It’s a balmy Monday afternoon here in a remote field in the inner-most corner of Tuas. There’s not a car in sight, save for three vehicles parked alongside a side road, and we’ve just arrived at the first location of local singers Desmond Ng and Kenny Khoo (also known as Qiu Feng Ze)’s MV shoot for Channel 8 drama When Duty Calls’s theme song, ‘Yi Gang Ke Gang’ (loosely translated to ‘Fighting Strength with Strength’ in English).
They’re operating on a skeleton crew today – we count a total of four others present, including the managers (Kenny declined to reveal the exact cost of producing the video, but we're told that it didn't cost much). It’s humid, but Desmond and Kenny are dressed to impress – and visibly perspiring in their green combat-themed jackets and black jeans ensemble. The boys are running a tight schedule as well (Kenny specially flew back from Taiwan to film this MV, we’re told). Later, after our interview, we’re bundled into a car as the singers journey to the famous Tuas South Lalang field for a couple of shots running through the waist-high lalangs.
So, why this out-of-the-ordinary location?
“This is a very remote forest [indeed]. We wanted to recreate the ‘army’ feeling, in line with When Duty Calls’s theme,” the duo laughed. “It doesn’t feel like we’re in Singapore, right?”
Though this may be the first time working together for the two singers, as Kenny’s based in Taiwan, while Desmond has his hands full with his budding acting and hosting career, the duo seem to have a tight relationship, comfortably bantering back and forth throughout the group interview.
“I personally like rock, so I was very happy to have the chance to collaborate with Kenny,” Desmond shared, with Kenny adding that it was his first time singing the theme song for a local drama.
In the words of Desmond, ‘Yi Gang Ke Gang’ is described as a “positive rock song,” that “fills the listener with hope and motivation,” with its uplifting lyrics and thumping beat.
“We met for the first time in the recording studio, and it was my first time recording a song together with another singer right there in the recording booth as well. That may be the reason why our voices seem to flow into the other’s,” Desmond mused, when asked about their recording experience.
Kenny then added that the song, which had multiple high notes, was pretty tiring for them to record, resulting in them having to drink copious amounts of water to protect their vocal chords.