Politicians’ Playlist: songs Singaporean politicians are listening to during General Elections 2020

Politicians’ Playlist: songs Singaporean politicians are listening to during General Elections 2020

“This general election will be like no other that we have experienced,” said Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, in an address to the nation on 23 June. As voting day draws closer, this election is certainly shaping up to be unlike anything in the history of Singapore politics. 

Against the backdrop of COVID-19 and a looming economic crisis, this political race has been keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, with an unprecedented 11 contesting parties and 192 candidates. These past few days alone, we’ve witnessed an influx of information and listened to what each electoral candidate has to say, but what are they listening to?

Bandwagon reached out to all 11 contesting parties in this year’s election, and we asked candidates what songs they have been listening to for inspiration during these exhausting and busy times, and how the election process has been for them so far.

With so much going on, some parties were not able to get back to us, at the time of publication. However, the ones that did, shared a mishmash of classic and new songs. Check out which songs candidates are grooving to and drawing inspiration from during this campaign period - here are responses shared by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), People’s Power Party (PPP), Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA), Reform Party, and Red Dot United, in no particular order.

SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Dr. James Gomez

What songs have you been listening to?

I listen to different types of Japanese songs, in particular, folk songs from Okinawa. My favourite is 'Shima Uta' which is a song about Okinawa island. I like songs like these as they are soothing to hear and have a calming effect after a long day of campaigning.

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

Elections are always dynamic and exciting. Blue’s ‘All Rise’ rhythm and call for action describes well this year’s election. It’s time to stand up, decide and unlock the true power and voices of Singaporeans.

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

I want the constituents in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC to be happy. This song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams fits the bill. As I would like the constituents to come along with me on this happy journey of political change.

 

Min Cheong

What songs have you been listening to?

A mix of rock songs and jazz covers.The former gets me going and the latter helps me wind down, [which are] GE essentials. [I] highly recommend it.

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

'The Champion' by Carrie Underwood. This song embodies so much of what I've experienced along this journey. I relate to the need to tap into a fierce fighting spirit, for one. I'm also aware of how much dedication, determination, and resilience this endeavour calls for. More than that, this experience has made me more certain than ever that I want to be in public service.

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

'Extra Special' - Outasight [because] I grew up in the constituency of Holland-Bukit Timah. I’ve lived here, played here, gone to school here, and have family and friends who stay in the area. It’s a place I can truly call my home. That's why Holland-Bukit Timah is extra special to me, and why contesting here is such an honour.


PEOPLE’S POWER PARTY

Goh Meng Seng

What songs have you been listening to?

I am listening to Les Miserables’ [soundtrack].

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

' 要拼才会赢, [Love will Win]' by Ye Qitian [because] we have to fight hard to win.

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

The one song [I would] dedicate to my voters is 'Stand by Me' by Ben E. King.


SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE

Desmond Lim Bak Chuan

Mr. Lim answered all our questions with one song -  ‘The Power of Love’  by Jennifer Rush. Citing the song’s message of self-acceptance and empowerment, the Singapore Democratic Alliance candidate believes that this is the perfect song to describe this election period and dedicate to his constituency. 

The song that I like the most is ”The Power of Love” by Jennifer Rush. [It] is about [accepting] who you are just as you are, the good and not so good parts of your life. It’s also about self-respect and self-empowerment. It is about self-care and looking after yourself and having compassion for yourself when you are going through a hard time.

'The Power of Love' is about care and looking after [our constituencies] and having compassion for them when they are going through a hard time. With self-respect and self-empowerment, we believe we can excel and succeed in our election.


REFORM PARTY

Charles Yeo and Kenneth Jeyaretnam

What songs have you been listening to?

Charles Yeo:

'Heartless' by Kanye West

Kenneth Jeyaretnam:

'Money for Nothing' by Dire Straits

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

Our anthem is Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. It reminds us that we are here to add new fresh and better ideas and not to keep whitewashing the old bleached ones out.

What is 1 song you would dedicate to your constituency?

We would dedicate Ed Sheeran's 'Lego House' to Ang Mo Kio. It reminds us of the aging HDB estates and the diminishing leases and the way residents in our GRC have been treated. We will build back better and fairer.


Noraini Bte Yunus

 

What songs have you been listening to and why?

Ethnic Malay Songs especially the evergreen ones which I grew up on.

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in 1 song, what would it be and why?

A Malaysian singer Ella, has some songs which may describe and inspire me every step of the way in my campaigns for the General Election 2020. The best is 'Retak' which is very rhythmic with good melody and lyrics which describes decades of love turning stormily dark due to certain episodes of blackouts experienced by the love partner.

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency and why?

Also by Ella, 'Gemilang', which describes a glorious outcome and [another] song 'Standing in the Eyes of the World' sung by Ella at the Closing Ceremony 29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017, available in English. It is very unifying with a dedication to all listeners to face steadfastly together an uncertain future.


RED DOT UNITED

Ravi Philemon

What songs have you been listening to?

Harry Styles' 'Adore You'.

K'naan - 'Waving Flag'

Muse - 'Something Human'

Post Malone - 'Circles'

Albert Hammond, Jr. - 'Fast Times'

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

Survivor - 'Eye of the Tiger'

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

Rachel Platten - 'Fight Song'


Liyana Dhamirah

What songs have you been listening to?

Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb' to remind me that all that happens are all learning experiences.

Alicia Keys' 'Underdog' for the everyday motivation to keep doing what I do.

Sara Bareilles' 'Brave', [which is a] song I will usually share with someone who needs a 'pick up'.

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

'Whatever It Takes' by Imagine Dragons because it's exhilarating times!

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

Rachel Platten's 'Fight Song', a take back your life song [which is] very fitting in all that we are championing now.


Nicholas Tang

What songs have you been listening to?

Anything from my favourite band, Cage the Elephant, [and] T.I.M.E. by Neil Cicierega, and 'Moon' by Kid Francescoli.

If you had to describe how this election process has been for you in one song, what would it be?

The Toxic Avenger's 'My Only Chance', I always listen to this when I'm trying to hype myself for anything.

What is one song you would dedicate to your constituency?

'It's My Life What Ever I Wanna Do' by Vennu Mallesh [because we are] captains of our own lives.


Election Day is on Friday, 10 July. Don't forget to vote!

*Artists included in playlists and mentioned in this article are in no way affiliated with or endorsers of any candidate. 

**Bandwagon does not endorse or recommend any particular candidate or political sentiment involved in the elections.

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