Buskers in Kampong Gelam and Where to Find Them
As dusk falls, Kampong Gelam’s vibrant nightlife roars to an awakening. Merrymakers flock to the heritage enclave seeking out their favourite watering holes, serenaded by talented buskers while navigating the art mural-plastered streets. Make no mistake, though; the performers aren’t part of the ambient noise. These street musicians are an essential part of Kampong Gelam’s night scene, amping up revelry in the atmosphere and drawing crowds in with their unique musical stylings. Here’s where to catch them.
Arguably Kampong Gelam’s liveliest street at night, Haji Lane is awash with eclectic bars, cafes and restaurants, all offering good food, drinks, music and cheer. Street performers set up shop along the narrow lane, adding a musical zing to the evenings of passersby or patrons dining at establishments like Blu Jaz Cafe, Piedra Negra and Pizza Fabrica. Certain restos, such as Going Om, even have a regular pool of buskers performing throughout the week.
The stretch between Bussorah Street and Sultan Mosque is another prime spot for top-notch busking performances. Whether it’s enjoying a tipple at Flying Monkey or grabbing a seat outside at one of the street’s many Middle Eastern restaurants, your ears are in for a musical feast.
Singer-songwriter Marsh Clawforde’s lifelong passion for music led him to start busking in 2010. A regular fixture at Blu Jaz Cafe and Madd Pizza (formerly FUNQ), his repertoire includes acoustic pop and rock covers.
One of Singapore’s most recognisable buskers, Muhammad Firdaus Bin Osman (or as he’s known on stage, Fyrdauz Macbeth) appeals to his audience with oldies, R&B and pop classics.
Muhammad Ridhwan (Jukuleles)
Catch Ridhwan, or “Wan” as he’s more affectionately known, of Jukulele at Going Om for a night of fun and uke-led tunes. The music man keeps his set fresh with mash-ups and unique twists on iconic songs.
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Armed with his guitar, singer-songwriter Daniel Sid delivers smooth acoustic renditions of songs like Sam Smith’s Too Good at Goodbyes, and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy.
Graphic designer by day, singer by night, Amanda Tee’s a familiar face in the Kampong Gelam busking scene. You’ll typically find her around Punjaby Dawat and Madd Pizza (formerly FUNQ), strumming her guitar and belting out indie tunes.