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The best local podcasts to listen to in Singapore

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

Cam Khalid
Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cam Khalid
&
Cheryl Sekkappan
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Podcasts are not going out of fashion any time soon. 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.

RECOMMENDED: The best local films to stream online and the best novels by local authors to read right now

Expedition: Earth

National Geographic Explorers are brought together in this podcast series to share the urgent and exciting work being done to study and conserve habitats and species around the world. This global effort features a number of Singaporean and Singapore-based National Geographic Explorers: learn about how to balance man and nature with primatologist and President of the Jane Goodall Institute (Singapore) Andie Ang; look into the inner workings of the illegal caged bird trade across Southeast Asia with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia Programme Officer Serene Chng; and dive into the ocean habitat with diver-photographers Nathaniel Soon and Brian Skerry. In other episodes, you'll travel from the Mekong River to the rainforests of the Philippines with National Geographic Explorer and multimedia storyteller Lillygol “Lilly” Sedaghat as your trusty host. Tune in every Friday at 5pm at linktr.ee/expedition.earth.

PopLore – Stories of Singapore Pop

Complementing the PopLore – A Year of Singapore Music's live programming are podcasts and documentaries that you can tune into to delve into Singapore's rich pop music legacy. PopLore – Stories of Singapore Pop is a seven-episode podcast that will take you through the highs and lows of Singapore's music history. It's chockful of lively tales and exclusive insights from over 25 industry figures including veteran broadcaster Brian Richmond, singer Rahimah Rahim, singer-songwriter Mohamed Raffee and more. Catch the episodes on Esplanade Offstage, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Mediacorp's meLISTEN.

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Singapore Noodles

Food is meant to be enjoyed, but it's also a window into hot button topics like heritage, culture, health and the environment. On the Singapore Noodles podcast, take a deep dive with local chef Pamelia Chia (and author of Wet Market to Tableas she explores regional dishes (Javanese urap, South Indian rasam), the gardening movement, food culture appropriation, dying trades and so much more. These lively conversations with guests such as Makansutra founder KF Seetoh and Chef Damien D'Silva will give you a newfound appreciation of local and regional foods – where they come from, how they're made and what they mean. 

 Available on Singapore Noodles, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Read our interview with Pamelia Chia and Hafizah Jainal about their latest venture: food quarterly magazine Seasonings

Saga

Dive into a slice of Singapore civil society history with AWARE's new limited-series podcast, Saga. Hosted by veteran former journalist Bharati Jagdish, the podcast plays out as an exciting narrative covering the events of 2009 – when a group of nine women with hidden agendas took over the executive committee of AWARE, setting off a dramatic chain of events to win back the organisation's leadership. Around 50 individuals directly involved in what's now known as the AWARE Saga have lent their voices to this project, including former AWARE presidents Constance Singam, Kanwaljit Soin and Dana Lam. Set to an original score by local band .gif, it's a gripping ride through ever-relevant topics like feminism, LGBTQ rights and the role of religion in the public space. Ten episodes from the series are now available.

Available on AWARESpotifyApple Podcasts and Google Podcasts

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Sex & Singapore City

If you feel uncomfortable talking about the birds and bees, then perhaps you might want to start by listening to Sex & Singapore City instead. Your host with the most is none other than Nixalina Watson who started the award-winning Sex & London City in 2011, before launching the sister brand here in 2019 and hosting her own podcast with the same namesake. Think of it as girl talk as she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly part of dating and having sex, as well as various female lifestyle issues and personal stories in the most candid way. The series also features co-host Paul Foster (of Netflix's Singapore Social). 

Available on sexandsingaporecity.comSpotify and Apple Podcasts.

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 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

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

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

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

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.

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