NDP2021: Focus On Safety, SG Spirit And Animation + 2 More New NDP Songs!
STORY: Nicholas Yong
18 August 2021
We've had to wait a little bit, but NDP is finally happening this weekend!
As with last year's NDP, this year's celebration - which will be hosted by Joakim Gomez, Eswari Gunasagar, Fauzie Laily, and Patricia Mok - will enter our homes once again, bringing with it the “Singapore Spirit”.
Showcasing stories of our past and present, this year's NDP aims to inspire us to dream big and overcome adversities - much like how we have stayed strong and banded together amid the now-endemic COVID-19 situation as well as through the years, celebrating NDP even in the toughest of times.
“From time to time, new crises will again test our resolve and unity," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long in his National Day message on 9 Aug. "But COVID-19 has shown that we can face them with grit and determination, and stay one united people”
NDP 2021 will be a completely stay-at-home affair specially designed for our TV screens, and featuring fully animated films for the first time.
Local studio Robot Playground Media is behind the animated feature that will be the interconnecting thread throughout the NDP performance, telling the story of the “Singapore Spirit” through the eyes of six characters from different time periods - when was the last time you saw a Singer sewing machine in real life?!
So stay tuned for the show at home (and don’t go to Marina Bay ya, it’s been blocked off - see the area closure infographic at the end of this article) and stay safe!
Speaking of staying safe…
Safety is priority, particularly this year. The number of performers and participants has been reduced drastically: only 600 in total this year – that’s 70% fewer than the last NDP at the Float back in 2018.
For adequate social distancing, performers will be distributed across the Float and four satellite locations - namely, NUS Field, Jewel Changi, Yio Chu Kang stadium, and Marina Barrage.
Performances at the latter locations have been pre-recorded to reduce physical contact between participants.
Also gotta respect what the performers have gone through to put up a good show – even though everyone has been fully vaxxed, they have been tested for COVID-19 before every rehearsal.
They also need to keep their masks on at all times except during performances. Of course, TraceTogether is a must as well as constant hand sanitisation.
Extra precaution has been taken with social distancing too – rehearsals have been staggered, performers have been split into groups of up to 50, then subdivided into smaller teams.
No cross interactions have been allowed between teams unless absolutely necessary. And that hasn’t been the only challenge they've had to face. During the first #Phase2HA in May, they had to practice entirely online. When the country returned to #Phase2HA in July, rehearsals were postponed in tandem.
Mad respect to the performers and their patience amid fluid scenarios and commitment to making NDP 2021 a success.
TWO NEW NDP SONGS!
Yes, apart from the catchy "The Road Ahead", you can expect two more original NDP songs - “Breathing City” and “Spirits Anew”.
This might be only the third time that the NDP has had more than one theme song.
In 1998, accompanying Kit Chan's "Home", another song "City for the World" composed by the late Iskandar Ismail was sung by students from Nanyang Primary School.
Two theme songs also made their debut at the 2007 NDP: "There's No Place I'd Rather Be" and "Will You", both composed by Jimmy Ye, and sung by Kit Chan and various artistes, respectively.
New Song #1: Breathing City
Performed by Sezairi, Written by Sezairi and Charlie Lim
This uplifting tune sung by Sezairi Sezali hopes to inspire Singaporeans to look ahead and create a better tomorrow. Fun fact: The music video animated by local studio Weaving Clouds features drawings by 623 students from six local schools.
“Lift my spirit
My breathing city
My living home”
New Song #2: Spirits Anew
Performed by Aisyah Aziz, Written by Aisyah Aziz and RHAUN
“Dengan semangat yang baru…🎵”
Inspired by this line in our national anthem "Majulah Singapura" (Malay for "with a new spirit"), this belter of a song encourages Singaporeans to rise again even when facing the toughest of challenges. Fun fact: The animation for “Spirits Anew” was a solo effort by visual artist Howie Kim.
“Louder than a lion,
We’ll rise with our spirits anew”
Both Sezairi and Aisyah will be performing their songs "live" this weekend.
WAH! SG MUSIC FEST SIA!
Of course, we cannot forget the official theme song for NDP 2021, “The Road Ahead”. Linying, Sezairi, Shabir, and Shye will be performing it "live".
Other #madeinSG artistes will also be gracing the stage, including Inch Chua, Alemay Fernandez, The Freshman (Carrie Yeo and Chen Diya), Benjamin Kheng, Nick Zavior, and Yung Raja.
Enjoy the show! And do take note of the area closures around the Marina Bay area: