Interview: Music mogul Kuok Meng Ru’s top Singapore spots for music fans in the know

Feb 23, 2018

The managing director of music giant Swee Lee, which recently launched its flagship store, reveals Singapore’s top spots for bona fide musos.

Tell us about how you’ve modernised Swee Lee.

Swee Lee has over 70 years of history, so it was important that we acknowledged the brand’s legacy of supporting musicians at every stage of their musical journey, while preparing the business for a new stage of growth. That’s been the anchoring principle behind the launch of our new Singapore flagship store, which now includes apparel, a VIP room, a cafe and much more.

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What are your top lesser-known spots for live-music gigs?

My personal favourite is Going Om at Haji Lane, which has incredible musicians and a great vibe. There’s nowhere else I’d rather spend an evening at as a musician, or as a spectator. The night normally ends with everyone dancing on the street.

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Where do you shop for vinyl records?

Vinyl is definitely coming back because people are looking for a different experience from that offered by digital formats and an authentic connection with music. If you’re a vinyl aficionado, you would have heard of local company Hear Records.

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Which eatery has a menu that is music to your ears?

You can never go wrong with local food in Singapore. My special favourite is an awesome roti prata (fried flatbread) place in the east, but it’s so good, I want to keep it a secret. If you do figure it out, the kosong (prata without any filling) is to die for.

 Name a gig you’re looking forward to…

Harry Styles’. I just caught him at an intimate show in Japan, but he’ll be here, performing at a much larger venue, this May.