WHAT THEY SAY
"Sarah's chocolate velvet vocals are delightfully soulful. I look forward to hearing more songs from her." - Corrinne May, Singer-songwriter
"Her voice has an emotional intensity that creates a fury of passion... Listen and be moved."
- Jimmy Lee, Drummer
“Sarah's creative instincts and keen ears for evocative tunes are phenomenal, for someone so young.” - Bang Wenfu, Musical Theatre Composer & Arranger
“Sarah is an upcoming singer-songwriter full of heart and passion! Someone to look out for in the future.” - Richard Jackson (USA), Jazz Vocalist
“Sarah’s theatrical training enhances her interpretation, in that she understands the subtext of her songs and gives them nuance.” - Dr. KK Seet, ST Life! Theatre Awards Judge
“Versatile and elegant. Sarah’s sings in a polished manner with thoughtful arrangements and textured melodies.” - Rani Singam, Jazz Vocalist
23 August 2010, SINGAPORE – August 23rd marks the musical debut of Sarah Cheng-De Winne with the launch of her EP, Let’s Pretend.
Let’s Pretend with Sarah Cheng-De Winne - Jazz-Pop with a Soul twist
In a market saturated with cover bands and pop artistes, Let’s Pretend is a step away from the norm. As an EP, it refuses to be pigeonholed. Daring to be artistically-driven, Let's Pretend was born from Sarah’s intense love for music and a desire to share her songs with the world.
The mini-album features Sarah’s distinctively-soulful and expressive voice in 6 self-written and composed songs that explore the inner life of relationships. Co-produced by renowned musical theatre composer and arranger Bang Wenfu, Let’s Pretend is a bold introduction to Sarah’s unique style: Jazz-Pop with a Soul twist.
Inspired by the relationships and stories of people close to her, Sarah writes songs for the things people experience but don’t often share.
“Not just for myself,” she says, “but for at least one other person who listens and says: yes, that's exactly how I feel.”
Despite Sarah's youth, she writes music with panache and a refreshing inventiveness that adds a subtle sophistication to her work. Sarah's songs offer not only the creative soul of the songwriter, but also her unique interpretation of contemporary music.
For over a year, Sarah poured her heart and soul into making her debut album a reality. As a young artiste determined to create her own unique musical style, Sarah was thoroughly involved in the musical direction of each song – sitting in for sessions and providing musicians with suggestions and single-handedly conceived each song’s vocal arrangement. In support of her efforts, top-notch musicians from the local music scene rallied around her in the creation of the self-funded EP.
Let’s Pretend features collaborations with reputable Singaporean musicians such as Brandon Wong (Bass), Jimmy Lee (Drums), Jordan Wei (Piano), Aya Sekine (Electric Piano), and Teo Boon Chye (Saxophone). The EP also features guest vocalist and bassist Casey Subramaniam on a remix of Sarah’s acapella-inspired song, “Maybe Forever”.
“Investing in the lives and emotions of the people around me makes me certain of the truth in my songs,” Sarah enthuses.
And the truth is undeniable — from the candid call for love in the latin-infused song “Closer (When I Am Thinking Of You)” and heartbreak in the soulful ballad “Let's Pretend”, to the smooth-jazz sounds of “I Just Like You” and the introspective electronica of “Circles” — Sarah's hallmark as an artiste shines clearly through her clever melodic twists, rich harmonies and multi-layered musicality. What results is a musical and lyrical spread that combines elements of jazz, pop, soul and more in an inventive and daring new way.
Let’s Pretend was mixed by Roland Lim (Roland Lim Productions) and Glow (Soundfarm Productions). Mastered by Trevor Sadler at Masterming Productions, USA.
Let’s Pretend Track Listing
1. I Just Like You
3. Let’s Pretend
4. Closer (When I Am Thinking Of You)
5. Take Me
6. Maybe Forever
7. Bonus Track: Maybe Forever (Remix) feat. Casey Subramaniam
Let’s Pretend was released at a media launch on 23rd August 2010 at the Bellini Room, St. James Powerstation, and will be publicly launched on 30th August 2010, coinciding with Sarah’s performance at Esplanade’s Localmotion (At The Concourse) series. Let’s Pretend will be available in Singapore at The Esplanade Shop, HMV and CDBaby.com from 30th August 2010.
About Sarah Cheng-De Winne
From singing in choirs and winning her first solo singing competition at the age of 14 to releasing her debut EP, Let’s Pretend, Singapore-based Sarah Cheng-De Winne, 22, has come a long way.
Since being selected from over 300 youths to be one of the young stars in the 2008 hit teen musical, It's My Life! (Spare Room), Sarah has ventured heavily into the local music and theatre scene. Entering the local music scene with a regular jazz-and-pop gig at Night & Day, she has since been featured on local and international platforms including LIVE! 2010 Singapore, Singapore Wine & Jazz Festival 2010, Esplanade’s Jazz in July 2010, NUS Arts Festival 2010, Esplanade’s Celebrate December 2009 and COMPASS Musical Extravaganza 2009. Sarah is also a member of young & W!LD (W!LD RICE's youth company), most recently having acted for Leow Puay Tin’s FAMILY.
Besides her avid involvement in the local jazz and theatre scene, Sarah has also undertaken a significant project – releasing her a debut EP, Let’s Pretend. Opting for the road less travelled, Sarah’s album consists wholly of self-written and composed songs that showcase her soulful voice and songwriting abilities. In addition, Sarah was also the vocal arranger and co-producer of her maiden solo effort.
Sarah likes to explore all musical possibilities and experiment with new styles. Her innate sensibility for musical composition and never-say-die attitude reflect her imaginative outlook on life and love. Drawing from diverse influences ranging from Cole Porter, The Carpenters and Astrud Gilberto to Gotan Project, Mika Nakashima and Brian Culbertson, Sarah’s own brand of jazz pop reveals a flair for channeling her old-soul musical affinities into edgy tunes with modern sentiment.
Much of Sarah’s musical influences can be attributed to an early and wide exposure to world and jazz music by her parents, themselves zealous music collectors. With strong family support, Sarah involved herself from age 6 in numerous school musicals, choir performances, church services and a jazz ensemble throughout her most formative years.
Trained in classical piano up to Grade 5, Sarah started to combine her loves for literature and musical expression into songwriting only relatively recently. She embarked on her first major songwriting project in 2008, where she wrote the lyrics and music for 7 out of 10 songs performed in Saving Grace — an original musical produced in conjunction with the Institute of Mental Health’s 80th Anniversary. Encouraged by the positive feedback to her songs from Saving Grace, Sarah embarked on a year-long project to release Let’s Pretend in collaboration with renowned musical theatre composer-arranger Bang Wenfu.
For Sarah, releasing her first EP Let’s Pretend is just the start of an exciting journey. Already one of the most promising and versatile young artistes in the Singapore music scene, her star can only shine brighter as she continues to face life and its experiences with a tenacity that is quintessentially Sarah Cheng-De Winne.