Photos: Camelia Ting
Video: Tan Shiqi
“Be a hero, change the world” – this year’s President’s Star Charity 2015 (PSC2015) theme is all about inspiring and encouraging individuals to step forward and help people in need. Local and regional celebrities will lead by example and do their part to help raise funds for 86 beneficiaries through song and dance at the one-night-only charity bonanza on October 18.
It won’t be your run of the mill performances – there are hip hop dance segments with a dance group for the deaf (Redeafination), a cajon drumming session by players with disabilities from Lighthouse School and local celebs, including Jack & Rai and Aisyah Aziz, and a Dikir Barat face-off between Najib Ali and Bryan Wong, just to name a few.
At the press conference for PSC2015 yesterday afternoon, some celebrity performers put up a brief preview of two musical line-ups to be expected at the charity show.
Despite attending only two practice sessions thus far, Shane Pow gamely demonstrated a short segment on the cajon with his instructor, Arthur, while fellow performers Paige Chua and 987FM deejays Kimberly Wang and Sonia Chew clapped along to the beats.
Playing the instrument reminded Shane of his schooling days when he would “bang on the tables” in class. “I probably build up a sense of rhythm [from it],” he chuckled in interview with Toggle, “It’s a bit similar but this is more cool lah.”
Unlike Shane who had a relatively easy time learning the instrument, self-declared “instrumentally-retarded” Kimberly is stressed about her music-playing gig. During the demonstration on stage, the petite deejay could be audibly heard mouthing the rhythmic lyrics (“banana, banana, watermelon, watermelon”) by her co-members.
Explaining about the use of fruits, Sonia shared that their instructor Arthur formulated a unique teaching method to help them better remember the rhythmic lyrics by likening the number of beats to the number of syllables in a word (“Ba-na-na is three beats and wa-ter-me-lon is four beats,” she quipped).
As compared to her peers, Paige, who is technically proficient at the cajon thanks to years of piano classes, has a bigger worry and challenge before her – to look cool while playing the drums.
“All drummers are supposed to look cool. Technically, I can follow the beat but looking good is a challenge. We play in the studio so we have mirrors all around us and I could compare myself to the others – I could tell I’m lagging behind in terms of style,” she chuckled, “At first I tried to emulate their style but I think at the end of the day, I just want to do my best. I’ll train, train, train very hard and hope that’s enough.”
While the cajon drummers have had a few practice sessions so far, rehearsal sessions have yet to commence for Bryan who will be “using his hands and will sing and rap” for his Dikir Barat performance. Instead of performing to folk songs, they will be “injecting a modern feel” with hits by Madonna, Miley Cyrus and even Beyoncé.
“It will be a familiar melody but the words will be very different. It will be a nicer way to get everyone to do a donation,” said Bryan, who shared that he wanted to make a grand entrance at the charity show a la a certain wild child on a wrecking ball.
Unfortunately – but thankfully, the EP turned down his request and there will not be an opening scene of Bryan in his birthday suit on a wrecking ball because The Muttons have already done it for the Singapore Radio Awards.
If the crazy ideas discussed at the duo’s meeting with the production team are anything to go by, we’re sure viewers will be in for a smashin’ (no pun intended) fun ride with the duo.
Hosted by Chua Enlai and Jean Danker, there will also be performances by jazz singer Laura Fygi, Sheila Majid, Shigga Shay, Lorong Boys, Rahimah Rahim, iNCH Chua, Shabir, Benjamin Kheng from The Sam Willows and an acrobatic crew from Cirque De Soleil’s travelling act Totem.
Catch the President’s Star Charity 2015 ‘Live’ on Sunday, October 18 on Channel 5 at 7.30pm.
The encore telecast will be on Saturday, October 24 on Channel 5 at 5pm.
Telepoll hotlines 1900-112-8821 (for $5 donation), 1900-112-8822 (for $20 donation) and 1900-112-8823 (for $100 donation) are open from September 23 to October 24 midnight.