8 Questions with Stephanie Peh

Stephanie Peh is the author of Self-Made: Creative Lives in Southeast Asia. http://stephpeh.com/

Photo credit: Jovian Lim


Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to make good music.


What is your most treasured possession?

A polaroid of my late grandmother who detested getting her photograph taken. I remember sneaking up on her one day as she was washing the dishes. When the flash hit, she looked at me, eyes wide and shocked. The camera caught that but it was what happened after that I remember—she actually chuckled, which was a rare sight and my favourite memory of her. That and her calling me ‘rice bucket’ in hokkien and chasing me around the living room when I was a kid.


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Waking up in the morning knowing that I have nothing to do and nowhere to be, a cup of coffee in hand, book in another; being indoors while it’s raining heavily outside; eating whatever my parents cook; “singing” my lungs out in the car; winding down after a long day with a drink; laughing at something silly with the people I love and indulging in the variety shows of my favourite boyband ever…


What is your motto?

To perform and enjoy every task—no matter how seemingly insignificant—to the best of my abilities. To try and always see the good in people.


How would you like to die?

Listening to music and falling asleep forever would be a dream way to go.


If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A tree. Or a penguin!


What do you consider the most overrated virtue?



What is your current state of mind?

There is a sense of helplessness in light of the many crises that the world is facing. Over the last couple of months, I’ve found light in focusing on what I can do. There is more that we can do than we think. Most of us can’t change the world but we can make another person’s day a little better by listening to their concerns; showing genuine appreciation for their work; acknowledging the presence of elderly neighbours; sponsoring children and more… When people are grateful, there’s a natural desire to pay it forward, which I believe will go a long way in building a world that we desire to live in.