24OWLS Playlist Series

Love, Respect and Compassion – The Playlist by Zahara Abu Bakar

These days, as Singapore gradually emerges out of the first phase of a circuit breaker, Zahara Abu Bakar has been reflecting on the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Racial and religious issues are highly sensitive, and they must not be taken lightly. My thoughts are also with the people in Lebanon who are losing their state and rights each passing day and living in fear in their own country,” says Zahara who handles HR and admin matters for 19SixtyFive and 24OWLS.

“How about the Rohingyas who have been tortured and chased out of their own country? The indigenous people in many countries that have been ignored and forgotten. Who are rooting for them?” she asks, rightfully.

“So my friends, it’s time to treat one another with love, respect and compassion,” she concludes. She understands the importance of those three values. After all, she took a sabbatical in 2016 after working for six years in the company to keep an eagle eye on her daughter who was sitting for her GCE O-Levels.

Throughout those six years, she worked mostly from home in order to care for her son with special needs. She continued to work so she could keep “my sanity by busying myself with work.”

She was back at the office in 2019 to the embrace of old and new colleagues, before the circuit breaker, alas, kicked in this year. “I was thrust into familiar territory and didn’t have much of a problem adapting,” she admits.

To keep herself occupied, she has been watching documentaries and movies based on real-life stories. “Not much patience for fictional dramas and movies because if the show sucks (as in most cases), I’d feel that a few hours of my life have been wasted watching it,” she explains.

As for her Playlist, she has put together a “selection of favourites from as far back as I can remember,” a fun recap of her life with candid anecdotes which may surprise some of her colleagues. “Have a lovely week ahead!” she chimes.

Here’s her playlist:

1. I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

“This song sums up my kind of music.”

2. Radio Ga Ga – Queen

“I remember listening to this song for the first time on the radio when I was in my primary school. Still loving it!”

3. Alone – Heart

“That yearning feeling for someone. For some, it remains a secret till the end of time. Simply tragic.”

4. Como La Flor – Selena

“Selena kickstarted my love for Latin music with her sultry voice and her dance moves.”

5. Cinta Hampa (Futile Love) – D’lloyd

“My late dad loved listening to this classic Indonesian band when I was so much younger (ahem, I’m still young). I got hooked to their songs.”

6. The Unforgiven – Metallica

“I could feel the pain and struggle of the young boy in this song – somehow relatable.”

7. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner

“Let’s talk about love. More than just a feeling, it’s an act of mutual respect for every human race.”

8. I’ll Never Let You Go – STEELHEART

“Someone sang this song to me decades ago. Haha, those were the days. Ironically, as in most real-life stories, he did let me go. His loss! Next.”

9. Need You Now – Lady A

“Nope, I was never drunk at a quarter after one, but I loved this song from the first time I heard it, and put it on repeat 10 times over. I remember jumping ecstatically when it won so many Grammys a decade ago.”

10. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

“Oh yeah! This is my feel-good song. From the piercing sound of the lead guitar, right up to the lyrics.”

11. Not Ready to Make Nice – The Chicks

“I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time
To go ’round and ’round and ’round
(my sentiment exactly).”

12. Faithfully – Journey

“I can listen to this song and get lost amidst the thick and fluffy clouds above.”

13. Cruel Summer – Bananarama

“This song takes me back to my secondary-school days, singing and dancing to the song with all my crazy friends. Those were the fun times.”

14. Suatu Masa (One Time) – Dato’ M. Nasir

“The singer, Dato’ M. Nasir, was one-third of a local group named Kembara. I loved listening to their songs as a kid including the song, ‘Bas Nombor 13’.

Dato’ M. Nasir subsequently went solo, migrated to Malaysia and became not only a singer there but also a well-known songwriter for other artists with many great hits under his belt. This song, in particular, is my all-time favourite Malay song which tugs my heartstrings every time I listen to it.”

15. Love Will Lead You Back – Taylor Dayne

“If you truly love someone, despite all odds, love will lead you back to him/her (physically or in thoughts)… though not all love stories end with a happy ending.”

16. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You – Heart

“Every time I hear this song, it puts a smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong! Some naughty friends from my Pre-U class had pranked a guy I ‘dumped’ (my senior). On Valentine’s day, my school had a special-song dedication segment which was played on air.

They sent a song request using the guy’s name, and dedicated it to me with a message: “Listen to the lyrics.” The guy was so shocked. He stormed into my class and scolded my friends in my presence. I just find it hilarious. LMAO!”

17. Spending My Time – Roxette

“A song that I listen to on rainy days.”

18. Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga

“Ahhh… this song brings out the romantic side of me (if there’s any, LOL!)”

19. Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi

“I’ve had a fair share of bad medicine with bad boys in my (much) younger days. But hey! I love everything Bon Jovi.”

20. Home – Daughtry

“I started following Chris Daughtry since his American Idol days. When he formed a band and released their first album, I simply loved all of their songs. I even watched their live performance in St. James Power Station in 2007. Daughtry sounded so good in person.”