Joanna Fong: Buro Playlist 24/7 Singapore #143

Sunny days ahead

Joanna Fong, marketing manager for SPH Radio pays tribute to her sister with this uplifting playlist

This playlist is a part of a compilation I made last year for my sister in anticipation of a holiday to Bali together filled with feel good tracks, beautiful sun and finally without our parents! It has a lot of music from genres we both loved: Indie, nu-disco, '80s-inflected synth waves and a little bit of soul and funk. It's a playlist you'd like to listen to by the pool with a pina colada in hand and sunny days ahead.

My elder sister of three years, Cammie and I always shared music we liked with each other despite living apart for many years. We never failed to tag each other on music finds, no matter how lame or bad the tracks were. She was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer in 2016. I remembered telling her on her hospital bed when she was admitted from pneumonia that when she got better, we were definitely going to Bali as it was somewhere she had never been. I told her about all the vegan food that she could eat (she turned vegan when she was diagnosed),  the beautiful sunsets in Tanah Lot and the serenity of its temples. We were set, and I started compiling music for our Bali holiday playlist, ones that I know will impress her and lift up her spirits.

Cammie passed on one week after being hospitalized from pneumonia, with the cancer spreading too aggressively. My whole world was shaken and it was tough as I was still in denial and went on with my days telling myself she was just on a long holiday. I continued compiling tracks for our Bali playlist. Eight months on, reality crept in — the loss deepens but her memory remains. Nowadays, I listen to this playlist on the very few occasions that I get to be alone and have a little extra time to myself to clear my head, tune out and be in the moment. I think of Cammie with a smile on my face and believe that she is in a sunnier place.

Every time I hear 'Hurricane Jane' by Black Kids I feel like breaking out in a kungfu dance. It's highly energetic, fun and very quirky with a little childish playfulness — the best song to start the playlist. I call 'Inspector Norse' by Todd Terje my party bus song, which I take far too much and every time I get in, my driver Edwin would know to play this song as the doors slide open and he turns on the smoke machine. We are embarrassed, but we secretly love it.

I first heard 'Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann' by Nena on a summer day in Mauerpark Berlin a couple of years ago during the infamous karaokes that they only have in the summer. It was free, and everyone gathers on the steps just basking in bad karaoke singing and the beautiful warm sun. You could tell that this track was big and almost institution-like when almost everyone knows the lyrics and sings aloud to it. 

I absolutely love the synths from Electric Youth and 'The Best Thing' is one of my most favourite tracks from all the others that was made in the deep synth/retro pop genre. It's dreamy, romantic and invokes blurry memories — apt for winding down the night. 

I take 'This Is Not The End (Âme Mix)' by Gui Boratto as a closure to everything — my emotions, the day, the weekend, a relationship, and when I give myself some quiet time to think about Cammie. I like the relaxing beats of this remix, where I always feel a sense of calm and serenity wash over towards the end, and knowing deep in my heart that everything is washed away, and everything starts anew after. I hold this track very closely to my heart. 

Joanna is the Marketing Manager for SPH Radio Pte Ltd which manages and operates five radio stations: MONEY FM 89.3, ONE FM 91.3, KISS 92, 96.3 好 FM and UFM 100.3. Tune in at here.