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Nat Ho’s ‘unleashed': yes, it sucks.

Posted on 22 April 2012

by Fang Shihan

Homegrown pretty boy, best known for his role as a Mediacorp actor, and a model, has ‘unleashed’ his first post-Mediacorp project.

Still don’t know who? Here’s Nat looking good in trunks in the Mediacorp drama “Polo Boys”.

Brace yourselves, here’s the video in question:

To cut the long story short, our homegrown pretty boy — best known for being a channel 8 actor and a model — had his ego and dreams crushed when his first music video was less than well received. The youtube page for the video is more or less equally divided: 965 haters and 901 fans, though a quick glance through the comments thread will show that the haters have been more vocal.

The video didn’t come cheap. At S$100,000, the set of the music video alone cost S$11,700 and the project was largely self funded. So of course he’s going to be defensive about what probably cost him his life savings.

But is his defensiveness justified?

Sorry mate. No.

The futuristic ‘Unleashed’ starts with a shot of an angmoh fella leering at a portrait of Nat on his hugeass holographic computer, as if he were looking for underaged gay escorts. And if that’s not gay enough, a subsequent scene shows Nat walking into a car park, only to be knocked out by a man in a suit with an electric zapper. He faints. Much like many a victim from chloroform fetish films.

It gets better.

Nat then wakes up in a lab of sorts (we know its a lab because everything’s white and shiny and people are walking around in lab coats) and as he stares at you from the computer, you’re vaguely reminded of how his chiseled face and single eyelids are reminiscent of James Lye. Also known by his futuristic name: VR man.

And then he starts dancing to the chorus.

With S$100,000 to burn, you’d expect him to hire a better choreographer. Or get some dance classes. Though Nat admits in a CNA interview that the point of the video was to be different, and to follow a dream, the presence of the poorly executed dance number in the middle of the music video smacks of a production crew that just wanted to imitate whatever’s out there.

“Every music video has a dance number now what. So we do lor…”

Unless of course, everyone in the project truly thought the dancing was good. Which is a little hard to believe.

It doesn’t help that at 4:36, Nat ‘unleashes’ (haha.) his dancing prowess on the stage in a club, surrounded by dancers dressed like theatre studies students working backstage during a school performance. Black, from head to toe.

And the auto tune.

In a yahoo interview, Nat defended the use of autotune (makes your voice robotic. Like Kanye West), saying that he wanted to reflect the ‘robotic culture in Singapore.’

Firstly, that’s a really cheesy concept. Secondly, the problem, really, is not enough autotune.

Britney spears alters her pitches electronically, so does Rihanna in some songs, and Bruno Mars. It adds to the synthetic/electronic feel of what’s probably a dance number. No shame about it.

The problem is when you use it so sparingly that the song a frankenstein monster that’s not exactly Zouk-worthy, nor does it enhance his existing vocals, which honestly, aren’t half bad.

I personally blame the producer. Someone should have talked sense into the main shareholder of the project (Nat himself). Whoever told him that releasing the video in its current state was a good idea, probably didn’t know what he was doing.

At this point, I guess I’m supposed to say “hey, give the man some credit for following his dreams. Most of us would never dare to do what he did.”

But no.

Like mediocre entrepreneurs who spend their time whining about how society doesn’t understand how awesome their product is (when in fact, it’s either a copycat, doesn’t add value, or plain simply, shitty), ‘Unleashed’ serves as a reminder of what people who follow their dreams should never become: being content with a mediocre product.

Good try bro. But it sucks. Try again, and hire another producer.

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- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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  • Mike Tan

    totally agree