Just as celebrating Deepavali is testament to Singapore’s multi-racial society, Gareth Fernandez is testament to Singapore’s budding multi-genre music scene. We’ve got Gentle Bones killing it in the folk-pop genre, The Sam Willows raking in the fans in the soul-folk camp, and now Gareth Fernandez with his brand of soul-pop music. Our local indie music scene is very much alive! It’s all about looking in the right places.
On the evening of Deepavali, the launch of Gareth’s debut EP saw a throng of fans and lovers of music packed into Barbershop by Timbre to a sold-out gig at both sessions hosted. Dim light bulbs hung from above, vintage vinyls adorned its walls, and whitewashed window grills gave the cosy space a warm atmosphere and an old school vibe – it’s the perfect setting for the suited 10-piece band that’s become synonymous with the Gareth Fernandez brand.
The launch kicked off with a drum solo, as the rest of the band approached the stage through the crowd from the back of the venue. More than an EP launch, the gig felt personal, like being in the comfort of a living room surrounded by others who spoke the same language: music. Gareth has a way of connecting with his audience – his humble demeanor, great sense of humour, and punchy one-liners quickly put even the most tight-lipped at ease.
His infectious and stellar dance moves along with jazzy renditions of pop songs like Arianna Grande’s Problem and catchy original Subliminal Love (which by the way, peaked at number seven on Singapore’s iTunes charts) were definite crowd pleasers. You could see the sea of heads bopping along in sync to the upbeat tune on the dance floor.
Performing three other originals from his debut EP – Physical, Movin’ On, and Northern Lights, you could certainly pick up on the raw emotions through his soulful voice and relatable lyrics on love, loss, and second chances. At a tender age of 24, his maturity in showmanship and in the lyrics he crafts befits that of a singer who’s been in showbiz for a long time.
Keep your eyes peeled on the artiste that is Gareth Fernandez, we’re sure you’ll be hearing more of him down the line.