were a total surprise and a fresh of breath air with some great songwriting and excellent musicianship. I’m surprised they haven’t made more of a splash locally to be honest. “Zombie”, which closed the set, was a highlight of The Aussie BBQ. Consider me a converted fan – I’ll be keeping a close eye on them from here on out! Check out their latest single “Sideways”, which they’ve been touring for a few months now:
Prateek Kuhad (India)
Indian singer/songwriter Prateek Kuhad (who’s pictured at the top of this article) hit Music Matters fresh from his appearances in Australia (including a show at BIGSOUND), and proved himself to be a world class performer in every sense of the word. He has a phenomenal voice, is an incredible finger picking guitarist and makes music that is hypnotic as it is engaging. His music could easily be as popular as Ed Sheeran or Passenger if this gets into the right hands – so please join us in spreading the word about this talented artist!
Rag n’ Bone (Perth, Australia)
Arguably the best band you’ve never heard of, the group impressed at the Aussie BBQ with one of the night’s heavier sets. Lead vocalist Kiera is phenomenal, with an entrancing stage presence and a great voice, helping make the group stand apart as they travelled onto Shanghai for the Concrete and Grass festival.
Resin Moon (Alice Springs, Australia)
Alice Springs artist Dave Crowe has been making beautiful indie-folk music for years now. His ethereal vocals find a good home amongst his new folk-electronic project Resin Moon, with his track “Salt” already making waves, winning the NT Song of the Year earlier in 2016. An artist not to be ignored (and spectacular live to boot):
I’d also like to pay special mention to Swiss group The Souls, who were marvelously polished with a powerful voice. Garden City Movement, a fantastic indie pop trio from Tel Aviv (think Phoenix meets The Rapture). GDJYB from Hong Kong, who have an immense amount of potential and invoked some comparisons to Wild Beasts. Perth’s Sydnee Carter who sounded as beautiful as always with her new two piece band (she’s the only non-“Discovery” on this list, to be fair). And I also can’t begin to tell you how much fun Taiwanese band P!SCO and Thailand’s Slot Machine were. The latter dropped their first ever English language record, produced by Steve Lillywhite, earlier this year. But what matters is that both acts really now how to bring it live.