On Friday, March 8 2019, Singapore based singer-songwriter Dru Chen dropped his much-anticipated debut album, Mirror Work, a magnum opus spanning five years and three continents. In the first week alone, Mirror Work featured on over 500 playlists, amassing 15,000 streams in the process.
To celebrate the album’s release, Dru staged an intimate show (Dru Chen Spaces Between Us) backed by his 5-piece band on Friday, April 12 2019, at the Aliwal Arts Centre. Billed as Spaces Between Us, Dru shared his wish to “break down the walls that separate us in the digital age; to create some old-school magic for trying times.”
Although the performance was slightly delayed, all was forgiven by diehard fans as the level of intimacy and interaction was unlike any of Dru Chen’s previous concerts.
When the tune to And Her Name Is Love began to play, everyone paid their full attention to their front. However, Dru entered from the back of the audience and candidly walked through the unsuspecting crowd who kept their eyes glued to the stage instead – they only realized that he was among them when he tapped them on their shoulder and greeted them.
His songs are a testament to his fervent love for funk and soul music. On top of the entire tracklist from Mirror Work, the multi-instrumentalist also performed most of the songs in his first EP, Intentions – much to the delight of fans who have been following him since the early years of Dru Chen’s career.
Dru kept the concert going with minimal breaks between songs, during which he introduced his band for the night – Musical Director and keyboardist Aynsley Green, guitarist Andy Chong, bassist Ben Poh and Pablo Calzado on drums. The concert also featured visuals by Marc Ashley Alexander.
The indie artist also sang a medley of covers, including AI Green’s Let’s Stay Together and Stevie Wonder’s My Cherie. The soulful melodies emphasized on Dru Chen’s glossy and elastic vocals, which resonated across the room.
Dru ended off his concert with a bang during You Bring Out The Best In Me, during which he joined the crowd off-stage and got some fans to sing along with him on the mic. He also started to groove to the music with fans on the stage floor. After the song, he relayed his heartfelt thanks to his fans, and announced that he would stay on after the show to meet and have a chat with them. Dru Chen followed through on his words as he hung around at the exit after the show for a considerably long time, taking selfies with fans and having small talk with them as well.
Dru Chen Spaces Between Us was filmed and will be recorded for a forthcoming live album.
Dru Chen Spaces Between Us – Live in Singapore Concert Setlist
1. And Her Name Is Love
3. Distant Memory
5. The Space Between Us
6. Mirror Work
7. Soul Medley (Al Green – Let’s Stay Together, Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amor, Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You)
8. Feelin’ Blue
9. Good Thing
11. Vacation Song
12. Still Good
13. I Only Get It From You
14. When I Look Into Your Eyes
15. You Bring Out The Best In Me
Photos by Goh Jing Wen of the DANAMIC team.