Tap, tap, tap. “All set?”

Local artistes and bands took to the stage without missing a beat, and within the first few seconds, they got audiences wrapped around their fingers, just like the microphone in their clammy palms and the guitar pick in their blistered fingers.

Students skittering through the atrium to their next class with crammed bag packs and hefty laptop cases dwindle to slower paces, as they caught sight of the unusual affair, and came to a halt before the unostentatious show right before them, known as m:idea Mania 2014, a fruit-themed lunchtime concert held on Jul 18 in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.


Organized by Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) youth-led media group, the concert consisted of a groovy local artist line-up, with games and prizes between the acts.

m:idea, established since 2009, comprises of media platforms such as campus newspaper npTribune, entertainment and lifestyle magazine HYPE, campus radio station Radio Heatwave, campus television station CTV and theurbanwire.com, an entertainment and lifestyle e-zine.

“The purpose of the event is to promote m:idea, because we realized that even some of our own NP students might not know about the media assets that we have, [and some] do not know m:idea as a business that works with external clients,” explained Shariel Ng, 21, an account manager in m:idea who helped to put the event together.


Fruity Local Flavor

In light of the biggest Singapore music festival this year, Baybeats 2014, some of the performers were invited to this mini concert as well, like Deon Toh, Stopgap and ORANGECOVE.

Deon, 26, opened the show with “Time’s The Only Constant”, garnering attention with his tranquillizing voice that chorused in harmony with the backing guitar acoustics.


The singer-songwriter’s new album Antiphobic debuted to critical success (TODAYOnline gave 4 out of 5 stars), which the previous Flybar drummer of 10 years verified his musical merit as “an artist in his own right” before the lunch crowd.

Joel Tan a.k.a. Gentle Bones, 20, lured in a sizeable mob of fans as he took the stage with his self-composed melodies, cover mash-ups, and a basic guitar.

“I’ve always been doing this out of pure fun, and as a hobby. After a while, because of how well Gentle Bones has been doing, the dream that I always had locked up in the back of my head of being a full-time musician is slowly starting to surface,” shared Joel.


He also cited his leading influences as English singer-songwriters Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard. The independent teen musician wrapped up his session with his debut track, “Until We Die”, as the microphone was passed over to the audiences to spur on their heart-warming sing-along.

Stopgap demonstrated their group charisma in the next performance. Interestingly enough, 3 of the members in their 20’s – vocalist Adin Kindermann, and guitarists Grayson Seah and Calvin Phua – were NP alumni.


Adin and guitarist Lee Yew Gin, 23, “shared a common love” for American funk rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, which sparked their jamming sessions together, where they had their opening gig at NP’s School of Film & Media Studies.

“NP was where we started, so it’s cool to see how everything has changed,” admitted Grayson.

Band Origins

Bands like Morning Martians and ORANGECOVE stole the spotlight with their pop punk tunes, cementing how there was never going to be a dull moment in this afternoon stint.


Furthermore, UrbanWire found out that both these quad-rats had endearing tales behind the origins of their band names.

“I tweeted one day, ‘Good morning, Earthlings’, and a friend replied ‘Good morning, Martians’, and I thought, ‘Why not we just take this as a band name?’ It was very random,” chuckled the frontman of Morning Martians, Iskandar Mazlan, 18.

ORANGECOVE also displayed their penchant for creativity by deriving their label from a fusion of the popular American television series The OC, and the members’ love for sunsets and the bay area.


Clean Eating Made Fun

Games during the event took the form of unglamorous healthy snacking, which included the “Chunky Monkey” and “Lemon Eating Contest”.

“Chunky Monkey” was a spin-off from “Chubby Bunny”, whereby participants gorged on bananas instead of marshmallows, and the 2nd game required players to scarf down as many sour fruits as humanly possible.


During both games, participants attempted to clearly communicate the media properties after each bite such as UrbanWire, or rather, “UrwenWayer”. The person who managed to finish the most amount of fruits within the given time limit without fouling up the names emerged as the winner.

In addition, a mystery lucky draw called on participants to reach into opaque boxes to guess fruits inside – kiwi, rambutan, and dragon fruit – according to their textures. No surprises some squeamish participants squealed upon reaching into the boxes.


m:idea put the capital M in music and mania, as the audience was treated to a rollicking good time of music, fun and games. It was in short, a fruity affair.

All photos courtesy of Klix Photography