From just 40 students in its first semester, SP’s Diploma in Music and Audio Technology (DMAT) is now one of Singapore’s most well-known and popular music diploma courses – its oversubscription every year is proof positive! For more than a decade, DMAT has helped aspiring musicians find their rhythm and groomed outstanding alumni in all corners of the music industry.
We speak to some DMAT graduates who have taken quite varied career paths and find out a bit about their life after SP.
Josh picked up the violin at 5 years old and found his way to DMAT through this musical passion. Like most DMAT graduates, his most memorable DMAT moment was the DMAT Graduation Show cum concert. “It was three great years culminating in one show,” he tells us.
After graduating from DMAT, Josh made the decision to move from being just a violinist to being a music producer. He works behind the scenes but extremely closely with artistes (including Gentle Bones!) to conceptualise songs and the direction these songs should take. Among other things he loves about his job is being able to help realise an artiste’s vision and work with them on something as personal as music.
Growing up, Beth realised her flair for song-writing while teaching herself the guitar with help from her guitar-teacher father. A passion for music brought her to SP’s DMAT, where she focused on singing, picked up the bass guitar, and even emerged as top graduate and Institutional Medallist in 2014! This superstar also launched her debut album Beauty for Ashes at an Esplanade concert last year, with guest performers including Inch Chua and Benjamin Kheng.
Beth is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music, pursuing Contemporary Writing and Production under the National Arts Council Arts Undergraduate Scholarship. She spends her time playing a supporting lead role in a musical, helping a friend arrange and record a funk version of LiRong Hao’s 李白 (Li Bai) and pushing herself to write more originals and get existing demos recorded. After graduation, she is set to serve Singapore’s music industry for two years and is grateful for the freedom to decide how she should serve her bond.
Jia Ni started playing the trumpet at eight years old. Her love for the instrument prompted her to join the Symphonic Band in Secondary School, and subsequently SP’s DMAT. She liked that DMAT exposed her to a style of music that was different from the classical music genre she was used to. In fact, Jia Ni emerged as SP Audio Post Graduation Book Prize awards winner and received the industry award offered to DMAT by MediaCorp.
Fast forward a few years and Jia Ni is a Sound Designer at Mediacorp’s Audio Post. She deals mostly with post-production music editing – for instance, she will adjust music and background noises to ensure sound for a show is balanced. One recent show she worked on that we might be familiar with is Channel 5’s long form drama Tanglin!
Ay Shyuan, better known as her stage name V’bel, picked up the violin at 5 years old and performed extensively at various events at a young age. She graduated from DMAT in 2013 as one of the course’s first SPEAR artistes. SPEAR (Singapore Polytechnic Emerging Artiste and Repertoire) is DMAT’s very own record label.
Her life after graduation never diverged from music. She launched her debut album at The Coliseum at Hard Rock Hotel along with other SPEAR artistes upon graduation. Today, she teaches the violin full-time to over 50 private students.
Ay Shyuan is still very much in tune with her music, genres of which include progressive rock, metal, new age and symphonic. In fact, a radio station from Florida had recently asked to play her music “Rage the Storm” that was just released last year!
Esther graduated from DMAT in 2008 and built a career as a Singaporean actress who is bilingual in English and Mandarin. She has been acting since 2010, with experience in both TV and commercials. Some of her notable projects include her portrayal as the true Blue Princess in Netflix’s Marco Polo, playing the lead character Sue in Costa Rican indie film Rosado Furia, and playing a supporting part in Singapore TV drama, Lion Mums. She is currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands!