Updated: Apr 12
Ever wanted to hear from Drum Feng's members, and other music enthusiasts in the Drumming scene in Singapore?
In this new series [ 来!ChatwithDF ], we'll be inviting different guests to talk about various topics of interest, via Instagram livestream! Hosted by Glen Ng from Drum Feng, we bring onboard Cheong Kah Yiong from Morse Percussion, and Chen Kangren from A Bigger Bang Percussion for our very first episode to discuss Singapore's drum groups. Read on for a summary of some key insights from the episode, and head over to https://www.facebook.com/drumfengofficial/videos/3075527996054748 to watch the livestream!
(Left to right : Cheong Kah Yiong, Glen Ng, Chen Kangren)
Cheong Kah Yiong (@yiongtaufoo)
Morse Percussion (@morsepercussion)
A Bigger Bang (@abb_percussion_sg)
1. Is it a good or bad thing to have so many different drum groups in Singapore?
While some may have the impression that having multiple drum groups may result in unhealthy competition, guests agreed that the scene is not homogeneous. Each drum group has its own specialities and presentation styles, which allows for mutual sharing and promotes innovation! Such diversity also serves as a good representation for our multi-cultural nation.
2. Ever thought of going out of Singapore?
We're all open to the idea! At Drum Feng, we have flown the team to Japan for Taiko Drumming bootcamp, which was a really enriching experience and definitely improved the team's skills and stamina. Kangren himself studied in China, and had experiences performing in Australia, while Kah Yiong participated in the Asian Youth Orchestra in 2017., and also had world tour performance across places such as the United States, Europe (Italy, France), Asia (China, Japan), among others.
3. Should I join a drum group?
As drum enthusiasts, our answer is yes! Before you do however, it is key to find a group suitable for you. Consider your experience in the group - your comfort level, sense of belonging, fulfilment and joy. On the musicality side of things, it is also important to know that as each group has its own specialisation, your learnt knowledge in one may not directly translate in your ability to perform in another (e.g. from Chinese to Western music), as there are nuances that vary.
1. Advice for aspiring drummers?
Really get out of your comfort zone! - Kah Yiong
It is normal to feel embarrassed, afraid, or experience imposter syndrome at the beginning. However, coming with an open mind and humility to learn from different spaces will bring you a long way!
2. What are your views on being a professional drummer?
Guests agreed that there are multiple considerations, including external and internal forces. External forces include the possible decrease in demand for performance during the pandemic, while internal forces include your own resilience, discipline and time management. Music-making is a profession which takes time and effort!
3. Any other advice?
If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, go as a team. - Glen
There is much more to a drum group than just drumming itself. Rely on each other's skillsets in a team (e.g. costume design, publicity, logistics). And if you've yet to start, now's the time to start somewhere!
4. Upcoming performances
Want to see our guests in action? Morse Percussion will be having their performance at Lee Foundation Theatre on 18 March 2022. Tickets are priced at $25 each. For more information, click here!