Artists / Bands, Culture — May 31, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Sarah Cheng-De Winne Nominated for Independent Music Award


Singaporean R&B/Pop singer-songwriter, Sarah Cheng-De Winne recently received a double nomination at the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards. Her song “Diagonal rain”, nominated in the R&B/Soul category, and “Love-Shape Void”, in the Contemporary/Gospel category, received nods from an industry panel with popular names including Tom Waits, Ziggy Marley, Pete Wentz, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Joel Madden. Representing the broad spectrum of today’s global independent music scene, the nominees in over 80 album, song, music video and design categories were culled from thousands of submissions from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe. And Sarah came out on top and has indeed helped put Singapore on the world map. She invites us into her world and shares with us the potential impact of winning the awards and her dream-collaboration.

Sarah Cheng-De Winne - iTunes Banner

Music Weekly: What response have you received since your nomination was announced? And if you are to win the IMA award in your category how do you think it will change your career?
Sarah Cheng-De Winne: The local scene has been super supportive and everyone’s been helping to share the nomination news. If I were to win the IMA award I would have some credibility in entering the US independent music scene, since that’s where the main action for English music is. I believe God will shape my career in the way that would be best for my music, post-win. 

The IMA awards artists are traditionally ignored by mainstream media and big box retailers. What is your take on the ‘divide’ in the industry?
I think the divide between “mainstream” and “indie” is fast blurring. The entire music industry appears to be moving towards independent artist-entrepreneurs who rely on fans to sustain their careers, not labels and mainstream media. On the other hand, mainstream media is increasingly starting to pick up “indie” artists who have managed to create their own phenomenal followings. Though it’s definitely challenging to stand out, music is a very exciting place to be in right now and I’m simply happy to be able to share my brand of faith-inspired, soul-pop through the IMA awards. 

You’re theatrically trained. How has this given you a leg-up when compared to your fellow counterparts?
I think everyone has their unique strengths and it isn’t so much of a leg-up, but rather part of my unique background that makes me who I am. Having had theatre training and studying theatre academically has definitely informed my live performance style and song writing and I’m grateful to have this as a unique part of me. 

If you had to collaborate with any of the artists on the IMA panel, who would it be and why?
Definitely Raul Midon! I caught him live and he is such an inspiration. His music also shares common positive themes and soul-inspired grooves with me and would be an awesome collaborative partner on so many levels. 

Where do you plan to take your music in the next 12 months?
I’m planning to release more music of course, beginning with a Chinese EP. I’m currently collecting new song ideas for my next album, but in the meantime I’m working on creating videos to promote my latest release, Brand New. I’ll also be improving myself by taking a production course in LA run by the Berklee faculty. 

Name your top 3 Singaporean artists that everyone should check out.
Shigga Shay – amazing young rapper with an attitude to boot.
Corrinne May – one of my personal inspirations and a great singer-songwriter.
Charlie Lim – soul-folk darling of the indie scene.



Official Website
Brand New - Sarah Cheng-de Winne