24OWLS Playlist Series

A Quilt of Influences – The Playlist by Janet Yeo

In the office, Janet Yeo is known among colleagues as the general manager who watches the in’s and out’s with a steely yet maternal eye. At home, she is equally as detail-oriented, and lately, she’s turned her attention towards a decades-long passion – quilting and patchwork.

“I started picking it up after I got retrenched from my job as brand manager at Dunhill Group in 2000 – the brand Chloé I handled exited the Singapore market. I learnt the hobby from a friend who runs a quilting shop and also from books and magazines for inspiration. I find it therapeutic. It’s a good distraction,” she says, adding with palpable glee. “It’s very satisfying when you finish a project.”

Self-quarantining has been particularly productive. She proudly shows us on her iPhone, pictures of her most recent creations, including two coasters for the youngest staff in the office; a lap quilt for a colleague’s new-born boy (which took six months for her to make); and a beautiful, queen-sized quilt she’s completed for someone special, “an old friend who has been waiting for five years,” she quips.

As for #workingfromhome, she confesses: “I was very sceptical at first. I thought I wouldn’t be able to focus. But these few months have taught me I could.” She keeps to a routine: She would turn on her laptop at 10am and get down to business. She’s also found time for house-cleaning – “I could do the things I had no time for previously, like clearing cupboards, and finding childhood photos for this playlist project!”

Not surprisingly, the past few months make her realise not to take things for granted. “This COVID-19 situation has got people thinking about life. You cannot expect things to turn out the way they do. Appreciate the things you already have, such as the ease of online purchases.”

Aside from ordering cosmetics, snacks and groceries online, she’s enjoying a bottle of Baileys or two, and putting together a track-listing of songs which tip a hat at her influences, including family and colleagues, over the years.

Here’s her playlist:

1. The Moon Represents My Heart (月亮代表我的心) – Teresa Teng

2. As Sweet As Honey (甜蜜蜜 ) – Teresa Teng

“These songs are my father’s favourites. My first encounter with music was when I was growing up and my late father would play a tape of Teresa Teng evergreens on the radio and cassette player. She remains a karaoke favourite of mine till today.”

3. Massachusetts – Bee Gees

4. Words – Bee Gees

5. Sailing – Rod Stewart

6. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

7. Top Of The World – Carpenters

8. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) – Carpenters

“Later in my teens, my music influence came from my late eldest brother, who was nine years my senior. He was in National Service, and every weekend he’d book out of camp and play these records non-stop at home – Bee Gees, Carpenters, Rod Stewart and Simon & Garfunkel. In many ways, it felt like I was just conditioned to listen to what he liked over and over. Over time I got to enjoy these songs.”

9. Dancing Queen – ABBA

10. Night Fever – Bee Gees

11. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

12. You’re The One That I Want (From “Grease”) – John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John

“When I started working in an ad agency, I was exposed to a lot of parties and started going to discotheques (as they were called then). I found my dance music then.”

13. Let It Be – The Beatles

14. Yesterday – The Beatles

“My husband is a fan of The Beatles. Naturally, he introduced the band to me. When I was dating him, he’d say, “ ‘Paul would be playing tonight’, and I’d be wondering who Paul was.”

15. Babe – Styx

16. Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks

17. Lost In Love – Air Supply

“I prefer love ballads and these were my all-time favourites.”

18. Forgotten Love Potion (忘情水) – Andy Lau

19. Thank You For Your Love (謝謝你的愛) – Andy Lau

“I’m a huge fan of Cantopop singer Andy Lau. I’ll catch his concerts and listen to his songs whenever I need music to keep me company, especially on my travels. Out of the Four Heavenly Kings, I love him and Jacky Cheung the most.”

20. Fall Together – The Temper Trap

“My current work introduced me to indie music. When this Aussie band came, we did a small media session in our office for their album. Thanks to this bunch of kids and adults in this current team, I was exposed to a whole new music journey, and I’m enjoying the ride together with them exploring and experimenting.”