The four – Aisyah Aziz, Charlie Lim, Joanna Dong, and ShiGGa Shay – released singles that are inspired by different aspects of the UTOPIA Symphony, and show their unique take on what “utopia” means to them. They previously took part in the “One Million Towards UTOPIA” campaign, where they gathered for a series of roundtable discussion on the importance of the arts.
The four singles were progressively released from September 2021 to February 2022 on major digital platforms.
Complete freedom was given to the artistes in the creative process, including their choice of artistes to work with, and the production of their music. Aisyah co-wrote her track with Haroun, and produced by Adir. Aisyah features on ShiGGa Shay’s track, which is produced by superjdoug, with Charlie helping out on vocal production. Charlie is also executive producer on Joanna’s track, co-written with pianist and composer Chok Kerong, who she has performed with numerous times.
Local artist Kenny Low, who did the album art for the London Philharmonic Orchestra release, will also provide the album art for the UTOPIA Series.
UTOPIA Reimagined: Into Dreams
Release Date: 4 February 2022
Award winners in their respective pop and classical music fields, singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and Ng Pei-Sian, Principal Cellist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, teamed up for the first time to release a single, “Into Dreams”, which released on 4 February 2022 on all major digital platforms.
“My interpretation came from a more personal space. Thematically it builds on ShiGGa Shay’s Reimagined single, which questions what we are chasing and striving towards. With ‘Into Dreams’, I wanted to talk about the difficult balance between our ambition – which always pushes us to do better – and the tension of not always being able to achieve what we want to, due to things being beyond our control. It’s a reminder that our work, our dreams, and goals, shouldn’t define us entirely.”
uTopia reimagined: chasing (ft. Aisyah Aziz)
Release Date: 19 November 2021
Singaporean rapper ShiGGa Shay released “uTopia reimagined: chasing” on 19 November on all major digital platforms, which sees ShiGGa Shay rapping over the UTOPIA Symphony, Aisyah Aziz on vocals, and Charlie Lim in charge of vocal production. Produced by superjdoug, who sampled different parts of the UTOPIA Symphony in the instrumentation, “uTopia reimagined: chasing” is the first track that the three long-time friends ShiGGa Shay, Aisyah, and Charlie, have worked on together, and the first time ShiGGa Shay has sampled an orchestra in his music.
“It was a challenge to incorporate a unique piece like the UTOPIA Symphony as we had to blend and bend different genres together, It was a fulfilling process to see how everything fell into place, and I hope that through this track, people will be able to appreciate a different side of Singapore”.
Release Date: 29 October 2021
Singaporean singer-songwriter Aisyah Aziz writes about love and “being in the present”, in a single, Euphoria, that will be released as the second song in the UTOPIA Reimagined Series. Aisyah’s starting point for this single is to question what utopia means to her.
“I’ve been in the space of love for a while but then the anxiety is whether love will last. My concern is change – how everything evolves within seconds – and nothing ever stays the same. I don’t want to be busy obsessing about what’s happened in the past though so when I wrote the song, I was exploring being in this love space, and exploring about being present in the moment.”
Release Date: 24 September 2021
Singaporean jazz singer Joanna Dong’s new single titled 《第一章》was released on 24 September on major digital platforms, the first in the UTOPIA Reimagined Series – an initiative by The Foundation that will see four artists reimagine the UTOPIA Symphony inspired by Singapore, written by a Russian composer and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I returned to thinking about one of the core tenets put forth by that ancient text – that of ‘wu wei’（无为）. Literally translated to mean ‘inaction’, I understand it to mean ‘effortless action’, or ‘non-contrivance’, which in common parlance, is what we mean by ‘going with the flow’.”