The song, CMIO, takes its name from Singapore’s system of classifying its citizens as Chinese, Malay, Indian or Others (CMIO), which is both frequently complimented and criticised, in Singapore’s Parliament and by its people.
Yung Parents comprise of Singaporean rappers Ou Ningfei and Andre Frois. While CMIO acknowledges that Singaporeans are filed into four categories, the two rappers use CMIO to point out that ethnically diverse communities, such as Singapore, are united by shared experiences and dreams.
Listen to CMIO here: https://open.spotify.com/track/33RpekzJXVq6ktmWoxK9MD?si=hLayV7fUQHWBIfSCjWo7MQ
Watch its music video here: https://youtu.be/rqh6FL6t9b8
Serving the army is mandatory for all Singaporean men, and Ning and Andre discuss in ‘CMIO’ their experiences firing a variety of weapons at a tender age.
Besides referencing the recently imposed ban on smoking in Singapore’s main shopping street, Orchard Road, this song also takes a jab at the worldwide phenomenon of posting phots of meals on Instagram for gratification.
Andre also raps a verse in his mother tongue of Kristang (a Malayan Portuguese creole), in which he shares how he learned Portuguese while backpacking through Brazil, before learning Kristang.
“Both Ning and I are classified as ‘others’, which is strange because Ning is Chinese and my family’s lived in Singapore for over a hundred years,” Andre remarked.
Ou Ningfei and Andre Frois have been performing under the monikers “PRC Ning” (Ningfei was born in China) and “đoke $achok” (doke and sachok are honorific titles in the Tamil and Malay languages respectively).
Ning and Andre first met in 2018 when they were auditioning for an N*SYNC tribute band. They got along well and have been making music together since.
Ning and Andre write about everyday challenges and situations that young people face. Songs like CAIPNG and RUNUP discuss pertinent issues like the lack of work-life balance in Asia, and how difficult it is to avoid outdoor salespeople when taking the subway.
Up till Covid-19 hit, Yung Parents were performing at popular venues across Singapore and collaborating with prominent musicians. The pandemic caused their sponsors to pull out and overseas concert dates to be cancelled.
“In our rap songs, we don’t pretend to have the same problems as Black American rappers. We discuss issues faced by young Asians instead, and there’s so much to discuss,” share Ning and Andre, who are neither young nor parents.
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