The director for Asia of music streaming service Spotify tells Chin Hui Wen what it takes to succeed in the new digital age.

My parents loved Queen and David Bowie and my dad also loved country music. I’m pretty sure I can sing any Kenny Rogers song.

We definitely have a vibrant music scene in Singapore—with great singers such as Jack & Rai, Tanya Chua and Stephanie Sun. The indie music scene has really been thriving in recent years.

Our music is typically Singapore-centric and comes with a dose of local flavor. That gives us an edge to branch out bothregionally and globally.

My energy and inspiration comes from my family.

At work, we are all adults and as long as everything gets done, it’s all good.

As a kid, I always enjoyed school.

I met a group of girls in primary school and still remaining incredibly close to them 33 years on. In fact, we are just about to head to Italy for two weeks to celebrate the beginning of a new decade.

Everyone’s first job is the best. I started with Time Warner and got to work with many different industry icons, as well as travel pretty extensively.

I never knew what I wanted to be, not even when I started college. But once I got a taste of sales and marketing, I realized that was where my interests lay and never looked back.

Having started in print and moved to digital—and working in the region for 17 years—I have seen how each country adapted to this new world at different paces.

I am an immigrant in this new world and it never ceases to amaze me how technology is changing the way we do things.

I had a mentor who was 16 years old. The move from print to digital proved to be more challenging than I thought it would be. But I was determined to learn, so I just focused and did what I had to do to.

Remember your first Walkman? Back then, I would have never thought I could stream 20 million songs through my smartphone.

Go and do the things that scare you most. It is the best confidence builder and you will be surprised by how it actually helps put everything into perspective.

I can stand in front of 800 people and actually enjoy myself. Public speaking used to make me so incredibly nervous, but I made sure I put up my hand at work and got a chance to do it.

Wallflower would struggle at Spotify. We love people who want to push boundaries and we are also an office that heavily subscribes to the “work hard, play hard” philosophy.

Education never stops.


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Director at new travel consultancy The Magnolia Creative Collaborations—which hooks up entertainment personalities with premium hotels (projects include The DJ Dispensary and boutique hotel Eight – The Residence)—offers her best travel tips. 

What’s the most underrated travel destination?
Montenegro. I’ve heard a lot about it from friends who have been or live there but it’s rare that you read about it especially in our part of the world. It’s steeped in culture and history, dotted with medieval ports that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List and really is off the beaten track. Its best kept secret? These amazing restaurants that you can only get to by boat: Forte Rose, Dobrec, Pantagana, Stari Mlini and Vino Santo.

What are some of your best travel tips?
With modern technology comes easy access to some really cool inside intel. Download apps that will come in handy like street directories, emergency numbers, that great sidewalk café or that great bar where, they serve those amazing cocktails, or that bookstore tucked away at the end of that street. I bookmark everything. I also never leave home without my passport holder. It stores multiple mobile sim cards and if you travel as frequently as I do, you definitely want to keep them safe.

What’s the next big trend in travel?
There so many these days, eco travel, medical travel, adventure travel, digital detox, design hotels, boutique hotels, pet friendly hotels, safaris, ski lodges, ashrams...The next trend? I’d like to think train travel. It’s perhaps one of the world’s oldest modes of travel. But it never really caught on as a trend for our generation. It seems to be like a forgotten element in the romance of travel. I do hope we get to see more of that in the future.

What’s your favourite destination and why?
Italy. It has been my dream destination and I can’t shake the feeling it gives me just thinking about it. I keep dreaming of the day I get to stand on the terrace at the dreamy hotel the Le Sirenuse enjoying breathtaking view with a glass of Champagne. Bliss.

Angeline Leo is the director at The Magnolia Creative Collaborations.


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