What is the biggest problem I face when I'm browsing the "Local" or "Singapore" section of a CD shop (the few that still exist here)?
Music quality isn't a problem - there are lots of excellent songwriters and composers.
Recording quality isn't a problem (mostly) - many artists have invested in good studio recordings and mastering.
What I don't know is: What does this sound like?
When I buy new CD's from artists that I don't already know, I usually don't buy according to geography. Maybe once in a while, if I'm investigating K-Pop or J-Pop. But more often than not, if I'm exploring, I usually look for specific styles or genres. Rock. Alternative. Trance. Dubstep. Breaks. Pop. Is that how you shop as well?
So looking at a rack of CD's labelled "Singapore" or "Local" doesn't help me at all. Sure, I could Google all the band names on my phone, but who has so much time?
On the other hand, if the CDs were labeled by genre, I could zoom in on the genre(s) that I like. And I would be more likely to buy one.
I wouldn't expect the CD shops to do this - many of them are kind enough to provide valuable shelf space to Singapore artists who honestly don't sell that many CDs. For that matter, genres can be pretty subjective. Instead, we the artists should do the labelling - and I admit that I'm guilty of not doing it myself! Since I have a CD on sale at The Esplanade Shop (http://www.cosmicarmchair.com/), I'm making a trip there next week with a bunch of adhesive labels saying "synthpop / electronic pop", and my favourite review quote. Then I'll report after a few months if this helps to improve sales of CDs.
If you're a "Singapore" or "Local" artist, I'd be interested to know if this helps you as well.