While most of us are asleep, there is an unusual group of Singaporeans who are wide awake. Our latest series, Sleepless In Singapore shares the stories of our local night owls.
Loud pumping music, cigarette smoke and nubile young girls in sexy dresses overwhelm my senses as I walk through Clarke Quay at 12.30am on a Saturday night. I am on my way to meet Ms Kevryn Lim, the Brand Director of F.Club Singapore.
If you find her name familiar, you are probably right. She represented National Solidarity Party (NSP) at the Sembawang GRC in the 2015 General Election.
At just 28 years old, her life story reads like a fascinating best-selling novel.
However, this sweet-looking lady is not your average girl-next-door. As I talk to her, I discover that she is quite the chilli padi – small, yet feisty.
In 2015, Kevryn caused a ruckus in the political arena when she was announced as a new candidate for National Solidarity Party (NSP) at the 2015 General Election, representing the Sembawang GRC.
She shot to political fame for being young, attractive and vocal. As a voice for the younger generation, she championed transport, education and single mother issues, and hoped to inspire the youths in Singapore to be more involved.
Besides having brains, Kevryn also has a heart of gold. She co-founded the Curtin Student United Way, a program that works toward advancing the common good in issues such as education, environment and health. On top of that, she volunteers actively.
From Politics To Nightlife
With all this, I am curious as to why she veered off politics and chose a drastically different career path.
“After the General Election, I shifted my focus back to my career. I started my own Japanese restaurant – Mitsukiya – in Guangzhou, China. I also ventured back into the entertainment industry in Singapore and started working at F.Club Singapore. At the same time, I am still with the NSP and help out during my free time.”
It seems like being in the entertainment industry has always been Kevryn’s interest and passion from the start. She tells me her initial plan when she “returned to Singapore from Australia after my studies, was to get into showbiz. However, the General Election came and I was given an opportunity to be involved.”
The sensitivities of being involved in politics, especially in an opposition party here make it hard for her to pursue her interest. She explains ruefully: “All our media outlets are owned by the government.”
However, that does not stop her from pursuing what she loves to do. “I majored in marketing, PR and events in university after all. It is a natural decision to open up my options in entertainment and as of now, I am not only the club’s Brand Director, I am also a DJ!”
Unlike normal people who work ordinary hours, her work hours go into the wee hours of the night.
Nightlife is generally seen as glamorous or sleazy. Looking at the growing buzz around me as the party starts to heat up, I ask her how she feels about being in this industry.
“In Singapore, nightlife is generally seen as a sleazy industry. It is all about girls, alcohol, drugs, fights; all the bad things you can think of. But in my opinion, nightlife is also another form of entertainment, just being presented in a different way.”
“Because of its association with alcohol among many other things, people who work in nightlife tend to get stereotyped.”
For the uninitiated, Kevryn’s job is more than just smiling and partying. As Brand Director for one of the hottest clubs in Clarke Quay, she needs to look after the brand and the image of the club. She also organises events, creates marketing promotions and oversees the day-to-day operations of the club.
That means going to work in the early afternoon and staying all the way until 4 am – a time when most of us are already fast asleep!
Nightlife Opened Up Her Eyes
Kevryn then goes on to reveal that one actually gets exposed to many things when in this industry, many of which people are oblivious to. She explains: “You see police patrolling, but when they see things happening they actually ignore it. There are drunk people lying unconscious and the police walk past them like they don’t see a thing.”
Another example she cites is Thai Disco joints. “Singapore has a strict policy regarding indoor smoking. However, as we all know, there are many Thai discos around that permit patrons to smoke inside. They also have “illegal workers” working.”
According to her, the longer you stay in the nightlife industry, the more you learn and find out about these things. Exasperated, she asks me if this is considered corruption in Singapore. I am afraid I have no answer for that.
There will always be a dark, illegal side to even the most developed, seemingly corrupt-free nation.
Guests are starting to throng the entrance of the club at this point in time. As we wrap up, I cannot resist asking Kevryn one last question. How should a guy approach her in a club?
She laughs and says, “Umm I think guys just shouldn’t approach me in a club. Basically, everyone is just looking for fun. So, I will never look for anything serious from the people I meet in this environment.”
“Another reason is they are always drunk and some may not even remember you the next day!”