Back to Top

Ride first class on the Bandwagon with the latest gig news!

Connect With Us

The best of Good Times: Underground musicians, DJs and producers take a trip down Bali Lane

The best of Good Times: Underground musicians, DJs and producers take a trip down Bali Lane

While Good Times may have started as a birthday celebration amongst close-knit friends at Blu Jaz Cafe, the low-key monthly party series has organically transformed into a beloved nightlife institution over the last nine years. Held on the first Friday of every month, Good Times has become a staple of underground scene in Singapore, renowned for its open-minded yet discerning musical direction.

From bands to DJs to producers, the night has played host and incubator to a number of celebrated musicians and collectives for the better part of a decade. But more than just a watering hole for nearly every subcultural sound on the island, the real beauty of Good Times lies in its friendly crowd and unfussy atmosphere. No frills, no bottle-popping douchebags - just a welcoming collection of music heads.

Promoted Video


Click here for more info!

The kindred spirits that habitually gather there have become more than a community over time, they're considered family by this point. Lifelong friendships have been fostered by their dancefloors and that second level smoking room, and that's what makes Good Times such a rare treasure in our competitive music industry. Unsurprisingly, its unpretentious, communal vibe is modeled directly after the night's forefathers.



From day one, Syafii Ghazali and Eric Foenander have run Good Times with a greater emphasis on fun and heart than bar sales and profit margins. That simple ethos has led them to surprising expansions as Good Times has found itself hosting everything from pop-up festivals to spin-off nights in popular bars and clubs around town. But through it all, its beating heart has always remained at Bali Lane.

Sadly though, that era is coming to an end this week as Good Times holds its final ever party at Blu Jaz this Friday, 5 May. Due to a shift in programming policy, the venue has unfortunately decided that Good Times' underground-leaning sensibilities would be an ill-tailored fit for their commercial demands - which is shame to say the least. This isn't an end for the night, but being forced to continue outside of Blu Jaz stings.

Nevertheless, the crew and community will be celebrating their final night on the second level of Blu Jaz with jubilant spirits and a typically kick-ass lineup that looks to travel between footwork, drum & bass, hip-hop, jazz and Afro-Caribbean beats. But before then, we caught up with a bevy of veteran Good Times performers to reminisce about their fondest memories of the night.

As we mentioned in the beginning, this started as an intimate party amongst a close-knit group of friends at Blu Jaz, and on its final night, it still remains the same - just with a far bigger group. It was the best of times, it was Good Times.


RAH

What makes Good Times special?

Music, friends, family, and Toto's 'Africa'. 

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

I think Good Times gave me my first ever gig, it was an all-girl line up with Pamm (Suki Quasimodo), Cherry Chan and Natalie Pixiedub. This was 2008/2009? Back then, you didn't have to end the night with Toto's 'Africa', so I ended it with 'B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad)' by Outkast which got everyone pretty wild. The late MC Roz may have had some fun on the mic towards the end then!

The poster was pretty cool, you may need to ask Eric for it though. 


Editor's note: I did.


Opening for Homeboy Sandman was pretty amazing, I was really nervous (I always am when opening for an act I look up to) but the crowd and vibe were amazing, and Homeboy killed it!

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Oh gosh, so many. The angry ones are pretty funny.

One of the recent ones was at Revision Music's first anniversary last year, the night was coming to a close and Nez didn't have 'Toto'. Eric was infuriated, "You better play 'Toto'!", and Nez was like, "No dude, I don't have 'Toto!'", and played some jungle tune instead. Eric was steaming mad, I cried, it was silly and toto-lly uncalled for (sorry), but we all laughed about it a few days later. 

Just looking at old GT photos now, and it was nice to have experienced GT in it's nascent stage with the OG crew, and girlfriends Pamm, Noodle, Christy, Libby (miss you guys!). Lots of dubstep and drum & bass, MC Roz on the mic, sometimes Syafii and Eric on the mic....aww I love Good Times.


Kiat

What makes Good Times special?

The passion Eric and Syafii puts into it is extremely commendable. The vibes are always on point.. never a not-so-good-time. Besides that, it’s a nice, cosy gathering of the community and always nice to catch up with mates when I’m down.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

Every Good Times NYE was always something I looked forward to… hanging out with the community in a relaxed spot, with good music always wraps up the year for me. And also, me trying to put an anonymous panty thrown at us on Louis’ head at some point of the night. But yeah… every single gig there I’ve played always ends on a very messy but memorable note.


Photo exhibit of Kiat trying to put panties on Intriguant's head.


Jaydah

What makes Good Times special? 

Good Times gave me some of my breakthrough moments as a DJ when I first started. To have evolved so far since my first gig with them in 2013, in some ways, I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support. Good Times became the platform to train myself, from warming up sets, to finding my own sound, and learning from the veterans.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

I think the guys, Eric and Syafii and maybe a few others, can agree that I’m sort of a technical jinx especially during Good Times. Something is bound to screw up when I’m set to play. Once, I came fully prepared with a contingency plan but then, one of the CDJs decided to die on me. Had to cab home and back to get my controllers. I stay in Pasir Ris by the way.

Another one would be - “Sometimes I stress sia, I don’t know what to say during your sets” by the late MC ROZ. I think this is one of the biggest compliment I ever gotten as a DJ. I could tell he genuinely enjoyed the challenge himself.

The fact that I could remember his words so clearly was because it was a significant validation for me as a DJ. It was enough for me to know that I was doing something right. I mostly work with Roz through Good Times and a few other gigs and I respected what he did. We were never close but I’m very honoured to have had the chance to share the deck with him.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?


Harv

What makes Good Times special?

Ive been to Good times as a punter, DJ, doorbitch, doing label showcases and ended up being on the crew who organized one of the most successful NYE parties too.

Good Times has always been a vibe-filled, laid-back affair on a Friday night. The diversity of amazing music pumped out through the speakers by DJs/producers/bands new and old is what sets it apart from most parties. It's kinda like going to a family gathering and having a ball of a time till the lights come on. Good Times is for the children.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

Definitely building up a crowd on the dancefloor early on in the night. Also, closing off a set playing juke/footwork whilst it was still a fresh sound this side of the world, was a challenge, but I had people coming up to me saying it was dope, so that's always a good thing.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Any edition with MC Roz blessing the mic was fun. And also this dynamic lineup done in collaboration with Dunce and ATTAGIRL.


William J

What makes Good Times special?

It felt like the heart of a community. It was the one night I went to month in month out without ever worrying too much about who was playing or who would be there. I could show up alone and be guaranteed to run into friends or make new ones. There were no residents, no musical boundaries, and no pretension - it was all about bringing people together and having fun.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

My first Good Times in 2012, having to rewind Chief Keef's 'I Don't Like'. The crowd's reaction was fierce I thought the console was going to topple over.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

MC Roz on the mic. Never failed to keep the party going and keep everybody laughing. He was an embodiment of the spirit of Good times. RIP, we miss you Roz.


Intriguant

What makes Good Times special?

Good Times was special to me because of the vibe and the community. When I first went to Good Times as a total stranger, not knowing anyone there... but the music was what pulled me in. After a few though, you get to know everyone and some are my closest friends till today. The music was on point every time and the DJs could play anything, anytime they wanted. It's also a good way to discover new music. It was the only thing you look forward to every 1st Friday of the month.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

I would say it was the time when Kiat and I was doing a four-deck DJ duo set. It was a lot of fun! Vandetta even jumped on the mic for a couple tracks. The funny thing about it was by the end of the night we found someone’s underwear (not sure if it was used) on the DJ console. People were throwing it around and the owner of these briefs still lie a mystery.

Photo exhibit of mystery underwear.


What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Every Good Times NYE. It was insane! Every different genre was catered to each level and you can go to any depending on you feel. Tell me where can you get three floors of good music on NYE in SG.


Funk Bast*rd

What makes Good Times special?

The kampung vibes!

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

The intimacy and connection between the performer and floor.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Without a doubt, its always the end of the night, when either Syaf or Eric get on the mic and go nuts over Toto's 'Africa'. Classic.


Aresha

What makes Good Times special?

What can I say about the longest running Friday night that has hosted almost every underground collective in Singapore that for almost a decade? I’ve been DJing for a long time and I have seen nights come and go, clubs come and go, even genres come and go… and Good Times has lived through it all. There’s keeping it real, and then there’s keeping it real until reality explode into confetti. That’s Syaf, Eric and crew for you. You can always leave it to the Good Times crew to bring everyone under one roof, put on one hell of a night and not getting home till 5am. On a more serious note, they are my gang of tuition friends.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

It’s a toss between playing the first Good Tahmz (pre-spellcheck) and playing at almost every Good Times NYE party since it began. (Let’s forget about the video someone has of me in a red Indian headdress or the time I sang along to a tune using my shoe as a microphone.)

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

When Syaf and Eric get on the mic. And MC Roz, always.


Gema

What makes Good Times special?

Good Times feels like a gathering more than a party, the vibe is unpretentious and very homely. Nobody is there to impress others or being overly sleazy haha. It always feels like home at Good Times.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times?

Sooo many great memories as a DJ or an attendee, actually I've never felt the difference cause my favorite moment would be when everybody knows that one tune and vibes or sings to it. The feeling is amazing.


Yadin

What makes Good Times special?

The people of course! It’s the only party I would attend without even knowing who’s playing. It’s the one spot every month where I can catch up with everyone without having to make plans. But the true highlight is Swee Choon afterwards.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

Probably the couple of times I’ve played Animal Collective’s 'My Girls'. It’s got such a great build up and seeing so many eyes light up as they recognized the intro was a real treat for me.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Roz emceeing, Syafii singing along to 'Africa' and 8 years worth of drunken arguments with Eric Foenander.


Marvin Gold

What makes Good Times special?

On a very personal level, Good Times is where I go to hear weirder music. Stuff that I would never play or even come across. And I need that sometimes. Especially after a long stretch of mixing or digging. That’s when I go to Good Times. Or when Safuan (Johari) and Brandon (Tay) call.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

I’ve only played at Good Times once and that was the Pushin’On 11th Anniversary with the all 45s set. So my memory of that sole performance was two moments. First moment was when I dropped Donna Summer’s 'I Feel Love'. The second one was when I dropped 'Give Me Little More' by Carlton and the Shoes.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Oooh… there were many 90 dollar receipts! What is it with Blu Jaz that you always leave with a receipt that's 90 bucks or close? If I had to choose, it would be when RAH dropped 'Overload' by the Sugababes. It was one of the very few times I heard someone take a chance with pop music at Good Times.


Senja

What makes Good Times special?

All about the homies running it! Shoutout to Eric & Syafii for providing that platform for me and countless other DJs and collectives playing more underground music styles.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

It would have to be the MC Roz (RIP) tribute night. It was an emotional night for me personally playing the last set. I picked out a special playlist of really deep and quality D&B with a bunch of heart melting vocal lines. I had to hold back quite a little bit of tears mid set and suck it up, one junglist to another, on the 'other' side. Of course when the lights came on, dropping Kendrick Lamar's 'Alright' provided me with some sense of closure, as well the ruckus on the dancefloor it caused, fuego!



What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Not being able to attend the first Friday of the month due to a booking elsewhere or playing at a residency, and only dropping in to Blu Jaz level after 2am, you were sure to bump into smiling, familiar faces rocking out to some proper quality hip-hop or bass music!


FAUXE

What makes Good Times special?

Good Times was pretty much one of the few parties ill go to cause its like chilling at your homies place, amidst the subs and africa being played at the end of a party.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

Playing without my mask for the first time ever. Never regretted it. Period.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

Watching Iyer (Nikhil) play for the first time.


Tim De Cotta

What makes Good Times special?

I think how it started and how it always operated. Eric just wanted to throw a party for his friends to celebrate his birthday way back. But I think it was so good that they kept repeating it. Back then Blu Jaz (when they were still cool lol) was the place for creative, organic and underground parties and ideas and so it was ideal for Good Times to be born there.

In that vein, all the subsequent Good Times parties extended that vibe, where everyone was everyone's friend and even if you didn't know someone, you would be separated by probably only one degree of separation, and chances were by the end of the night, you have made them a friend too. That's what Good Times is like. Family vibes.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

It has to be the countless NYE shows played with SIXX and my band The Warriors (thanks Hidz) (editors note: You're welcome!). But I remember how Eric always believes in my music (till this day) and for the 6th Anniversary, got me to play as one of the bands curated for the celebration. That night was fun.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

I think just going to Good Times is always a good memory. I'd always surprise these guys after a long campaign or stint at work and show up unannounced and then talk cock, laugh and have supper after. Good Times to me is like a reward for finishing milestones in life. It's like only them will I grant myself the pleasure to go and attend and really enjoy the people and the music.

Hanis Isahak (Spacedays, sub:shaman)

What makes Good Times special?

Good Times is a family thing for me. I learnt about the parties from my brother before I was even old enough to go to parties. I’ve always view the Good Times crew as my older brothers, all of them especially Eric. Good Times is a party with a warmth and sincerity that I’ve never felt at anywhere else. And I think that is a feeling shared by many who have spent a Friday night at Blu Jaz through the years.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as a performer?

I remember sub:shaman having the honour of playing just before midnight for Good Time NYE. Our set overran into the new year but everyone was vibing with us on stage that everyone on the first floor missed the countdown. It just happened the band landed on a sweet spot to pause in the middle of 'Harlot', so that we can share the moment with everyone around us. And then, weish continued with “start all over again”, and we dived back into our performance. That was a sweet moment.

What is your favourite memory (or memories) of Good Times as an attendee?

There’s so many of them. I’ve seen so many friends bring some of their most incredible performances to Good Times. Intriguant, blankverse, Prema, Kiat, Jaydah, FAUXE, TAJ, Syafii, Young Spice, RAH, Senja, SIXX, man, I really could go on and on. The performers, promoters and the people at Good Times, I remember all of them very fondly.

Related artists

Comments