1. Sphere
    Photograph: Sphere
  2. Sphere
    Photograph: Sphere
  3. Sphere
    Photograph: Sphere

This unique collaboration bridges a gap in music and wellness in Singapore

Sphere and Therapy Room get together to create a unique level of innovation in physical and mental health

Simran Panaech

We like a lot of things here at Time Out Singapore, especially when it combines elements of cool peeps, music and wellness. And some collaborations click so well, we wonder, “Why hasn’t this been done before?” Now that it has, we meet the guys behind a music and wellness collab, Sphere and Therapy Room.

Sphere is a performance and recovery facility that offers private infrared saunas (you can lose up to 700 calories in an hour sesh, that’s one and a half burgers), cold plunge and sensory deprivation pools as well as personal training and small group, yet individualised, fitness sessions. The three Singaporean founders – Bowen You, Gordon Poon, both 28, and Allan Ng, 30 – believe by creating a multi-sensory experience, it greatly benefits mental and physical wellness for all.

Therapy Room is a platform for DJs to share their music journeys, play some tunes and chat about how music is their therapy on YouTube. Not wanting to be boxed into an only-meant-for-parties category, Therapy Room – created by two long-standing members in Singapore’s entertainment industry, Deepak Prashad, 38, and Shaun Nocturnals, 41 – aims to create an approach to DJs and entertainers where they can be used as advocates and collaborators to create sensory experiences that benefit mental health.

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Movement is key

Wellness Festival
Photograph: Wellness Festival

Both groups have running themes of wanting to better overall wellness for everyone. We first met these bros at a media preview for the Wellness Festival where they gave us a sampling of Beats Therapy Performance. It combines a live DJ session by Therapy Room and a HIIT (interval training exercise) and Met-con (metabolic conditioning) workout by the Sphere trainer. For an unfit me who hasn’t worked out since pre-Covid times, it was a hard session and I ached for a week after. But I can see the benefits and the overall session, especially with a DJ, made it more engaging.

Speaking to Bowen at Sphere in Cecil Street, he told us their workout programmes are inclusive to everyone. Bowen explains, “movement in general drives all aspects of your life. It can increase your longevity, career performance, make or help you build interpersonal relationships. And with the Therapy Room collaboration, it all stems from our initial goal here, which is to create multi-sensory experiences for everyone integrating smell, sound, aesthetics, movement, all of the above. We want it to be one whole core product.”

Multi-sensory experience

Photograph: Sphere

This intention is immediately shown here. Walk into Sphere and you are greeted with textured walls that Bowen describes as “cashmere on concrete.” Being a big fan of Martin Margiela and coming from a background of fashion design, Bowen shares that the “all white gym is something clinical, something minimalist, but also very striking in design.”

Enhancing the experience are Aesop amenities, Devialet speakers and art on display including a steel sculpture by Indonesian artist Didin Jirot by the staircase, paintings by Hajime Sorayama, a Japanese illustrator, and an oil canvas piece by labadiou Piko, another Indonesian artist in the changing rooms. And the art is available for purchase. 

Photograph: SphereArt on display at Sphere

The space has been used as an art gallery and for their grand opening last November, the Therapy Room, in their first collaboration together, set up decks on their reception table and turned the space into a dance party. 

Closing the gap

This vision of a unique concept shows why they are a part of the Wellness Festival that runs till July 9. Bowen lived overseas for six years in the USA and UK where he experimented with infrared saunas for personal use. They were popular in 2016 in London and Los Angeles. “Infrared sauna became cold plunge, cold plunge became cryotherapy. Cryotherapy became floating. It just goes on and on,” says Bowen. When he returned home during Covid times, he saw a gap in the Singapore market and a potential for scale within Southeast Asia.  

“I think what a lot of people don't realise is the mental benefits that come along with cold plunge, it can transcend athletic performance. With your career, your daily life, with your inner wellness as well. It's a process of education because something like this is quite new to Singapore. It runs contrary to traditional Asian beliefs, mixing hot and cold is bad, right,” shares Bowen.

“It runs contrary to traditional Asian beliefs, mixing hot and cold is bad, right.”

If one of Singapore’s visions for tourism is to be an urban wellness haven, then both Sphere and Therapy Room are bridging the gap of what is lacking here. Along the same vein, Deepak wants DJs to be part of a bigger aspect other than just being part of parties, events and festivals. 

DJs deal with mental health too

Therapy Room
Photograph: Simran PanaechDeepak Prashad and Shaun Nocturnals of Therapy Room

“I started Therapy Room to give a platform to out-of-work DJs, like myself, (due to nightlife closures during pandemic lockdowns) to share their skills and use it as a unique opportunity to directly improve their mental health. A safe space. Even now after Singapore has opened its entertainment industry again, we still want to advocate for better mental health and overall wellness by collaborations and partnerships with others who share a like-mindedness to this vision,” shares Deepak.

Moving forward, Sphere and Therapy Room hope to do more collaborations together. Bowen feels his clients will appreciate it as many of them have been exposed to new concepts in wellness and different genres of music having lived abroad then moving or returning to Singapore. “For our clients to have access to a unit like Therapy Room here while they're performing movement and stuff, I think that's something that they really appreciate as well, so we definitely should try to integrate that into our ecosystem as much as possible. Even as a tourist, I mean, if you're visiting Singapore, house music and workout, that's pretty cool.” 

“Even as a tourist, I mean, if you’re visiting Singapore, house music and workout, that’s pretty cool.”

For those wanting to expand their music knowledge and get acquainted with the many DJs in Singapore who do more than commercial music, Therapy Room’s YouTube is a great place to sink your teeth into the underground scene in Singapore. “If you’re a bedroom DJ or even a veteran in the industry and want a space to showcase your skills as well as talk about what inspires you, hit us up. We’re always looking for talent to video, doesn’t matter the music style,” shares Deepak.

And for those looking for a new concept in movement and private rooms for recovery, including sound bath sessions, Bowen tells us clients view Sphere as a sanctuary. His clients say, “This is a place where I can leave my high stress office job for an hour, two hours, where I can think and I don't feel intruded upon. It's private and I'm comfortable with my thoughts here. I think that's what's driving like a lot of the traffic to our private recovery rooms as well. So, it's a great escape for both mentally and physically as well."

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