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    Jun 20, 2016

    2016 NDP song and video: Upbeat pop with focus on future

    THIS year's National Day Parade theme song and its accompanying music video will both carry elements in tune with the occasion's futuristic theme of "building our Singapore of tomorrow".

    When writing the song's music and lyrics, composer Don Richmond said he had one burning question in mind after Singapore's Golden Jubilee: "What would the first song be to start off the next 50 years?"

    The result was Tomorrow's Here Today - an upbeat pop anthem rallying Singaporeans to ponder about the country's future.

    It is performed by local band 53A - a familiar fixture at nightspots such as Hive by Wala Wala and Timbre Substation.

    Mr Richmond, 39, described the tune, which took a month and a half to complete, as one filled with "youthful energy" and "something that people can tap their feet to".

    As with most of his songs, inspiration came in the shower.

    "When I was shampooing my hair... I was thinking to myself, what would really be the best title for it?" recalled Mr Richmond, son of radio DJ Brian Richmond.

    "The first thing that came to my mind, I was humming, 'Tomorrow's here today, tomorrow's here today'. I went, 'You know what, that could be a great title for a song'. And then I worked backwards from there."

    Writing this year's NDP song probably came with less pressure than singer-songwriter Dick Lee faced when penning a tune for last year's Golden Jubilee, said Mr Richmond.

    But he is ready for any flak that is often thrown at new NDP songs. "I'm ready to be judged. I honestly feel the worst thing that you can do is try to think that you have to please everyone," he said.

    Coming up with a video to capture the song's aspirational mood involved about 500 people over four months.

    In the film, young dancers frolic in front of old shophouses and food stalls while colourful lanterns mirror the eclectic ethnic costumes moving beneath them.

    The video was shot to look like it was filmed with just one continuous take using a "green screen" backdrop which can be digitally replaced with other images.

    Producer Huang Junxiang, 27, said: "We wanted to go with something technically advanced because this year's (NDP) theme is Building Our Singapore of Tomorrow."