[Transcript – A look back at 2018]

Hey listeners, it’s been a couple of months since the last update episode so I thought it was time to make another one. This time round, since it’s December and we are coming up to the end of the year, I think it’d be fitting to be a little more reflective.

We started off the year with a couple of entrepreneur interviews in January and February, then the Budget breakdown and case studies on bike sharing and the career of Li-Ka Shing. 2 more interviews would come in May and June, with Ep25’s talk with Vivian Chan probably being the most inspiring to me,

[clip from Ep25]

and Ep26’s talk with Mint Lim the most eye-opening.

[clip from Ep26]

July though, was when things really kicked into gear. The 2nd half of the year began with the o’bike deposits rant – possibly one of my personal favorites –  

[clip from Ep27]

followed by drastic shifts and experimentation with music and storytelling through episodes on Ben Davis and the Futures of Hibiki,

[clip from Ep29]

and then the monster 2-parter on the rise and fall of Olivia Lum and Hyflux, notable for the heavy use of interspersed audio clips and background music, as well as one of my proudest bits of mixing and writing all year.

[clip from The Ballad of the Water Princess | The Fall of Olivia Lum and Hyflux]

The biggest experiment of the year would come in the form of the audio drama special episode The Insurance Lady, which while being one of the most challenging to produce, was honestly quite a bit of fun.

[clip from The Insurance Lady – An Audio Drama Special]

And finally, we close off the year with 2 deep dive episodes on fish soup and air conditioning, which is admittedly lighter in tone compared to the prior episodes but I thought it’d be more engaging and closer to the aim of the podcast, which is to examine economics within Singapore.

[clip from The Economics of: Fish Soup]

All in all, 2018 has been a year of change and experimentation. I mentioned in the last episode of 2017 that the year would be bigger and better, and indeed, through these 15 flagship episodes, it really feels like it has grown. From May of 2017 when I first launched up until June of 2018, there was honestly a little bit of lack of direction with the podcast; at times it felt like I was just doing it for the sake of coming up with new episodes, and it was just bouncing back and forth between random subjects and interviews. However, after taking my annual leave in July, I decided to experiment heavily on the post-production element of the show, and after a few more months of tinkering, I think we may have the first inklings of a definitive brand or style of the podcast with the episodes on fish soup and air conditioning. It’s narrative-driven, it touches on local economics, it’s got music and structure and transitions, and it’s probably the closest that I’ve ever been to emulating a Planet Money or a Freakonomics episode, which in itself, I find honestly kind of remarkable. Of course there’s still plenty of space to grow and always room for improvement, but looking back, it’s hard to deny that the podcast has come a long long way.

And of course, a lot of the motivation and inspiration for change in the 2nd half of the year wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful community at the Podcast SG group. It’s provided me with plenty of new ideas on how to take the show, as well as some measure of competition within the growing industry to push us all that little bit harder. Thanks to the group I’ve also been able to launch the Podcast Spotlight side series, where I’ve been able to talk with and share our love for podcasts, as well as help to promote the growing industry. It’s really amazing to see how it has grown from just a handful of people to close to 40 members today with nearly 20 distinct podcasts, and I hope that this will inspire another wave of content creators to come in 2019.

As for now, I’m going to be taking a break in December, where I can get a head start on production for the coming year, as well as spend some much needed time with Effy in the states enjoying the fantastic midwestern winter, and the warmth of my lovely wife. Much thanks to everyone who’s listened and has continued to listen through the year, as well as to the many guests and collaborators who have come on the show. 2018 has been quite incredible, but here’s hoping that 2019 will be even better. To better times and better content ahead, happy listening.


Brke – strollin throu a valley

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