Specific Islands Singapore Band

August 2, 2016

Good news music fans. Following a three-year break, Fred Perry’s immensely popular Subculture Live gig series makes a return to Singapore this August, with a rollicking line-up to boot.

Here’s what the fuss is all about. Having started in the UK in 2005, Subculture Live helped propel talented new artists into the spotlight, and fast forward to 2016, little has changed. The British clothing line still champions the rise of the underdog musician, and to that we say mucho el respecto.

For Singapore’s version of the gig series, revelers can catch Jack Savidge of Friendly Fires fame take over the decks with a DJ set, while in terms of local acts, there’s veteran DJ collective Poptart, lo-fi group Subsonic Eye, and Tropical-Rock quartet Specific Islander to look forward to. Now how’s that for some awesome live music?

As for special effects, trippy visuals will command the dance-floor thanks to ATTAGIRL’s visual arts guru EMPYREAL, and frankly, we can’t wait to see how that’ll turn out at the refurbished National Gallery. It looks as if this gig’s going to be a real treat for the senses!

Such a bummer then that tickets are all sold out. Well, peeps going for the gig, you know what to look out for. As for who to look out for, we are extremely proud to say that one of own will be performing at the event itself. Introducing Joanne Cheah, guitarist / keyboardist and lead vocals of Specific Islander, and designer extraordinaire at Nylon. Check out her interview with Nylon’s Editor (and her boss) Adele Chan, as she candidly discusses what makes her tick:

Joanne Cheah Specific Islands

Adele: Are you excited about this Thursday?

Joanne: Yup. A bit nervous.

Why nervous?

Haven’t had a show in a while.

How often have you and the band been practicing?

Usually twice a week. This week we’re practicing every day.

Wow. How do you balance work at NYLON and band practice?

Hahaha! Well I think the nice thing about Nylon is that we get all our work done, and when we go home we’re not burdened by it. So there’s nothing to stop us from pursuing a full creative life outside of the office.

Well said! Are you the band’s publicist too?

Nope! That’s left to our bassist Nicky. He’s the social guy.

You could be a publicist. Just saying. So what do you do in the band?

I play guitar/keyboards and do lead vocals.

Does that make you the leader?

Sometimes, but maybe cos I talk the most/loudest. Hahaha

Would you ever go full time into music?

Joanne Cheah is typing

Not in the foreseeable future, I think that the music industry in Singapore is still so small. Playing a niche genre that won’t get any radioplay also limits our mainstream appeal, besides it’s more fun when it’s not “for real”.

Do you think The Sam Willows are “for real”??

YES. The ultimate scene of “for real” music. But I guess now that we have the corporate approval of Fred Perry, we can’t really say anything about musicians with sponsorship deals.

Do you listen to yourself sing and play while at work? 

Eee no!

Joanne Cheah Specific Islands

Then what do you listen to while working?

Spotify discover weekly. It knows me better than I know myself. Hahahaha.

So tell us honestly, have you been doing “band stuff” during office hours?

I look at visual references sometimes when there’s nothing else to work on. If it’s music inspiration-wise it happens in the background.

So honest! Aren’t you afraid your Editor is going to read this interview?

The Editor is conducting the interview! And I get my work done, so I’m not really afraid. Hahahaha! 

But what about this interview? This isn’t work is it!

It wasn’t my idea!

Don’t sweat it. 


Venue: Gallery & Co, 1 St. Andrew’s Road 178957
Date: Thursday, 4 August 2016
Time: 6.30pm
Tickets: Sold Out

Top image credit: juxju+nicolengaise