Music Lab: What goes on behind a viral song? Rapper Alyph breaks down Swipe in new ST podcast series

8 months ago 51

SINGAPORE – When home-grown rapper-producer-songwriter Alyph’s single Swipe went viral in 2022, it was not just young fans who made TikTok videos from the song. Politicians were also inspired to jump on the trend.

The 33-year-old is the first guest on Music Lab, The Straits Times’ new podcast series launching this week that features interviews with singers, bands and musicians from the Singapore music scene.

Music Lab is available here (, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

In the inaugural episode, Alyph – one of the local hip-hop scene’s most successful artistes – talks about what inspired Swipe and how, like the rest of his music, it was recorded in a bedroom in his home.

The track, which features Malaysian celebrity Dato Seri Vida, has gained 7.6 million views on YouTube since it was released in late October 2022. On TikTok, it has soundtracked 1.7 million videos, including one that features former Malaysian prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin during the country’s 2022 election campaign.

The songs that Alyph has performed on, written and produced have clocked more than 220 million views on YouTube and more than 45 million streams on music streaming services.

At the 2022 Compass (Composers and Authors Society of Singapore) Awards, he picked up the Young Songwriter of the Year award. The prize is given out to those under the age of 35 who collected the most royalties on the songs they composed. 

The rapper, whose real name is Muhammad Alif Abdullah, first came into prominence in 2005, when he formed pop/hip-hop duo Sleeq with his cousin Syarif. They were popular in Singapore and Malaysia, but split up in 2015 as both went on to focus on their solo care...

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