Turning up the volume on Singapore's indie music
"Being a woman has never been a hindrance in my journey with Riot. If anything, being naturally nurturing has come in handy when dealing with the artists."
Moved by the stories and sounds of the unheard talent in her hometown of Singapore, Eugenie Yeo and her music consultancy company House of Riot is giving them a louder voice.
“Our North Star is making local music a new norm and as ubiquitous as imported content. This has us charting new firsts for the business and our artists”.
“A matter of national urgency”
Growing up with a musical family, Eugenie has always been passionate about music. She met her husband Mike See at their creative advertising jobs and spent most of their spare moments attending local gigs in Singapore.
Over time, it was impossible to remain unmoved by all the untold stories. “It was a matter of national urgency, that such amazing Singapore-made musical ambitions had to be exposed to the world,” she says.
“Riot” was founded to help change this. And together, the pair run the business while juggling full-time jobs.
The first hurdle was converting the public’s deep-rooted perception that local content was inferior. Eugenie’s sights were set on making local music regularly heard on the radio.
“Singapore, being a young, import-heavy economy, did little to celebrate its own artistic talent. Local music rarely got airplay, and before the launch of streaming services, was difficult to discover”.
Riot, together with industry peers, works with radio stations and government bodies to rally for more airplay time. Thanks to their hard negotiations, Riot has succeeded in securing new standards of remuneration for their artists.
On becoming the first lady of Riot
With Singapore’s music industry being relatively small, there’s really no space for sexism in the workplace. As for being a female entrepreneur in Singapore, Eugenie doesn’t see any barriers.
“I think we’re a lucky bunch in Singapore, where egalitarian values permeate both the social and professional worlds. Being a woman has never been a hindrance in my journey with Riot—if anything, being naturally nurturing has come in very handy when dealing with the artists.”
Integration over balance
With a day job, a baby on the way, and artists who needed equal amounts of mothering, “balance” wasn’t a fight Eugenie was willing to have when building Riot. Instead, she focused on integrating work into her everyday life.
Today, when she’s not heading marketing at Facebook, she spends her weekends and evenings at gigs or in meetings for Riot.
Taking the music further
Of course, working at Facebook, Eugenie knows how to work her way around the platform and uses it to take her music further.
“Facebook has been an amazing platform to reach fans and friends—both in Singapore and across the world. We’ve used it to plan tours, connect with venue operators and other touring musicians”.
House of Riot represents some of Singapore’s greatest musicians, including The Great Spy Experiment, iNch, and the soulful Charlie Lim.