24OWLS Playlist Series

 The Time of My Life – The Playlist by Natasha Hiorns

The state of the Earth is never far from her mind as Natasha Hiorns gets into the hustle and bustle of work at 19SixtyFive and 24OWLS.

“As someone who graduated in environmental science, entering such a colourful arts and music company was a definite learning curve for me, but I have genuinely been enjoying this experience, including finding a more environmentally-friendly way of doing our events,” says Natasha, affectionately known among her colleagues as Sasha.

In charge of public relations and marketing, she also assists Yelyn (who you have met last week) in artist management, as well as explores various ways in which each and every one of us can do our part in being as sustainable as possible – “even if it’s a slight change to begin with,” she adds. In fact, on a daily basis, you’d find her caring for the numerous potted plants at the Pasir Panjang Power Station.

She believes “Singapore has progressed so well and quickly with developments like the ‘No Straw Movement’ and people embracing more no-waste shopping or bulk food stores,” which would make major changes possible.

Asked to describe her music taste, she sums it up as “diverse.” She says she doesn’t have a favourite genre, but, she admits, “once a song sticks, I will play it on repeat for about five months or until the next song comes along.”

For the following Playlist, she has included songs which have made an impact on her emotionally. “If I had it my way – and in the office we joke about this a lot – the theme for my playlist would be ‘Christmas meets Disney’, and let’s be honest, there is never an inappropriate time of the year to listen to Christmas songs.”

In any case, she has curated this playlist “to reflect the timeline of my life – from my first cassette (giving away my age) to my first iPod and so on.”

Here’s her playlist:

1) Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys

“One day, when I was about five years old, my mum was getting gas at the station while my sister and I waited in the car for her, and on her way out of the mart we saw her coming back with a surprise for us, two small cassette players – a blue one (mine) and a pink one (my sister’s) as well as a Backstreet Boys and a Britney Spears cassette tape.

That was my first music player and it felt like Christmas Day. We were so excited, I listened to that Backstreet Boys cassette tape till I memorised all the songs, as my sister did with her Britney Spears tape. For that, Backstreet Boys will always remind me of that day.”

2) Complicated – Avril Lavigne

“When I got my first CD player, I immediately got my hands on two CDs – Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin and Evanescence’s Fallen. I’m not sure if it was my intention at the time to go down that genre route, but I fell in love with all the songs on those albums whether I understood what they were about or not (I was about eight)! Avril Lavigne was all I wanted to be. It was hard to choose between ‘Complicated’ and ‘Sk8er Boi’, both are iconic. I even bought a tie to look like her.”

3) Bring Me To Life – Evanescence

“This did start my love for buying CDs. I enjoyed buying CDs and listening to them in their entirety as I always found that my favourite song from the album was never usually the main single.”

4) There She Goes – Sixpence None The Richer

“The Parent Trap is one of my favourite movies, again – watched it too many times, but one of my favourite scenes is when Hallie drives through London with this song in the background, I learnt the handshake too!”

5) Mamma Mia – ABBA

“ABBA deserves more mentions on this list, especially ‘Super Trouper’. Truthfully, the whole ABBA archive deserves to be on this list! When I was nine, my mum took my sister and I to watch Mamma Mia! The Musical when it came to Singapore. I remember being very reluctant to go at first as I did not know of ABBA, but the experience of being in that atmosphere where everyone around you was enjoying themselves and singing along, it was truly joyful and we were in awe.

We bought the ABBA Soundtrack album on our way out and it’s safe to say that my mum had to pretend to have lost the CD so we would stop playing it in the car… Old habits die hard?”

6) Dancing Queen – ABBA

“You have to sing this at least once when you’re 17!”

7) Pump It – Black Eyed Peas

“Theirs (BEP) was the first concert I had been to, all I remember was that: they were late, I was too shy to dance or sing along and the man next to me got told off for dancing on his chair. All in all, a pretty good experience!”

8) Mr Brightside – The Killers

“A modern classic, I feel like somehow everyone knows the words.”

9) The Great Escape – Boys Like Girls

“When I hear a Boys Like Girls song, it transports me right back to the time I used to listen to them often. I feel like their songs articulate the feelings of teenagers very well and if anyone around my age hears them now, you’re guaranteed to have many sing-alongs. It represented a poignant stage in a lot of kids’ lives, I think. I was so excited to hear that they were coming to Singapore to perform in 2020. It would have been a great concert!”

10) I Was Here – Beyoncé

“Beyoncé is everything. Her album 4, had many great songs but I feel that this one captured me the most emotionally speaking. It tells a great story of the legacy we ultimately would like to leave behind and watching her performance of this song at the United Nations World Humanitarian Day made it all the more impactful.”

11) Lovers in Japan – Coldplay

“I heard this song first through a game which led me to the entire Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends album, I really enjoy the tone of the album and truly resonate with the Coldplay sound. The songs either make me melancholic or happy, haha!”

12) Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay

“Mylo Xyloto was, in my opinion, an amazing album. It was the first time I noticed how the strategic ordering of the songs in an album could make such a difference.”

13) Lightning Bolt – Jake Bugg

“I was struck by Jake Bugg’s sound the moment I heard his voice. It was the first time I heard anything like it and was fascinated from the get-go!”

14) You and I – Ingrid Michaelson

“During my time in Junior College (JC), I basically listened to Ingrid Michaelson, The xx and Of Monsters and Men only. Listening to these songs never fail to bring me back to those years. It was a really an age of transformation for me and I look back upon it with great fondness. Please listen to the entire My Head Is An Animal album.

15) King and Lionheart – Of Monsters and Men

Disclaimer: The timeline for the next few songs are a little foggy, I have no idea how I know many of them, but I love them and have somehow memorised them all the same. I blame my parents probably.”

16) Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

“This song always puts me in a good mood and makes me feel like dancing.”

17) Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver

“Any explanation necessary? A classic.”

18) Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

“Another classic! My friend and I were driving to a lookout point in Malibu while listening to this song on the way up. Everything was so peaceful and it felt like time was frozen. It was an unforgettable experience.”

19) Show Yourself – Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood (from Frozen)

“It would not be my playlist without a Disney song, but for the sake of everyone, I have narrowed it down to this one from Frozen 2. The classic Disney songs will never fail to get me both emotionally and to sing, but this one is my most recent obsession. The message is amazing, the emotion is prominent in Idina Menzel’s voice, you can’t help but be pulled in throughout the song. The Frozen movies are particularly special to my sister and I. She is my favourite person and we enjoy watching the movies together.”

20) King of Kings – Hillsong Worship

“I would like to end my playlist with the song that has never failed to give me courage when I am afraid and puts me in the posture of worship. It reminds me that I am safe and no problem is ever too big.”

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat random playlist of my life. It may not really make sense, but looking through the songs really is nostalgic for me and almost paints a picture of my life through the years and hopefully resonated with some of you as well 🙂