1/5/2018 5:14:15 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s (SCCC’s) TGIF Music Station got off to a swinging start on January 5. Getai princess Lee Pei Fen entertained an appreciative lunchtime crowd with a medley of popular songs.
The free concerts will be held on the first and third Friday of each month, said progammes director Lee Ee Wurn. There will be two concerts on each of those days, at 12.30 pm and 7.30 pm. The lunchtime concerts will be “öldies-skewed”, for retirees and housewives who are free at that time, while the evening shows will be a younger audience, he added. The free music showcases are part of an effort to promote local arts and culture and enliven the Central Business District.
Senior citizens did seem to be in a majority at the getai concert, but the mood was lively with the getai princess belting out swinging music and bantering with the crowd. “It was great,” she said after the concert. “My first concert of the new year. All the songs were upbeat.”
Getai has a future, she said, though it attracts an older audience. Live streaming getai performances is attracting younger Singaporeans. Though getai is associated with the Seventh-Month Hungry Ghost festival, it is also performed on other occasions -- and not just in the heartlands but other venues as well, she said, pointing out she performs on cruises, too. But getai needs “new blood”. The industry needs young Singaporean artistes, she said. It’s not enough to have young artistes from overseas only.
The getai princess, youthful and fresh even after 22 years in the business, enjoys interacting with her audience. But she has had her share of strange experiences. A teenaged boy presented her with a live rabbit on the backstage a couple of years ago. “I was shocked,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do.” She gave it away.
Getai, which literally means a “song stage”, is a boisterous live stage performance of songs mostly sung in dialects such as Hokkien and Cantonese though Mandarin songs have entered the act as well. But Lee Pei Fen’s swinging performance could be appreciated by the non-Chinese, too – swaying, laughing, singing in a dulcet voice, she is a trouper. “You don’t have to understand Chinese to enjoy getai,” she told India Se in a video clip, “I enjoy Hindi music and Tamil music, too.”