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SP students shine in unusual music competition

A vow to carry on father's unfulfilled music career wins top music recording award for SP student


When Riza Hamizan was just 5-year old, his rock musician father started bringing him to watch gigs and performances. But the struggling performer had troubles paying bills and his wife objected strongly.

Riza's father stopped playing in gigs and worked as a Technician. But that did not stop Riza from being influenced by his father. Riza began to sing and jam in his room, with much disapproval from his mother. However, his friends and classmates did not share his passion for music and treated him like an outcast. Riza's self-confidence took a nose-dive and he became reserved and kept very much to himself.

At the age of 13, a crush on his classmate managed to spur him to sign up for his secondary school's singing competition. He wanted to impress her. Despite bagging the Best Performer Award, Riza did not win her heart.

But that competition opened up Riza and boosted his confidence. He went on to take part in more singing competitions, took part in National Dikir Barat contests and even participated in the President's Challenge's first musical.

17-year old Riza fronted the SP team (6FM) which won both the first prize for best team as well as the prize for Best Music Business Marketing and Promotion in the Artiste & Repertoire Challenge held on 1 April 2007. This is an inaugural inter-school competition endorsed by MCYS/ Creative Community Service which requires each team to come up with, develop and market a music artiste.

The team members looked after areas like marketing and fashion. And only eight made it to the finals.

But it was not just the singing that counted.

The judges were looking at the whole package.

Each team was judged on their business skills in the promotion of their artists like the distribution of tickets, their artists' image and music production. Each criteria carried about one third of the points the teams were judged on.

Team 6FM from Singapore Polytechnic consists of six students from different diploma courses but with a shared passion for music, thus the team’s name 6 For Music (6FM). Not surprisingly, these six students were also members of the cast of Singapore Polytechnic’s first musical, Superstar. Team 6FM consisted of Riza, Mohamad Aimran, Edwin Toh(all from DMAT) as well as Brandon Ong (DBIT) and Alexandra Tan (DBT) and Melissa Lim (DMC).

Instrumental and choral arrangements were made for the single, and recording and mixing took place over several weeks. Not content with just a single for their demo, a music video was shot over one weekend, and these were compiled into a CD and bonus DVD for their album. The business side saw the team churning out market survey and research, advertising and distribution strategies for the album, budget and sales reports and a full press kit that included information, photos and other promotional materials

Organized by Virtuoso Arts Pte Ltd and 77th Street, the project proposes to groom Artiste and Repertoire talents for the music recording industry, as well as to raise awareness for the various supporting creative industries such as recording, engineering, music arranging, artiste management, hairstyling, fashion, marketing, designing, etc. "Artiste and Repertoire" (A&R) is essentially the research and development (R&D) arm of a record company. In addition to being a talent scout, the A&R person is also the crucial link to getting the music record produced: from choosing the songs among the repertoire and helping to decide whether an artiste is going to do a cover, to deciding which producers are most suitable for the artiste and finding engineers and sessionists for the album.

During the challenge, each team member was assigned a specific role in A&R and underwent mentorship with industry professionals to learn the art of the trade. After the training, the teams had to complete different tasks in the areas of music production, music business (marketing/promotions) and artiste’s image (fashion/styling/make-up).


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