Entertainment

8 Summer Earworms To Put On Repeat

20 Jun 2017 by Bryan Yeong

Besides the weather obviously heating up these couple of months, summer marks the arrival of dessert-indulging, frequent hangs with the besties and new outdoor adventures. We’ve put together a list of tracks you ought to have on your Spotify playlist. Time to hit the ‘Play’ button!

Halsey – ‘Strangers’ (Feat. Lauren Jauregui)

Alt-pop megastar-in-the-making, Halsey delivers an ode to fleeting romance with a welcomed assistance courtesy of Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jaurequi on ‘Strangers’, off the #1 album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Their distinctive, raspy tones mesh well together, trading verses over a pulsating beat throughout. It’s a modern day love song that breaks barriers, and one that looks set to catapult these two budding talents to new heights of fame.

The xx – ‘I Dare You’

For summer nights, put on The xx’s ‘I Dare You’ to capture the essence of youth succinctly in under four minutes. Romy and Oliver trade lines about both the excitement and heartbreak of falling in reckless, passionate love – perfect for looking back on an old relationship or fanning the flames of a new crush. Fingers crossed the band puts this on their setlist at their upcoming Indoor Stadium gig on 25 July!

Phoenix – ‘J-Boy’

You can always count on French band Phoenix to come through with summery indie anthems a la previous successes ‘1901’ and ‘Entertainment’, and their reign continues with Ti Amo‘s first single ‘J-Boy’. Featuring mesmerising synths and explosive guitars in true Phoenix fashion, the track bursts with hands-in-the-air jubilance that would light up the mood of any party.

Camila Cabello – ‘Crying in the Club’

Fifth Harmony’s ex-member traded in twerk-ready girl-group bops for the searing dance floor filler ‘Crying In The Club’ as her first single, and it’s certainly paid off. The self-empowering number might bear resemblances to Sia, but Camila takes charge with her honest delivery and personal message. And with lyrics like “Let the music warm your body like the heat of a thousand fires”, is there a song that is any more summer-appropriate?

Terror Jr – ‘Appreciation’

Not much is known about pop trio Terror Jr, even after they burst onto the scene after ‘3 Strikes’ was featured on Kylie Jenner’s lip gloss commercial, sparking rumours that she was the anonymous lead vocalist of the indie outfit – but that was quickly debunked. Famous family connections or not, there’s no denying the catchiness and clever lyrics of the group’s discography, which includes 2016’s Bop City and Bop City 2: TerroRising, released just last week. One clear standout is ‘Appreciation’, an electropop thumper about showing gratitude to a lover. The terror has clearly risen, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Lorde – ‘Sober’

“Will you sway with me? Go astray with me?”, Lorde asks on the eclectic ‘Sober’, and how could we say no? The seductive, captivating song is touted to be the second single lifted off her sophomore album Melodrama, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. Produced by Bleachers frontman and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, he scatters hushed whispers and trumpet horns to make this another instant Lorde classic.

G-Dragon – ‘SUPER STAR’

You don’t need a USB port to listen to G-Dragons triumphant new album Kwon Ji Yong, and its highlight ‘SUPER STAR’. The rapper’s signature swag compliments the bouncy instrumental fervently, with him in search of somebody to love – something we doubt he’s lacking. 

The Killers – ‘The Man’

Every summer playlist needs a soaring rock song, and who else but The Killers to fill that void thoroughly. Our Las Vegas rock gods make their overdue comeback with ‘The Man”, where charming lead singer Brandon Flowers declares he’s the titular character fronted by groovy bass, disco funk and a backing choir – and we don’t disagree. The glam-rock track is a sign of greater things to come from the band in the form of their upcoming album Wonderful Wonderful, due out later this year.

More related stories: The Most Uplifting Moments From The One Love Manchester ConcertDua Lipa Dishes On Her Undying Love For Troye Sivan

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Ditching her former status as 2NE1’s maknae, Gong Minzy’s star is soaring to the top with her radio-friendly record, Minzy Work 01 Uno. s. Teenage speaks to the ‘Ninano’ songstress about her newfound solo career, how she overcomes hardships and what she’d choose: fame, fortune or talent. 

Gong Minzy’s exponential talent is undeniable – in the way she blazes onstage, her sheer passion for music and magnetic charisma. Which was why not one of us doubted Minzy’s ability to succeed as a soloist, even though the fandom was understandably distraught at her sudden departure from 2NE1 and the band’s subsequent disbandment. Releasing Minzy Work 01 Uno, her first EP 1 year after leaving 2NE1, this ‘maknae no more’ has since risen to the top (once again) with her explosive dance moves and head-bopping tunes composed by the ‘Ninano’ songstress herself. 

On her own for the first time, Minzy had a clear vision of what she wanted for this EP. “[I felt] that this album must have a clear story. I weighed in on the flow of the songs. Most of my fans think that I am only good at dancing, but I [wanted] to show that I can sing as well,” she mused. A huge fan of Missy Elliot, Beyoncé and Michael Jackson since her trainee days, Minzy set out on curating an album that consisted of both dance anthems and power ballads. “When I saw the choreography of ‘Ninano’ for the first time, I worried about whether I’d be able to sing it live because its choreography is very powerful – when I danced to this song the first 3 or 4 times, I was knocked down,” she shared, “But I practiced constantly and it kept getting better.” Impressively, ‘Ninano’ showcased Minzy’s vocals and moves to perfection without leaning into the overly sexualized performances that’ve come into trend in the K-pop scene. 

 

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“When I am working as a solo artist, I sometimes feel burdened, but at the same time, I feel thrilled.” Despite having been in the music industry for close to a decade, the 23-year-old found herself charting new territories, what with debuting as a solo artiste under new management. Luckily, Minzy found that she was able to provide more input. “I could see the big picture of the process,” she revealed, “[Back then] I usually focused on recording and dance, but this time round, I participated actively in the making of the album and shared more ideas.” In a flash of brilliance, Minzy reached out to Korean rapper Flowsik and former 2PM member Jay Park for collaborations on ‘Ninano’ and ‘Flashlight’ respectively. “Flowsik and Jay Park are very popular, and it was a great honour to work with them. An acquaintance introduced us and they accepted my proposal, which I really appreciate.” 

Solidifying her credentials as a songwriter, Minzy penned her 6-track EP, including empowering anthem ‘Superwoman’. Choosing this track as her favourite of the record, she recommends it as a much-needed morning energy boost. “When I feel unsatisfied about my situation or status, I usually try to find the solution.” Minzy revealed, “My motto is: ‘If you can’t avoid it, you might as well try and enjoy it’ and this makes me stronger.” And for all her young fans still seeking their own paths, Minzy shared, “It could be hard to take a step. But after you do so, all you’ll need to do is run [forward]. Please do not give up on what you want. Believe in yourself, that you have an infinite possibility to overcome all obstacles.”  This revelation makes sense – Minzy has had to make difficult decisions and she has come out of every crossroads gracefully, with her head held high – and that makes the true message behind ‘Superwoman’ tremendously meaningful. 

Unsurprisingly, when asked about how she would describe herself as an artiste, Minzy candidly shares, “I’m still not satisfied. I will try harder and harder!” But having achieved so much at 23, the future is undoubtably bright for Minzy. So what would this solo superstar choose when asked to pick between being a globally famous artiste, being the most talented musician in the world, or being the richest celebrity? Cheekily, Minzy chose talent, “[In this case], then the world would recognise me and [that would also] make me richer!” 

Listen to Minzy’s EP on Spotify now:

 

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BTW, Minzy’s our June issue cover girl, so pick up a copy (on news stands now) to indulge in more Minzy goodness! 

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Entertainment

The Most Uplifting Moments From The One Love Manchester Concert

5 Jun 2017 by Johanna Teo

Returning to Manchester on Sunday just 2 weeks after the Manchester Arena bombings, Ariana Grande staged the One Love Manchester benefit concert alongside a star-studded lineup to raise funds for the victims of the terror attacks.  

The over three-hour long televised event followed in the wake of the London attacks, but that didn’t stop both the performers – including the likes of Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Black Eyed Peas and more – and the resilient 50,000-strong audience from turning out to pay tribute. Here are the most inspiring, uplifting and tearjerking moments from the concert, which ultimately raised more than $13 million for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund. 

“Don’t go forward in anger. Love spreads.” 

Scooter Braun took the stage with a powerful message from Adam, a 15-year-old survivor of the attack. Despite still being in the hospital and having lost his best friend, Olivia, Adam told Scooter: “Make sure you tell them: Don’t go forward in anger. Love spreads.” Scooter added: ” I want to thank you once again for coming out tonight and answering that call that hatred will never win, that fear will never divide us because on this day, we all stood with Manchester.” 

‘Don’t Dream It’s Over” 

Back in 2015, Miley Cyrus invited Ariana to Happy Hippie Backyard Sessions, where they sang ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’. After Miley Cyrus’ performance was confirmed, Twitter requests flooded through for the duo to perform that very same cover, and they delivered. The intimate yet powerful show of solidarity cemented what the night was about: spreading love, courage and joy through music. 

Musicians sending love

Many artistes who could not perform at the benefit sent their love and messages of support through a series of touching videos. Stevie Wonder and David Beckham were the first to appear in solo videos, while Sir Paul McCartney, Demi Lovato, Halsey, Camila Cabello, Kendall Jenner and more shared their words and pledged to “Stand With Manchester”. Like Stevie Wonder said: “We all know that love is truly the key, I don’t care what ethnicity you are, what religion you are – we all know that love really is the way. So anyone that tries to make anyone think that things of destruction have anything to do with God or Allah, they are a lie.” Powerful words indeed. 

‘Where Is The Love?’

One of the most apt performances of the night, Black Eyed Peas stepped up and performed global hit, ‘Where Is The Love’ with Ariana. Despite Will.i.Am receiving criticism about his blunders during the performance (he repeatedly referred to the Manchester crowd as London), we would like to say that his heart is in the right place. As Will.i.Am sings-shouts, “We will not be separated!”

‘My Everything’  

When the Parrs Wood High School choir took the stage and performed a beautiful rendition of Ariana’s ‘My Everything’, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the house. Their performance was made even more impactful as some of the choir members were present at Ariana’s Manchester Arena concert. Midway, Ariana came onstage and hand-in-hand with 12-year-old soloist Natasha-Rose Seth, they finished the song – that was when the waterworks truly started. 

Switching Sides (By Side)

Before performing ‘Side to Side’ – a number that might have seemed inappropriate under these circumstances, Ariana shared her experience meeting Olivia Campbell’s mum who not only told her not to cry, but that “Olivia would’ve wanted to hear the hits”. With that being said, Ari and her crew changed up the entire setlist only a day before the concert to reflect that fun and lighthearted energy that would truly honour her young fans. 

“I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult.”

Spreading the message of universal love further, Katy Perry started her performance with a mass bonding exercise. “Touch the person next to you, make human contact. Tell them ‘I love you’, look into their eyes and tell them – do it, everyone.” She added, “I encourage you to choose love even when it’s difficult. Let no one take it away from you”, before delving into an acoustic version of ‘Part of Me’, followed by the ever-empowering ‘Roar’. 

Dancing Policeman & Children

While an emotional Justin Bieber was performing and making the crowd chant ‘Love’ in unison, a policeman and a group of kids started dancing hand-in-hand. The latter understandably was a major highlight for everyone watching, with Twitter users talking about how this moment portrayed the true spirit of Manchester. 

‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ 

Mancunians breaking out into a spontaneous rendition of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ after a nationwide minute of silence for the Manchester terror attacks has made the classic an unintentional symbol of Manchester’s resilient spirit. Hearing the 50,000-strong audience sing along with Coldplay’s Chris Martin was unlike any other – the band followed up with ‘Fix You’ and man, was it a cathartic moment. 

Rivals Unite

As dusk fell, the stadium crackled with an electrically charged atmosphere that wouldn’t be out of place at a rock concert. Then, former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher strode onstage and dove headfirst into his set. An even bigger surprise than his appearance (Liam initially wasn’t able to make it due to a prior gig) – his duet with Coldplay! Despite having a longstanding rivalry with the band, Liam and Chris put aside their musical differences and literally embraced onstage during ‘Live Forever’. 

‘One Last Time’ 

As many would know, Ari’s ‘One Last Time’ has taken on new meaning altogether in the wake of the attack. Gathering onstage with the rest of the artistes, Ariana delivered an emotional performance while the crowds sang and danced along. Bravely holding it together, Ari choked back tears as she reiterated her love for Manchester and her gratefulness to everyone for turning up. 

‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ 

Closing the One Love Manchester benefit with a tearful rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, Ari soulfully belted out the The Wizard of Oz classic as the crowd swayed and cried along. 

Watch the full concert here: 

In the face of troubling and fearful times, we urge everyone to stand strong, and love with an open heart. It will be difficult not to lash out in anger, but moments like these serve to show that the world is a big and beautiful place; one that has no room for evil, nor for those who respond with hate. Love is the key and love will not be silenced – we stand together. 

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Entertainment

All The Movies You Should Watch This June

1 Jun 2017 by Johanna Teo

From the empowering tales of Wonder Woman to the mystical thrill of The Mummy, June’s movie roster is packed with blockbuster potentials and hidden gems. Here’s a complete list of movies to watch out for (literally) this month. 

Now Showing: Wonder Woman

DC Comics’ leading lady takes centerstage in the male-dominated world of superheroes. After a scene-stealing role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gal Gadot brings the iconic Amazonian warrior to life in her standalone film – sword and shield in tow. It’s a win-win for both DC diehards, as well as for young girls around the world to have an empowering female superhero role model. Expect action-packed sequences, girl power and hints of what’s to come in Justice League later this year. 

03 – Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry

Perfect for anime lovers, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry follows Natsu and the wizards of the Fair Tail Guild who are tasked with retrieving the stolen Dragon Cry – a magic artefact with the power to destroy the entire world. As the motley crew infiltrate the Kingdom of Stella, Natsu undergoes a dangerous transformation as his dragon slayer instincts awaken. 

08 June – The Mummy

Buried alive 2,000 years ago beneath the sands of Egypt after killing her father and attempting to claim the throne for herself, Princess Ahmanet’s ancient tomb is discovered by the American Army and reopened in our current day. Awakened once again, Ahmanet brings with her a vindictive grudge that has only grown over the years, unleashing a reign of terror that none of humanity has ever witnessed before.

Didi’s Dream

A struggling actress vs her superstar sister – Didi and Chunmei are as different as night and day, whether it’s physique, personality or career success. In her bid to prove her worth, Didi goes to extreme lengths, resulting in hilarious consequences. Starring Dee Hsu aka Xiao S and Lin Chi-ling in Kevin Tsai’s directorial debut, try spotting familiar faces like Shen Yu Lin and Chen Han Dian. 

Colossal  

A down-on-her-luck party girl finds herself hitting rock bottom when her boyfriend, who has had enough of her partying ways, kicks her out of their apartment. Returning to her hometown with dreams of starting anew, Gloria realises that she has a connection to a Godzilla-like monster rampaging through South Korea – but will she be able to figure out why her existence has a Colossal impact on the fate of the world?

15 June – Despicable Me 3

As an agent of the Anti-Villain League, and a loving husband and father to Lucy and his three girls, Gru was happy with his relatively normal life. But with the arrival of former ’80s child star Balthazar Bratt along with his obsession with world domination, as well as having to deal with sibling rivalry when he meets his long-lost charming and more successful twin brother Dru – will our favourite ‘villain’ be able to prevail through it all?

The Wall 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena star in this deadly psychological thriller as two American soldiers who are pinned down by an Iraqi sniper, with nothing but a crumbling wall separating them. With the sniper taunting their every move, their situation slowly turns into a game, and their fight for survival becomes as much a battle of the will to survive as it is a battle of lethally accurate marksmanship.

22 June – Transformers: The Last Knight 

After the events of Transformers: Age of Extinction, a war between the humans and the Transformers breaks out in the absence of Optimus Prime. Now, it’s up to the unlikely alliance of Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English Lord and an Oxford professor to save our world from destruction. Spoiler alert: it has also been revealed that the film has a connection to the King Arthur (specifically Merlin) legend, so be sure to watch out for the appearance of the ‘Once and Future King’!

29 June – The House 

What do you do when you accidentally destroy your daughter’s college fund? Start an illegal basement-located casino to earn the money of course! With Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler in the cast, you’ll never be short of side-splitting moments throughout the movie. 

Which movies will you be watching this June? Share your top picks in the comment section!  

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Entertainment

6 Ways Celebs Are Putting Their Money To Good Use

31 May 2017 by Bryan Yeong

It’s not all about “the money, money, money” as some famous faces show, having taken it upon themselves to use their time, wealth and influence towards something of greater importance instead – helping the less fortunate. We take a look at some of today’s celebrities whose hearts are as big as their careers.

Nicki Minaj


Photo Credit: TIME.com

When it comes to philanthropy, Nicki is truly – to quote her recent single ‘No Frauds’ – “the generous queen”. Most recently, the chart-topping rapper took to Twitter to connect with some of her fans, asking them to back up their good grades with proof and DM-ing her their bank account details, before paying off their outstanding school loans. An official charity for tuition and student loans is also in the works, Nicki spilled. So in case you’re in need of extra funds for your upcoming Uni course, Nicki might just come through! 

Chris Martin (Coldplay)

 
Photo Credit: Billboard.com

The demand for Coldplay’s live shows know no boundaries – don’t forgot how willing we were to shell out our savings for sold-out tickets to their Singapore show earlier this year. But if you want to meet the rock gods in the flesh, you’ll just have to splurge more, all for a good cause. The band is known to favour rewarding coveted meet and greet sessions to fans who donate or bid on charity instead of simply purchasing them, working with non-profit organisations such as Cash For Kids, a UK children’s charity and Charity: Water, which aims to bring clean water to developing countries. Mad props to Chris & Co. for bringing a little bit of ‘Paradise’ to those in need!

The Kardashians/Jenners


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Charity is not likely the first thing you’d associate headlines with Hollywood’s It family and brand, but the Kardashian/Jenner clan are doing more good than you realise. Last Christmas, the family surprised Red Eye, a non-profit organisation for the Skid Row district in Los Angeles, by donating 100 gourmet meals to poor and homeless people, without releasing any news about it to the media. It was only revealed to the public by the charity’s founder, overwhelmed by the thoughtful gesture. This isn’t the first time the sisters have proved their hearts of gold either. The women also previously donated over $50,000 worth of clothing to Red Eye, and have also contributed $250,000 to aid cancer research in honor of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe’s late dad who passed on from the illness. 

Chris Hemsworth


Photo Credit: The New York Times

Turns out Chris Hemsworth is a real-life superhero too. The resident good guy relentlessly gives back to society and his fans, when he offered an exclusive opportunity for the latter to walk at The Huntsman: Winter’s War red carpet last year and meet him, if they donated a minimum of $10 to the Australian Childhood Foundation (ACM) – a charity from his home country. Other significant instances of the hammer-wielding hero flexing his philanthropic muscles include raising $30,000 for ACM by auctioning off his own TAG Heuer watch and showing tremendous support for Opportunities for Life, a fundraiser for water and sanitation projects in underdeveloped countries.

Ian Somerhalder

 
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Taking his stand against the cruel ivory trade – the illegal trading of ivory tusks most common among elephants – is The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder. The actor joined forces with wildlife charity, WildAid to shed light and promote awareness on the pressing issue. “If people made the physical connection [with] these beautiful intelligent animals, I think people would really feel differently about when they think about taking this tusk and what it means to kill them”, he mentioned in an interview with Daily Mail. Besides continuously  donating to different charities, he’s also gone on to set up his own foundation, The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which promotes animal protection and the conservation of resources. 

 John Cena


Photo Credit: wwe.com

Add ‘Philanthropist’ to John Cena’s growing résumé that includes professional wrestler and actor. Besides winning championships and gaining fans with his self-deprecating sense of humour, the popular WWE star is also known for his giving ways, becoming the first ever celebrity to grant 500 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and his constant initiations to donate to charity. You gotta love John for breaking sports and charity records!

Who’s your favourite charitable celeb? Share with us in the comments section below!

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