#TheDigitalQuest: Mission Accomplished.
26th January 2014: 10 - 1pm.
They might be called ‘The Vamps’, but they are not at all, intimidating.
Meet The Vamps. A four piece pop-rock boyband from the UK. They’ve been making waves across the atlantic in the UK, supporting the likes of JLS, Little Mix, Lawson and The Wanted.
Guess how old these teenage heartthrobs are? Bradley Simpson, 18, James McVey, Tristan Evans, 19, Connor Ball, 17
I first picked up their music when ‘Can We Dance’ premiered on radio. My first impressions were fairly good. While their music is easily recognizable as teenage pop-rock, they have a distinct sound to their music. A cross between Lawson, Jonas Brothers, with a pinch of Boys Like Girls.
Their debut EP, Can We Dance contains four songs - three covers, one originals. ‘Can We Dance’ was chosen as the lead single, which peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart. I would call this EP a teaser for even bigger things to come for these talented boys.
My favourite track from the EP was the cover ‘MMM Bop’ by American pop rock band, Hanson. The track was released in 1997, when the boys were probably still, infants. Undoubtedly (as with all teenage pop rock tracks), the song was bouncy and ridiculously catchy.
The light synths and minimal production allowed their vocals to shine - making their risky cover sound authentic and surprisingly pleasant. Oh did I mention, the pop-influenced production reminds me another talented electronica one-piece band, Owl City.
Fast forward to 2014, the quartet have bigger plans. The band dropped a new single, ‘Wild Heart’ on 19th January this year. Interestingly, the single is available in nine different versions.
'Wild Heart' is exactly what you would listen to while suntanning at a beach in Miami. There is a tinge of folk influence, while retaining their pop rock influences. A formula made popular by sleeper hit, Let Her Go (Passenger).
The genre has since been
exploited explored by the likes of Avicii (Wake Me Up), Pitbull (Timbre) and Flo-Rida (How I Feel).
'Tonight we'll dance/ I'll be yours and you'll be mine.
While another British boy-band tries way too hard to pull off something that sounds genuine and less manufactured, ’Wild Heart’ is a breath of fresh air.
Good job lads. My ears are peeled.
Tips on how to make a viral video.
(contrary to popular belief, we don’t have huge Vine followings)
Pretty much sums up my memorable #SPOH14 experience.
Junkiepop on replay.
It’s been close to two years since I’ve embarked on my journey in Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma In Media and Communication.
Here’s what how I think I’ve changed as a person since April 2012.
1. I’m now more socially-adept, though occasionally still, socially awkward.
A huge part of being in a polytechnic is making new friends and creating new bonds with diverse groups of people. Back in secondary school, I was introverted by nature. I was completely fine with eating alone and working at my own pace. However, it was a different picture at SP.
No doubt, friends play a huge role in making your school life more vibrant. Social conventions occur - where we subconsciously conform and adapt our surroundings, to look for sense of identity and belonging in or beyond our very own social circles.
I’m proud to say that though I have yet to find a clique/social group that I strongly identify with, I’m glad to see how much I’ve opened up to the external environment around me. Personally, I am proud of the progress I’ve made thus far. Still a long way to go in terms of opening up, but I’m humbled by how much I matured over the past year.
Some two years ago, my introverted nature would have never brought to where I am today:
- I now make a conscious effort to take initiative and be proactive about social interactions - something that I would never have been able to accomplish two years ago.
- I now pay more attention to the feelings and emotions of people around me - quite a feat, considering I was used to be emotionally numb to the people around me
Well, almost my poly friends call me Shane. Sometimes I feel that perhaps ‘Shane’ is the new identity that I have adopted. Unknown to many, the quiet, reserved and introverted ‘Shi Nan’ still resides deeply inside me.
2. I’m now driven by sheer passion and hard-work.
I was well aware that it was my passion for communications that drove me to choose a polytechnic course over the traditional JC route. I strongly believe that it is important to do what you love wholeheartedly, and be proud of the end-result. You are responsible for the decisions you make.
As cliche as it sounds, it actually works for me. I’m driven by the sense of satisfaction and gratitude from the learning opportunities that I am given to grow.
And I will constantly remember Mr Mario’s words of encouragement:
'Sometimes, you might lose your direction and question why you are forced to do such things. But always keep your passion burning alive, and someday, trust me, you'll be there.'
3. I’m aware of that I need to step out of my comfort zone.
After entering DMC, the emphasis on group-work and teamwork has never been greater. Granted, it was a steep learning curve. It was initially a challenge to work with people with different strengths. Eventually, I did realize that the harsh reality is - everyone had different work ethics, perspectives and ability thresholds.
As you can see, it’s been a pretty fulfilling journey of self-discovery so far.
If you’re reading this a potential junior of SP, make a wise choice on your future path. Think through and always remember to be passionate about what you do and live life (hopefully) without any regrets.