How she got started: I moved out of Singapore in 2005 to become a VJ for Channel V International. At that time, Asian people were not being represented at all in the media, particularly in Perth, the city I grew up. I got my start by doing community TV, and came out to Singapore with it. I interned at MediaCorp Radio, which ironically is where I ended up in 2015, ten years later. After that, I went from Channel V, then HBO Asia, before Virgin Radio Dubai poached me. I went to the UAE for five years and had an incredible time working with one of the best radio stations in the world in terms of budget activations and corporate culture.
Her notable achievements: I am grateful to be one in a tiny pond of broadcasters that have worked in multiple markets. Radio is a very "local" medium so to be able to appeal to audiences from Asia, Australia, and the Middle East means you have to have a huge amount of cultural elasticity and malleability. To work for three number one stations in three vastly different markets was a lovely way to finish off my career in radio. In 2017, being able to emcee at the United Nations was also a big deal for me personally. Right now, I'm focussed on doing more keynote speeches.
Something you might not have known about her: Well, most people assume that I am half-Australian and half-Chinese Singaporean, but I'm not. I was born in Singapore, and my mom is Singaporean Eurasian. Many people don't know that I speak German, and I understand Swiss because I studied on scholarship in Switzerland when I was 18 years.
An artist, designer, or performer whom she would love to work with: I speak on human connection, and a huge part of human connection is vulnerability. The world's leading voice on vulnerability is Dr. Brené Brown. I would love to talk to Brené about her interview and research process, and how she's able to synthesise extremely academic information into something so accessible for people.
An unrealised project that she wishes to complete sometime in the future: I want to write a book on human connection, and the study that I've been doing. I hope to do about 500 interviews with people who I believe are supehero human connectors. I want to have that book done sometime in the near future.
A quote to sum it all up: "You shouldn't rush to put something you create out into the world." I used to do this in my twenties, and my ex-boyfriend told me that "life is a marathon and not a race". These days, I take my time to choose projects and develop the best intellectual property that I can before promoting it. Truth be told however, great work promotes itself. Hopefully, I can create work that resonates with people and catches on organically.
Follow Simone Heng on Instagram.
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