Created with Sketch.
A Life Less Ordinary
48 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
The Relentless Optimist: Matthew Chapman, Singapore & New Zealand
Matthew Chapman is an entrepreneur and investor who has mastered the art of relationship building. His company ChapmanCG finds HR leaders for the world’s leading companies. He's an investor in Bawah Reserve, a luxurious and sustainable tropical island retreat that's a Condé Nast Traveler Top 10 resort of Asia. And he's a co-founder of the 300km Snowman Race in Bhutan, one of the world's toughest ultra-marathons in the world, focused on raising awareness of climate change. He does all this while living on a farm, Parihoa, in coastal New Zealand with his many collaborators working all over the planet. Show host Udhara chatted with Matthew to talk about his beginnings in rural New South Wales, Australia, why he fell in love with Singapore and became a Singaporean citizen, how he builds his businesses, as well as his thoughts on remote work and the future of the 5-day work week. Thanks for listening to this episode of A Life Less Ordinary. To stay up to date with our latest episodes be sure to subscribe to the show.
73 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
On writing her first book, rejection, and diversity: T.P. Tovenaar, Sri Lanka
T.P. Tovenaar is a writer from London, born to Sri Lankan parents. For the last decade, she’s called Colombo home. Her book, 'Mum’s the Word', is a collection of hilarious and heartwarming stories about the relationship between a Sri Lankan mother and her British-born daughter, both trying to live within a complex mix of cultures, customs and environment. The stories light-heartedly remind us that we’re more than our place of birth and that immigration isn’t a bad thing. Show host Udhara and Tovenaar spoke about her career at the BBC, how she learned from crushing rejection, why diversity is one of humanity’s greatest strengths, and how her book makes you appreciate the joys of family.
53 minutes | May 3, 2019
The Warrior of Singapore’s Kranji Countryside: Ivy Singh-Lim, Singapore
Ivy Singh-Lim founded Bollywood Veggies Organic Farm with her husband in Kranji, a northwestern suburb about 22 kilometres from the towering skyline of Singapore, showing an alternative, greener side to the country. Visitors can explore the village-like tropical farm, eat a mouth-watering, farm-to-table Nasi Lemak served on a banana leaf, and learn about the history of food and its influence on civilisation. In our Season 2 finale, hosts Vanessa Fernandez and Udhara de Silva visited her home in the middle of the farm, where she lives with her husband and dogs. They spoke about: how she decided to start Bollywood Veggies how at nearly 70 she has a lot in common with millennials than others why in the context of Singapore, nature is the future. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
55 minutes | Apr 25, 2019
Becoming MoneySmart: Vinod Nair, Singapore
Vinod Nair used the last of his life savings to set up a website and hire an intern. Today, that website, MoneySmart.sg, is Southeast Asia’s leading personal finance portal, helping people compare loans, insurance, and credit cards. There’s been a lot of press coverage in Singapore about the big wins of his career, but show hosts Vanessa Fernandez and Udhara de Silvaspent time with him in MoneySmart HQ to talk about: Scaling MoneySmart from bootstrapped to funded company The Singaporean approach to personal financial How to find trustworthy financial experts The financial landscape of Singapore A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review.
63 minutes | Mar 27, 2019
Irreverence is an Asset: Rosalyn Lee (Rozz), Singapore
Rosalyn Lee, or Rozz, is a Singaporean radio DJ and TV host with an incredibly adventurous career. She has featured in Elle and Esquire magazines, hosted Singapore’s hottest radio shows, and interviewed everyone from Lana del Ray to Gene Simmons. She has not one but two travel shows. The first is Rozz Recommends, where she explores the world on her terms. Highlights include her journey exploring Iran and surviving sub-zero temperatures at the North Pole. The second is Weird Food Diaries on Singapore’s Channel 5. Show hosts Vanessa and Udhara visited Rozz at her home to talk about the challenges she faced early on in her career and how her irreverence and no-bullshit approach in life initially stopped her from getting gigs but eventually became her greatest asset. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
43 minutes | Jan 15, 2019
How to Make Things Cool: Andrew Ing, Singapore
Andrew Ing creates culture for a living, whose career is based on combining the cool with the commercial. In the early 90s he promoted concerts in Hong Kong for artists likes Diana Ross, Simply Red and Public Enemy. He then moved to Singapore to turn the nightclub Zouk into one of the top 10 clubs in the world and bringing electronic music culture to South East Asia. Today, he’s the Chief Operating Office of The Lo & Behold Group, a hospitality group that owns a few of Singapore’s hottest spots to eat, sleep, drink, and party. Vanessa and Udhara chatted to Andrew in his Arab Quarter office about: His early adventures leading to a marketing career The four pillars of discovering new music The concept of clubs as cultural exchange spaces How he cultivated local talent alongside international megastars Developing Zouk into the epicentre of youth culture in Singapore If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
67 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
The King of the Jacket: Thomas Wee, Singapore
Thomas Wee is a Singaporean fashion designer who has worked in the industry for over 4 decades. He is known for his masterful workmanship, cutting edge 3D forms and perfectly tailored suits. After building several high-end fashion labels serving South-East Asia’s elite, the “King of the Jacket” took to teaching fashion design and pattern drafting for 11 years, and eventually made a sensational comeback at the Audi Fashion Festival Singapore 2008. CNN’s Power List names Thomas as one of the 30 people who have shaped Singapore. Hosts Udhara and Vanessa chatted with him about many things, including: his childhood in colonial Singapore how his career began against all odds the Japanese concept of building a premium brand being a self-taught, lifelong learner If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
45 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
Breaking World Records & Breaking Taboos: Theresa Goh, Singapore
Theresa Goh is the first female Singaporean swimmer to qualify for the Paralympics. Vanessa and Udhara met the world-record breaker to talk about her childhood, how athletes compete over milliseconds to win races, being an openly gay public figure, and why accessibility should be a given in any space. Theresa Goh is an ambassador for Singapore's LGBT non-profit, Pink Dot, a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
57 minutes | Oct 31, 2018
From Creative Public Servant to Tech Exec: Nic Foo, Singapore
Nicolas Foo has had a successful career with the Singapore Tourism Board, is a photographer whose experiences living in India inspired an exhibition, ‘For Your Approval, Please’, and has also been the head of business development for South-East Asia’s largest tech startup and ride-hailing platform, Grab. Vanessa and Udhara met Nic at The Analog Vault, a vinyl record store hand selected by Nic. They chatted to him about: his diverse career how his time living in India shaped him Singapore’s evolving narrative his sharp insights on the country’s future If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar and sponsored by Audio-Technica, who create high quality content creation tools.
42 minutes | Oct 17, 2018
Helping the Underdog: Adrian Sim, Singapore
Adrian Sim is a volunteer with Singapore’s Workers’ Party, the only opposition party to have elected members in parliament in a political system led since 1959 by the People’s Action Party. Vanessa and Udhara sat down with Adrian at an ‘HDB’ apartment complex in Lorong Ah Soo, a Workers’ Party constituency, who shared: His story growing up in a low income household in Singapore Why he chose to join the opposition rather than achieve results through the ruling party Why he believes government needs to become more compassionate Thanks for listening to A Life Less Ordinary. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review.
58 minutes | Oct 10, 2018
The Sibling Co-Founders of The Working Capitol: Ben & Saranta Gattie, Singapore
Ben and Saranta Gattie built The Working Capitol, a co-working space set up in a renovated former biscuit factory on Keong Saik Road. Since opening in 2015, it has become one of Asia’s leading co-working spaces. Hosts Vanessa & Udhara spoke to them at The Working Capitol about: Growing up as third culture kids Real estate in Singapore How they developed their business What ‘culture’ means at a place like The Working Capitol How the government and business work closely together to innovate Thanks for listening to A Life Less Ordinary. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts, including those recorded in Sri Lanka in Season 1! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. It’d mean the world to us! Special thanks to our Superfans who support A Life Less Ordinary Season 2 with significant donations : Dee Moorhead, Hyder Albar, Lalith De Silva, Peter Rosewarne, Robert Thompson, and Stephanie Ko.
50 minutes | Oct 3, 2018
Redefining Success by Embracing Individuality: Dr. Vanessa Von Auer, Singapore
Dr. Vanessa Von Auer is one of Asia’s leading child experts and founded Singapore’s one-of-a-kind Integrated International School, where students get the complete opposite of a “one-size-fits-all” education. Dr. Von Auer invited Udhara and Vanessa to her school to talk about psychology and parenting in Asia, the challenges of building your own business, and education in Singapore. Thanks for listening to A Life Less Ordinary. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. It’d mean the world to us!
54 minutes | Sep 26, 2018
The Business of Design & the Design of Businesses: Jonathan Bonsey & John Palmer, Singapore
Jonathan Bonsey and John Palmer have called Singapore home for the last 3 decades. Jonathan Bonsey runs Bonsey Design, a design agency which has built iconic Asian brands in entertainment, media, retail, and much more. John Palmer is a serial entrepreneur who’s built e-commerce, social media and aviation companies. Hosts Vanessa and Udhara had a chat in their office about: building companies from scratch and with millions of dollars design thinking and how design agencies work how Singapore has evolved over the last 30 years Thanks for listening to A Life Less Ordinary. If you loved this episode, check out our other episodes on Apple Podcasts! Subscribe to our show and please leave us a review. It’d mean the world to us! A Life Less Ordinary is produced by Nomads Bazaar.
75 minutes | Sep 19, 2018
The Magic of Acting: Tan Kheng Hua, Singapore
Tan Kheng Hua is an award-winning actress and producer who has worked on projects in theatre, TV and film since the early 90s. She was the Empress Dowager on Netflix’s Marco Polo, has produced a critically acclaimed cabaret act, The Dim Sum Dollies, and most recently, played the role of Kerry Chu in the record-breaking, much loved Hollywood film, Crazy Rich Asians. Hosts Udhara and Vanessa chatted with Kheng about her career beginnings, the art of acting, and her views on everything from entertainment to ageing. If you loved this episode, subscribe to our show and leave us a review. It’d mean the world to us! Nomads Bazaar produces A Life Less Ordinary, which involves a lot of travel, time, and resources. By donating even a dollar or two on Patreon, you help us create meaningful and impactful entertainment.
80 minutes | Sep 12, 2018
Everything with Soul: Vanessa Fernandez, Singapore
Show creator Udhara de Silva chats with co-host Vanessa Fernandez, who's been plugged into Singapore’s culture for the past 20 years. In this episode Vanessa gives us an overview on Singapore, enlightens us on its music history, talks about her career in radio, and gives us a sneak peak of our guests this season! Vanessa’s performed at music festivals such as the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Festival in France, Laneway Festival in Singapore, BIGSOUND in Australia, V-ROX in Russia, and the Concrete and Grass Festival in China. She’s released music with major record labels as well as indie labels. Besides making music, she was a radio DJ on commercial radio station 987FM and ran Lush 99.5 FM, which was Singapore’s only indie/electronic format dedicated to art. And for the past 3 years she’s mentored creatives with the National Arts Council’s Noise Music Mentorship program. Season 2 is sponsored by Audio Technica who create high quality content creation tools. This season would not have been possible without the help of our incredible Indiegogo donors. Thank you for every single contribution, social media share, and message of support! We hope you enjoy the show!
55 minutes | Jan 7, 2018
Starting Up in Sri Lanka: Indi Samarajiva, Sri Lanka
Outspoken. Irreverent. No bullshit. These are rare qualities in Sri Lankan society, and even rarer for Sri Lankan influencers who run their own companies. Indi Samarajiva started YAMU, the digital guide to Colombo and Sri Lanka 5 years ago, and the way the company operates says a lot about its founder. Tanya & Udhara talked to him about moving back to Sri Lanka after growing up in North America, building a content company in a country whose startup culture is in its infancy, and his views on everything from Sri Lankan education to Buddhism. Visit www.alifelessordinary.asia for more information and show notes. Thanks for listening to the first season of A Life Less Ordinary! Please subscribe to our show so you'll be able to hear our brand new episodes later this year!
63 minutes | Nov 29, 2017
Jaffna Boy: Danu Innasithamby, Sri Lanka
Colombo is a city with many personalities – you have personalities and then you have Personalities with a capital P. The first lot are people that everybody knows because Sri Lanka is a small island, and Colombo is somewhat of a tiny bubble within the small island. These people are related to this person or that, who know so-and-so, and who live in the most exclusive parts of the city. But then there are the second group of people. The people known for what they do and who they’ve become. Danu Innasithamby is one of those people. A young media personality larger than life who flits effortlessly between radio, TV, newspapers and magazines. Originally from Jaffna, Danu moved to Colombo – by boat, bus, and bicycle – at a very young age to escape the ravages of war. What we love about Danu is the relentless pursuit of his dreams. He started working at just 16 on two of Colombo’s most popular radio stations. Having conquered radio, he went on to host TV shows and has since built up a personal brand in English, Sinhala and Tamil. With a unbeatable work ethic, Danu wakes up at the crack of dawn to host a morning radio show on LiteFM, and then proceeds to fill his day with one of the most colorful and diverse work days in Sri Lanka: producing his web series ‘Jaffna Boy’, writing his newspaper column “Buzz With Danu”, and working on various stage, TV and film productions.
72 minutes | Oct 26, 2017
Anonymous Creator: The Sooriya Village, Sri Lanka
This episode’s guest has a life deeply rooted in music. His grandfather was a pioneering Sri Lankan pop music entrepreneur. And today, at just 25 years old, our guest is turning the Sri Lankan music industry on its head through the creative haven he founded, The Sooriya Village. The Sooriya Village gives musicians and creatives a space to compose, record, and perform their work. All the while, the Village initiates international collaborations so that local musicians can get the global audience that they deserve. During the recording of this episode, our guest revealed his preference to remain as anonymous as possible. He wants people to know his work, and not its creator. You’ll see through the course of our conversation that his inspiration comes from his love of creating, his love of music, and his desire to help others, and not the inevitable recognition and attention that his projects attract.
63 minutes | Oct 2, 2017
Political Provocateur: Venuri Perera, Sri Lanka
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who seems to say things just to provoke a reaction? No matter what the topic is about? Often we just go with the flow and keep our cool. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we react, in varying degrees of emotion. And sometimes, those provocations make us stop and think. Hosts Tanya & Udhara talked to performance artist Venuri Perera, discovering why she aims to push our buttons, the challenges of being an artist in Sri Lanka, and the difficulty and excitement that comes with creating your own opportunities in life.
49 minutes | Sep 25, 2017
Adopted by an island: Alice Luker, Sri Lanka
Travel opens our eyes to so many different ways of living, different perspectives, different cultures, and of course, different kinds of cuisine. You could fall so deeply in love with a country, that you dream of one day living there and adopting it as your second home. Well that’s exactly what Alice Luker did. The British photographer and blogger, who by the way has taken pictures for Conde Nast Traveler and Nat Geo traveler, used her creativity and love of exploration to build an adventurous life in Sri Lanka. For the past few years, she’s been taking exquisite pictures of Sri Lankan culture, food, architecture and destinations and posting them as @StyleInSriLanka on Instagram. She now also has a blog of the same name with local recipes, interviews with fascinating Sri Lankans, and destination pieces about the island. With over 30,000 loyal Instagram fans, she is one of Sri Lanka’s most creative digital influencers. Host Udhara talked to Alice Luker about her journey so far, and what it’s like running Style in Sri Lanka.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021