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
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.
In a very special Lunar New Year edition of Choice Picks, we've invited Singaporean indie sweetheart Shelby Wang to usher in the new year with her very own celebratory playlist! For Shelby, uplifting and inspiring tunes are just the way to express her hopes for the year of the pig. Her playlist is full of lightly sugared indie pop tracks that are sure to make your heart glow - just like her own music. Wishing one and all a very happy lunar new year! Oink oink!
別再說對不起 - 王曉敏 Shelby Wang
A coffee lover’s heartbreak story while staying hopeful. Try wiggling your shoulders along to the chorus, it will make you feel better.
小船 Impressionism - 陳綺貞 Cheer Chen
It’s been a long time since I heard a Mandopop Baroque Pop song. This song transports me to somewhere in 19th Century Europe. I loved the entire <Sofa Sea> album by Cheer Chen, and her songwriting never fails to amaze me. Love the magical animated music video for this song too!
小事 Brand New Label - HUSH
Simple, driving & inspirational. Talks about being true to yourself, and kudos to those who manage to do this simple yet difficult task.
小問題 - AGA
One of my favourite Cantopop tracks of 2018 by AGA. Having learnt the Guzheng since young, I love how this soulful, modern track blended elements of Chinese traditional music with modern R&B so well. Hope to do something like this soon!
夢遊 Flyaway - 孫盛希 Shishi
When I first heard this song (and the rest of the album), I was blown away by how modern downtempo elements were infused in this awesomely chill track. It inspires me to take more daring steps and experiment more in my songwriting.
你說想要去旅行 Travelling - 錦安 Jin An
100% feel good/wanderlust vibes from this song. Makes me wanna hop on Jin An’s wandering train and follow her to wherever she is! One of my favourite singer-songwriters from Singapore.
失蹤人口 Missing You - Sweet John
Electronic post-rock fused with folk-esque vocals contributed by the strong guitar riffs and male and female unison vocal lines. This song is great to listen to on-the-go and really sets you in a adventurous mood.
把音量轉小 Turn The Volume Down - 李友廷 Yo Lee
Super groovy song by this Taiwanese singer-songwriter I discovered recently from the Taiwanese competition <聲林之王>. Can’t get over how awesome his finger style guitar skills are! His other songs are really cool as well!
Everybody Woohoo - Greeny Wu (Wu Tsing Feng) ft. 9m88
With strong electronic builds, disco beats & funky guitar lines, this song is great to groove along with! Greeny Wu from Sodagreen is one of my all-time favourite songwriters and I love that he collaborated with 9m88! Check out the song’s 80’s inspired MV too.
大人中 Becoming a Man- 盧廣仲 Crowd Lu
Even in 10 years time, I’m quite sure this will be a song my friends and I will sing in unison every time it comes on. Even when we’re all grown up, there are times when we still feel like a little child trying our best. This song tells us that it is OK to feel that way.
Be sure to check out Shelby's latest EP 在你的世界存在 Existing In Your World and follow her on her Facebook andInstagram!
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