We know that clubbing is not for everyone. The crowds, venue and most importantly the music can be a put off for people who are not fans of EDM or reggaeton. Cue EmonightSG – the party for people who like dancing to "sad" music. But we're not talking about mopey and slow songs here. If you've ever sung your heart out to Jimmy Eat World and My Chemical Romance, chances are you've been to an EmonightSG show. We speak to the team behind this successful series – Look Ma, No Hands – ahead of its third anniversary.
Hey guys! How does it feel to celebrate three years of EmonightSG? Bryan: It’s amazing! Who’d have thought something like this would’ve lasted this long. Amelia: It’s really heartening to see that the community is still growing after 3 years.
Reminisce with us a little – how did Look Ma, No Hands start? Edwin: Technically, the very first EmonightSG show was in 2015 at a defunct bar called Koi Izakaya along Haji Lane. They had a space on the second floor that we just asked if we could use. It was probably meant to fit 30-40 people at best but more than 150 people showed up! At that point, I guess we knew we were on to something but we just didn’t quite know where to take it from there until the opportunity to bring Ryan Key (from Yellowcard) fell onto our laps. We just ran with it and that got the ball rolling with the venue partner to possibly do our events on a more regular basis. I’m not much of a night-life person, but I realise it’s more because of the music that’s being played in clubs which I just am unable to fully immerse myself with.
What are some of the memorable events you remember from an EMONIGHTSG party? B: Once, a venue bailed on us the night before the event and we had to find another venue less than 24 hours before the show. The replacement venue ended up being at a Thai disco in Golden Mile Complex. I’m pretty sure we made Golden Mile history. A: On another occasion, we found a bunch of Pokemon cards scattered throughout the venue, so in between one of our songs, Bryan asked what the deal was and a group of people on the dance floor started raising their Pokemon cards in the air – it looked like a scene from The Hunger Games. Oh yeah, and I got engaged at the party in April – but that’s a story for another time.
You guys have held EmonightSG at so many interesting places – I myself enjoyed the Silent Disco edition at some festival a few years back – tell us about some of best venues and shows. B: All the Insta-stories from that Silent Disco were hilarious.
E: It was a multi-level experience! Everyone was headbanging and singing their lungs out with the headphones on, but as soon as you take the headphones off, you could hear how off-key everyone actually is. But it’s all in good fun so that’s what mattered more.
B: Playing at Leeds University in the UK was super cool. And sharing this type of music at an event like the Singapore Grand Prix show last year was an opportunity we never thought we’d get.
In your opinion, what is it about emo music do people love so much? A: I think it’s largely because the music is very empathetic. People feel like they can relate to them and it allows you to be unashamed about your vulnerabilities and shortcomings. You don’t feel alone. Emo music is supposed to be ‘sad’ music but honestly, it feels like a big embrace to me.
Why is EmonightSG so different from all the other parties in Singapore? B: It feels more like a community than just a party. When you come to EmonightSG, you’re not there trying to hook up with someone or to flex your wealth by buying more alcohol than you can possibly drink. It’s literally just about having a good time rocking out to music that means something to you or discovering music that means something to the stranger beside you.
Your all-time favourite emo song? A:My Blue Heaven by Taking Back Sunday.
B: Wah, this is always the hardest question because it always changes. Currently, it’s Remembering Sunday by All Time Low.
E: There’s something about I Don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance that just hits me right in the gut every time.
What’s the best thing to eat post-party and where? B: It used to be Adam’s Corner but they disappeared so right now, it’s Al-Salam along East Coast Road.
A: Bee hoon goreng ikan bilis will always hit the spot.
What’s next for EmonightSG? E: Besides our monthly dose of EmonightSG: The B-Sides at Kilo Lounge, we are playing the Singapore Grand Prix this year for three consecutive days!
What makes you emo(tional)? B: My slipped disc and our housing loan application. A: Bryan’s slipped disc and our housing loan application. E: My own slipped disc and my own housing loan application. RIP money.