Apps for staying up-to-date with local music

Apps for staying up-to-date with local music

Singapore’s music scene is at an exciting time right now, with lots of new local stars building their profile both globally and island-wide. To stay up to date with the best new music, whether you’re listening at home or seeing a live performance, there are a multitude of brilliant apps which will ensure you keep in the know. From globally renowned streaming service Spotify to local Singtel favourite AMPed, there are plenty of cost-effective ways to create playlists and share your favourite new tunes. For gig-lovers, international apps Eventbrite and Songkick will alert you to new gigs from your old favourites, whether you’re in Singapore or abroad.


No other streaming service is more beloved than Spotify, with its wide range of musical artists featured on the app, as well as handy sharing and recommendation features which are continuously updated. If you’re interested in discovering the next best thing in Singaporean music, be sure to follow Spotify’s playlist ‘Singapore’s Top Acts,’ which is regularly updated to include the best new releases. The app has incredible social features, includes music from both international, regional and local artists, and even has regular personalised playlists, like their ‘Discover Weekly’ and ‘Release Rader’ offerings - you’ll receive a new list of tracks from your favourites, or from artists Spotify’s algothirims suggest you might like, every week. Some might say it will change the way you listen to music.


For intimate gigs, huge concerts and everything in between, Eventbrite is a great place to check out. As the app’s content is produced by users, it means it’s a brilliant way for smaller indie musicians to promote themselves free of charge, and the app also has a ticket payment system, which is great for simplifying the ticketing process - simply bring your phone to show e-tickets on the door. Make sure you check Eventbrite to keep an eye on the best up-and-coming local bands, producers and singer-songwriters.


Offering a highly personalised service, Songkick uses accurate algorithms to work out the gigs you’ll be interested in, and produces an up-to-date feed of your favourite musician’s live performances in Singapore. Tickets are also bookable through the app, allowing you to manage your live music calendar in one place. Track your favourite artists and receive alerts by email about new gigs - you’ll never miss a performance again.


This homegrown music streaming service is run by SingTel, and focuses on a strong regional catalogue in order to put up a strong fight against competitors like Spotify. If you’re interested in discovering the best new local and regional music, this is one of the best ways you can listen to it. Free for SingTel subscribers, and available for others on different networks too, AMPed is recommended for those who want to support new Southeast Asian talent.


For East Asian music lovers, KKBox is another great streaming app to download. The service is focused on Mandarin-speaking users and is a Taiwanese company with fans all over the region. The company collaborates with Taiwanese record companies like Gold Typhoon and East Asia Music, and features many of their artists, including celebrated Mandopop artists like Jay Chou and Eric Chou. 40 million of your favourite tracks by regional artists await you!


If Bollywood music is more your thing, Saavn is the app for you. The streaming service focuses on regional Indian music, with over 50 million music tracks available in 15 different languages. The app also comes with great social networking features, like individual user profiles and easily shareable tracks. Saavn also partners with other great apps and home technology, like Amazon’s Alexa and Shazam, and has a great artist-in-residence program, as well as Artist Originals, releasing music from up-and-coming artists - the range of genres represented includes everything from electronica to neoclassical musicians.

Iconic record shops in Singapore

Iconic record shops in Singapore

The growing independent music scene in Singapore has meant that a number of great record stores have popped up in recent years, and passionate crate diggers are spoilt for choice by the venues they can find hidden treasures in. Since 2012, the number of record shops in the city has increased by a third, from 10 to 30, so it’s easy to find vinyl to match your own unique taste. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and search for your new favourite tune at one of Singapore’s most iconic record shops.

Red Point Record Warehouse

Filling more than 2,000 square foot of floor space, this iconic record shop is one of the best in the city. Located in the off the beaten track Toa Payoh neighbourhood, this store is home to more than 10,000 different vinyl, most of them vintage. Attracting dedicated music nerds from all over the city - and abroad - you’ll find it easy to spend hours digging through the eclectic crates at this out of the way venue. From Singaporean old timer hits to modern local indie music, you’ll be able to find a unique slice of music at this well-loved store.

Choice Cuts Goods and Coffee

Coffee and music lovers should take a trip to this unique venue while on a visit to the Lion City. In hip and historic area Katong, the store is located in co-working space MOX, after previously being housed in Serangoon. The shop is curated by DJ collectives Matteblacc and Blaccsmith, whose love for hip hop, funk and soul is well-reflected in the vinyl on offer. If you’re a fan of 80’s and 90’s hip hop in particular, make a beeline to Choice Cuts Goods. You’ll be able to browse with the scent of coffee wafting through the venue, which is also highly recommended, and there’s a small seated area if you’d like to enjoy it while listening to brand new tunes.

The Analog Vault

Those wandering around the historic City Hall area should make a pitstop at the Analog Vault, where not only vinyl is celebrated, but also all things analog - a huge array of independent fiction is on sale, much of it from local authors. You can also find music merchandise and technology, like turntables from a wide variety of brands. This Esplanade-based store stocks records from local and international artists, and both vintage and contemporary offerings. Genres from classical to electronica are all on sale here, so whatever your jam you’ll be sure to find a treasure to bring home.

Roxy Records & Trading

The type of record store that attracts true music geeks, Roxy Records & Trading is an old-timers vinyl shop hidden away in the slightly rundown Excelsior Shopping Mall in the City Hall neighbourhood. This joint has been open since the 70s, when brothers Paul and Richard Lim decided to create a dedicated space for their musical passions. This is one of the best places in the city to discover rare finds and to order in vinyl you can’t find anywhere else - new shipments from abroad, especially the US and Europe, arrive weekly. Aswell as records, you’ll find a wide variety of CDs and even cassettes lining the jumble of musical treasures along every wall.

White Label Records

Hip vinyl fans will love White Label Records, a stylish record shop located on the historic and pretty Ann Siang Hill Road. In fact, this venue can be better described as a vinyl store meets bar, as the place is open late (until 12am on weekdays and 1am on Friday and Saturdays) and drinks are sold for punters to enjoy while digging through their stock for the latest tune. Make sure you try their signature cocktail, a White Label Iced Tea, a version of the classic Long Island, but blending spirits with Goji berry syrup and Pu’er iced tea. Run by two DJs and a professional musician, you can expect live music held regularly in store - it’s so much more than a record store and could well become your regular.

Five new Singaporean artists to check out

Five new Singaporean artists to check out

Singapore's music scene is chock full of incredible talent, from hip hop to indie rock, and there's no shortage of amazing homegrown festivals and venues to see artists play live. From the awkward indie pop of M1LDL1FE to the smooth layers of YAØ's enthralling R & B, make sure you take the time to search through Spotify or explore YouTube to discover the best up and coming singer-songwriters, producers and rappers from the Lion City.


If you're a fan of funk and R & B music, look no further then local trio brb. Sure to be the next big thing on the Singaporean music scene, their guitar-laced soulful funk is the perfect accompaniment to a lazy afternoon or chilled out evening. With all three members local music scene stalwarts, collectively part of celebrated bands Disco Hue, CLO and TRICK, the musical leanings of the trio combine perfectly into a hazy, melodic and melancholic vibe you'll find addictive. Check out their singles on Spotify - new single ‘Whoops' is the perfect accompaniment to a night in with friends.


There's a beguiling focus on melody in the pop-meets-R & B, chilled out tunes YAØ produces. One to keep an eye on, the palpable talent of this 22 year old singer/songwriter shines through in his breezy vocals and sinfully catchy choruses. In 2018, his single Scenery was selected as the cover track of Spotify's ‘New Music Friday Singapore' playlist. New single ‘RHCF' is available on Spotify and perfectly combines his love of simple, feel-good vocals and hazy, alternative R & B into an expertly produced tune. Don't miss his collaboration with fellow local artist, rapper Axel Brizzy, ‘Wanna Know,' which you won't be able to listen to just once.


There's an arty vibe to all of iNCH's music, a former La Salle College of the Arts student, who is a multi-talented performer, with music, acting, art and a business supporting local creatives under her accomplished belt. Prior to her solo work, she fronted two local indie bands, Auburn's Epiphany and Allura, and since then has met international acclaim, performing at indie heavyweight and press favourite festival South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. Her most recent LP, Letters from Ubin, was recorded during time spent on rural Singaporean island Pulau Ubin, and is a triumphant meld of analog typewriter and forest sound recordings and electronic beats.


Fans of female dream pop musicians like the Japanese House and Hatchie will love Sobs, fronted by charismatic singer Celine Autumn, whose breathy vocals fit serenely into the lush guitar loops of their melancholic yet somehow sunny pop music. Make sure you listen to their debut LP, 2018's Telltale Signs, for an accomplished take on their contemporary shoegaze meets pop sound, while 2017's EP Catflap, which won them a huge local fanbase, is an example of perfectly crafted bedroom pop.

M1LDL1FE (photo)

Indie fans will love the bespectacled yet soulful vibes of M1LDL1FE (pronounced ‘Mild Life'.) Formerly known as Take Two (rebranded when their guitarist left) you can expect synth and guitar-heavy tunes inspired by 90s post-punk from this four-piece. Originally forming as a covers band, the group found their niche in romantic, energetic pop songs musing over uniquely Singaporean stories about life in the city, like romances which blossom on MRT train rides. The band have opened for indie rock stalwarts Death Cab For Cutie and Travis during performances in Singapore, and have toured extensively around Southeast Asia, Spain and China. You'll love listening to their debut EP, 2017's self-titled M1LDL1FE, which is available on Spotify.

Track up Your Mood

Track up Your Mood

"Of Monsters And Men" will be twitchy for almost a fortnight as for the very first time some of them will soon be performing on Manila stage, along with an anticipated return to Singapore. With their folk-pop melodies and lyrical verses, they undoubtedly are the highlight of your May schedule and finds a spot on your everyday playlist.

Listening to this Icelandic group pre-concert isn't just for the benefit of us practicing our hip-swaying and head moving. From soothing and calming, inspiring and refreshing to downright sad and weepy, their tracks from 2 albums depict many of the different moments we experience daily. Wouldn't it be nice to feel like you're in your own three-minute movie complete with Grammy-worthy soundtracks?

Apart from the much-loved gossips, here are more of the songs of Onam that is absolutely perfect and mundane in our lives:


Suitable when: Task-swamped at work

Because: Almost woeful, the song starts as heavy as that pit-in-your-stomach feeling you get through office stress. You get so indulge in it, though, it's as if Nanna is just there, your colleague dishing you a story about her newest adventure. Her tale is the only interesting thing than any of office gossip you have ever come across. And your boss isn't shutting you off for being noisy. (The accordion solo is a nice touch, too.)


Suitable when: Stretching for your workout session

Because: The steady beat of the bass drum would fall into place with you counting weights for each body part you stretch. This song gives off a vibe that makes you want to breathe healthy, slow and steady. Feel pumped-up for that quarter-minute jog as the band croons about running, dancing and moving.


Suitable when: Feeling homesick

Because: This might be one of the most beautiful ways to express your frustration and solitude. When already plagued with the most stressful things that you have to deal with (and in a new place nonetheless), half-scream the song's chorus -- then sing along.


Suitable when: On a ride when you are excited about a vacation from a long time

Because: The lines in the music already say road trips. Can't you feel the beat of the musical instruments that is engine revving? Their perfect lyrics act as a memento of freedom and friendship which is "compared to nothing with anything."


The most Suitable when: thinking of love and all of its complications

Because: There is very little things that are sad and is heart wrenching how one is forced to remember by their own body that how and when it all went wrong" It is a painful and prolonged time and process.


Suitable when: you have something disconcerting with you

Because: No matter whether it's a path that will decide your future, the size of the looming work that you want to complete or loud neighbourhood you have to endure, OMAM reminds you to feel brave and stand tall despite it all by his song's chill. After this track, you'll feel refreshed, buoyant and inspired, with the feeling that your world isn't coming to an end, certainly not at this point in time.


Suitable when: Having a bad day

Because: When nothing doesn't seem to be going your way. You're having a rough mood or the people near you are rude and mean of your life, then you'll definitely feel your heart being pulled and plucked as heavily as the string of a guitar in the song. The song is best titled with the best savoured with your eyes closed and visualizing the thought of caging those emotional animals within and winning over the human inside.