Babyface vs Breakestra tonight? (aka A good dilemma)

Now before you go “uh-duh!” – let me just preface this by saying I did take the Babyface tickets thanks to a good friend. Here’s the personal reasons.

1) Tina likes Babyface, and will go as my date!

2) Babyface tickets are free!

3) I would be going to see Breakestra by myself (because all my friends in Singapore ain’t up on Breakestra).

Firstly before I go any further let me make this bold statement that is sure to get my fellow Singaporean music lovers riled up a little bit, or maybe agree with me:

the Mosaic Music Festival is my favourite music festival in Singapore…

(can I get an endorsement deal Mosaic?)

I don’t know about the regular Singapore concert goer, but I always look forward to March, when the Mosaic Festival rolls around.

More than any festival that has sweaty punters outdoors at Fort Canning all subject to the weather which is not ideal either way (In Singapore weather it’s either hot and arid, or hot and rainy. I don’t mind outdoor concerts, especially growing up in NZ, but if it’s hot and sticky, I have a tendency to think more about my shower and where to get water than the music.)

Is it just me?

I am becoming a supporter of local music too, but I have to be honest – most of the festivals that I’ve been to with decent local music, I either feel too old, too young or too un-Singaporean to appreciate the extent of what’s being done.

I like the F1 concerts, but I think that to pay sometimes up to $1K to see a concert and watching guys drive their toys around a few blocks whilst there is so much suffering and poverty in the region does not sit right with me.

Grown Folks Music

Mosaic specializes in GROWN FOLKS MUSIC… You know, the jazz, the edgy classical, the conscious hip hop, the fun alternative stuff. Basically anything with real SOUL in it. In the short time I’ve been in Singapore, I always look forward to it, and have been blessed to see artists from differing genres but with that SOUL like for example Parliament Funkadelic, The Roots, Raul Midon and Take 6. It’s not overly crowded, and you can be either indoors or outdoors, but at least outdoors you have one of the most stunning backdrops in the world in the Singapore skyline. Ok that’s enough advertising of Mosaic…

Now back to the dilemma (Like that other Nelly’s song…)

But let me go deeper if you don’t mind into this dilemma that I faced just today. I’ve dug Breakestra and bands that played that will still playing that sort of funk ever since I got into djaying back in 1995 – so some 15 odd years. I knew that it wasn’t that popular, unless you were into funk, or you were a b-boy and loved to get down to non Timbaland sounding breaks. So I posted on my twitter last night, asking if anyone was going to see Breakestra. No response.

The dude

Now I’m a bit “High I” (of course I’m referencing Marston’s D.I.S.C. profiling tool. At work I’m actually high D, high I and high C with no S) and so when no one was going to join me for Breakestra, I didn’t wanna be “that dude”. So when the call came this morning with the blessing of free Babyface tickets, I actually had to pause before saying yes.

Babyface – why not?

Babyface was the last of the great slow jam writers. My favourite songs of his were earlier on in his career, like when he and LA Reid were in The Deele (remember “Two Occasions”?), and when everyone in pop RnB was going to either one of 4 producers: Jazzie B of Soul 2 Soul, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and of course, LA Reid and Babyface. But for those of us who are really honest, it just became different, hearing what Karyn White or After 7 would sing from Babyface’s pen now come from Madonna on songs like “Take a Bow”. He didn’t sell out – it was just different.

Maybe it’s just me…

A big part of it too is that me, like any audience, grew up from the Cross Colors overalls and the pastel colored suits with hi top fades and are now in a different phase in life from where we were when “Roni”, “My My My” and “Superwoman” came out (though I never liked that song). So when Soul Food and Waiting to Exhale came out with Babyface soundtracks, it just wasn’t the same. But hey – he’s sold millions and millions of albums, and I’m still working on my first. I’m going to hear the slow jam  soundtrack to a wonderful period of my life 1987-1992, my years as a Dwayne Wayne wanna-be at Edgewater College just working on his Redhead Kingpin dance moves.

But now we GROWN FOLKS – Here’s to the last of the slow jam writers!


If you had a choice between seeing something you like currently for a price, and seeing something that you used to like for free, which would you choose?

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