Arts Interview Music Singapore

Music Is: Charlie Lim Releases ‘Room at the Table’ Taken from 2018’s ‘We Are Singapore’ Prelude

Following his contribution in updating 2018’s National Day theme ‘We Are Singapore’, singer-songwriter Charlie Lim has extended his own prelude into a full song, titled ‘Room at the Table’. The single is now out on all digital streaming platforms. An accompanying lyric video will be out in the coming weeks.

‘Room at the Table’ takes on a more vulnerable and intimate tone, and expands upon his prelude’s reflective sentiment. “There was a lot of positive feedback, especially from the younger audiences who could empathise with the new lyrics,” Charlie Lim says. His updated version of the song is just under 3.5 million views on YouTube alone, and became the top trending video in Singapore for the year. “We had many requests to turn it into its own song, and it’s something I’d been sitting on for a while because I felt I had more to say. I guess everything that’s been going on this year alone just made me finish it.”

The new single makes the bold and deliberate production decision to strip the song’s arrangement down to just Charlie and his guitar alone, drawing the listener in to focus on the lyric and the rawness of his intimate vocal delivery. From questioning the definition of belonging (“A house doesn’t make a home”) to how we treat one another (“Through all the years, every lesson learned / When each word can’t be a blessing, to listen is to love”), it is the thoughtfulness behind Charlie’s lyricism that makes the song both relatable and heart-rending.

If the 2018 theme song was Charlie’s love letter to his country, ‘Room at the Table’ is a call-to-action to take more ownership of our actions to celebrate diversity, and to have more open but gracious discourse in order to bring forth a kinder and more inclusive society. Charlie says, “I hope this song can serve as an aspiration to focus on what truly matters, as well as to draw attention to a few issues that are going on here.”

Singapore has close to 1 million low wage migrant workers today, making up about one sixth of the population. These are people who are vital to sectors in the economy, including construction, manufacturing, hospitality, sanitation services, petrochemical, and domestic work – essentially the backbone of our society. Charlie would like to help continue raising awareness of the various organisations that aid our migrant workers in Singapore, and will be donating all proceeds earned from now until the end of the year, from ‘Room at the Table’, to Transient Workers Count 2 (TWC2) and Itsrainingraincoats.

Charlie will be performing ‘Room At The Table’ in its entirety for the opening of this year’s National Day Parade celebration.

Listen to Room at the Table on Spotify


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