Singaporean singer Shye, 18, named Best New Artist at Freshmusic Awards

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Shye was not the frontrunner in the category during the initial voting stage.

SINGAPORE – Singaporean singer-songwriter Shye, 18, won Best New Artist for her debut album at the 14th Freshmusic Awards on Friday.

The awards are presented annually by Singapore-based online music magazine Freshmusic, established in 2006 to share indie music in the region regardless of music genre and commercial considerations.

This year’s winners were determined by a judging panel of 38 recording industry professionals from Singapore, Malaysia and the Sinophone world, including industry managers, record producers, musicians and more.

The panel noted that Shye single-handedly completed all the writing, production and instrumental work on her debut indie pop album Days To Morning Glory at the age of 17.

They also commended the work’s stellar artistry and auditory aesthetics.

Shye, whose full name is Shye-Anne Brown, was not the frontrunner in the category during the initial voting stage.

But the panel discussion on her professional artistry and breakthrough potential led her to clinch the award after two rounds of voting.

The panel also gave a special mention to Singaporean hip-hop artist BGourd, who collaborated with local producer Fauxe on the EP Veggie Wraps, Vol. 2, which was nominated for EP of the Year. The award went to Taiwanese fusion-folk artist Khuann Jit Tsa Am’s self-titled EP.

Nonetheless, many overseas judges noted that BGourd’s smooth yet energy-laden performance was captivating, allowing him to stand out amongst other hip-hop singers. BGourd was also nominated for Best New Artist.

Veteran Taiwanese singer Wan Fang emerged the big winner of the night with three awards, bagging Best Female Vocalist and Album of the Year for her album Dear All, and Song of the Year for A Vacant Seat.

Best Male Vocalist went to singer-songwriter Hsuan Huang from Taiwanese fusion band Yellow, the first time this accolade was clinched by a lead singer from a band.

Best Band was given to 88 Balaz, a veteran punk rock band from Taiwan, while Best Group was clinched by The Fur., a Taiwanese indie pop duo which announced their disbandment last month.

Best New Group/Band went to two groups, Hakka art-pop band ChuNoodle and Hong Kong punk rock band N.Y.P.D. Nan Yang Pai Dui, while The Great Leap Award was won by Taiwanese singer Olivia Tsao.

The results were announced in an hour-long awards show live stream by recipients of previous Freshmusic Awards, including Waa Wei, Eli Hsieh, 9m88 and katncandix2.

This year’s awards show can be viewed on Freshmusic’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel.

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