SINGAPORE – Singaporean Mandopop star JJ Lin was the big winner at the annual Compass (Composers and Authors Society of Singapore) awards. His accolades included Top Local Artiste of the Year, Top Local Songwriter of the Year and Top Local Chinese Pop Song for Bu Wei Shei Er Zuo De Ge (Twilight).
The 24th edition of the awards was held at Resorts World Convention Centre on Sept 15.
He is no stranger to these awards having previously won two of the same awards – namely Top Local Chinese Pop Song for Ke Xi Mei Ru Guo (If Only) and Top Local Songwriter of the Year – as well as Young Artiste of the Year, at last year’s edition.
Meanwhile, home-grown singer-songwriter Linying’s first foray into electronic dance music has earned the title of Top Local English Pop Song.
Her vocals feature prominently on Eagle Eyes, a collaboration with DJ-producers Felix Jaehn, who is German, and Lost Frequencies, who is Belgian. The track has been played at major music festivals around the world like Coachella in the United States and Tomorrowland in Belgium. The award from the performing rights organisation – her first – recognised the song as the highest royalty-earning local English composition in pop music for the year.
The 25-year-old told The Straits Times: “It’s a leap of faith I took because dance music isn’t my kind of genre, but personally it’s a testament to what good can happen when you trust your intuition. It’s one of the first moments I realised my music can travel really far.”
Compass awards are given to local musicians who earned the highest royalties last year, with Compass tracking the amount based on how many times their songs are played on radio and at nightspots and food and beverage outlets, and performed live.
In total, eight awards were given to the top-earning songwriters in Singapore, while four special awards were given out for achievements and contributions to the local music industry.
Among the recipients of the special awards were songwriter and producer Lee Wai Shiong and conductor Wong Kah Chun, who took home the Wings of Excellence award, given to individuals who have achieved an outstanding performance internationally.
Lee has produced albums for Hong Kong singers like Jacky Cheung and Sandy Lam. And Wong was the first Asian winner of the prestigious Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2016. He is currently the chief conductor of the famed Nuremberg Symphony for the 2018/2019 season.
The Artist Excellence award went to the guitarist of local band The Thunderbirds, Derrick Fitzgerald, as well as singer, composer and vocal coach Ann Hussein – best known for her work with local band Gingerbread and for appearing as a vocal coach on talent show Singapore Idol Season 3 in 2009.
The Meritorious award went to jazz maestro and Cultural Medallion recipient Louis Soliano, as well as pioneering Malay singer, deejay and actress Nona Asiah – best known as the singing voice of the leading ladies in the movies of legendary director P. Ramlee in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Young Songwriter of the Year award went to up-and-coming R&B singer Ffion Cheng-Williams, who goes by the moniker Ffion.