Titled 'Celeste's summer playlist for an afternoon tea', Singaporean singer-songwriter Celeste Syn's put together a quirkily curated playlist of afternoon delights to take your mind off the heat, whisking you away to her weird and wonderful musical world. Despite being signed under Mandopop extraordinaire Jay Chou's record label JVR Music, Syn is anything but your expected C-pop fare. Her stream-of-consciousness style of lyricism; combined with melodies filled with childish petulance and moments of sparkling clarity build an intrigue around her musical influences and collaborative partners; all of which is laid out in this very playlist. Is Syn's music your cup of tea? You'll just have to listen to find out.
01. Celeste Syn 冼佩瑾 - Little Dark Cave 龜兔賽跑
A song about running away to a little dark cave, escaping from the sun and all other matters you don’t wish to talk about. This too shall pass - just give it time. For now, stay cool and keep listening.
02. Aurora - Winter Bird
When the temperatures soar, the bird in me does the same, to an imaginary winter. Aurora tells the story so vividly, I can see her frozen tears.
03. Lara Veronin 梁心頤 - Comfortable Cage 舒適的牢籠
I’ve never quite told my good friend, how I love the way she penned the following to my tune - 在舒適的牢籠裡過表面的自由. Notice how she sings “籠裡” like “lonely”? Also, I wonder what true freedom feels like.
04. Celeste Syn 冼佩瑾 - Throw You In The River 把你丟進淡水河裡
The original intent was to throw my old MacBook into Danshui River (full story another time), as that wasn’t too environmentally friendly, we threw a misbehaving ex instead. Watch the music video on YouTube, it’s unconventional - don’t try it at home though.
05. PEW, Shelby Wang, Meiting 啊飄，王曉敏，黃美婷 - Onions 青蔥
It has an introduction that makes me smile. I like anything to do with retro or food, so when they come together it’s a definite yes; extra scallions please!
06. Agnes Obel - Brother Sparrow
My kind of midday dance. Perfect with tea. I find the footsteps rather enchanting; one that I go back to quite often. Can’t explain why.
07. Celeste Syn 冼佩瑾 - Alice Hates You
Now doze off to a singing doll, rocking chair, crackling fire and that unfinished pot of tea...if you dare.
08. Mando Diao - Ochrasy
A slow one from Swedish rock band, Mando Diao. Ochrasy is an escape from the deteriorating world - it’s a name/place they made up. I like to play pretend.
09. StellaVee - Friend Says 朋友說
I usually add a pop rock number near the end of my playlist to quicken the pace before heading off to work. I like the blend of sweetness and slight nonchalance in this one, for that bit of character; very much like StellaVee, in real life.
10. Ruth Kueo 魏妙如 - Be You
Being myself encompasses discovering who I am and what I am created to be. Otherwise, I’m just being a less than ideal version of myself, holding on to what I want to be, in the eyes of my own impaired judgment. In this song, “每個靈魂有的獨特” serves as a good reminder for me.
11. Hillsong Young & Free - This Is Living
I feel brand new and fresh every time I hear this. It’s like waking up to the smell of morning dew. This is living now, finally.
Celeste will be listening and chatting with fans on the KKBOX app on the 26th of March 2019 at 9pm. Be sure to log in and listen along! Follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and check out her debut album 'Why' on all major streaming platforms.
LISTEN HERE ON SPOTIFY & KKBOX
Malaysian-Australian beatmaker and singer-songwriter May Lyn celebrates her unapologetic femininity and her story in our latest instalment of Choice Picks_. Empowering, vivacious, and bringing with her the robust roots of the Australian music scene and her Asian heritage, this playlist is one for all the women out there. Be it broken relationships, dreams that seem too far out of your reach, or a day that hasn’t gone your way, May Lyn’s got your back with her sugar-and-spice musical stylings. Check out what she has to say about this tastefully curated set of tracks below.
1. May Lyn- Froot Loop
This is the most fun I’ve had writing a track. My key takeaway from creating Froot Loop is to always remember there is a silver lining no matter how shitty your situation might be. It’s quite a different sound compared to my previous stuff and it reveals the fun, spunky side, the May who’s giggly and fun to be around when she lets go and has a laugh.
2. Bibi Bourelly - Ego
I love the edgy rasp in Bibi’s voice and how badass and unapologetic she is in this song. She’s also an inspiration to me because she’s a songwriter who’s behind some big names like Rihanna. That’s where I’d like to be as a producer and songwriter someday.
3. Little Dragon - Paris
I’ve been a fan of Little Dragon forever. Their music has had a big influence on how I produce my beats. I finally got the chance to see them live at laneway in 2015 and I think Yukimi was pregnant (or it could’ve just been her outfit lol) either way I remember thinking to myself “damn that’s one boss lady rocking the stage!”
4. Yaeji - Drink I’m Sippin’ On
Yaeji is just so cool. This beat is sick and her soft sweet voice on this song is like a lullaby. I don’t know what she’s saying in Korean but massive respect cause this song makes me feel like I’m at a low key party where there’s no judgements or bad vibes, nobody’s trying to be cool, everyone’s just chill and being themselves.
5. May Lyn - Like A Woman
I wrote this track as an anthem celebrating my womanhood. It’s about embracing and owning who you are, trusting your intuition and chasing your dreams :)
6. Alextbh - Walls
Alextbh has risen above and made it against all odds, being a queer Malaysian musician. A true rarity! Big ups to him for being such an empowering figure in Malaysia, his story and music are such an inspiration and this track is full of raw emotion, it hits me hard in the feels.
7. Apollo - Make You Go
Apollo is a regular in the Brisbane hip hop scene and hugely slept on. He’s part of a crew called River City Kids. I played a show with them in West End last year and man, they’re like the Bris version of Brockhampton. It’s so refreshing to see so much ambition, drive and youthful energy radiate from a group of people! I’m a sucker for a good ol’ RnB love song and Apollos voice is tasty smooth like honey on butter.
8. RINI - Stranger Tings
I found RINI’s album on Spotify recently. This is my fave track off the album, it’s so relatable. I like to see the good in people but dating and relationship-wise that has not worked out so well for me. I’ve invested way too much time sticking around with emotionally unavailable losers who have left me hanging and after lots of disappointment and heartbreak, learning to be the one to call it quits has been a hard lesson I’ve had to learn over the years.
9. Night Palms - JigglyPuff
I honestly don’t think I’d be in the music scene if it weren’t for Night Palms. We go way back. The brains behind Brisbane’s Beat Sessions, he created a special space for us beatmakers to come out of hiding and share our music with likeminded peeps. The friends I made in the early days of the beat sessions was a turning point for me as a producer. The outro piano piece in this track gets me every time. I can just picture Berry in his dimly lit apartment stoned af grooving and prodding those keys haha.
May Lyn's latest EP Froot Loop/ Like A Woman is out now on all major streaming platforms. Check it out and get your girlpower on! May will also be part of the lineup for Curiocity supported by Tourism Queensland and Brisbane Powerhouse along with Austen, Lalka, and Feels taking place March 31.
Listen Here On Spotify & KKBOX
At times intense, and at others laidback; the vein of commonality that runs through Charlie Lim’s works has always been his eloquent writing style, and that thoughtful broodiness which critics (and teenage girls) adore about him. Check out some of his favourite songs in this exclusive APW playlist!
Note from Charlie
Here are a list of tunes from a few of my favourite artists...some of them I’m very honoured to know and can call my friends. I’ll chuck in that Least of You tune as well, and Zero-Sum (which Yeo produced). Enjoy!
02. The Comments–Yeo
03. Last Yearn–Kllo
04. Least Of You – Charlie Lim
06. Art Pure II – Tim De Cotta, Mediocre Haircut Crew
07. 你就是 – Khalil Fong
08. Better–Sam Rui
09. Zero-Sum–Charlie Lim
10. Sun – The Steve McQueens
Listen on SPOTify & Kkbox
For this episode of Choice Picks, we have a VERY special playlist for all the queens out there. Take it all in, because this International Womens' Day playlist (for short: WOMANdopop) is just for you!
Sweet, Sassy, Subliminal, Skeptical... women have brought so much depth, emotion and meaning to many of our favourite contemporary Mandopop tracks. Old and new; from A-mei to Jolin Tsai, from Ann Bai to Sue, we've got it ALL. Send this playlist to an important woman in your life and let's prepare to get EMPOWERED, Mandopop stylez.
The latest choice picks_