And by local bands, we mean the indie rock bands like Electrico and Great Spy Experiment. Some of them are artistically competent. They produce songs that are on par with their American counterparts.
But despite that, most of my listening time is spent on the music of overseas bands. Why? Because to me, they are way better in quality. Although it is not a fair comparison, would you rather waste time listening to Maroon 5 or Great Spy Experiment. Maroon 5 has a big record company behind them. This allows for high quality productions. And it doesn't help when the radio stations promote American music over Singaporean ones.
I took some time to analyze the differences between the recorded productions of Maroon 5, Great Spy Experiment and Electrico. To my ears, the majority of music produced by Great Spy and Electrico are seemingly influenced by nineties American rock music. If I am right, it means that both bands never evolved artistically, or did not keep up with modern American trends. Which is why they seem to me, a little out of place where American music is a huge staple in most people's music diet.
Listening to Maroon 5, I noticed their instrumentals can be catchy and easily identified. Moves Like Jagger for example has a distinct whistle. Their instrumentals, when compared to Great Spy or Electrico, sound "cleaner" and easier to pick up. Both local bands are capable at writing melodies. But instrumentals have a huge role in compositions. Just compare Rebecca Black's Friday and Glee's version. BIG difference!
Here is where a big budget can make a huge a impact. It is without doubt the quality of recordings by Maroon 5 is far superior to our local indie bands. Adam Levine's vocals are crisp and clear on record. For our local indies, the instrumentals kind of drown out the vocals.
When faced with such competition, it is not difficult to see why local indie bands are not well supported. It may not be fair to compare an indies band with a major one, but that is what indies are meant to have: niche support. To criticize Singaporeans for not supporting them is like criticizing Americans for giving too much support to Marvel and DC. Niche is niche. You cannot change a society if you don't have money and a good marketing plan.