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Joshua Simon: Buro Singapore Breakup Playlist #186

Cherry on top

Text: Joshua Simon

Editor: Tracy Phillips


It's an incredible feeling when the music you listen to begins to mirror the events of your personal life. This is my year on a playlist, from the devastation of heartbreak to a commitment made to rise from the dark, I end my year dancing. The best time to listen to the playlist is now, as we say thank you next to 2018. Everyone's got a list of their favourite things, this is mine, along with my story. 

It seems, I experienced my first real heartbreak this year at 28 years old. "You're the one I got, and I'll keep turning down the hand that beckon me to come..." Mitski's 'Geyser' captures the sheer devastation of what I went through. It's a breath-taking song that builds and builds before blowing up at the end in this glorious melodic structure. I'd include her entire Be The Cowboy album on my list if I could. "If I don't have you, at least I still have me" is from the track 'I'll Still Have Me' by Cyn, an artist discovered by Katy Perry. This is the song I play to pull myself up. It's delicate and encourages me to find my strength in my vulnerability. I'd utter to myself every morning, every time I felt the hurt come creeping back, "he's not here. He's not here. I choose me. I still have me. I have me." 

I finished the album after my breakup. I'd wake up in cold sweat and scribble furiously. I'd never felt more connected to my pen. Everything I wanted to say, everything I didn't want to say, I was able to put down in my music. I was very clear that I wanted my music to bravely represent my sexuality. serpentwithfeet, is one of the most brilliant artists to watch right now and that first line in 'Bless Ur Heart,' "when I give these books away, will my ink betray me?" captures my fear that the songs I write will get lost in translation when it reaches an audience. That it will cause further misunderstanding, say if my ex ever hears it. 

I spent a lot of time alone post-breakup. I learnt to enjoy my own company, observe myself, even in the presence of others. 'Trigger Bang' by Lily Allen is me saying goodbye to any habit or person that doesn't sit right with my spirit. I'm very careful about who I let in my life, and people that have been in my life for a while, either they're a yes-man or they're toxic, I step away from them now.'

I was dragged to a club at one point and my best friend commanded me to dance. After weeks of crying and feeling lost, she just said, "dance, close your eyes and dance your heart out" and I did. I moved and felt so free. I don't think I've ever danced like that before. I didn't care about what my dance 'showed' to people on the dance floor, there were no moves made to cause a 'whoa' from anybody - what matters is that I felt my dance. I felt it and 'Anna Wintour' by Azealia Banks is the song I play when I just wanna smile and dance my heart out.

'Cherry' is the first single from my debut album, Filthy  a dark, electronic, genre-bending record about the creatures of the night. It's about isolation, loneliness, spirituality, ultra-violence and sex. 'Cherry' is on the more sensual side of the album. It's perfect for a strip club. 

Joshua Simon, is a radio host and independent singer-songwriter whose debut album, Filthy, is coming out in the near future. Known for his heartfelt interviews with some of the world's biggest stars like Hugh Jackman, Katy Perry, Ryan Reynolds and Britney Spears, you can watch his videos on his YouTube channel, YaaasTV. His second single, Drive, is a hardcore synth wave track scheduled for release in February next year. 

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