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HubbaBubbas, spice, and everything nice

MusicInterviewsSchool

The post-acoustic trio gave us insight into their fascinating name and how they cope with competition.

It has been three years since homegrown HubbaBubbas (pronounced huh-buh-buh-buhs) started off as an a cappella group. Youth.SG met up with the unique band consisting of a beatboxer, guitarist and vocalist on May 28, after they dazzled students of Jurong West Secondary School.


A MELODIOUS AWAKENING: HUBBABUBBAS CHARMED STUDENTS DURING THEIR MORNING ASSEMBLY

Lead vocalist Stephanie Lim, 22, explained the band's unique sounding name: "There's no reason why - it's just a name we chose right before our show and we couldn't think of anything else to change it too." 

"Actually, I was talking to my baby niece one day and I asked her what our band should be called, and she said 'hubba-bubba'," added guitarist Ryan Chan, a 25-year-old fresh graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The trio, who first met back when they were in Temasek Secondary School, kept the spunk going at the early gig with a crowd favourite, Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk'. As morning vocals can be especially dreary, Stephanie and Mervyn shared their warm-up routines to combat the early vocal monotony.


BEATBOXER MERVYN WORKED THE MICROPHONE WITH SKILL

"I try to practice with a metronome - do all the syllables, making sounds and working on the tongue," shared Mervyn Ye, the 25-year-old Nanyang Technological University graduate.

"It takes me about an hour to warm up my voice, especially in the morning [by doing] stuff like making bubbles and singing vowels," said Stephanie, who is currently studying in NUS.


MERVYN AND STEPHANIE GETTING STUDENTS PUMPED

When asked to describe their music, Ryan felt that they fit best in the post-acoustic genre. Yet it is nonetheless a challenge classifying the HubbaBubbas into any one music genre. After all, this trio stands out from other bands by having a beatboxer play the percussionist's role.

While competition in the local music scene has stepped up, the HubbaBubbas remain optimistic; they are glad to see Singaporean musicians working collectively to showcase local music in the international scene.

"I think our set up is different; every band has its own strength. It's more of us against the world. And the community is really small; we are all friends," said Stephanie.


STEPHANIE WOWS THE CROWD WITH HER VOCAL VIGOR


THE BACKBONE: RYAN'S STRUMMING KEEPS THE RHYTHM IN CHECK

Just days ago, the HubbaBubbas flaunted a dynamic performance at the SEA games opening ceremony alongside local favourites ShiGGa Shay and Benjamin Kheng. For a band that sees itself making music in the long run, this region-wide showcase is a symbolic seal of approval.

"We want to take this as far as we can. We are recording our first Extended Play (EP), and it should come out between the 3rd and 4th quarter of the year," said Ryan.

HubbaBubbas' EP will be released around October. In the meantime, check them out on Facebook and YouTube.

WRITTEN BY IAN LOH AND NATASHA KWEK