In the first episode of 2020, Esquire Singapore’s The Bite podcast makes a comeback with a topic that has gone viral. Our hosts, Norman Tan (editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore), Anita Kapoor (speaker and TV personality) and Debra Langley (fashion and tech consultant), reconvene after a few months to find an infectious disease on their hands—the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The hosts are joined by two guests—Dr Sue-Anne Toh (Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of NOVI Health) and Prof Dale Fisher (Professor in Infectious Disease, NUS, and Chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, WHO).
Dr Toh has more than 16 years of experience in diabetes and metabolic health clinical care. She has deep research expertise translating scientific findings into real-world applications. In January 2019, Dr Toh founded NOVI Health, a technology-enhanced health solution to prevent, reverse and treat chronic lifestyle diseases.
Prof Fisher’s first encounter with an infectious disease in Singapore dates back to the SARS outbreak in March 2003. Having also been closely involved with fighting Ebola in West Africa, Prof Fisher currently chairs the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.
Our hosts and the two healthcare experts discuss the current situation of the virus, where it originated, how it spreads, and if it can be contained.
The experts also talk about proper mask hygiene and protocol, and habits we should cultivate based on research about how COVID-19 is transmitted. Can what and how we eat affect the population’s susceptibility to viruses, and will it help to curb a future outbreak?
Prof Fisher was part of an international team of experts gathered by the WHO, sent to China for a 9-day mission to rapidly inform national and international planning on next steps in the response to the ongoing outbreak. He shared his experience and findings, including the severe health, economic and societal impact that a wide-spreading infectious disease such as the COVID-19 can have, and what other countries can learn from China.
Has COVID-19 become the new normal, and is such an outbreak really just a test of each country’s public healthcare system? What’s the difference between Coronavirus and COVID-19? Are we part of the cause or the solution?
Tune in to find out what our experts had to say.
Podcast hosts (L-R): Ben Hopkins, Anita Kapoor, Norman Tan, Debra Langley.
Remember: Subscribe to the podcast to keep up with the podcasters as they take a bite into trending news, cast their votes on the latest fashions, respond to reader questions, and keep you informed (and entertained) through candid, no-holds-barred chats with a bevy of local and regional guests. New episodes are up every fortnight.
What you may have missed:
Episode 30: The cast of Singapore Social
Take a bite: On this episode, our hosts Norman Tan, editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore,and Anita Kapoor, speaker, host and TV personality, are joined by three cast members of Netflix’s first Singapore-focused docu-series, Singapore Social—online influencer and fashion insider Mae Tan; entertainer, activist and burlesque queen Sukki Singapora; and YouTube personality and filmmaker Vinny Sharp.
It has only been a few days since the drop of Singapore Social—the series was released on 22 November 2019 globally in 189 countries—and the nation is already abuzz with chatter. In a candid chat, the cast shared how they got involved in the show; what made them say yes; and their thoughts on how accurately the final product portrayed them, their lives and the nuances of living in Singapore. The podcasters also delve into the politics surrounding the show, and the cast discuss what it’s like being handed the responsibility to represent Singapore.
The podcasters round up the episode in a game of ‘Who’s most likely to?’. Who of the Singapore Social cast is most likely to change careers, dance on the table at a bar, or pull a prank? Tune in to find out.
Episode 29: The state of film in Singapore
Take a bite: For episode 29 of The Bite podcast, Esquire Singapore’s features editor Wayne Cheong joins as a special co-host alongside main hosts Anita Kapoor and Esquire’s editor-in-chief Norman Tan.
Together with Singaporean director, screenwriter and film producer Anthony Chen of Ilo Ilo (2013) fame, and Yuni Hadi, executive director at Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), the group held a riveting discussion on all things film in Singapore.
The podcasters also explored Anthony’s newest film Wet Season (2019), that will make its debut in Singapore as the opening film for SGIFF on 21 November 2019. The storyline features an adult female teacher developing a relationship with her 16-year-old student. Anthony reveals the decision behind the casting—Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann who both starred in Ilo Ilo (2013)—what went on behind the scenes that made him break down in tears, and what makes him tick as a director.
With the SGIFF celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, the festival this year features over 90 films from 40 countries. Executive Director Yuni Hadi shares her top film recommendations of the lot and how the team always makes sure to create an intimate feel for attendees—from the music you hear when you’re seated, to the scent that you’re smelling.
Episode 28: Buying pre-owned watches
Take a bite: Want to buy a pre-owned watch but don't know where to start?
For episode 28 of The Bite podcast, we speak to Glenn Meijer, Customer Experience Manager of leading online timepiece reseller Watchbox, about the ins and outs of buying and selling luxury watches online.
Editor-in-Chief of Esquire Singapore Norman Tan is joined by two new guest co-hosts—Celine Yap, Esquire's watch editor, and Matt Benfell, personal trainer and host of an upcoming Esquire fitness series—to discuss all things pre-owned watches: Which luxury brands are a good investment? Which watches are currently under the radar? And how do you know you're getting a good deal?
In the November 'Believe in Something' issue of Esquire Singapore four different religious leaders from four different faiths in Singapore were asked to contribute, in their own words, why they believe what they believe in. At the end of the podcast, Norman reads out passages from each of these four different religious leaders and gets the podcast guests to guess which phrase belongs to which religion. Can you guess the correct answer?
Episode 27: Mental health, men, depression and suicide
With World Mental Health Day coming up on 10 October, episode 27 of The Bite podcast focuses on the issue of male suicide and the still taboo topic of men and mental health.
Editor-in-Chief of Esquire Norman Tan and podcast host Debra Langely sit down with counsellor and psychotherapist from The Lighthouse Counselling Belinda Lau, and best-selling author and long-time advocate of mental health Neil Humphreys, to discuss mental health among men.
In the second half of the session, the podcasters are joined by Dr Alex Su, vice chairman of the Medical Board and Senior Consultant at the Institute of Mental Health, and play a conversational card game by Beyond The Label and Smol Tok.
What are some coping strategies our podcasters use to get through a difficult day?
What are some day-to-day difficulties people with mental health conditions face?
What do they think is the biggest misconception of mental health?
Tune in to find out.
If you need someone to talk to, there are resources and hotlines available:
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
Institute of Mental Health’s crisis helpline: 6389-2222
Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin): 1800-353-5800
Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
Tinkle Friend (for primary school-aged children): 1800-274-4788
Beyond the Label HelpBot: A Facebook messenger bot with resources, helplines and information about mental health.
Episode 26: The rise of the zero-waste supermarket
For episode 26, Editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore Norman Tan and podcast host Anita Kapoor come together with Emily Kirk, Store Operation Manager of Scoop Wholefoods in Singapore, to find out more about this Australian zero-waste bulk food grocery chain.
Scoop Wholefoods, which was founded in 2012 by Emily's parents Jeremy and Bettina Kirk, operates on two defined missions—to improve people's health and well-being, and to safeguard our planet for future generations.
Before closing, the podcasters played a game on famous quotes by women. Play along and see if you know who said what!
Episode 25: New tech advancements changing media and e-commerce
With the success of Esquire Singapore's Digital Big Black Book, The Bite hosts, Norman Tan and Benjamin Hopkins, discuss how technology is changing the art and experience of storytelling for consumers and readers.
For this episode, the hosts are joined by Janosch Amstutz, CEO of HoloMe (who was the genius behind our very own Nikolaj Coster-Waldau AR hologram), and Matthew Lim, CEO and Co-Founder of VIDY, an interactive video player that hides behind text (for a preview, check out the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant story).
The podcast starts with Norman and Ben (who is finally back and on the record) discussing the planned changes for Instagram (that is, removing the public tally of 'likes') before they discuss the impact that technology is having on media and e-commerce with Janosch and Matthew.
Before closing, the podcasters review snacks from Scoop Wholefoods—an organic and sustainably focused store from Australia that recently opened in Singapore—including 100% dark chocolate, freshly ground almond butter, homemade peach-flavoured jun, freeze-dried strawberry chocolates and activated nut mix.
Episode 24: Why do Singaporeans who live abroad decide to return home?
Editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore, Norman Tan, together with regular co-hosts Anita Kapoor (TV personality and speaker) and Debra Langley (fashion and technology consultant) speak to father-and-son duo, Calvin and Dylan Soh, about their social project One Kind House, and discuss the intertwined questions of:
(a) Why do Singaporeans leave the country?
(b) Why do Singaporeans who have left decide to return home?
Before closing, the podcasters reviewed the latest men's summer fragrances from Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Salvatore Ferragamo. Spoiler alert: there were some hits and big misses.
Episode 23 (How to create an app—live from WWDC2019 in San Jose, California)
For episode 23, The Bite podcast by Esquire Singapore was recorded live from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.
Editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore, Norman Tan, is joined by three guests—John Ivers, Musical Content and Creation Lead at BandLab; Lareina Ting, iOS Engineer from global video platform Viki; and Michael Del Borello, VP of Engineering from Moleskine Digital Studios—to discuss the announcements at WWDC 2019, as well as the future of Asia and innovation.
Before closing, the podcasters played a game where the guests had to decide whether the word read out by Norman is an app, type of apple, or a dessert. How did you go?
Episode 22 (Hip-hop in Southeast Asia)
For episode 22, regular host and editor-in-chief of Esquire Singapore, Norman Tan, is joined by a guest co-host Adam Choong—former artist manager of Tabitha Nauser and editor of culture convention, Culture Cartel. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask) regular co-hosts Anita Kapoor, Debra Langley and Ben Hopkins were all out of town.
Norman and Adam are joined by two guests for this podcast: DJ, producer, and model Kim Lee and rapper Yung Raja. As hosts of the new MTV show, Yo! MTV Raps, Kim and Raja speak to us about the hip-hop talent in Southeast Asia, inside goss from filming their MTV show, as well as the pros and cons of being a rapper from Asia.
Before closing, the podcasters played a game where Kim and Raja had to decide whether the text read out by Norman and Adam were written by Shakespeare or a rapper.
Episode 21 (Can you tell the difference between an AI writer and human writer?)
In line with Esquire Singapore's April 'Artificial Intelligence' issue—an industry-first that enlisted the help of an AI bot to help write and curate stories for the magazine—we discuss the influence and impact of AI on the future of storytelling with GS Jackson, head project lead for creating AI Editor Squire. Yup guys, it's an industry-first: a magazine edited by both a human editor and an artificially intelligent bot.
With the return of Ben Hopkins (after a super long hiatus) we start the podcast with the hosts discussing Ben's nutri-ceuticals company, Bioonics; Debra's recent work with Singapore's Textile and Fashion Federation's (TaFF); and the launch of Esquire Singapore's fully digital Big Black Book—the go-to men's style bible now available on your mobile as a URL-based interactive microsite.
Before closing, the podcasters reviewed the 'Forcefield' supplement from Bioonics. Yes, listeners, Bioonics, as it turns out, is real.
Episode 20 (Will AI take over our jobs?)
For the twentieth episode, and in line with Esquire Singapore's April 'Artificial Intelligence' issue (an industry-first that enlisted the help of an AI bot to help write and curate stories for the magazine), we discuss the influence and impact of AI on the future of work with Jason Sosa, founder of Blackbox Foundation; a consortium that helps distribute work powered by AI and trust on the blockchain.
Episode 19 (The F&B game)
For the nineteeth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts Norman Tan and Anita Kapoor discuss setting up an F&B chain with London-based restaurateur and winner of two Michelin stars, Alan Yau OBE, as well as maestro of member's club 1880, Gibran Baydoun. We start the podcast with the hosts discussing their end-of-year breaks and the men's fall/winter 2019 fashion weeks in Europe—before closing the show by reviewing a set of new fragrances for men and women by Bottega Veneta Parfum—Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano XIII Quadrifoglio, Parco Palladiano XIV Melagrana, and Parco Palladiano XV Salvia Blu.
Episode 18 (What is robo-investing?)
For the first podcast of 2019, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor, explore using a digital wealth manager versus traditional human financial advisors with CEO of robo-investing platform Stashaway, Michele Ferrario. We start the podcast with the hosts discussing the Academy Awards 2019 before closing the show by reviewing two sets of new fragrances for men and women: Eternity Flame Calvin Klein and Gucci Guilty.
Episode 17 (Is the future Asian?)
For the seventeenth episode (and the final for 2018) of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Benjamin Hopkins, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor, discuss the global influence of Asia with regards to commerce and culture with Parag Khanna—leading global strategy advisor, world traveller, and best-selling author. We start the podcast with the hosts talking about the recent high-profile Indian weddings—Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra (#Prick), Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, and Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal—before ending with a Secret Santa gift exchange between the hosts.
Episode 16 (Should you start a business with your partner?)
In the sixteenth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Benjamin Hopkins, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss the pros and cons of starting a business with your partner.
We dive straight into our topic of the day with our guests Nina and Dmitry Minkov of Hello Chocolate, and Nejla Matam-Finn and Michael Finn of The Fifth Collection to find out if work-life balance is fact or myth.
Episode 15 (Is life coaching for you?)
In the fifteenth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Debra Langley and Norman Tan discuss life coaching and goal achieving with Andrew Stead, speaker, executive coach and resilience teacher.
We start the podcast with the hosts reflect on their life and share what life advice they would share with their 12-year-old self—as seen on the November 'Man In The Mirror' issue of Esquire. Debra also shares her thoughts on Michelle Obama's latest book—Becoming.
We then close the show by reviewing a trio of chocolate bars from Hello Chocolate: Ocelot Dark Chocolate with Fig & Orange 70%, Kad Kokoa Dark Chocolate Prachuap 70%, and Pralus Chocolate Barre Infernale Pistache.
Episode 14 (Creating a hotel for trendy millennials and creatives)
In the fourteenth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, and Benjamin Hopkins discuss the different elements required to create a trendy destination hotel for digital millennials with Jason Schlabach, Brand Director of Ryse Hotel; an award-winning hotel located in the Hongdae neighbourhood of Seoul, South Korea.
We start the podcast with the hosts sharing their recent memorable holidays—before closing the show by reviewing a trio of new men's fragrances: Dolce and Gabbana GREY, Jimmy Choo Man BLUE, and Issey Miyake L’eau Super Majeure D’Issey.
Episode 13 (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response—ASMR)
In the thirteenth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss the Internet phenomenon, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) with Melinda Lauw—a Singaporean artist, curator and performance creator based in San Francisco who also runs Whisperlodge, a live ASMR theatrical experience. Melinda and Whisperlodge was featured in Episode 1 of the Netflix Series—Follow This.
We start the podcast with a discussion on what stimulates the hosts, before delving into our first ASMR demonstration for the first time—from putting on latex gloves and stroking a hair brush to fingering a fan and crinkling bubble wrap. Have a listen and let us know what you think.
Finally, we close the show by answering questions from Pillow Tok—a conversational card game.
Episode 12 (Diet and nutrition advice from fitness experts)
In the twelfth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, and Benjamin Hopkins discuss diet and nutrition advice for the everyday working man and woman with Dan Dubois (personal trainer from Ultimate Performance), Natalie Dau (fitness entrepreneur from Rockstar.fit) and James Yeo (sports nutritionist from Core Collective).
Episode 11 (Why is protecting your personal data important?)
In the eleventh episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss protecting your personal data and data security with Duncan Brown, General Manager of Shred-it Singapore. Duncan’s top priority is to advise and consult with organisations on the urgency of safeguarding their confidential data, as well as protecting the privacy of their customers.
We then talk about Riccardo Tisci's debut Burberry fashion show in London, and whether you should get your hands on the new Apple iPhone XS and Apple Watch Series 4.
We close the show by reviewing new fragrances out in the market: Cartier Carat, Calvin Klein Eternity Air for Men, Calvin Klein Eternity Air for Women and Gucci Bloom Nettare Di Fiori.
Episode 10 (Taking the leap of faith to pursue your passion)
In the tenth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Benjamin Hopkins, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss taking the leap of faith—leaving the corporate world and pursuing one's passion with award-winning documentary filmmaker, Dr Thomas A. Morgan. We also analyse the updated logos for fashion brands—Burberry and Celine: do you rate it or hate it? We close the show by answering questions from our social media followers.
Episode 09 (Crazy Rich Asians and the Psychology of Shopping)
In the ninth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Benjamin Hopkins, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss the issue of representation in Crazy Rich Asians and the psychology of shopping with Lani Chan, Style Services Manager of Club 21, as well as resident podcast host Debra Langley, who in her previous life, worked with DKNY Jeans and has consulted with multi-label brands on the intersection of fashion and technology.
We close the show by reviewing the new Screen Time feature—designed to provide greater insight into device and Internet usage—available as part of Apple iOS 12.
Episode 08 (Tips from an ex-Navy SEAL about good leadership)
In the eighth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts, Norman Tan, Debra Langley and Anita Kapoor discuss leadership, mental strength and achieving goals with Rob Roy, an ex-Navy SEAL and author of “The Navy SEAL Art of War: Leadership Lessons from the World's Most Elite Fighting Force”.
We close the show by reviewing three new fragrances out in the market—Prada Black, Acqua di Parma Colonia Sandalo Concentrée, and Bvlgari Man Wood Essence.
Episode 06 and 07 (Modern Day Masculinity Part One and Two)
In the bumper sixth and seventh episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, THE BITE (which you can listen to on Apple Podcasts as well as below) our regular hosts Ben Hopkins and Norman Tan are joined by special guests Calvin Soh, founder of One Kind House; Terence Quek, CEO of Emergenetics APAC; and Angela Ng, Managing Director of ANtrepod to discuss what does it mean to 'be a man' today. The group examines hard-hitting topics from men and addiction, toxic stereotypes, to male suicide in the first of two discussions recorded live in the #EsquireShophouse pop-up at Duxton Hill in front of a live audience.
For part two, our regular hosts Ben Hopkins and Norman Tan along with guests Paul Loiz, global brand director at Unilever; Lavinia Thanapathy, Vice President of SCWO; and Dylan Soh, the 16-year-old son of Calvin Soh (from part one of the panel) chimes in on what does 'masculinity' mean moving forward?
The group discussed questions like fragile masculinity, the role that media and advertising play in shaping masculine archetypes, and whether men need to break away from rigid social constructs and expectations. Again, this insightful dialogue is recorded live in the #EsquireShophouse pop-up at Duxton Hill in front of a live audience.
Episode 05 (Men and mental health)
In the fifth episode of Esquire Singapore's podcast series, our regular hosts are joined by special guests Joel Moo & Jasper Tay (co-founders of Modvlar Events) and Ciara Yeo (The Mindful Company) to discuss mental health among men. The group examines questions such as: Is mental health for men tied to social pressures? What can we do to help men dealing with mental health issues? Does Singapore have adequate resources to help men deal with depression?
Ciara Yeo is the co-founder of The Mindful Company—a jewellery store that aims to create meaningful products that allow customers to be reminded of happy memories. The Mindful Company recently announced a partnership with Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)—a non-profit suicide prevention centre—to launch a special bracelet entitled, "How are you today?", to spark conversations about mental health.
Episode 04 (Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies)
In the fourth podcast, our regular hosts discussed spring/summer 2019 men’s fashion week—in particular, the new designers at Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Berluti.
Also, special guest Varun Mittal—currently leading Fintech at EY covering emerging technologies and business models in financial services across ASEAN—lead the discussion on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The group canvassed questions such as: what is blockchain and is it secure? Do you think that the lack of general understanding about how blockchain/cryptocurrency works as the main inhibitor to mass adoption? Are cryptocurrencies here to stay and going to change our lives?
Episode 03 (The state of AI Technology today)
In our third podcast, our regular hosts reviewed the #RoyalWedding—in particular, Meghan Markle's Givenchy dress, Pastor Michael Curry and the gospel choir, best-dressed attendees, and why Princess Charlotte is a laugh-and-a-half.
Former US Intelligence officer and founder of Singapore-based AI company Drew Perez joined the conversation in the "Fresh off the grill" feature segment. The group shared their thoughts on AI-related issues: how does artificial intelligence reflect the values of human society? How do we ensure AI reflects both male and female perspectives? Will AI kill us off like Skynet in Terminator?
Episode 02 (Breaking into Singapore's music scene)
In this podcast, our regular hosts Anita Kapoor, Debra Langley and Norman Tan are joined by special guest host Vanessa Fernandez, as they talked about some of the current headlines, and the best- and worst-dressed at the Met Gala 2018, with this year's theme "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination".
Local recording artist Tabitha Nauser also joined in the conversation in "Fresh off the grill", a feature segment starring a new guest each podcast. It starts off with a discussion about Childish Gambino and his new music video, “This Is America”, then to Tabitha and Vanessa on how to take the music scene in Singapore to the next level, the current issues in radio and artist management, and why don't we have an internationally-renowned Singapore act.
Episode 01 (The venture capital conversation)
Hear what your hosts Anita Kapoor, Debra Langley, Ben Hopkins and Norman Tan have been up to since their last podcast. For our fashion and style segment, we answered a question that we polled on Instagram Stories. This week, we asked readers whether they want us to discuss: (a) Why the Supreme x Rimowa collaboration was such a success; or (b) Do we still care about high street collaborations in light of the recent H&M announcement of their new drop with Moschino. 77% of readers asked us to chat about Supreme x Rimowa, so we did. In "Fresh off the grill", we grilled Arnaud Bonzom, venture partner at 500 Startups about what kind of person is best suited to start their own business; whether the idea behind a business is paramount; common challenges for startups; and other golden nuggets.
Episode 00 (Introduction)
Get to know your hosts Anita Kapoor (TV host, speaker and emcee), Debra Langley (fashion and tech consultant and founder of Coraggio), Ben Hopkins (entrepreneur and founder of BioOnics) and Esquire Singapore's editor-in-chief Norman Tan as they answer personality questions by Bernard Pivot.