Randomness #18

No randomness post last week as I was on a family vacation in Singapore, and no post yesterday as I have decided to try a new daily schedule that includes going to bed early. Singapore was awesome. Very clean, green city full of interesting buildings. Lots and lots of great eats from street food to fine dining. Good shopping, too. Definitely a city I’d like to visit again. As we had a couple of kids in the group we also made a daytrip to Legoland in Malaysia, which turned out to be one of the highlights this vacation thanks to the adjacent water park.

What surprised me about Singapore was how prevalent Korean culture was. Now I know there’s a very strong K-pop fan base in Singapore. When I was watching Korean dramas some decade ago, the majority came off Singaporean TV (meaning that with both English and Chinese subtitles I could justify watching by telling myself it was part of my Mandarin studies). And back in this blog’s Blogger days Singapore was one of the biggest countries in terms of readership. But even so I wasn’t quite prepared. Korean restaurants everywhere. Advertisement with Korean celebreties. Korean fashion stores–even one of the stores that specialized in promoting local designers had a rack of clothes imported from Korea. And Korean music blasting everywhere. If it wasn’t for the taxis I barely would’ve heard any music in Chinese.

Said taxis also served to remind me of the Singaporean music I used to listen to, before I started IROK and couldn’t find time for non-Korean music anymore. Sun Yanzi‘s “天黑黑” was the biggest factor in me taking that evening class in Mandarin at all. It was good to see that she was still a big enough name in her hometown to be featured in ads.

I had planned on writing a lot more, but I’m already past my new bedtime… This whole self-improvement thing will take some getting used to, no doubt. Instead I’ll just have to again remind you of the awesomeness that is Jun Bum Sun and the Yangbans. Read this interview if you haven’t already and if you like the song in the video below there’s a free mp3 download available in the latest Music Alliance Pact post.

3 Comments Randomness #18

    1. Anna

      I listened mostly to the mainstream stuff from Singapore (Sun Yanzi, Tanya Chua, JJ Lin, etc.) in those days. One of my Singaporean friends (who himself had played in a rock band) explained that at the time it was a bit troublesome to have showcases as you were required to submit a setlist to authorities in advance and were not allowed to stray.

      Are there any specific names you’d recommend? Could be fun to check out :)

      1. scott

        weish is a solo electronica artist, and also half the electronica duo .gif, and the singer for the progressive rock sub:shaman.
        cherie ko is also a solo involved in very different projects: twee-tronic Pastelpower, dreampop Bored Spies, and she plays guitar for Obedient Wives Club.
        iNCH Chua – singer songwriter/bandleader.
        The Analog Girl – laptop electronica
        Monster Cat – rock band
        The Sam Willows – folk-pop quartet with lovely vocals
        If you go to http://fyeahcindie.tumblr.com/ and search “Singapore”, you’ll get a lot of links, audio, video, etc. for the above artists!

        Sounds From Singapore tumblr recently did a mix on 8tracks, that’s a very good place to start: http://8tracks.com/soundsfromsg/singapore-essentials

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