Every Wednesday we ask a creative or an artisan to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, Singaporean soulful songstress and current Berklee College of Music (see: Evanturtime) student bittymacbeth explain the tunes that fuel her day.
Currently based in Boston, bittymacbeth recently dropped a new single, 'Trace', which she co-produced with upcoming Korean indie producer DAMYE. The collaboration sees bittymacbeth’s signature style of soulful crooning, melodic Moog basslines and jazzy trumpets, paired with DAMYE's off-kilter hip-hop beats.
Curious about Beth Yap's unusual stage name? It is a combination of 'bitty', an affectionate title given by her mom as a child and the “Macbeth” suffix is drawn from her playing Macbeth in a school play. Recognised by her peers and the public as a one-woman band, Yap has since earned accolades such as snagging the #1 spot on iTunes and Apple Music Top R&B/Soul Singapore charts for her debut album, Beauty For Ashes, three days after its release. Her music has been played on radio stations in Singapore, Australia, and licensed for in-store radio play in the United Kingdom.
the upcoming drop is part of a 4-song-suite which explores the four stages in grief… but in life instead of death. trace (comfortable sympathy) takes on the state of denial, embodied in the statement, "i wish i didn't know what i know now". #tracebittymacbeth drops friday the 13th july. but pssst… save the date for 8th august as well ? another big announcement soon!
On the theme of 'denial', 'Trace' is the first of four songs which loosely interprets the five stages of grief—in life, instead of death and explores the emotional burden of empathy toward loved ones. The single is also the first in a string international collaborations between Yap and indie producers from South Korea, Italy, Australia, and the US. Have a listen on Spotify (currently featured on the 'New Music Friday Singapore' playlist or download the single.
Yap will be back in Singapore this August to stage a launch party at The Working Capitol for 'Trace' on 8 August that will also function as a fundraiser for EmancipAsia, an organisation that combats modern slavery and advocate of anti-human trafficking in the areas of migrant workers, domestic servitude and the sex industry. Tickets are priced from SGD15 onwards and proceeds will benefit the anti-human trafficking charity organisation.
Expect a special collaborative show with upcoming female singer-songwriters (Marian Carmel and Kyla T), giving them a platform to perform in the male-dominant music industry.
1. ‘Good Morning’—Darren Ashley
"An apt tune to ease me into the work day, I like the feeling of nostalgia and quiet confidence I get from this. The lush synth and punchy beats are so unexpectedly yet perfectly complemented by the melancholy Erhu (a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle and sometimes known as the Chinese violin)."
2. ‘Little L’—Jamiroquai
"In Boston, I had access to a gym, so I liked working out on the cross-trainer to Jamiroquai in general, super funky with tasty bass lines and lots of production ear candy a la strings and synths."
3. ‘Conspiracy’—Charlie Lim
"As you can tell I am kind of a sucker for opening synth cut-offs. Groovy and 'vibey' but not ridiculously fast or upbeat, perfect for getting ready for the day."
4. ‘Lightup’—Mutemath (Yachtclub, remix)
"I love the builds and drops in this. My Church in Boston plays this every Sunday after service ends. It puts me in the mood to run my errands."
5. ‘Thinking’—Submotion Orchestra
"The choppy hi-hats and pulsing synth bass get my head bobbing every time and gives me the energy to get things done in the evening, which is when I'm most productive. I would listen to a lot of Submotion Orchestra when I used to skate."
6. '味道 Flavour'—方大同 Khalil Fong ft Zion T & Crush
"I like listening to non-English music when I'm working so the lyrics don't interfere with my thoughts as much. This song is groovy, sexy and clever all at the same time."
7. ‘Bawling’—Primary & OHHYUK
"Discovered this purely by accident when Khalil's album finished playing and the algorithms that be played this song next because they thought I might like it. And they were right. It's soulful, jazzy and chill – the perfect song to help me relax at night."
8. '模特 Model' – 李荣浩 Li Ronghao
"Discovered this when Li Ronghao performed this tune at the Singapore Hits Awards 2015, which I was a sound crew member for. It gives me all the feels for a mellow night in, spent working on projects."
9. ‘Safe Retreat’—Kings Kaleidoscope featuring Braille
"This anthem got me through several lonely, anxious nights in Boston, it's a somewhat meditative lullaby of mine that I listen to just before I get into bed."