Personal Growth

My Travel Essentials: Sandra Riley Tang

Personal Growth - November 2015

After dominating the Singapore music scene with her band The Sam Willows, as well as touring the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia - Sandra is now taking on the fitness industry, with zombies in mind.

Sandra's essentials include her functional fitness items and music-making tools .

Zombies are not the first thing most people think of when they want to get their bodies into shape, but for Singapore musician, artist and fitness enthusiast Sandra Riley Tang, zombies can be pretty motivating.

After dominating the Singapore music scene with her band The Sam Willows, now signed to Sony, as well as touring the United States, Canada, South Korea, Australia and Malaysia - Sandra is now taking on the fitness industry, with zombies in mind.

The energetic 24-year-old wants to carve out a space for her idea of “functional fitness," which she describes as being able to survive a zombie apocalypse.

“If a horde of zombies are coming after you and you can survive -- you can climb over a wall, you can keep running, you have enough strength to lift up a boulder that is blocking you, you can push yourself up a wall, then that is being fit," Sandra said.

Two years ago, Sandra tried out yoga for the first time through a Groupon voucher. Since then, she's become a certified yoga teacher and now runs her own yoga studio, The Yoga Collective.

She believes fitness involves having strength, flexibility and stamina, and she's added rock climbing, muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and stunt training to her fitness regime.

Like many young entrepreneurial creatives, Sandra does not want to be pigeon-holed into one occupation.

As well as singing, playing keyboards and percussion with The Sam Willows, she also teaches piano.

Sandra has recently expanded her love for visual arts from graphic design to calligraphy and fabric design, selling her handmade fabric phone covers and art pieces through her own online gallery.

She also speaks out against stereotypes of beauty, criticising magazines which have used photoshop techniques to 'slim' her muscular physique in the past.

“Strong is the new sexy,” said Sandra. “Being stick-thin and saying, 'I cannot do anything, you pick up for me, I am a maiden in distress' - I don't think that's sexy anymore," she said.


Limited Edition Dr. Marten's boots

Sandra's special edition Doc Marten boots, by Liberty of London, have been on every single tour she's done with The Sam Willows, from neighbouring countries like Malaysia all the way to Canada.

Self-decorated 13" Macbook

Sandra's first computer still holds a special place in her heart. She used it to design posters and graphics in the early days of The Sam Willows but has since upgraded to a new 15” Macbook.


Sandra started out on keyboards with The Sam Willows, then slowly introduced a collection of percussion instruments starting with a shaker, then tambourines and then a stomp box and cymbals.

Nike Shoes

Sandra's Nike Shoes represents fitness, a vital part of Sandra's life. “If I don't exercise, I feel gao wei (uncomfortable)," she says.

Crop Top

“Crop tops are a good example of the style of clothes I like to wear,” says Sandra, who adds that she loves wearing clothes that reflect her dedication to physical fitness and flatter her athletic build. .

Energy bar

Sandra confesses that she's a serial snacker, and always takes zip-lock bags with candy, chocolate and nuts with her when she's touring. "I exercise so that I can eat more,” she says.