Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition’s creative director reveals the most exciting things to look out for at the show.
Singapore is set to ring in the new year with a bang –quite literally– with an action-packed show at The Float @ Marina Bay that culminates in an 8-minute firework display at midnight.
Produced by Japan’s top entertainment group Avex, Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition promises a spectacular show that features larger-than-life pyrotechnics and lights, 3D surround sound and world-class performance acts. One highlight to look out for will be the Japanese motocross riders performing gravity-defying stunts against the iconic Singapore skyline.
The show may be massive in scale, but will still be an intimate one; the audience will get to be part of the show as well – synchronized LED wristbands will encircle the audience and immerse them into the fantasy world of Star Island. Think Taylor Swift’s famously elaborate concerts, but on a much larger scale.
ZYRUP sat down with Kenji Kohashi, the show’s creative director, to discuss what will undoubtedly be the biggest (and most intricate) New Year’s celebration around.
For such a big holiday, why was Singapore chosen as the first place to present Star Island outside of Japan? Will there be a Singaporean twist to it?
Ever since we began the Star Island project, we have always had countries outside of Japan who showed a keen interest in having the show organised in their countries. Singapore was one such example and after a few meetings with our local partners, we decided on making our international debut here in Singapore. It is also the first time that Star Island is being presented as part of a New Year’s Eve countdown celebration so that visitors to Marina Bay Singapore Countdown Edition can also enjoy views of our Japanese fireworks from around the bay.
While the heart of Star Island remains to be futuristic hanabi entertainment, no two Star Island experiences are ever the same. The biggest difference between Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition and the past Star Island shows is the location. We have thought out a program that will complement and maximize the magnificent skyline of the Marina Bay and Marina Bay Sands, unique only to Singapore.
For this special Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition, we are also introducing many new exciting components. For the first time, we will combine all the above with projection mappings and laser shows to really up light up Star Island. We are also thrilled to introduce a new performance segment – electrifying motocross stunts by Japan’s FMX showcase. There will also be an F&B marketplace and family-friendly fringe activities such as retro arcade games, VR games booths and kids play area. Please look forward to an evolved version of Star Island. There’s definitely something for everyone – perfect for the whole family!
For the uninitiated, how does 3D surround sound work with fireworks?
Audiences can enjoy themed fireworks synchronized to the beat of various soundtracks, and at the same time, feel the music all around them through special speakers that create this 3D surround sound experience. It’s almost an out-of-body experience, and is like a virtual reality experience, except you don’t have to wear the goggles!
How does each chapter differ from the other?
Star Island is inspired by a book titled ‘Ami, el niño de las estrellas’ by Enrique Barrios. It’s a story about a planet with a world made out of love and harmony. In Star Island, we present this love and harmony in our show.
With the theme “ONE”, audiences will journey through a story of 6 different chapters during the show – Opening Ceremony, Earth, World, Chaos, Love and One. They will be able to experience the creation of a parallel world – Star Island, with each chapter showcasing different music, performances and type of fireworks, keeping everyone in suspense about what will happen next!
What makes you the proudest about exporting the show to Singapore?
It is always a proud moment for me when I have the opportunity to bring Japanese culture overseas. I believe that hanabi is something that everyone, both young and old, will be able to appreciate, and Star Island plays a huge role in keeping the tradition of hanabi alive. We are confident about bringing Star Island to Singapore because we believe that the show has the ability to resonate with audiences all over the world.
What is the biggest hurdle to putting on a show like this?
We want to bring the best experience to everyone at the Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition and to bring an entire show of this scale overseas is always going to be a challenge, and I enjoy that challenge! There are some differences in organising the event in Singapore compared to Japan as it is a completely new kind of location that the event is being held in. At The Float @ Marina Bay, there are grandstand seats, as opposed to a flat, beach setting in Tokyo, so we needed to work closely with the team here to make sure that we’re able to deliver the best 3D surround sound experience as well as on-stage performances.
How will this show differ from the previous ones you’ve directed?
Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition is an evolved version of Tokyo’s Star Island 2018 that takes into consideration Singapore as a location – we have first-time acts and performances that have not been done in Japan before. We have especially worked on a performance that will be set against the beautiful Marina Bay city skyline. Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition is not only a fireworks show, but will be part of Singapore’s annual countdown event, and is one that will be representative of Asia. This will be a night to remember for everyone.