Scarlet Scribbles

Music | Travel | Marketing | By Andrew Darwitan

Max Martin: The Man Behind Every Songs You Love

If you are born sometime between late-1980s and 2000s, there’s a 99.99% chance that Max Martin wrote the soundtrack to your life—you just didn’t know it’s him. Be it Britney Spears, P!nk, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, Max is the producer/writer behind some of the most beloved hits from every major pop artists in the last 20 years.

In fact, Max’s impact in the industry is second only to the Beatles’ team. With Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off debuting at #1 on U.S. chart this week, Max has earned his 18th #1 and 50th Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100. Beatles’ Lennon-McCartney writing duo is the only one with more #1. On the production front, only George Martin (whom produced Beatles’ work) has more #1 hits.

The impressive thing is… Max is not just a hit-making factory whose hits are forgotten the next year. Nope—he made honest-to-goodness career-defining hits for these ubiquitous pop stars.

Still not convinced? Join me in the nostalgic trip through Max’s discography to relive our generation’s biggest anthems together. Here are the Top 10 ways Max Martin made our childhood, rebelled with us through our angsty teenage years and helped us transition into full-fledged adulthood: Read more…

No, I’m Not Japanese. And No, I’m Not Gonna Shag Your Shop Assistant.


“Ni hao?”

Regardless of your true nationality, ethnicity or language—if you’re an Asian, you’ll hear a lot of random greetings thrown at you by eager shopkeepers who hope you’ll stop at their shops.

I’ve been greeted with at least 5 different languages in different Istanbul stores. Never mind that I’m not Japanese, or that I don’t speak fluent Mandarin. Some Asians would take this stereotyping exercise as a personal offense, and yes, I’d have preferred if they actually find out where I’m actually from first. But I’m willing to overlook that.

You see… the thing is, Turks are friendly people.

Whether it’s genuine or just a bait for tourists to spend more, that’s fine—I’d take that over grumpy and rude shopkeepers… anytime. A little effort at hospitality goes a long way. Well, except for that one funny time when I’m strolling through the Spice Bazaar and they get friendlier than usual.

Spice Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

Spices are not everything they were selling here.
The Spice Bazaar sells everything that can “spice up” your life.

And here’s the little conversation at one of the shops: Read more…

Wake Me Up When September Begins

I’m counting down the days to my Europe + Dubai trip, which will commence at the beginning of September.

It’s a much-deserved break. I have been working my ass off on a 9-to-5 job (9-to-midnight, sometimes) and August has been an especially busy time, not just at work but also the various things that have happened in my personal life lately. So occupied that I haven’t had the chance to continue writing about my Turkey adventure (but I’ll get back to them in the future, I promise).

Anyway, Europe + Dubai!

Here’s a brief overview and pictures of where I’ll be visiting on September, and what I’m most looking forward to see and do! There are still a few empty days here and there, if you have any recommendation on what to do and the contact information of the attraction operator, I’ll be very pleased to know. =)

Read more…

One Year of Scarlet Scribbles

365 days since I first created this blog.

And here’s a quick trip down the memory lane. Key milestones:

  • 28th July 2013: First blog post. I have wanted the blog to be a repository of my thoughts on music, travel and marketing. But 12 months later, it’s mostly just travel. Key post: First Scribble
  • 19th September 2013: First SEO goldmine. Appearing on the first page of Google for Taiwan travel-related searches have brought me lots of free traffics everyday. Key posts: Taiwan: Trip Summary & Suggested Itinerary + the rest of my Taiwan reviews
  • 29th September 2013: First monetization opportunity. Advertorial, banner advertisement… I remember receiving my first business opportunity offer (and a few couple subsequent ones), which I had to decline because I didn’t feel the offer fit my vision for the blog at the time. If the right opportunity comes, I might take it. Key post: 7 Great Content Curation Tools (and Future Plan for This Blog)
  • 7th December 2013: First PageRank score. I was really delightful that one morning when I found out that Google has brought back PageRank and Scarlet Scribbles is a PR 3.0 website (OK that’s not very high, but it was an encouraging start for me). Key post: Google PageRank Update: It’s Back!
  • 15th March 2014: First viral blog post. I can’t lie, I’m very happy and proud when my Facebook’s friend news feed was flooded with my blog entry and it reached 1K shares within 3 days. =) Key post: 10 Reasons Why Medan is Food Heaven!
  • 16th March 2014: Scarlet Scribbles goes Facebook. I decided to create a Facebook account so as to make it easier for people to follow my blog. It’s still in its infancy stage, but do like Scarlet Scribbles Facebook page if you enjoy my writings!

Read more…

I Couldn’t Stop Taking Pictures: Bosphorus River Cruise Review

…because every random building here is photogenic.

Literally. Take a cruise at the Bosphorus River and point your camera at any random point of the city and here’s what you’ll likely get:

Bosphorus River Cruise, Istanbul, Turkey

Point at another random direction and… hey, where’s that castle coming from?

Rumelihisari Castle, Istanbul, Turkey

I tell you what… the above Rumelihisari Castle is not one-of-a-kind. The streets of Istanbul are literally littered with marble palaces, castles, towers, mosques and waterfront houses. Don’t believe me?

Here are just some of the iconic landmarks you can find along Bosphorus shorelines: Read more…

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