Cover Photography by Wenjei Cheng

Ever wondered what the fashion insiders of Hong Kong listen to? Wonder no more. Federico Tan, gives Tatler a taste of his favourite tracks and what they mean to him

Federico "Fed" Tan, co-founder of marketing and communications agency social/capital, is often seen working with the biggest stars in music and fashion, including the likes of Pharell Williams and Ciara. But he's upfront about not being a music aficionado, per say, being more of a fashion connoisseur, working with brands such as sacai and J.W. Anderson

"My personal taste in music is very wide ranging and deemed somewhat commercial. These days, my car playlist is dictated by my nine year old so it's inundated by Taylor Swift and Blackpink," he says. While in college in New York in the mid 1990s, Tan's fashion photographer elder brother introduced him to the New Wave genre of music which expanded his appreciation for music and led to his discovery of the underground punk scene, Acid Jazz, and Hip Hop. 

Today, Tan resides in his adopted hometown of Hong Kong with his wife and daughter. "I've lived in Hong Kong for 19 years now. This city has been good to me.  I created a family, set up a business, and found opportunities to make good relationships with people, including some globally renowned musicians" he adds. Here, he shares his personal playlist with Tatler, inspired by his experiences growing up and the city he now calls home.

Friday I'm in Love by The Cure

“I vividly remember meeting my wife on a Friday evening on a hot summer night, so this song always puts a smile to my face”

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Gone till November by Wyclef Jean

"The project that gave birth to social/capital, a marketing agency that I co-founded with Kevin Poon, was putting together a live performance by Wyclef Jean for a retail client. I was really tempted to name the agency November."

Happy by Pharrell Williams

"About eight years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Pharrell Williams and his long time collaborator, Loic Villepontoux, when they came to Hong Kong for the Liberatum cultural festival. A year and a half later, I was involved in the music festival Blohk Party, where we invited Pharrell to headline. Just two months after, Happy was released and the rest is history." 

See also: Tatler's Guide To Being Conversant: Yuen Chi-chung On Popular Music

Trouble on my Mind by Pusha T

"Introduced to us by Pharrell, we’ve invited Pusha T for a few live gigs in Hong Kong, including the launch party of Moncler x Palm Angels. We also see each other on occasion during fashion weeks in Paris".

Express Yourself by Diplo

"My 'big break' professionally was becoming Head of Marketing at Diesel, and one of my major projects then was launching the brand in mainland China. I booked Diplo to DJ the launch party in 2005. We have kept in touch ever since, and hang out whenever we are in the same city."

See also: 20 Stylish Men In Hong Kong To Follow On Instagram

Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi (Steve Aoki Remix)

"Steve Aoki always jokes that we used to compensate him with "ramen noodle rates" when he came to Hong Kong to DJ early on in his career. We had some great times with Ben Ku every time Steve DJ'd at [nightclub] Volar in Lan Kwai Fong. Steve likes to collect art these days, and it's great that we still have a common bond."

Treasure by Bruno Mars

"A moment I treasure was arranging the live performance of Bruno Mars for a luxury brand. It reminded me of the early days of the agency (with Wyclef), but the opportunity also created another long term partnership with [events and booking agency] Live Base, founder, Amer."


1,2 Step by Ciara

"I still remember meeting Ciara for the first time in Hong Kong. It was one of those surreal moments when your only previous interaction with someone was from seeing her in music videos. Along with a few friends, we had a great dinner at Nobu, and soon after, we had a nice lunch again in Paris, where I met her husband, Russell Wilson".

Yeah! by Usher

"Who could ever forget this club hit? It was cool that I managed to spend a whole day with Usher and his crew at Paris Fashion Week, just before COVID-19 threw the whole world on its head."

Comes and Goes by Oh Hyuk

"Jason Lam [Head Of Brand and Communications, Asia Pacific for] introduced me to Oh Hyuk during his tour stop in Hong Kong. Although he's somewhat reserved in person, his charisma on stage is something else. He also has a great sense of natural style, and it was cool hunting vintage items with him at one of my favourite stores in HK, Asterisk."

Lifted by CL

"I never imagined that I would become friends with a K-Pop star! She frequently visited Hong Kong as her sister Harin completed her university studies here. It was a proud moment when CL released her first US single "Lifted".

Starry Night by Peggy Gou

"One of the coolest things about my profession is being able witness new talents that you know will just go places. I was involved in the 'KIRIN by Peggy Gou' Asia Tour in late 2019, which included a stop in Hong Kong. I look forward to seeing the path that the whirlwind Peggy Gou creates for herself."

Equanimity by Dave Chappelle

"Not exactly a musician, but his words are music to my ears. While getting a root canal at Crown Dental Studios, I watched Dave's Netflix special. Fast forward a year later, I found myself in the same room in Paris with Dave Chappelle, and I had to "fan out" and ask for a picture together. He was the nicest guy, and invited me to his show that evening (and I got seated next to Janelle Monae!)"

See also: The New Asia: The Most Powerful, Influential & Stylish People To Know In 2020