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Launch of @Loud

Sound and fury signifying the official launch of @Loud, the first-ever Republic Polytechnic student quarterly, reverberated throughout the campus and shook its foundations on Friday, January 9, 2004.

The much-anticipated event, which took weeks to conceptualise and plan, was off to an electrifying start. Gathering at The Plaza at the witching hour of 12 noon, Wicked Aura, Singapore’s numero uno samba percussion band, proceeded to drum up the excitement and keep the adrenaline pumping with a foot-tapping repertoire of hypnotic Afro-Brazilian rhythms and pulsating fusion of hip-hop and funk that literally “assault the senses”. The fast-expanding crowd was eating out of the hands of the highly kinetic performers as they grooved, jived and got jiggy with them. Watching them work up a good sweat alone was enough to send temperatures soaring. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

The climax of the event, as the organizers would like to believe, was the unveiling of the launch issue of @Loud (A Load of Utter Delirium). The 32-page, A4-sized magazine featuring a provocative cover and bold typeface was an instant hit with the students and staff who formed long queues snaking around The Plaza area. It was a satisfying fruition of months of sheer hard work by the editorial team of the quarterly magazine. Still wet behind the ears, these amateurs, comprised of a motley crew of students from across the different schools, proved the old truism that necessity is the mother of invention.

The inaugural magazine was intended to be a showcase of the fertile imagination and prolific literary and artistic talents out there in RP. Afterall, @Loud is envisioned to be the voice of the student population. To underscore this, write.republic rewarded all those early birds who came to collect their copy of @Loud with sweet treats. It had solicited the sponsorship of its generous partners, movie distributors, 20th Century Fox and United International Pictures, who reached deep into their coffers and supplied a mind-boggling range of giveaways including freestyle radio sets, T-shirts, card-games, stationery sets, stress-balls, posters and movie tickets. The modus operandi was simple. Pick up a copy of the magazine, browse through it and then take part in the lucky dip by answering a simple question related to the magazine’s content or the movies on promotion. The tempting giveaways attracted hordes of crowds who wasted no time in scanning copies of @Loud there and then in an attempt to have a go at the contest. The prizes ran out by close to 2pm but the buzz in the air was still palpable.

By then, Wicked Aura had whipped the crowds into a frenzy but it was time to draw the event to a close. The Deputy Director of the Office of Corporate Communications and Centre for Culture & Communication, Hamida Zam Zam, presented Aidan Bamra, representative of the percussion ensemble, with a token of appreciation. All’s well that ends well.

It was an “auspicious” start for this pioneer magazine and the trailblazers who made it possible. Here’s to more good years and issues to come!

Contributed by Kim-Kyna Tan (CCC) 16th Jan 2004