Meanwhile, Back in Singapore…

source : A Journal Of Musical Things, Alan Cross

There’s something about this city-state that keeps drawing me back.  I’ve made the 26 hour flight three times in the last year.  It’s been mostly business, but there’s so much else going on here that I find it hard to leave.

They have the world’s best airline.  Changi Airport puts just about every other airport on the planet to shame.
It’s clean, safe and well-organized.
Taxis are stupidly cheap.
The Singapore dollar costs 80 cents Canadian.
There’s no sales tax.
Plus there, the food, the architecture, the culture, the go-go-go attitude.
 And now, music.

I’m here for the Music Matters Asia conference, a gathering of music and digital types from across Asia and from certain other pockets of the planet.

Watching the panels and hearing people speak (as well as talking to to people one-on-one during the breaks) provides a completely different perspective on the music biz from than the one I get at CMW, NXSW, the Worldwide Radio Summit or any of the half-dozen gatherings I attend in North America every year.  They just think differently here.

It’s gotta be the lack of proximity to the United States.  America tends to dominate any conversation in which its involved.  But here in Singapore, there are few Americans participating.  Talk is about China, Taiwan, Australia, Korea, Japan, India and Indonesia.  Each of these territories have their own attitudes towards the music business and without America in the room, it’s easy for them to communicate them.

Today was mostly about digital video and how it can be monetized.  Tomorrow, though, is a full day on music and radio.  This should be interesting.  There are also even showcases staged by delegations from Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Canada (Faber Drive is one of the acts who have made the trip.) as well as some homegrown talent from Singapore. I’m looking forward to hearing some very interesting new stuff.

One prediction from the state today:  watch out for Singapore, Korea and Finland to take a leadership role in all things wireless.  Broadband of all sorts is a major, major priority with their respective governents.  In fact, Internet access has been declared a basic human right in Finland.  Don’t you wish that were the case in Canada?

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