On the 75th day to the YOG, we launched the theme song “Everyone” – via the MTV premiere on MediaCorp Channel 5.
Not bad – we had originally targeted for a May launch and so we are on schedule.
I was involved in the development of the theme song at the start. What do I know about song and music? Not very much. All I knew back then was I wanted a “pop song” i.e. a song with universal appeal, which everyone should have heard beforehand and would be able to sing it out loud at the Opening Ceremony.
I got Clarissa who was interning with us then to help with the research. And when Sharmaine joined us briefly as Head of Public Relations, we progressed to meeting people to explore how to develop this theme song. For a while, we were hung up on the philosophical argument of what makes a song universal and appealing to youth. There was never an answer.
One day, I got a phone call to say go see Ken Lim. So I did. And I was sold on his idea of having a singer from each continent to sing the theme song – to connect YOG to the world. I went to convince the bosses and that was that.
Things got more busy and so when Winnie came in, I left it to her and Fangjing to manage the song. But that was just the start of a very challenging and sometimes quite tiring project, navigating all legalese among other things.
A truly classic moment must be when Eta ran into my office after a meeting one day to alert me that the people from another division wanted to take possession of the song. I remembered I was stunned, but because I didn’t know what that meant exactly.
So began many months of debate about the theme song. I had wondered why the people didn’t say something earlier.
The debate sometimes turned into ugly disputes; I wasn’t quite in the midst of it but I was close enough to smell the gun power.
So much so that on 25 March when the five singers – who were here to record the song – sang “Everyone” at the press conference, I was overcome with emotions; mostly I was happy for the team that we finally got the song out.
“Everyone” has been officially launched on 30 May 2010. I must say that I really admire the steadfastness and the tenacity of the few people who not only worked on this project, but defended and protected the theme song all the way. Just as a number of us do for the Games. Thank you.