ShiGGa Shay
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ShiGGa Shay

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Hip Hop R&B

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"Local acts top iTunes charts"

Local rapper Shigga Shay's recent reign at the top of the iTunes Singapore charts with the song LimPeh is good news for the home-grown music scene.

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But it is not a one-off phenomenon.

More Singaporean music acts are topping the local version of tech giant Apple's iTunes digital music charts - and they are not just the popular and established acts.

Shigga Shay, a 20-year-old national serviceman, has been in the scene since 2010. The rap single, LimPeh, which he performs in Hokkien, English and Mandarin, went to No. 1 on iTunes' main song charts less than 24 hours after it was first released last Tuesday.

It stayed at the top for five days. LimPeh means literally "father" in Hokkien and is often used as a putdown phrase.

Before LimPeh, he had a song from his debut EP, Let's Roll, reach the Top 20 charts on MediaCorp radio station 987FM last year.

Shigga Shay, whose real name is Pek Jin Shen, was unavailable for an interview for this story as he was in the army.

Besides him, upcoming post-hardcore band Villes, who were formed in late 2011, climbed to the top of iTunes Singapore's rock charts last weekend with their first single, The Levy.

This took place a few days after the song made its debut at No. 55.

The acoustic tune beat out other songs by popular global acts such as Maroon 5, John Mayer and Hong Kong rockers Beyond.

Pop-rock act The Summer State's eponymous debut EP topped the same rock charts in March, while Mandopop singer Derrick Hoh's English single, Forever, topped the singles charts in February.

Established indie-rockers The Great Spy Experiment made headlines when their sophomore album, Litmus, became the first local English-language album to top the iTunes charts in February.

The Singapore version of iTunes, Apple's online music and entertainment store, was launched in June last year.

Most of the acts do not know the actual number of downloads they have received as it takes up to six months for them to receive the reports from their music distributors.

The Summer State, however, say that they have sold more than 200 downloads of songs from their EP through iTunes.

Their guitarist Victoria Chew, 21, says that getting to No. 1 was unexpected.

"We're a new band so seeing our first EP go to the top of the charts definitely took us by surprise."

Villes' guitarist and singer Bryan Ulric Santa Maria, 21, attributes their single's strong chart presence to the song's popularity on video-sharing site YouTube.

The song also features guest vocals from home-grown YouTube star Steph Micayle and, as of press time, the music video has hit 21,372 views on YouTube.

"We made sure that the music video's page had a prominent link to iTunes, so that people who like the song can buy it there."

The Great Spy Experiment's manager, Mr Mike See, who also runs artist management agency and record label Riot! Records, says that the trend mirrors music consumers' changing behaviour - more are buying digital songs online rather than CDs.

"If anything, it has never been easier to distribute music in Singapore and abroad, so there are no excuses for artists not to get their music out there. It's encouraging to see the positive take-up on Singapore- made music."

The head of local record label and artist management company Aging Youth, Mr Willy Tan, says the strong showing on the digital chart shows that Singaporeans are willing to "support our own acts and stand behind a piece of art which they are proud of".

He adds: "Seeing a Singapore artist topping the iTunes main charts gives our own musicians and performers a boost of confidence that Singapore acts are able to stand on par with their international counterparts."

Mr See says that he expects to see more home-grown acts top the digital music charts.

"If recent trends are anything to go by, we should see more made-in-Singapore content moving up the charts alongside their Western counterparts."

LimPeh beats major pop acts and top local iTunes
Music remix of hail interview garners over 350,000 views
Music lover Natalie Tan, a first-year student at Lasalle College of the Arts, bought Villes' song on iTunes and added it to her iPod and laptop even though she has viewed the YouTube video numerous times. She also persuaded her friends to buy the song from iTunes.

Says the 18-year-old: "I really like the song, it's very catchy. I think it is important to show your support for the band by buying their music even though you can listen to it for free on YouTube." - AsiaOne Showbiz


"Shigga Shay blends Singapore flavour with gangster rap in 'Lion City Kia' video"

If Singapore ever needed a multi-racial National Day song that appeals to youths, this could be it.
“Welcome to Lion City where we grew up HDB/ Party on River Valley/ with all of my Karang Gunis,” raps Singapore hip hopper Shigga Shay in his newly released track “Lion City Kia [Kid]”.

The rapper, whose real name is Pek Jin Shen, connects Singaporean youths of all ethnicities – Ah Bengs, Mat Reps and Anjiks included – in one multilingual song, where he and two others rap about the common experiences local youths go through.

Most Singaporeans can relate to the experience of growing up in Housing Development Board (HDB) apartment units, partying at the iconic Zouk night club and waking up to the honking of the rag and bone man – commonly referred to as the “Karang Guni”.

These are just a few examples of anecdotes in the entertaining, locally flavoured song that includes lines in Singlish, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.

The four minute music video also features iconic Singapore locations – not the Marina Bay Sands or Sentosa – but places such as the “old school” playgrounds of the 1970s and old housing estates like the ones in Queenstown.

While you’re whistling along to the catchy chorus, see if you can spot the slew of cameo appearances by Singapore celebrities in the video.

Jade Seah, Chua En Lai and the stars of movie Ah Boys to Men are just a few of more than 10 well-known personalities proclaiming their Lion City pride in the four-minute clip.

This is the second video released by the rapper, who was also the artiste behind the popular song “LimPeh” in July 2013. “LimPeh” topped the Singapore iTunes chart and garnered over 450,000 views on YouTube.

Watch the clip and see if you can identify with all the traits of a Lion City Kia. - Yahoo Singapore


"Local rapper Shigga Shay's Limpeh goes straight to No. 1"

Consider these lyrics.

"Some say we kiasu, some say we are kiasee, but we are gia (Hokkien for scared) of you because we very nu li (Mandarin for work hard) ... From a small fishing village, to the big city".

LimPeh, the latest single from local rapper Shigga Shay, is the new generation's quintessentially Singaporean track, poised to rival older hits like Sheikh Haikel's Witulah, the Kopi Kat Klan's Why U So Like Dat and the unforgettable Sars rap by Phua Chu Kang.

The song, rich in Hokkien phrases, hit No. 1 on the local iTunes charts immediately after it was released on Tuesday, leapfrogging over tracks by big pop acts like Pink, The Wanted, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. At press time, it was still at the top of the charts.

Its Singaporean-ness is hard to deny - the rapping is done mainly in Hokkien and English, with a smattering of Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay.

It recognises the everyday struggles of a Singaporean who cannot have fart-free MRT rides, as well as our everyday pleasures like kopi siu dai (coffee with less sugar), 4-D, Toto and even Hello Kitty.

The catchy chorus sees Shigga Shay - whose real name is Pek Jin Shen - repeating 'Wa si lim peh' (I am lim peh) with much faux swagger. For the record, "lim peh" translates to "my father", and is our equivalent of denoting who's "the boss".

To top it all, it features two Ah Boys To Men actors. Tosh Zhang wrote and raps the second verse of the song, while Hokkien-spouting Wang Weiliang makes a cameo appearance explaining what "lim peh" means.

Pek, 20, completed the three-minute track last Friday with his one-time mentor, music producer Don Richmond.

It was released by local record label Aging Youth on iTunes on Tuesday and has been buzzing ever since.

LimPeh came about after Pek was "challenged" by the founder of local record label and artiste management company Aging Youth, Mr Willy Tan.

"I said, why not do something different and weird? Why not do a song in Hokkien?" said Mr Tan, 34.

"Artistes like (Taiwanese hip-hop group) Machi do that (rap in dialect), but in Singapore, no one really does it."

Pek roped in Zhang to perform LimPeh live at Esplanade's outdoor theatre in March, and a fan-shot video of that performance has since garnered over 19,000 views on YouTube.

But the track was released only this week because Pek and his team were busy completing a yet-to-be-released music video for it, and designing a snapback (a kind of baseball cap) with the words LimPeh on it to coincide with the release of the song.

"We were hoping it would be something big and exciting, but even we have been surprised by the reaction," said Mr Tan. "To have a number one on iTunes with no radio airplay and no music video is quite amazing."

Pek was unavailable for comment as he is currently serving his national service.

Other local artistes who have topped the iTunes charts since the download service was made available here last year include The Great Spy Experiment and Derrick Hoh.

Richmond, who mixed and mastered the track, said the song is a "bold" one for Pek, who, since his debut on the local scene at 16, has mostly produced English-language songs about his own personal struggle to gain acceptance as a rapper here.

"For the first time, I thought this is where he could actually make a true breakout," said the 36-year-old.

"(With LimPeh), Jin is stepping out and not afraid of being local, which is not just about spouting a few Hokkien words, but also has issues that I think will ring true for a lot of Singaporeans."

Unique

Zhang, 23, added: "I did expect it to do well because of how unique and Singaporean the song is. I do feel that songs with local flavour have a big market in Singapore because ultimately it is an extension of our culture, but whether the song connects or not depends on its quality.

"In my verse, I try to break the common stereotypes that people might have about Singaporeans and also talk about how far we've come from a humble fishing village to a bustling metropolis. I am extremely proud to be who I am and where I'm from and that explains my lyrics."

Pek and his team are gearing up to release the music video for LimPeh soon, said Mr Tan.

The video, which was directed by Pek and has already been shot, will show Pek and company swaggering around different parts of Singapore dressed like 70s bad boys with wide lapel print shirts and flared pants - an image that's similar to the one on the single cover.

The song, which is also available for streaming on music services Deezer and Spotify, is unlikely to air on radio due to its heavy use of dialect.

The radio programme code provided by the Media Development Authority to all radio stations here states that "... songs in dialects in a programme may be allowed provided the context justifies usage and is used sparingly".

But that does not matter for fans like Mr Jace Chen, 22, a part-time barista.

"I love it because it's like an inside joke for Singaporeans. I don't usually download songs from iTunes but after my friends told me about the song, I went to iTunes and spent $1.28 to download it," he said.

"I'm going to use the chorus as my ringtone!"

Fans can also go to www.shiggashay.com to purchase those limited edition LimPeh caps, as each purchase comes with a free download of the track.

Richmond's advice for Pek is to "inject social commentary messages" like the ones found in LimPeh into his body of work, but even he thinks that having a whole album of Hokkien and colloquial stuff would be too much.

"The novelty would wear off after a while," he said, "But you can have these little tokens for Singaporeans." - Straits Times


"ShiGGa Shay’s Lion City Kia is the blackest S’porean rap with the most swag"

There are a few words that can describe this following rap. They are: Black, multi-racial, Singaporean and swag.

It also contains raps in Snglish, Mandarin, Bahasa Melayu, Tamil, dialect and nonsensical rhymes. And that haunting whistle line that will leap from brain to brain.

Killed it. - Mothership SG


"Grizzle Grind Crew Has A New Anthem For Singapore"

A hip hop collective made up of rappers, beatmakers, rhyme-sayers, DJs and producers, these individuals are bonded together with a singular vision to elevate Singapore hip hop and the local music landscape to a whole new level. Established in 2013 by co-founders ShiGGa Shay, DJ NashD and OszKid, the crew has grown to include prominent members like Tosh Rock, Wang Wei Liang, Charles Enero, and Lineath in its power list. One year on, Grizzle Grind Crew is ready to prove they are a serious force to reckon with and has an official crew anthem to go with it. “Grizzle Grind Anthem” is the first single from their upcoming mixtape “Leaders of the New Skool” set to land in April.

Check out highlights from the Grizzle Grind Crew 1st anniversary concert and catch exclusive behind the scenes moments with the boys leading up to the show. Rapper Sheikh Haikel, b-boy crew Radikal Forze and indie folk band The Sam Willows joined the crew on stage for an evening of rocking local music.

Follow the latest from Grizzle Grind Crew on their Facebook page and official website. - Redbull


"Irresistable & Likable"

They Call Me ShiGGa EP rated 4/5 Stars. - the Today Newspaper


"Mum got him rapping"

He wears his hi-cut red sneakers and gold-faced g-shock....................... - Straits Times


"Oops! Feature"

During his spectacular sets, he has the crowd rapping along to his songs, along with amazing stage presence despite his young age and he never fails to hype up audiences during shows. - Oops! Magazine


"DIGGING IN HIS HEELS"

ShiGGa Shay stayed the course despite criticisms and now has cut an EP. - THE NEW PAPER, May 23, 2012


"When "Raw" talent meets a music pro"

Rap Artist, ShiGGa Shay came up with his moniker in his sleep - literally.
- the New Paper, Nov 23, 2010


"Indie Hip-Hop Rocks"

Local Rap Artist, ShiGGa Shay, along with a few other local acts are giving away their music for free. You might be wondering why? We found out more with an interview: - The Straits Times, Sept 16, 2010


"Shigga Shay’s Grizzle Grind Crew is jamming at the latest Xypher."

The Xypher is a series of live hip hop jams sessions hosted by The .XS Collective, and is an ongoing online video series of cypher sessions. Showcasing their talents are our very own beatmakers and rhyme-sayers, as well as occasional guest emcees, DJs and producers.

In this latest release - Episode 8 - the Grizzle Grind Crew is stepping it up, where we see Shigga Shay spitting his rhymes. We took the chance to talk to the man who brought us "Limpeh", about Singapore’s rap music scene, freestyle rhymes and the greatest rapper of all time.

- "Limpeh" nearly reached 350.000 views on Youtube. Are you surprised?
I definitely am surprised, but also very thankful at the same time.

- Singapore is a fairly small country, so to grow your reputation it is important to also get recognized outside the country. How do you do that currently and what are your future plans?
The internet has provided a lot of opportunities for artists of my generation, in terms of platforms for us to put out music globally. People all over the world can listen to my music on YouTube or buy it on iTunes without physically being in Singapore. I definitely want to do a tour around different cities of the world to get my music out there.

- Watching the earlier X-S Collective Xyphers it looks like there are a lot of talents in Singapore. Would you agree?
Definitely. I personally feel that there are a lot of talents here that are waiting to be discovered. It's only a matter of time.

- Who is the most skilled rapper in Singapore currently?
This is something I don't have an answer to. People shall decide who they like the most.

- Who is the greatest freestyle rapper in the world at the moment?
Again when it comes to the "greatest" it's really subjective and everyone will have their own personal opinions. So I feel that there's no "greatest", but various guys to learn from. - Redbull


Discography

ShiGGa Shay's in the Building! (Mixtape) - Released 2010

Let's Roll (Single) - Released October 2011

They Call Me ShiGGa (EP) - Released 12 May 2012

Photos

Bio

Not just the youngest hip-hop artist to have made it on the Singapore radio charts, ShiGGa Shay is a music producer, songwriter and entrepreneur. Laced with witty punchlines, his lyrics are heavy-hitting and tell intricate and personal stories. His melodies are infectious and bury an earworm within your head. Commanding amazing stage presence, his live sets abound with energy and electricity.

In 2010, ShiGGa Shay wrote and recorded his debut mixtape, ShiGGa Shay's in the Building! entirely in his bedroom. The mixtape was released online in July, causing waves on the Internet. With the success of his mixtape, he performed at the prestigious National Day Parade 2010 on live national television with a song which he wrote and co-produced with famed producers Sydney Tan and Don Richmond.

Building from strength to strength, ShiGGa Shay has been featured on the world's most popular Hip-Hop site, WorldStarHipHop.com in 2011. Being the first Singaporean to be featured on the site, he is also recognised as "Unsigned Talent of the Week" for his "On My Grind" Music Video which has received more than 120,000 views. Due to the popularity of his videos, he has been made a YouTube Partner in September 2011.

ShiGGa Shay has released his debut EP They Call Me ShiGGa in May 2012. The debut single ‘Let’s Roll’ has already landed in the 98.7FM Top 20 Hits charts in November 2011.

Ruby Tan of Her World [Singapore's top female magazine] calls him "one of Singapore's brightest stars". Christopher Lim of Business Times gave the EP an A- rating, praising it to have "enough attitude to communicate can't-keep-me-down spunk". Kevin Mathews of TODAY says the EP is "irresistable and likeable".

In July 2013, he released his English-Chinese-Hokkien single 'LIMPEH' (Hokkien slang for 'your father') which has stayed on the iTunes Singapore Charts for 14 days straight and charted the iTunes Malaysia Hip-Hop charts at number 2. The music video has garnered more than 420,000 views on YouTube and garnered him nationwide publicity and accolades.

Early 2014 saw him driving telcommunications company Starhub's Chinese New Year campaign, providing the theme song "旺啊 (Wang Ah)!". With the upcoming Grizzle Grind Crew mixtape, he is set to release his first full-length in August 2014 after his sophomore involvement with the National Day Parade once again.

Living by the motto of "If I die making history, it'll be all worth it", the driven young man has his work cut out for him.

Most of his videos are directed by the young rapper along with the film crew Grizzle Films which he founded. Collaborating with his official DJ, DJ Nashd to form Grizzle Grind Crew, the collective champions and celebrates the hip-hop lifestyle in Singapore.

ShiGGa Shay is:
ShiGGa Shay – vocals, keyboards, loops and programming

Official site: www.shiggashay.com
Music: shiggashay.bandcamp.com
Twitter: twitter.com/shiggashay
Facebook: facebook.com/shiggashay
Youtube: youtube.com/shiggashay

Band Members