Saturday, 3 July 2021

NDP 2021 theme song: The Road Ahead

National Day Parade 2021 theme song tells of adversity, overcoming the odds
By Ng Keng Gene, The Straits Times, 3 Jul 2021

This year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song The Road Ahead was released yesterday, along with the parade's logo and theme - Together, Our Singapore Spirit.

The Road Ahead was written and composed by singer-songwriter Linying and music producer Evan Low.

It will be performed on National Day by Linying, 27, and singer-songwriters Sezairi Sezali, 34; Shye-Anne Brown, 18; and Shabir Tabare Alam, 36.

For Linying and Brown, it will be their first NDP involvement, while Sezairi will be making his second NDP appearance and Shabir, his fourth.

In an interview with The Straits Times' News Night yesterday, Linying said: "I really wanted to write something that conveyed to people that we really only have each other to rely on at this juncture as a country.

"I think there's a lot that other NDP songs have said that I can't say better but, with this current backdrop, I think that's the main message that I want people to take away from the song."

Asked how she felt being part of the NDP for the first time, especially amid the pandemic, she said: "It's so daunting... At a time when emotions are high and we're going through a lot of change, there's quite a bit of pressure in writing something that feels representative to everyone, because with a song like that you want to be able to speak fairly and honestly for the population.

"I think that's quite a challenging thing to do, but I was really happy to take it and I'm glad with how the song turned out."

The Road Ahead tells of the adversity Singapore has faced throughout its history, and about how the nation has overcome the odds, said the NDP executive committee in a statement yesterday.

An accompanying music video was directed by filmmaker Huang Junxiang, 33, and animation filmmaker Jerrold Chong, 30.

It blends live scenes with animation in a first for NDP music videos, and features the four theme song singers taking viewers through a journey that recalls Singapore's growth and reflects on the nation's shared values.

As for the parade theme, Together, Our Singapore Spirit, the organisers said that it builds on last year's NDP theme, which was Together, A Stronger Singapore.

It references a common Singaporean identity and calls on Singaporeans to draw strength from their can-do spirit.

No public ballot for National Day Parade 2021 tickets
Singaporeans with key role in COVID-19 fight to be invited as spectators amid reduced capacity
By Ng Keng Gene, The Straits Times, 3 Jul 2021

No public ballot will be held for tickets to this year's National Day Parade (NDP) on Aug 9.

Instead, the spectators will be made up of Singaporeans who have played a key role in the fight against Covid-19.

NDP 2021 executive committee chairman Tan Cheng Kwee said yesterday that attendance at this year's parade will be on a by-invite only basis, reserved for "everyday heroes" - Singaporeans who have served on the front lines or in essential roles amid the pandemic.

These would include teachers, hawkers, transport workers and cleaners, among others, said Brigadier-General (BG) Tan.

He added that the selection criteria will be worked out with other agencies to nominate the Singaporeans, before invitations are extended to them.

This should take place in mid-July, he said.

On spectator numbers, BG Tan said the organising committee is still working out details with the Ministry of Health, taking into account factors such as the progress of vaccinations here, as well as the status of active clusters.

But he added that NDP 2021 aims to be a milestone event, paving the way for large-scale events when Covid-19 is endemic.

Referring to selected pilot events in the past year with a capacity of up to 1,000 in-person attendees, BG Tan said about this year's spectator numbers: "We do hope that we can go beyond that."

However, he added that audience numbers will still be a fraction of the Marina Bay floating platform's capacity of about 25,000 spectators.

They will also be required to undergo pre-event testing on the day of the NDP, and there will be no National Education show for Primary 5 pupils this year.

BG Tan added that NDP packs, or fun packs as they were previously known, will be given to spectators.

They will be packed with only "essential items", including a reusable water bottle, a handheld national flag and sanitiser.

Even as NDP returns to The Float @ Marina Bay this year as a centralised event, Singaporeans will still be able to join in the celebrations through activities across the island, the committee said.

The Red Lions are set to make free-fall jumps at various heartland sites on Aug 7 and 8 - the weekend before National Day.

On the day itself, helicopters with the State Flag and fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force will fly across the heartland, while a fireworks display in some residential areas will cap off celebrations at night.

More details on the locations of the free-fall jumps and fireworks displays, as well as the fly-past routes, will be announced later.

This year's NDP will be the first to feature participants joining in virtually, said its organisers.

For the parade segment, civilian and uniformed groups will participate virtually, while traditional elements such as the Colours Party and contingents from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team will continue to be in-person.

The parade and show segments will be catered to audiences tuning in from home.

They will be able to enjoy special effects on TV, with the show set to blend live performances and animated short films by local artists.

With rehearsals and the parade taking place amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers said measures are in place to protect spectators and participants.

About 1,200 participants are involved in this year's NDP at the float, about 70 per cent less than previous years.

NDP 2021 logo by Nanyang Polytechnic student symbolises Singapore's courage, strength in COVID-19 pandemic
By Rosalind Ang, The Straits Times, 12 Jul 2021

The motif of a lion head takes centre stage in this year's National Day Parade (NDP) logo, which was designed by Nanyang Polytechnic student Tan Yun Xin.

"I was inspired by how Singapore has come together during the pandemic - from our front-line workers doing their best to battle the pandemic to individual Singaporeans staying home to contain the spread," said Ms Tan, 19, who chose the lion head to be a part of the logo as it symbolises three national values: courage, excellence and strength.

It also represents the nation's strength of will and unity. These are traits she feels are much needed to adapt to today's unprecedented times.

Her design was chosen by the NDP committee and NDP creative team from 45 entries.

The third-year visual communications student spent slightly over three months designing the logo, while juggling her other academic commitments.

Ms Tan's lecturers guided her through the design process, which started off with more than 20 hand-drawn sketches.

They suggested ways to adjust the logo for it to look more proportionate and helped guide her in polishing up the logo.

For Ms Tan, weaving the number 56 into the logo - to mark Singapore's 56th year of independence - was the most challenging part of the process.

"There were times when the number didn't seem obvious in the design and the logo didn't look like a lion. Getting the dimensions right was a challenge," she said.

Mr Shawn Yeo, Ms Tan's senior polytechnic lecturer who oversaw her project, advised her on making her logo scalable and adaptable while keeping its key elements. "Yun Xin really wanted to encourage Singaporeans who are affected yet standing strong during this pandemic. I'm proud of her final outcome," he said.

Seeing her logo being used for NDP has filled Ms Tan with immense pride and further boosted her confidence as a budding graphic designer.

"I feel really honoured and proud to be able to make such a contribution to Singapore's National Day celebrations - this experience gave me a strong sense of pride and belonging," she said.

Ms Tan hopes to have a career in the design industry and improve lives through her designs.

"I plan to pursue graphic design in the future, but anything is possible at this point," she added.

* 22 Jul 2021


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