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The best local podcasts to listen in Singapore

Whether you’re into politics, pop culture or preposterous topics, these podcasts will keep you informed and entertained

Podcasts
Photograph: Unsplash/Rakhmat Suwandi
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Podcasts are having a moment, making waves around the world in recent years – remember the gripping 2014 hit investigative journalism podcast Serial? Besides keeping listeners up-to-date with what’s trending around the world including politics, business, crime, and pop culture, podcasts also offer some much-needed escapism from the mundane. Whether you’re looking to learn something new, see the world through the eyes of someone else, or simply laugh out loud, we’ve got you covered with the cream of the podcast crop. Now, hit that play button.

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Okletsgo
Photograph: Okletsgo

Okletsgo

With over 15 million streams, it’s no surprise Okletsgo comes top of the list. Produced in both Malay and English, the podcast is led by three ex-radio DJs who shine their torchlights in the dark corners of Singapore. Expect some tea spilling as they magnify on taboo topics including adultery, drug trafficking, and pantangs (‘abstinence’ in Malay) as they interview guests such as an ex-prostitute, ex-convict, religious teacher and more. The popularity of the series has even led the trio to host shows around the city.

Available on Okletsgo and Spotify.

Straight Outta Asia
Photograph: Deezer

Straight Outta Asia

This Deezer podcast offers a unique glimpse of urban cultures in Asia through the lens of popular hip-hop artists including Singapore’s Yung Raja, Indonesia’s Ramengvrl, Malaysia’s Aman Ra, Japan’s Maria, Vietnam’s Suboi and the Philippines’ Gloc-9. It also delves deeper into the dynamic hip-hop scene and culture across Asia. New episodes are released every two weeks on Tuesdays.

Available on Deezer.

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LongKang Kitties
Photograph: LongKang Kitties

Longkang Kitties Podcast

What do you get when you put four people with strong opinions (also known as The Kitties) in one room? Intense arguments about social-political subjects, entertainment news and silly shenanigans in Singapore – kopitiam style. The entertainment podcast delves in topics such as the SG Budget 2020, PMD bans, identity politics and virtue signalling amidst fear and hysteria.

Available on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Yah Lah But
Photograph: Ministry of Funny

Yah Lah But

No filter – the series boasts itself as “the most uncensored conversations to ever come out of the much-censored country.” Hosted by Haresh and Terence from the YouTube channel Ministry of Funny, the series discusses all things that made headlines in Singapore, from the NUS molester to the controversial ePay ad. It even has a three-part episode on Netflix’s Singapore Social, featuring guests such as Nicole Ong, Paul Foster and Vinny Sharp. Recent episodes focus more on the coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted businesses, social practices, and um, condoms. And with a pandemic comes Malaysia’s infamous bomoh who is back to shield Malaysia – and the world – from the virus.

Available on Podbean, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

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Political Agenda
Photograph: New Naratif

Political Agenda

Get down to serious biz with New Naratif – a movement for democracy as well as freedom of information and expression in Southeast Asia. Whether it's about representation and equality or activism and social change, topics around current affairs and issues of national importance in Singapore are discussed in detail, ranging from an hour to two hour-long episodes. Spearheaded by the Managing Director (and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel) PJ Thum and Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Han, the roundtable discussion series is uploaded every fortnight.

Available on newnaratif.com (including transcripts and images), Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Randomly Relatable SG
Photograph: Randomly Relatable SG

Randomly Relatable SG

If you’ve got plenty of questions in mind but lack the guts to ask, let Shuraim, Uwais and Sabrina do all the talking. For three days a week, the trio invites relevant guests to discuss taboo topics. Previous episodes feature a transgender who talks about being stamped ‘bapok’, a gangster who smashes stereotypes, and an ex-convict on life behind bars. One episode even zooms into a telegram group with up to $1200 entry fee, sexually torturing young women – what? But the trio also keeps things light with relatable topics like tips on nailing an interview, throwback cartoons, and social media trends.

Available on Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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City Music Singapore
Photograph: City Music Singapore

City Music Singapore

Beyond gearing you up with musical instruments, City Music also makes podcasts. #The CityBois come together every week to explore trending topics in the Lion City – packed with music-making bits. Maximising full usage of the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 interface (an essential for podcasters everywhere), the team interviews local bands such as shoegaze-indie outfit Coming Up Roses, and gives audio talk-throughs on simplifying your portable recording setup using Garageband and affordable audio equipment, on the Korg portable analog synths, and how to make your very own jingle.

Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

On repeat

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