First Ever Public Showcase of the Yellow Ribbon Songwriting Competition Finals
Singapore, 21 January 2022 – The Yellow Ribbon Songwriting Competition (YRSWC) finals ended tonight with its first-ever public broadcast, where inmates demonstrated their songwriting talents and expressed hope for a new and better future. The finals, hosted on Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG)’s YouTube channel, featured the top five inmate finalists, who each performed a song they wrote, inspired by this year’s theme ‘Hope’.
Guest-of-honour, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Mr Baey Yam Keng, said in his opening remarks for the event, “Interest and skills-based initiatives such as the YRSWC play an important role in nurturing inmates’ character and supporting them in their rehabilitation. The songs written by the participants express their desire to be given a second chance. I am heartened to see them taking the first step in the right direction to start anew.”
Co-organised by Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP) and the Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) since 2014, the annual YRSWC celebrates inmates’ journey of change through their musical talents. Through the songs written, inmates express their deepest feelings to their families and the community. The competition also aims to develop inmates’ songwriting and music skills, which can potentially open doors to new opportunities after their release. COMPASS has produced albums featuring songs from past renditions of the competition and to date, has welcomed 10 past participants as members to continue their musical journey after their release.
Following the YRSWC auditions, 16 male and six female inmates were shortlisted to undergo training and mentoring by industry professionals engaged by COMPASS. The five best-performing inmate songwriters were then selected to perform at the YRSWC 2021 finals today.
The YRSWC judging panel comprises three acclaimed local musicians: songwriter, music producer and arranger Amir Masoh, who has over 25 years’ experience in the music industry; folk-pop artist and songwriter Lewis Loh, who released his debut album ‘Lullacry’ in 2017; and musician Tan Peng Sing, who is also the founder of Singapore-based music label ‘Where Are The Fruits’.
For the first time since its inception, YRSWC introduced a new award category ‘Most Popular Song’, to be selected through votes cast by members of the public. The public can vote for their favourite song at [https://go.gov.sg/yrswc21] from now until 6 February 2022. Voters stand a chance to be one of three lucky winners of a $100 cash prize. The Most Popular Song, as well as the judges’ pick for the top three songs, will be announced on YRSG’s social media channels on 18 February 2022.
Chairperson of the YRSWC 2021 committee, Yvonne Kirk, from the Community Corrections Command at the Singapore Prison Service, said, “These songs of hope written by our finalists from within the prisons provide a glimpse into their innermost feelings and struggles. Very often, the love and support from families and the community serve as a beacon of light to guide them through their darkness. We hope that everyone will join us in our first-ever public broadcast of the competition and inspire second chances – reassuring all inmates and ex-offenders that they are not alone on this journey of change and to rally more support for an inclusive society.”
The YRSWC finals broadcast is available on-demand at https://youtube.com/c/YellowRibbonSingapore.
About the Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP)
Started in 2004, the Yellow Ribbon Project aims to create awareness of the need to give second chances to ex-offenders, generate acceptance of ex-offenders and their families in the community, and inspire community action to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders into society. Its Vision is to strive for an inclusive society, a nation beyond second chances.
The Yellow Ribbon Project is an initiative under the Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network, which comprises Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Singapore Prison Service (SPS), Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG), National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS), Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF), Singapore After-Care Association (SACA) and Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA).
More information is available at www.yellowribbon.gov.sg
About the Composers & Authors Society of Singapore
The Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) is an organisation created to protect and promote the copyright interests of composers, Authors and Publishers of musical works and their related lyrics. The Society was formed in 1987 in conjunction with the enactment of the Copyright Act of Singapore to answer the call of composers, lyricists and publishers in need of copyright protection. The purpose was to provide songwriters with a means of compensation for usage of their creative material by other parties.