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Bringing you patriotic bangers like “Stand Up for Singapore”, “Home” and “Where I Belong” from as early as 1984, the National Day Parade 2024 (NDP 2024) has just unveiled its latest theme song!

We all know him, and we all love him; local artist Benjamin Kheng will sing the 2024 National Day Parade theme song, “Not Alone.”

The song acknowledges that while Singaporeans’ journey is not always smooth, they are never alone in their efforts for collective progress.

This was announced at a press event on Thursday (23 May), where the NDP 2024 Executive Committee also revealed this year’s parade theme: “Together, As One United People.”

Here is everything you can look forward to this year!

More About this Year’s Theme Song!

On top of lending his impressive vocals and songwriting skills, artiste Benjamin Kheng also stars in the NDP music video released on 23 May 2024.

Kheng rose to prominence as a member of local band The Sam Willows, and – for the K-pop fans out there – recently collaborated with girl group ITZY when they graced our shores in April this year!

The video of “Not Alone” features computer-generated fabrics soaring through scenes as a metaphor for Singapore’s social fabric.

The song was also co-written with producer Evan Low, who also worked on NDP 2021’s theme song “The Road Ahead”, and it pays tribute to past hits like “Reach Out for the Skies”, “Where I Belong” and other iconic NDP hits.

“You’ll notice nods to songs of the past,” Kheng said at a briefing on 23 May. “This is deliberate because we wanted to honour these classic songs that are part of our legacy and connect Singaporeans to the meaning of these beautiful lyrics we hear every year.”

Kheng explains that the song adopts a first-person perspective with poignant lyrics to acknowledge Singaporeans’ struggles.

With support from the Music and Drama Company, it transitions into an uplifting section to foster a sense of belonging.

“I think generally doing life in this day and age is not easy. I spoke from my lived experience and wanted to write something that felt true to me,” said Kheng.

“What brings me comfort is how people really make this country feel like home to me, and that’s why I wrote it.”

The NDP music video, is directed by Koo Chia Meng, Brian Gothong Tan, and animator Davier Yoon.

The Theme of NDP 2024

The theme song is one of the many key aspects of the 2024 NDP, celebrating Singapore’s 59th independence anniversary.

With the theme “Together, As One United People,” the parade aims to highlight the collective strength of Singaporeans and inspire them to shape the nation’s future, said Brigadier-General Wilson Low, chairman of the parade’s executive committee.

BG Low, the Chief Guards Officer of the Singapore Armed Forces, stated: “Our theme this year calls upon Singaporeans from all walks of life to express their love for Singapore and to celebrate the nation’s progress.”

Like last year, this year’s main NDP celebrations will be held at the Padang on 9 August 2024, and – for the first time – will extend to The Promontory @ Marina Bay!

The NDP Heartland Celebrations, featuring various carnival events, will continue on 10 August at five neighbourhood venues.

“It is an unyielding reminder that Singapore will keep going, and nothing will deter us. We want NDP to be a time where Singaporeans will rally together to celebrate the progress of our Nation, express their love for Singapore, and show care to those around them,” added BG Low.

This Year’s NDP Logo

Another exciting aspect of NDP each year is the logo (as it would undoubtedly be emblazoned on every goodie bag, we gotta make sure it looks nice).

Image: ndp.gov.sg

According to the NDP website, NDP 2024’s logo is a witty combination of both “SG” (short for Singapore) and “59” (well, for our 59th independence anniversary).

The logo also features five shooting stars that symbolise the nation’s aspirations for democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality, and “and underscores our continuing efforts to build a fair and inclusive society”.

The stars are followed by six ascending strokes representing Total Defence, Singapore’s longstanding national defence campaign, marking its 40th year in 2024.

What to Look Forward to Before the Main Parade

Leading up to Singapore’s National Day, citizens can engage in the #GiveAsOneSG and #TogetherAsOneSG initiatives.

#GiveAsOneSG aims to promote volunteering and spur participation in meaningful activities benefiting society.

It’s a joint effort with SG Cares, Singapore Red Cross, and Goodhood.SG, aligning with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY)’s push to celebrate volunteers in 2024.

#TogetherAsOneSG encourages Singaporeans to unite in celebrating the nation’s birthday. Activities include FlyOurFlag, EatAsOne, August Goes to School, and Dance of the Nation.

The campaign extends to Singaporeans abroad through the Singapore@Home initiative. It’s a collaborative effort with various organisations like the Agency for Integrated Care, Families for Life, MOE, SG Enable, SportSG, Singapore Global Network, and Yellow Ribbon.

Additional National Education Show

To compensate for the (now) Secondary 3 students who missed the NDP as Primary 5 students due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, organisers will add an extra National Education (NE) Show, totaling four, before the main event.

Typically for Primary 5 pupils, invitations went out to current Sec 3 students’ parents in March via the Parents Gateway portal.

The Main Event

On 9 August, festivities will be held at the Padang, where around 27,000 people are expected to attend. This year, the event area will also include the Promontory space near the Marina Bay Financial Centre, allowing more spectators to watch the fireworks, maritime, and aerial displays over the bay.

The main show is divided into six parts, according to BG Low, who is leading the parade for the first time. These sections will include popular attractions such as the State Flag Flypast, Salute to the Nation, and the fan favourite Red Lions, the Singapore Armed Forces’ parachute team.

In a first for the event, the marching contingents will parade onto the spectator stand at the Padang, bringing the parade closer to the audience.

The audience will receive dynamic LED wristbands, similar to those used at concerts by artists like Taylor Swift and Coldplay, to create a lively light display from the stands during the parade.

The Padang audience will also be at the centre of a 360-degree firework experience. Fireworks will launch from the Marina Bay area, the Padang, and even from the neighbouring Adelphi building, forming a loop around the stands.

Similar to past National Day Parades, the festivities will extend into local neighbourhoods through Heartland Celebrations a day after the Padang festivities. Residents will be able to enjoy carnivals, family activities, fireworks, and stage performances.

The specific locations for the five Heartland Celebrations will be announced soon.

Last year’s Heartland Celebrations emphasised sports and physical activities, encouraging residents to get active and participate in games like table tennis and athletics, rather than just enjoying the festive atmosphere.

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