With the inaugural Café Fest happening tomorrow and Saturday, 6 and 7 September 2014, we can feel Singapore’s brunch-loving, coffee and Instagram addicts brimming with excitement. And how better to enhance the experience than with Spotify? Launched in Singapore just over a year ago in April 2014, Spotify’s digital music service has been a great hit for on-demand access to over 20 million tracks.

Aside from letting Spotify have the free reigns with the “Radio” mode, curating your own playlists with favourite songs at your fingertips has never been easier. And to get café-goers in the mood, Spotify partnered with 6 out of 12 of the participating cafés to create Spotify x Café Fest 2014 playlists that reflect each café’s unique personality. Popspoken got a sneak peek at 2 cafés and their Spotify playlists and puts them to the ear test:

1. Maison Ikokku (20 Kandahar Street)

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The Japanese-themed café focuses on the details that people don’t usually care for – and that’s why we love it. Aside from their minimalist logo (which at first glance reminds us of Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows in some form), stepping into its cozy (almost hidden) outfit at Kandahar Street is akin to discovering treasures with a turn of the head. Its tables are recycled from old doors (wow) and if you look up, you’d see floating cupboards (whoa, cool). But what’s carefully thought out in the process of the decor was that the café’s ceiling would expose the bottom half of the cupboard and its legs, while the top half emerges in Maison’s 2nd floor bar (gasp). Now that’s detail.

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The people at Maison are also very serious about their coffee. Operations Manager Rizuan excitedly revealed to us about Maison’s brand new roaster which they customized in camo print. Yup, dressing your roaster up? That’s how much they love their coffee. Maison’s tribute to Café Fest centres around coffee, with two special blends specially created for the event. You’ll be able to taste the “1942” and “S&M” blends that consist of Colombian, Ethiopian, Brazilian beans at Café Fest and for the month of September at their cafe. When asked about the inspiration behind the names of the blends, Rizuan told us that “1942” was in reference to the Japanese / Singapore history and “S&M” was for the tribute to Spotify x Maison…… before your mind runs wild.

Psst, aspiring bakers out there! You may wish to contact the Maison staff for a chance to feature your baked goods in Maison. Their support for local talent has led to sell out features such as the red velvet cheesecake and taro cake! We’ve also heard about a nasi lemak cupcake they tried when “auditioning” to be on the coveted Maison cake counter….

Maison aims to bring the sensory experience to its customers and their curated indie classic playlist brings just that.

Maison Ikokku’s Café Fest x Spotify playlist makes us think of… “Floating amongst the clouds; balloons; faraway lands; the smell of fresh flowers

2. I Am… (674 North Bridge Road, #01-01 off Haji Lane)

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Reeling from the caffeine high from Maison, we were whisked off to a Dutch decor inspired, mocktail-centric café, I Am…

We find out that one of their co-founders went to Amsterdam and was so floored by the culture that he wanted to bring a slice of Amsterdam back. More than a slice, we see canal murals in the interiors of the cafe, lifestyle bicycles propped against the walls and spotted long queues at the open-air joint on a Wednesday night. The Amsterdam reference is most stark with the “I am…” sign right outside their cafe. Just like the roving “I amsterdam” signage that moves around in Amsterdam, the “I am…” sign will be at Café Fest. And while we were politely informed that we could not stand on the signage, photos with the sign are most welcome.

Instead of coffee as the selling point as for most cafés, I Am…’s was mocktails. We spoke to one of their co-founders, Sarong who was a former bartender. He explained that the focus of mocktails are on the drink’s aesthetics, i.e. colours and layers. A customer ordering a mocktail might be served one with two colours, e.g. blue and yellow.. which swirls into green after stirring. I Am…’s “Blue Dot” is just this, their tribute to Spotify’s iconic green logo. Besdies Blue Dot, I Am… will feature a series of their different signature mocktails during the feature hour. “Rhel Road” containing pineapple and cinnamon and “Bushramint” (top seller!) containing mint and strawberry syrup are just some in their mocktail library.

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The “Blue Dot”

The fun-loving crew of I Am… told us that for solidarity, they’d be dressing to a surprise theme, which we will only know on the days of Café Fest! So look out for their “I am…” signage, their “uniform” and of course, their colourful and refreshing mocktails.

I Am…’s Café Fest x Spotify playlist makes us think of… “Lounging on deck chairs on the beach with sunnies on; mini umbrellas on our drinks; lazy Sundays

Many thanks to Spotify for the cafe hopping preview! 

Catch both Maison Ikokku and I Am… at Cafe Fest 2014, the Waterfront Promenade, Sept 6 and 7 from 10.30am to 8pm.

For other playlists curated by the Spotify cafe partners, click here.

Maison Ikokku’s Facebook page here.

I Am…’s Facebook page here.

(Featured picture credits to Cafe Fest 2014)