If it’s the cheery banter that draws you to the radio, this is worth a listen. Launched only at the end of last month but this multilingual station already has over 10,000 likes on Facebook. It features topical talk shows hosted by renowned and rising personalities such as Abigail of Under One Roof fame and Craig Teo round the clock.
What’s on air: Music and video variety programs on beauty, dining, food and gadgets in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.
Find it: in988.com
Unlike other stations whose playlists are based on DJ preferences, this intuitive jukebox (like Grooveshark) recommends music related to your favorite artistes. If you chose “Coldplay” as one of your favorites when you log in, it’ll show playlists featuring similar bands like Keane, Snow Patrol, The Killers, The Fray and Kings of Leon. Like what you hear? There’s an option to buy the album on Amazon. It’ll even tell you who’s on tour so you can plan which gigs to catch and its music page will show you what tunes are popular in Singapore.
What’s on air: Any music you want to hear and other stuff they think you’ll like.
Find it: last.fm/home, Android, iPhone and iPad.
If it’s variety you seek, you’ll need an entire directory of internet radio stations like this. Popular among local audiophiles, this massive network lets you search music by song type and genre. It also provides support for anyone who wants to create their own internet radio station at little cost.
What’s on air: Everything from classical, country to hip-hop and Latin music—there are even stations that play Disney movie tracks.
Find it: last.fm/home, Android, iPhone and iPad
Started by Singapore’s best known voiceover Andrew Cothers (Drew) and former radio DJ Aloysius Tan, Sonar gives airtime to local beat makers like Vanessa Fernandez, Good Times, and X’Ho. “The only music criteria Drew told me about when I took the job was if I liked it, I should play it,” said Fernandez, who recently left her presenter job at 98.7FM to pursue music in LA. “Everyone on the station is allowed to play whatever they like. The station plays new music that doesn’t get featured on commercial stations because it doesn’t fit their ‘formula’.”
What’s on air: Drum and bass, house, indie, techno, jazz from both local and international acts, and K-pop—it even streams live gigs by Midnight Shift and Syndicate.
Find it: facebook.sonar.sg and Android
Is traditional radio in or out?
“Because we’re governed by strict laws and codes, traditional radio will always be viewed as a more legitimate and trustworthy source. We’re held to a certain standard, while on the Internet anyone can say whatever they want. Most importantly, traditional radio still speaks to our local sensibilities. Sure, I could listen to some funny guy in South Africa but I’ll never connect with him because he doesn’t live where I live and doesn’t share my experiences. Also, Internet radio is more about self-expression as opposed to traditional radio, which is ultimately about the listener—we’re a service,” says Mister Young, radio DJ and assistant program director of Power 98 FM.