1. Claressa Monteiro
Hosting Money FM 89.3 on weekday afternoons, 1-4pm, Claressa brings new business insights to listeners with interviews with prominent businessmen, policy makers (yes, she’s also spoken to our very own Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and she’s got the picture to prove it) and entrepreneurs. That much you would know if you tune in to the station. What you perhaps don’t know is that the talented DJ is also a jazz singer, who was presented with the Artistic Excellence Award by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS), which organises and supports meaningful musical events and projects to stimulate and promote the growth of the local music industry. She has shared the stage with global musical talents such as David Foster, Natalie Cole, George Benson, 2NE1 and even Girls’ Generation.
2. Maddy Barber
Maddy co-hosts the breakfast radio programme “Maddy, Jason and Divian (formerly Maddy, Jason and Arnold) from 6-10am” on weekdays on Kiss92. She’s also the founder of bespoke jewellery brand Madly, which has been featured in British Vogue, New York Times, Her World and The Singapore Women’s Weekly, among others, and named Singapore Tatler’s Top 10 jewellers. With the proliferation and mass production of “heirloom” jewellery pieces, we’d say it’d be quite cool to have a piece of jewellery that’s specially designed for you.
3. Carol Smith
If your evening companion from 4-8pm is “The Drive Home with Carol & Tim” on Kiss92, you would know Carol’s voice. But did you know that the passionate DJ founded a project called Free To Be, a social enterprise that hosts workshops, camps and seminars to help empower women and teenage girls too? And in our opinion, using your voice (pun intended) to speak up for or to help other less privileged women speak up and gain a firmer footing in society is one of the coolest things anyone can do.
4. Cheryl Miles
Before she started as a DJ, Cheryl worked in TV as a host of several lifestyle programmes, and was the winner of a singing competition as part of a (now-disbanded) girl band called CCCrush (formerly known as Cherry Chocolate Candy). She blogs at www.cherylmiles.com about her life, fitness and fashion, and while it’s all fun, you’ll want to try out recipes that the foodie shares on her site before she compiles them into a cookbook (which she says she aspires to write someday). She DJs on One FM 91.3, on weekdays 1-4pm and Saturdays 6-10am.
5. Charmaine Yee
If you’ve ever thought of becoming a presenter or journalist just so you could interview international superstars, you should learn a thing or two from Charmaine. She’s hosted some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including British singer Ed Sheeren, Hollywood celebrities Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx, and more recently, Game of Thrones and Dark Phoenix star Sophie Turner. Plus, she’s quite the fitness buff, engaging in personal training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training, Muay Thai-inspired HIIT, and hour-long jogging sessions regularly since her health scares (a 10cm ovarian cyst and an appendicitis episode in 2012 and 2018, respectively). She hosts “Weekdays with Charmaine Yee from 1-4pm on Kiss92”.
6. Desiree Lai
Since winning a DJ competition in 2006, Desiree has been a permanent fixture on local radio stations. She currently hosts the “The 90s Show Desiree & Josh on Saturdays 6-8pm”, and “Desiree Lai on Saturdays, 6pm to 12 midnight”, on Kiss92. What’s really cool about her is that you know her voice, even if you don’t think so — she’s the voice behind TV commercials for big brands such as McDonald’s and SK-II, and the check out machines at Cold Storage (yup, so you do know her voice, right?).
7. Michelle Martin
You probably know Michelle’s voice as you listen to her unpack stories on all the serious topics on business, money and the economy on Money FM 89.3 on weekdays 4-7pm, but did you know that she’s also been nominated for two Journalists of the Year awards in 2014? The veteran journalist is also National Library Board’s National Reading Movement Ambassador, one of the judges of the Singapore Book Awards and has been a moderator at the Singapore Writer’s Festival for a few years. Plus, she’s quite the activist, having spoken at TEDxWomen Singapore and trekked to the Mount Everest Base Camp to raise funds for female survivors of war, poverty and injustice.
8. Lee Xin Ying
While some may say it’s a cliche to have your name sound almost exactly like your passion, we say it’s pretty cool to have your name matched to what you do, as it is in the case of Xin Ying, who hosts Mandarin radio station UFM100.3 from 4-8pm on weekdays. The multi-talented songbird not only hosts a show which has “Sing-a-Long” in its title, but she’s also a wedding singer on weekends too, conveying her blessings for newlywed couples through her mellifluous voice. She has also hosted popular Taiwanese singing competition One Million Star, so that’s probably the reason why you find her face familiar.
9. Tan Li Yi
Li Yi has been DJ-ing for almost all of her working life, since 1997. And she’s the one who’s been on the Korean wave since before it began making ripples — She co-hosted the first K-pop concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which was later broadcast on MTV channel as well as Korea TV channel SBS, and her proficiency in the language has seen her emceeing for events that host Korean celebrities, including big names such as Song Joong-ki and Kim Woo Bin. And it’s not only Korean, English and Mandarin she’s fluent in. She also speaks Cantonese, and was one of the anchors at the Global Chinese Music Awards. Right now, she hosts the evening show on 96.3好FM on weekdays, 4-8pm.
10. Luo Kemin
Going by her given name, Kemin of UFM100.3 was awarded the most popular DJ in the Singapore E-Awards in 2010. She’s a song composer and singer who has produced original music albums, and straddles her DJ-ing gig with her full-time work at Streams of Grace, a non-profit organisation that strives to help people who are going through difficult times, including gamblers, single mothers and at-risk children. The kind-hearted DJ hosts the lunchtime programme on weekdays, 10am to 1pm.
Text: Kayce Teo / Additional reporting: Natalya Molok