Internet radio service Pandora launches Singapore station

Aside from groups with large followings like The Sam Willows (above), music acts in genres such as metal, hip-hop and electronic music have also been chosen to be featured on Pandora's dedicated Singapore station, a collaboration between Pandora and
Aside from groups with large followings like The Sam Willows (above), music acts in genres such as metal, hip-hop and electronic music have also been chosen to be featured on Pandora's dedicated Singapore station, a collaboration between Pandora and the Singapore Tourism Board.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

Some of the best contemporary Singaporean pop music from acts such as Gentle Bones, Nathan Hartono and Linying will reach American audiences who subscribe to the Internet radio service Pandora.

Pandora launched its dedicated Singapore station at 5pm US time on Tuesday (6am Singapore yesterday), featuring about 90 songs by 30 home-grown acts, including multi-instrumentalist Charlie Lim, grindcore music group Wormrot and rapper TheLionCityBoy.

Mr Lim said the artists represented on the playlist are a "nice, broad sample that encapsulates how diverse our scene is, even though we are such a small country".

"Everyone has got their own thing going," added the 28-year- old, whose sophomore release, Time/Space, has just been launched on vinyl.

In voice-overs that will accompany some songs, some of the musicians will answer questions relating to how everyday experiences in Singapore influence and fuel their creative process.

Pandora is available in the US, Australia and New Zealand. It offers music only in English and Spanish, hence only Singapore artists who produce English-language music have been featured. Its dedicated Singapore radio station is a collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), with the acts curated by The Music Society, Singapore.

The Music Society vice-president Mohamed Shahid Isahak, 34, said the aim was to select the "best and brightest and most surprising that Singapore has to offer".

While there were obvious choices such as Gentle Bones and The Sam Willows, who have large followings, the collaborators also drew on feedback from last year's Singapore Inside Out campaign, which showcased cross-disciplinary facets of Singapore's arts, food and fashion in cities such as Beijing, London and New York .

Mr Shahid said: "We learnt there was sincere excitement in non-pop music forms such as metal, hip-hop and electronic music by Caracal, TheLionCityBoy and Darker Than Wax respectively."

He hopes that the involvement with Pandora will provide home-grown artists with "one more opportunity to tap into the biggest and most competitive music market in the world".

Mr Lim added: "It is also every musician's dream to have their work resonate with new fans from different places, so being featured on a platform like Pandora can only help to create more potential and awareness."

For STB, the collaboration with Pandora - like its tie-up with US-based ride-share app Lyft to give away free flights to Singapore from the US - is in support of non-stop flights between San Francisco and Singapore that started on Singapore Airlines and United Airlines earlier this year.

Ms Kershing Goh, regional director of Americas at STB, said: "Through tie-ups with unconventional West Coast brands which share like-minded consumer audiences, we hope to present the authentic voice of Singapore through our artists."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Net radio service Pandora launches S'pore station'. Print Edition | Subscribe