For 5 Seconds of Summer, these past few months have been a non-stop blur of success. Staging a whopping comeback with their third studio album Youngblood, the Aussie rockstars quickly became the top act in their home country. Currently the only band ever to have two full-length records entering the Billboard charts at #1, it’s no doubt 5SOS’ newest effort will be just as well-received.

“The making of Youngblood was nothing short of an ultimately transformative experience, for every single member of 5SOS,” wrote the quartet when they released the title track to thank fans for their unwavering support. Having grown out of their pop-punk beginnings, the 5SOS you hear in Youngblood boasts a completely different sound riddled with experimental pop-rock elements and addictive synth beats.


“Youngblood say you want me, say you want me out of your life / And I’m just a dead man walking tonight”

“One of my favourites. Never been more proud of anything,” frontman Luke wrote, and there’s no doubt why. Subdued and vocally-restrained verses slowly build up the momentum, which then bursts into a rhythmic chorus that can only be described with one word – powerful.


“I remember the roses on your shirt when you told me this would never work / You know even when I say I’ve moved on, yeah I still dream for you”

This head-banging single gave us a taste of the band’s newly-honed songwriting skills. Diverging from their cheeky lyrical delivery in Sounds Good Feels Good, ‘Want You Back’ introduces a more mature and laidback production, complemented with a groovy bass line that keeps us hooked on every verse. According to drummer Ashton, this was the last song on the album to be written – when “[the band] had an entire body of work just sitting there” and were wrecking their brains for the perfect single to present it. Guess the best masterpieces come from serendipities!

3. ‘LIE TO ME’

“It’s 3am and the moonlight’s testing me / If I can make it till dawn then it won’t be hard to see that I ain’t happy”

A soundtrack for the broken-hearted, ‘Lie To Me’ is about figuring out how to move on in the aftermath of a bad relationship which, as Ashton says, “the other person is in it for reasons that you aren’t”. Some fans have pointed out that it seemed to be a sequel to ‘If You Don’t Know’, with its similar lovesick rhetorics and whimsical riffs. But in this one, you get a more matured take on heartbreak with melancholic lyrics that everyone can relate to.


“I love the light in your eyes and the dark in your heart / You love our permanent chase and the bite of our bark”

‘Valentine’ makes use of intense – almost creepy – lyrics as a hyperbolic representation of the obsession that ensues when you fall in love with someone. Sappy lines sung with drunken melodies spur that oh-so-familiar feeling of helpless adoration reminiscent of young love. Fans of the goth and post-punk era will feel right at home with this one.


“Talk fast, romance / Won’t last, I’m okay with that”

‘Talk Fast’ is arguably the one of the funkiest songs in Youngblood – just try to not groove along to this catchy tune! Just like its spitfire tempo, this upbeat number seems to be reflective of the breakneck speed that the boys’ lives have been moving at lately – what with non-stop touring and back-to-back shows. Lines like “I’ll take what I can get from you” are sung breathlessly, blending the words into one fleeting vocal line that is strangely cathartic. 


“Thinking ’bout you lots lately / Have you been eating breakfast alone like me?”

A throwback to the band’s early beginnings, this song makes use of fun beats to deliver heartbreaking lyrics, punctuated with humorous lines like “Is it bad that I’m wishing you’re so broken? That you haven’t found fish in the ocean”. Much like ‘Heartbreak Girl’ and ‘Beside You’, it seems like Youngblood is just as centred around girl troubles – but with less goof and more maturity. The boys have certainly been ‘Moving Along’ (sorry, we had to) from their angsty teenage days.


“If these walls could talk, I’d hope they wouldn’t say anything / Because they’ve seen way too many things”

An emotional and unapologetically vulnerable track, ‘If Walls Could Talk’ is the epitome of the new 5SOS. Still musing about the same grievances featured in their previous albums, the band has taken that remorse and added a refreshing, spunky twist to it – and we’re not complaining.


“Darling all of my wrongs, they lead me right to you / Wrapped in your arms, I swear I’d die for you”

Looking back on their musical evolution, it seems only natural that they have progressed towards dark electro pop in some of their newer tracks, and ‘Better Man’ is one of them. Luke’s acrobatic vocals transition smoothly from suave and lilting in the first few verses, to assertive and smouldering in the choruses. Ashton once said that being in a band means you never really grow up, but the lads have certainly found a way to do so without losing their boyish charm.

9. ‘MORE’

“And all the things that we dream about, they don’t mean what they did before / I just wanna get back to us ’cause we used to have more”

Vocally dense and instrumentally heavy, ‘More’ has just the right amount of swagger to please our rock-lovin’ hearts. Michael’s commanding power chords, Calum’s ground-rocking bass line, Ashton’s lively drumming and Luke’s soulful vocals make this track complete.


“You imagine when you close your eyes you’re with me on the other side / So why won’t you love me?”

Luke’s trademark ’80s falsetto vocals are peppered throughout the entire album, but his soaring notes in ‘Why Won’t You Love Me’ might be his best yet. This song is proof that 5SOS is one of the few bands that can still pull off a Petrarchan lover track, without coming off as too whiny.


“It was more than just a neon weekend / Light slipping through the third floor curtain”

And of course, we have the obligatory “travelling rockstar wakes up in a new place every morning” trope. Luke sings about – you guessed it – waking up in Japan, but “feeling low, feeling lonely”. It paints a vivid picture of a lonely musician partying away his woes, feeling dissociated with everything around him. Despite the glamour of life on the road, it appears even the best rockstars need a place to call home sometimes.


“Think the high out with the low / And away and away we go”

If you need a badass new addition to your playlist, you’re gonna love ‘Empty Wallets’. An evolution of ‘Waste The Night’, it explores the familiar themes of partying all night and not holding back on a good time – reminiscent of the band’s adolescent “long hair, don’t care” mentality. Roll those car windows down and turn up the volume on this tune on your next road trip!


“So I drown it out like I always do, dancing through our house with the ghost of you / And I’ll chase it down with a shot of truth, that my feet don’t dance like they did with you”

You might’ve already guessed from its title, but this song will break your heart in many ways. Opening with a sombre guitar riff, its instrumental also incorporates delicate piano notes that make lyrics like “too young, too dumb to know things like love” all the more heart-wrenching. After the all-out pop assault of Youngblood, ‘Ghost Of You’ leaves you with a hauntingly beautiful aftertaste.


“Demons hide behind my back / And I can see them, one, two, three, four”

Lead guitarist Michael may not have many lines in Youngblood, but his vocals in ‘Monster Among Men’ more than makes up for it. A reappearance of the demons from his solo in ‘Jet Black Heart’, it features stripped verses bursting into a pounding chorus, mimicking the polar mood swings that caused him to hurt a loved one over and over again. And if you think Michael’s shining moment only lasts as long as the first verse, you’ll be blown away by his epic guitar solo later on!


“So you go your way and I’ll go mine / And if we’re meant to, I’ll meet you there”

If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, ‘Meet You There’ is the perfect anthem for you. Something along the lines of ‘Close As Strangers’, this lively ditty speaks about two lovers leaving their fate up to the stars. The most iconic part of this track however, is when the beat drops and a dubstep-like mix comes on (just listen to it, and you’ll know what we’re on about).


“Burned too bright, now the fire’s gone / Watch it all fall down: Babylon”

The final song in Youngblood (not counting hidden bonus tracks) is testament to how far 5SOS can push their songwriting and composing prowess. Alluding to the ancient Mesopotamian city, ‘Babylon’ depicts the story of a thriving civilisation that was destroyed at the hands of the Assyrian Empire. It draws parallels of this defeat to a deteriorating relationship, telling you to face the painful truth: “We said we’d both love harder than we knew we could go, but still the hardest part is knowing when to let go”. 5SOS couldn’t have picked a more fitting track to bring the album to an anthemic close.

5 Seconds of Summer’s third studio album Youngblood (Deluxe) is now available for streaming and purchase.

When Eric Chou first broke onto the Mandopop scene, the 19-year-old was fresh-faced and bright-eyed with a penchant for romantic tunes. The formula worked like a dream: spawning a consistent string of karaoke staples that would inevitably turn an Eric Chou concert into one massive singalong sesh. Four years later, the Taiwanese singer-songwriter seeks to reinvent himself with an EDM-infused record, yet stays close enough to his balladry roots to not alienate his signature charms.

Eric Chou 22PLUS Singapore

His sharp stylistic turn was apparent when he hit the stage for his sold-out 22PLUS 2018 Asia Tour, filling his set with climatic beat drops, pulsating lights and slick dance moves right from the get-go. Although the audience appeared a little lukewarm at first, Eric had everybody warmed up in no time. “How was my dancing? I wanted to have a swag vibe,” Eric addressed the 5000-strong crowd, to be met with a chorus of cheers.

However, as much as we love his new musical direction, ballads are undoubtedly what the crooner does best. It didn’t take long for the familiar piano sounds to make their entrance as he proceeded to give fans exactly what they wanted – a heartfelt medley of crowd favourites including ‘The Chaos After You’, ‘How Have You Been’ and ‘Let’s Not Be Friends Anymore’, which quickly infected the audience into singing along to every single word.

Eric Chou 22PLUS Singapore 1

As if that’s not enough to whip everyone into a frenzy, Eric went full-on heartthrob mode as he leaped off the stage to interact with fans during ‘The Way You Made Me Feel’. It wasn’t even a heartbeat later that he got mobbed by the stampede of fans, who spared no hesitation in jumping out of their seats to get a glimpse of him.

Perhaps the highlight of the night was when his fellow musician brother Alex Chou (also known as AC周予天) made a surprise appearance, and the duo even did a duet together. The multifaceted rapper also performed two of his solo tracks, bringing the show to an all-time high. What else can we say, talent indeed runs in the Chou family!

Hours went by in a flash as all good times do, leaving all of us in the best place possible – wanting more, and more. At the end of the day, there’s no doubting Eric’s musicianship. This is truly only the beginning of a brilliant performer who has so much more to deliver, and we can’t wait to be surprised yet again the next time he visits.

Photo credits: Unusual Entertainment & 星空飛騰國際娛樂有限公司

Check out our past interview with Eric Chou where we picked his brain on the first album he bought, the song he’ll sing to confess his love and more!

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BLACKPINK’s back in your area with their latest music video for ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ and these legends snapped. The title track off their long-awaited Square Up EP, this unapologetic banger packs in plenty of girl power appeal amidst the flashy backdrops, bold outfit choices and kickass choreography. Most importantly, the BLACKPINK ladies are here to make a statement, and they’re going to make sure you hear them loud and clear.

Queens remain young, rich and unbothered.

Hate ’em if you want, but nothing changes the fact that these K-pop darlings have accomplished way more than others could’ve ever achieved in their lifetime. In the short span of two years, BLACKPINK has since chalked up billions of views, dominated music charts around the world, and brought home more trophies than one could count – all while leaving a trail of dedicated fans (affectionately known as BLINKs) in their wake. C.mon, Jennie had a diamond-encrusted tank to carry her shopping bags while she casually eats popcorn on her rightful throne. Jennie did that.

In a more morbid scenario, the tank can also be seen as a weapon that lets her hit back at her naysayers – literally.

Haters can watch them fall, but they will rise again.

Perhaps the most poignant scene of all, a wig-wearing Jisoo is seen strutting down the streets while people ignore her existence and are busy snapping away at the picture-perfect image of Jisoo on the wall instead. Heads turn immediately when pink-haired Jisoo accidentally trips over, with everyone instinctively whipping out their guns – or rather, phones – to capture her downfall. It’s a harsh depiction of the media and public who praise you when you’re at your highest, but never hesitate to point fingers at you as soon as you make a mistake.

Phones are used to hold a person at gunpoint as a reference to online trolls leaving malicious comments with the intention to hurt somebody. But haters gon’ hate, ’cause Jisoo ain’t letting them get her down as she’s later seen standing up to fight for herself. Our wigs are snatched!

Beyond all that swagger and bombastic beats, ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ delivers an empowering message that is so hardly talked about in today’s society and it’s absolutely refreshing to see female idols using their music and platform to take a stance for themselves in the most compelling way possible.

They certainly aren’t kidding when they say BLACKPINK is the revolution.

More related stories: Dua Lipa And BLACKPINK Finally Met Each Other, And Fans Can’t Stop Freaking OutBIGBANG’s Seungri, BLACKPINK, iKON, Winner And More To Make Their Netflix Debut!, Meet YG’s New 4-Member Girl Group BLACKPINK

Best known for clinching the runner-up position in the 2009 season of Singapore Idol, Tabitha Nauser has gone on to make quite a name for herself. From repping +65 in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games theme song ‘Everyone’, to collaborating with Dutch duo Yellow Claw for their latest banger ‘Crash This Party’, and even releasing her own string of hit singles ‘Bulletproof’, ‘Body Language’ and ‘Rules’, the homegrown pop diva’s musical career has been a non-stop whirl of success. Through our short interview with the rising powerhouse, one thing’s clear: Tabitha Nauser goes by her own rules, and she’s winning at it.

Hi Tabitha! We love your new single ‘Rules’, could you share with us what it’s about?

It’s definitely a song that’s meant to be empowering and powerful. I wrote it from the viewpoint of a woman. As a woman, no matter which industry you’re in, people will always try to tell you what to do. So this song is to let these women know: “You know what? It’s okay if you want to do things your own way. You are powerful and you are strong enough to guide yourself.” 

So have you broken any rules in the past?

(Laughs) Oh my god, all the time. There are probably too many to tell you right now, but I’m pretty sure I have.  

You’ve got a new collaboration with Yellow Claw titled ‘Crash This Party’. How did that come about and how was it like working with the duo?

I was actually in Indonesia doing promo for one of my other songs, performing on an Indonesian TV show and Jim from Yellow Claw happened to watch the show and found out who I was, so he DM-ed me on Instagram saying, “Hey listen, I’m working on an album now and I heard you sing on the show. I think you’ve got a great voice, would you be open to collaboration?” And at that time I was like, “Oh my god is this Yellow Claw?!” (Laughs)

They sent me a couple of tracks, but I just felt like they weren’t the right fit for me as they were too EDM. So I passed on the first few ones, but they were super cooperative and really wanted to find a way to make it work. Thus, they kept sending me tracks and eventually we landed on ‘Crash This Party’ and we all agreed that it was a great song – for both Yellow Claw and myself. I flew over to their studio in Amsterdam to record, and that’s it!

It’s no secret that you love Drake. If you could re-record any song in your catalogue to feature him, which would it be?

(Gasps) That is such a good question. Oh my gosh… this is so hard. I would probably do ‘Rules’ with Drake. Yeah, can you imagine? ‘Cause it’s like moody and all, and he would do so well with that track – especially with the outro at the end.

Are there any other dream international and/or local collaborations you would like to make happen in the future?

For local artistes I’ve said this a couple of times, but I think THELIONCITYBOY would be a great person to collaborate with. And international… wow that’s hard. I would love to do something with SZA. I think that will be pretty dope.

You’ve gone from interviewing celebrities as a DJ to becoming a full-fledged artiste yourself. How was the transition like for you?

Oh, I love it! Interviewing people used to stress me out – I don’t know how you guys do it – like I used to be so nervous last time. I’d rather be the one answering questions, it’s just so much easier doing that. I think that would be the only thing that feels different to me. Other than that, everything’s pretty much the same. But I like this better (laughs).

From ‘Bulletproof’ to ‘Rules’, you’ve never been afraid to express yourself through music. What gave you the confidence to be the Tabitha Nauser we know today?

I feel that it takes time. You have to go through and experience different things. You’ve got to surround yourself with very positive people who want to nurture you and support you because when you’re in a positive state, it’s just better for everyone. When you’ve got good energy, it helps with your confidence and everything else so surround yourself with good people.

You’ve always been very vocal on issues such as female empowerment. What advice would you give to women who are struggling with their self-worth?

I would say that they have the power, you know what I mean? It’s easy to just tell somebody that they are beautiful but if you don’t believe it, then you’re never gonna believe it. You just need to find something about yourself that you like every single day and tell yourself about it. For example, if you’re great at drawing, just tell yourself “I’m a great artist!” It starts from there – just these small affirmations to yourself every day, it makes you believe in yourself little by little.

If you could change the rules of the local music industry, what’s one thing you’d wish to change for the better?

I feel like people are very quick to judge local music just because it’s local, and sometimes they don’t really give it a chance because they think it’s not as great as something that comes out of the US, the UK or anywhere else. I would say give it a listen and just forget that it’s local for awhile. Who knows, you might actually fall in love with it! I actually drew inspiration from both Singaporean and Western music – growing up, there were a lot of homegrown bands that I listened to. If I say the names of some of these bands, you’ll know how old I am (laughs).

What would you say was your biggest difficulty trying to make it in the local scene?

I think for me, the biggest difficulty was trying to rebuild myself as a singer and an artiste. I did come from Singapore Idol and a lot of people remember me for that, but after that I did a bit of deejaying, theatre and hosting. So for me, it’s just kinda re-introducing people to Tabitha Nauser. But I feel like people know now – they know I’m a singer and they know my music.

How has the local music scene evolved since your Singapore Idol days?

It’s unbelievable. With the advent of social media, everything is so accessible now. You are exposed to so many more local artistes and so many different genres of local music. It’s exciting because you have your underground rap, your mainstream rap, your indie stuff, your pop and dance tracks – and it’s so nice to see everybody co-inhabiting in that space. And for me to be part of it, is a huge deal for me.

What do you hope to ultimately achieve in this new phase of your career?

I just hope to be able to inspire more people and to empower a lot of other young girls. At the same time, I want to bring awareness to local music; to reach out to the region and to people overseas as well. I’m hoping to make a mark in some way.

Can we expect a full album to drop anytime soon? What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Not an album, but an EP will be coming out this year. I’m trying to get it done as soon as possible. I have like one or two more songs that I’m trying to finish up and once that’s done I think it’ll come out. But I think the main goal for me in 2018 is to put out more music. I definitely want to do more live shows because I love performing on stage. I just want to put my music out there and have people enjoy it.

Listen to Tabitha Nauser’s latest single ‘Rules’ on Spotify.

More related stories: Local Singer-Songwriter Sezairi Talks Cats, Gender Roles And RomanceGentle Bones And MYRNE Talk New Music, Sam Rui And K-pop

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Remember the 2014 ice bucket challenge that caused your timelines to be flooded (literally!) with videos of celebrities dunking a bucket of iced water over their heads in an effort to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)? Also known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord”. Four years later, the popular social media movement makes a comeback in South Korea, with hopes of building the first ever hospital specialising in treatment and rehabilitation for ALS patients.

The challenge was first initiated by Korean singer Sean of hip-hop duo Jinusean back in May, who is the director of Seung Il Hope Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to aiding in the research of the debilitating condition.

Since then, a wave of prominent celebrities have taken on the challenge, including K-pop stars from the likes of IU, Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung and Seohyun, EXO’s Chanyeol, Wanna One’s Jisung and Daehwi, TWICE’s Sana, Momo and Nayeon, B.A.P’s Daehyun and Jongup, ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo, as well as actors such as Hyun Bin, Jo In Sung and Park Bo Gum.


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In recent news, Hyunjin from rookie girl group LOONA took one for the team and made the bold move of nominating YG Entertainment head, Yang Hyun Suk for the challenge – although he’s more likely to make a financial contribution instead.

Besides getting soaked for a cause, other stars decided to show their generous support by donating to the Seung Il Hope Foundation such as actress Kim Yoo Jung, iKON’s Bobby, GOT7’s Youngjae and Yugyeom, Wanna One’s Seongwoo, and Mamamoo’s Moonbyul and Solar (the latter two also chose to do the ice bucket shower in addition to their donations).


안녕하세요. 배우 김보라 언니의 지목으로 정말 감사하게도 아이스버킷 챌린지에 참여하게 되었는데요. 승일희망재단에서 국내 최초 루게릭 요양병원 건립을 위해 많은 노력을 하고 있다고 들었습니다. 완공이 되는 날까지 많은 관심 가져주시고 모두 함께 응원해주세요. 또 루게릭 요양병원 건립 후에도 지속적으로 많은 관심을 가져주셨으면 하는 바람입니다. 저 역시도 함께 응원하겠습니다. 저는 얼음물 샤워 대신 기부로 마음을 함께 하겠습니다. 제 마음을 같이 이어가주실 분은 배우 태항호님, 배우 정혜성님, 배우 박지빈님 입니다. @junghyesung91 @impactorpjb

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It’s heartening to witness such an overwheming outpour of support and we hope the Seung Il Hope Foundation project will be a success!

Which star do you wish to see participate in the 2018 Ice Bucket Challenge next? Drop their names in the comments below!

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