24OWLS Playlist Series

Hold Your Head Up High – The Playlist by Yelyn Yeo

For Yelyn Yeo, the artist manager and assistant producer at 19SixtyFive/24OWLS, growing up in a musical household has been a blessing. “We love singing and performing all the time, so naturally I’ve always been a lover and advocate of the arts,” she says.

She took theatre and performed plays at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, and pursued Business Management (marketing and corporate communications) at Singapore Management University (SMU). In SMU, she was the vocalist in an acoustic duo, Crystal and Yelyn, and in a pop-rock quintet, Fancy Free. She also performed in a Rudyard Kipling musical called Just So for the SMU Arts Festival in 2010.

“So both music and theatre hold very special places in my heart,” she avers. Her multi-tasking acumen means she is a Jill of all trades. Her fellow colleagues know her as a wise, old soul who will sail through any crisis, with a cheery smile and a pat on the back.

As artist manager, she handles everything artist-related. She manages some artists on the 19SixtyFive roster (DJ KoFlow, Vanessa Fernandez, Ming Bridges) and represents others as an agent (Corrinne May, Alicia Pan, Yumika Hoskin). As a manager, she works on new music releases with artists, publishers, distributors and labels; conceptualises photoshoots and video shoots with a team; negotiates and books new jobs; works through contracts and takes care of artists’ needs.

As programmer, she brainstorms with fellow programmers on coming up with a performance line-up which brings out a particular and distinct concept. “I’m constantly listening to artists on Spotify. And I attend gigs here and overseas, such as at The Great Escape in 2019, where I caught Charly Bliss, CHAI and Anna Calvi,” she recalls.

As assistant producer, she oversees key departments to make sure everyone delivers what they’re supposed to deliver according to the timeline. She builds and implements systems and processes to help make things run more effectively and efficiently while always keeping the timeline and budget in mind.

Unlike many of her peers, Yelyn has a broad taste in music. “When I was a kid, my dad only let us listen to Gold 90.5FM in the car, so I guess that played a part in moulding me into an old soul. I love listening and singing along to oldies, I love musicals, Disney, and I always find myself drawn to slow jams and anthemic tracks that make you feel like grooving along to.”

For her 24OWLS Playlist, she has chosen an eclectic set which traverses decades, from the 1960s to the 2020s. “It’s a mix of songs I enjoy listening to, when I want to feel good. Something uplifting to keep your spirits up during this strange, unpredictable time!”

1) Elbow – One Day Like This

“When I hear this song, I think of throwing my head back in happiness, and feeling the warmth of the morning sun on my skin. It’s such a perk-me-up song to start the day with.”

2) The Beatles – Here Comes The Sun

“As a child, I loved watching the 1998 Lindsay Lohan film, The Parent Trap. I cannot even count the number of times I’ve seen it. I love this one scene where the main lead and her mother head out onto the streets of London together, and this song plays in the background. It feels happy and free, the same way I feel whenever I explore a new city on holiday.”

3) Whitney – Light Upon the Lake

“We had Whitney perform at the 2017 edition of Laneway Festival Singapore. I’ve not seen a band where the main vocalist also played the drums. There’s just something about Julien Ehrlich’s voice, it’s so calming. The name of this song, ‘Light Upon the Lake’, strikes up such a beautiful imagery.”

4) HAIM – Now I’m In It

“The three sisters of HAIM share such a lovely relationship, it’s so amazing they can make music together too. I also have two sisters, and the bond we share is something I’m always grateful for. My sisters and I love singing together too.”

5) Carole King – Where You Lead

“I loved watching Gilmore Girls back in the day! This upbeat tune is the theme song of the show. I really enjoyed watching their mother-daughter relationship, where both leads talk a mile a minute all the time. I’ve always been a TV addict, even till today I’m always on Netflix, and I recently re-watched all 10 seasons of Friends.”

6) Billie Eilish – everything i wanted

“I’m such a big fan of Billie Eilish – she’s so young yet she possesses such raw, mind-blowing talent. She performed at Laneway Festival Singapore in 2018 when she was only 16-years-old, before she became insanely famous. Back then, I was taking care of her backstage, but had no idea how famous this person would someday become.”

7) Joji – Sanctuary

“I’m still waiting to catch Joji live in concert here in Singapore. What a voice. Please also listen to his track, ‘Slow Dancing In The Dark’.”

8) HYUKOH – TOMBOY

“I caught HYUKOH’s performance live in Singapore in 2017 – it was so moving. They’re the type of band you’d want to close your eyes and lie down under the night sky to listen to. Their music is so inspiring and rousing. The Korean indie music scene has so much to offer. It’s not just all K-pop!”

9) Moses Sumney – Polly

“By now, it’s clear I have a thing for vocals. I love listening to people sing, and I love singing myself. Moses Sumney’s falsetto is to die for.”

10) Daniel Caesar – Japanese Denim

“I first heard Daniel Caesar’s ‘Best Part’ feat. H.E.R. and became an instant fan. He’s a storyteller, and this track has Daniel comparing the feeling of everlasting love to a pair of good ol’ jeans. I don’t wear jeans, but I feel you, Daniel.”

11) Glass Animals – Season 2 Episode 3

“So quirky, so charming. There’s no way you’re not grooving by now.”

12) Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight

“When the going gets tough, let your hair down and dance to your heart’s content.”

13) The Carpenters – Top Of The World

“I love singing but I can’t play any instruments. I wish I could. Back in primary school, I couldn’t even play the recorder properly. I was terrible at it. So when the teacher asked for volunteers to singalong to the song, I leapt at the opportunity. For my auditions, I sang this song for the class. It was nerve-wrecking, but I had a lot of fun.”

14) Wicked soundtrack – For Good

“It was in 2011 when I first travelled to New York City. I caught five musicals and plays within a week. It was exhausting but so fulfilling. I watched Wicked on Broadway for the first time. I cried. The arts truly has a way of healing and nourishing the soul.”

15) Coldplay – O

“Watching them live at the Indoor Stadium with 50,000 other people is an experience like no other. I caught Chris Martin’s #TogetherAtHome livestream in March. He radiates so much positivity in these trying times.”

16) Beck – Morning

“I first discovered Beck on an airplane about a decade ago. I was on a long-haul red-eye flight, and was having a hard time sleeping. Beck’s voice put me to sleep like a baby, in a good way, of course.”

17) Jungle – Busy Earnin’

“Jungle performed at Laneway Festival Singapore in 2015 with the sunset as their backdrop. It was groovy, energetic and set the mood perfectly for sundown.”

18) Dua Lipa – Physical

“Her new album is so much fun. I love the kaleidoscopic vibe of her music video too!”

19) Kodaline – All I Want

“I performed weekly at a restaurant-bar between 2018 and 2019, and ended every night with ‘All I Want’, my all-time favourite song by Kodaline. It always makes me feel like crying, but that’s okay, crying can be cathartic.”

20) The Black Skirts – EVERYTHING

“This anthemic song by this Korean indie rock musician truly is everything. It’s the perfect way to end this playlist. Stay healthy and happy, everyone!”