By: Nicholas Yeam


For years now, the music festival has propelled many local bands to break into the local music scene with ease. We look into the proud list of Baybeats graduates and catch up with three bands – Cashew Chemists, Aspecturm and Caracal – to see how far they’ve gone since their Baybeats debut.


Cashew Chemists

It’s hard to believe that rock-and-roll band Cashew Chemists started out as a heavy metal act, considering that their retro melodies with a strong blues influence would probably remind you of the likes of The Beatles and The Strokes.

Consisting of close friends, Yuji Kumagi, Brian Chia, Elliot Sng, and Zachary Chia, Cashew Chemists made their Baybeats debut in last year’s edition of the festival. The band has achieved in leaps and bounds since then.

Frontman Yuji shares, “Baybeats really opened us up to a lot of networks and we met a lot of people in the scene. People that we wouldn’t have even thought of approaching before Baybeats.”

The boys have recently launched their debut Extended Play (EP) and also claim that “they’re actually getting more bookings now”.

Brian adds with a laugh, “The best part is that we’re actually getting some paid gigs.”

The band intends to continue pushing themselves beyond their own comfort zones and even have an upcoming Australian tour planned.

Yuji reveals, “It’s going to be our first time playing overseas so we’re a bit nervous but excited as well.

“We’ve been doing this for a while now but we still look forward to every show we play and we take every gig very seriously, so this ‘mini tour’ is really exciting for us.”



Previously known as Godzilla, the trio – Tejo D’Cruz, Rino Darusman, James Barker, and Shaun Sloane – recently changed their name and are now known as Aspectrum.

Tejo says, “Aspectrum is supposed to represent our entire spectrum of diversity within the band because we’re all quite different in terms of culture, background and musical taste.”

The band came together two years ago as an after-school interest group and admitted that back then, they “didn’t have a clue on what to do”.

James says, “We didn’t know how to get gigs… so we just kept entering competitions.”

It was only after taking part in the Noise Singapore mentorship program that they met their mentor, Saiful Idris from The Great Spy Experiment.

Tejo says, “We owe Saiful everything, really. He was the one who showed us how to go about being a band in Singapore and if it weren’t for him, I really think we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

In fact, Saiful was present during Aspectrum’s Baybeats audition long after the mentorship program ended.

James adds that Saiful gave great advice on audition day, which probably helped them to get the gig.

During the auditions, Tejo also shares that the band was “insanely nervous”.

He says, “We were all about 15 or 16 and were easily the youngest band there. It was terrifying, seeing all these bands with big, bearded guys.”

Currently working hard to build from the attention they’ve already garnered from Baybeats, Aspectrum recently launched their debut EP, Prologue, and were even asked to open for one of their idols, The Dirt Radicals, during their show here back in July.

James says, “We never thought that would happen so it’s amazing, really

“If there’s one band that I’d like Aspectrum to emulate, it would be The Dirt Radicals.”



Collectively known as Caracal, Martin Kong, Field Teo, Gabriel De Souza, Henry Velge, and KC Meals started out eight years ago as a group of friends who simply enjoyed jamming together and covering their favourite songs.

The boys auditioned for Baybeats back in 2007 and admitted that it wasn’t easy being in the local music scene before they made their way into the Baybeats lineup.

Field says, “We got through the auditions by a stroke of luck, really. Before that, we had to work really hard and we’d play every show, even the small ones at weird timings.

“We would even book two gigs on the same day just to push our music as much as possible. We didn’t have the best equipment or a proper form of transport but we made do.”

Fast forward 5 years later and the band has built up a notable following locally, and possibly even internationally as well, with their debut album Bear. Shark. Wolf.

Caracal recently toured Japan last year and shared that the experience “was a real reality check”.

Henry shares, “Japanese bands are always very professional and humble, plus they write awesome music. After seeing them play, it was like a punch in the face. In a good way of course.”

As for their future plans, the band reveals that on top of their individual work and National Service commitments, they’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio working on their upcoming second studio album.

KC says, “We’ve been writing a lot of new material and are hoping to put something out by the end of the year.”







SIDEBAR: Three New Baybeats Freshmen To Look Out For



They’ve only been around for a year but sub:shaman has already made quite a name for themselves with their grungy and bold sound. The band also has a pretty impressive resume, having performed at the Tones music festival earlier this year on top of having worked with internationally acclaimed producer, Steve Lillywhite, who has previously worked with the likes of U2 and Jason Mraz.


Dropbeat Heartbeat

Formed back in 2011, Dropbeat Heartbeat is one of the shining lights of the pop punk genre here in Singapore. The band released their debut EP, titled Getting’ Outta Here, last year to favourable reviews. In fact, their original material has even graced local airwaves and they’ve been described as a band with a “fresh young vibe mixed with a nice touch of old school punk rock” by local DJ, Elliot Danker.



Easily the most hardcore band in the list, Dyeth is a death metal band with slightly morbid undertones, considering the fact that they have songs titled “Dismembered” & “Infected”. The band also has an EP to their name and are no novices to the live stage, having performed across the border in the likes of Batam, Kuala Lumpur, and Kota Kinabalu. The band is currently working on a new full-length studio album, which, considering their tendencies, is going to be interesting.