24OWLS Playlist Series

When I Grow Up – The Playlist of Desmond Goh

Singaporean indie fans of a certain vintage remember Desmond Goh fondly as the bassist for Electrico, the early noughties rock-pop band most famous for its 2004 radio hit ‘Runaway’ and for ‘What Do You See’, the song they wrote for National Day 2009.

Younger folk would recognise him as the bassist for TypeWriter, the power-pop quintet which released its latest single, the indie-pop ballad ‘Your Eyes Catch Light’, in March 2020. Those in the music business, however, know him as an integral part of 19SixtyFive, the events and production company, and its offshoot, 24OWLS, specifically involved in programming, production and operations duties.

Thanks to his day job, music fans got to see acts the likes of British pop-rockers 1975, American rapper Anderson .Paak, and American dream-pop duo Beach House for Laneway Music Festival Singapore. He is also part of the 24OWLS team who helped launch the first large-scale music festival, The Alex Blake Charlie Sessions, at the Pasir Panjang Power Station in December 2019.

As part of the new 24OWLS Playlist series, Desmond introduces 20 songs which make up the soundtrack of his childhood. “This is the soundtrack that cemented my love for music at a young, impressionable age during the 1980s,” he says. “My music sources range from my family’s playlist and movie theme songs to pop rock staples released in unofficial cassette compilations in a previous century.”

While there isn’t a thematic link throughout his playlist, Desmond says: “These are all good pop songs, and each of them is worth listening to.”

Here’s his playlist:

劉文正 – 三月里的小雨

“This is the first song I listened to, or at least what I remember vividly till today. Liu Wen-cheng has such silky smooth vocals. The song has a melancholy verse which moves into an upbeat chorus – this contrast attracts me.”

費翔 – 留戀

“It’s a very well-written pop song, with a cheeky chorus which sounds like ‘durian’!”

許冠傑 – 跟佢做個Friend

“I love Aces Go Places 2 so much! I keep watching repeats of the Hong Kong comedy caper, and I was drawn to the theme song sung by Sam Hui.”

Kon Kan – I Beg Your Pardon (I Never Promised You A Rose Garden)

and

Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

and

Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy

“Listening to these New Wave, synth-pop songs reminds me of playing with my friends, and never studying during my primary school days.”

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

and

The Bangles – Walk Like An Egyptian

“I first heard these songs at the movies, and they gave me a feeling of euphoria.”

Queen – I Want To Break Free

“I was arguing with my primary school classmates about the lyrics. We couldn’t get their exact meanings.”

George Michael – Faith

“This song makes me feel like everything would be alright. I would sing it when I’m drunk at a karaoke session, or at an open mike at a bar.”

The Beach Boys – Kokomo

“I had a crush on my tuition teacher who taught me English in Primary 6. She lent me a cassette for the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail, and asked me to listen to the song ‘Kokomo’. I immediately fell in love – with the song, and with her!”

Milli Vanilli – Baby Don’t Forget My Number

“This was my first song that I actually danced to. Meaning I learnt the dance moves from the music video itself!”

New Kids On The Block – Cover Girl

“I first heard the song on the radio. I loved it, but I did not know the artist and the song title. I hunted high and low for it in all the music shops. I even sang a few lines of the chorus to the shop staff. Eventually, I found out what it was when one shop was playing the song!”

Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough

“This is from a movie I watched on repeat, I can’t remember what it was. It was the first song which came on in the film, and I was immediately hooked.”

Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation

“I just love this song, especially its hard-hitting rhythm. It sounds dangerous, and still accessible.”

Poison – Unskinny Bop

and

Skid Row – 18 And Life

and

Alice Cooper – Poison

“I got into the hair-metal phase, which is a big part of who I am right now. These songs show the rebellious side of me as I was growing up.”

Warrant – Heaven

and

Guns N’ Roses – Patience

“These are the songs which make me pick up the guitar – and the rest is history.”