Welcome to Time Out Singapore's 52 Weeks of #ExcitingSG – our commitment to showing you the best of what's going on in the city this week. Every Monday, a guest writer who's "in" with the scene shares a recommendation on what to see, eat, do or buy in the city. This week we catch up with local singer-songwriter Charlie Lim who no doubt had a huge year putting out a new release, performed a standalone concert at The Star Theatre and also for being the face of the National Day song.
What gets you excited about Singapore?
I’ve always been an Eastie so there’s always a sense of nostalgia every time I’m around Marine Parade and Katong. Going to Parkway is strangely therapeutic for me. The Joo Chiat and Upper East Coast area has got nice shophouses; it’s got a better vibe than being in town where it’s just too crowded. Birds of Paradise has great gelato. There’s also Choice Cuts and Retrocrates if you’re into vinyl. Really nice pho at Long Phung further down Joo Chiat. Simpang or Bedok 85 for supper. Or Briyani at Springleaf at Jalan Tua Kong near Siglap.
It’s been a busy year for you, what keeps you grounded?
Friends and family, and just learning how to prioritise better and make time for people instead of working 24/7.
What was the proudest moment for you this year?
Pulling off a 2-hour concert at The Star with a full 13-piece band.
Besides music, you also have a keen eye for fashion and aesthetics – what are some local designers you love?
There’s a label called Chota at The Cathay that does really nice designs –noragis, gurkha pants, linen shirts, custom leather bags etc. The guy who runs it has been at it for 10 years now and I have a lot of respect for what he does.
What would you like to see happen in Singapore next year?
It’ll be great to see 377A repealed.
What’s something you want to learn/pick up next year?
Probably just getting more serious with fitness and boxing. Maybe enter a fight if my fiancée allows me... or pick up Brazilian Jiu jitsu. I hear Field Assembly has got a great program and lots of musician friends train there too.
What is next for you?
Getting married! Also more touring and festivals, and some side projects and collaborations.
You sing and write your own songs, but what’s one good song that’s not yours that you love singing? And one song that you would never, ever perform?
Anything by Jeff Buckley or Radiohead, if I can do it justice. The last thing I’d like to attempt covering would probably be something annoying like Baby Shark, but I was doing some promo for the show the other day and was made me do it, along with Vennu Mallesh’s It’s My Life... so there you go. The sky’s the limit.