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Photo credit: GARETH FERNANDEZ

A ‘Better’ 2021: Gareth Fernandez’s song of positivity for Singapore’s countdown show

The local singer-songwriter’s latest bop is set to make its debut performance on Mediacorp’s Let’s Celebrate 2021 countdown show.

Caris Chua


Published: 30 December 2020, 10:02 PM

Despite a tough year, 2020 will end on a high note for local singer-songwriter Gareth Fernandez. 

His newest collaborative track, Better, will be performed on Mediacorp’s Let’s Celebrate 2021 countdown show at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day.

Produced by Marc Lian, also known as fulses (from local R&B sensation brb.), Better features the crooning vocals of Gareth Fernandez and three other well-loved Singaporean vocalists, “Kollywood” singer-composer Shabir, multi-hyphenate songbird JJ Neo, as well as homegrown songstress Hashy Yusof. 

Through this lively number, the artiste hopes to deliver a message of positivity to his listeners. 

“2020 was a tough year, but I acknowledge that having a stable income and being safe in Singapore is a luxury that most people don’t have. That’s what the song is about.

“As a global collective, we’ve endured one of the worst pandemics of the era. We’re going to fight on and look forward to a brand new and hopefully Better 2021,” the 30-year-old said.

In 2020 alone, he released tracks with fellow homegrown artists such as the likes of Gentle Bones (Be Cool), Theodora Lau (Put You Through) and Lullaboy (Wish I Could). These tracks have already garnered over a million streams on Spotify.

But the pursuit of his own sound was not always a bed of roses. 

“I was utterly unprepared. I knew nothing about music technique or theory. I had no network, or contacts, or understanding of the business. It’s been a constant uphill climb, lots of setbacks, and learning along the way,” Gareth recalled when asked about his struggles in his career. 

He never gave up though, showing determination in pursuing his passion and honing his craft through the years by playing at bars. 

“It taught me that every night could be my last night, so I gave it my all and sang my heart out,” he said.

To be able to get to the stage where he’s commissioned to write Better and perform Mediacorp’s 2020 holiday campaign song, Gareth dubbed it as a confidence-booster. He was also full of praise for his multi-talented team that he had assembled himself. 

“I love working with Marc. He’s a genius in music production, writing, singing, guitar-playing, photography and videography. Writing with him is a breeze,” Gareth said of the song’s producer, who is also one of his best friends.

As for his collaborating artists, the songwriter has been delighted to work with a diversified group of multi-talented vocalists. 

“They are people I’ve always wanted to work with, but hadn’t had the opportunity to do so before this,” said Gareth.  

The artiste, who is inspired by soul sensations Sam Smith and Bruno Mars, hopes to continue writing songs that tell his own stories. To Gareth, “nothing feels better than someone telling you your song spoke to them, or meant something to them, or helped them through a difficult time,” he said.

Looking ahead, 2021 is about to be a big year for Gareth. He is finally finishing his EP-turned-album, which was initially supposed to have culminated into a concert in November, but did not materialise for various reasons.

“[You can] expect more songs, both collaborative and individual, and a really fun, full-production concert that I’ve been chewing on since my debut EP launch in 2014,” said Gareth.

Catch the debut live performance of ‘Better’ on Mediacorp’s Let’s Celebrate 2021 countdown show on Dec 31, 10.30pm to 12.15am. The show is available for streaming on meWATCH, Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube and Channel 5. 


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