The year-long search for an actress to play the legendary warrior Hua Mulan is over. And she’s absolutely perfect for the role.
The hunt for Hua Mulan has not been easy. When Disney announced their plans for a live-action remake of the iconic Mulan, fans were both thrilled yet worried about whether its titular character and cast members would be accurately represented – over 90,000 signatures were collected in a petition, in a bid to communicate to the media giant about the necessity of casting an actual Chinese actress as the iconic heroine.
Last December, Disney assuaged fears by announcing that all the main characters (including Mulan of course!), would be Chinese. Since then, the search was on for the elusive heroine – fan favourites included Jamie Chung, Zhang Ziyi, Fan Bingbing and more. It took a year-long search and over 1,000 candidates, but Disney finally found the perfect actress: Chinese actress, Crystal Liu Yifei! Known in the entertainment industry as ‘Fairy Sister’ thanks to her elfin good looks, Liu Yifei is no stranger to period dramas and martial arts flicks, with illustrious roles in The Return of the Condor Heroes, The Forbidden Kingdom (alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li), Once Upon A Time, The Assassins and tons more. Needless to say, praise poured in for the casting decision.
mulan means so much to me. that movie formed me as a person. I've been so adamantly against the remake (especially w/o the music) but….liu yifei looks exactly like the real life mulan I always envisioned growing up. I am shook pic.twitter.com/oiDekXE36P
2017 MAMA in Japan kicked off on a high note, with hoobaes Wanna One, SEVENTEEN and TWICE performing BoA’s hits!
With 2017 marking her 17th year in music, it only seems fitting that MAMA, one of the biggest Korean music award shows, honoured the true Queen of K-pop. And her tribute was done in style; with the current bigwigs of K-pop – Wanna One, SEVENTEEN and TWICE – performing a medley off BoA’s extensive discography.
BoA set the stage with an explosive intro, followed by her mega hit, ‘Girls on Top’! Then SEVENTEEN followed up with a soaring cover of ‘No. 1’ while TWICE pulled off the sultry ‘My Name’ looking like visions in white.
Moments into BoA’s rendition of ‘Only One’, Wanna One’s Hwang Min Hyun took the stage alongside the K-pop titan, as her dance partner. Needless to say, Wannables worldwide went nuts!
Finally, BoA rocked the stage with a performance of her latest single, ‘Camo’! And it was flawless; we’d expect nothing less from this legend!
What do you think of BoA’s collaboration stages with these very special hoobaes? Spazz with us in the comment section!
Alt-pop sensation MØ was in town recently for a killer show in support of her new music releases. We spoke to the unconventional star, where she shared what it’s like returning to Singapore after 20 years, who she counts as “music family”, and when you’ll be able to hear her next album.
Expect nothing short of 100% from Danish singer MØ. Whether it’s levitating in her music videos, topping charts across the globe with Major Lazer, or electrifying the stage with her live show, MØ is an undeniable force to be reckoned with. She brought that bundle of energy to her maiden Singapore concert last Sunday, packing the venue’s dance floor with a buzzing crowd that comprised mostly of eager-eyed hipsters and fervent expat fans.
While an early minor technical glitch briefly made for some confusion, trust MØ to continuously scale up the attitude as her setlist progressed – and it was clear that her energy bounced off the audience. While the songbird’s catalogue made up mostly of dancey electro-pop numbers, she pranced around with the dynamism of a full-blown punk rocker through hits like ‘Nights With You’ and ‘Drum’ – jumping relentlessly, flicking her hair to every beat, and even attempting a crowd surf towards the end of the night.
Credit: Upsurge Productions
But it was the epic closer of her chart-topping ‘Lean On’ with Major Lazer that drew the loudest sing-alongs and biggest smiles before MØ wrapped up the 70-minute set with a final bow alongside her band, but not without one last ecstatic “Singapore!!!” exclamation of gratitude from her. And judging by the warm reception that night, we wouldn’t put it past her flourishing success for a return on our shores on a festival stage, or to a larger crowd in the future.
Speaking to us at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore ahead of her gig, MØ kept a contrasting laidback approach for the interview, where we delved deeper behind her artistry and knack for crafting out bona fide hits.
Hi MØ! Is it your first time in Singapore?
It is my first time coming here for a gig but I was here as a kid when I was 8 years old actually. The last time I was here, it was 20 years ago and it was a long time ago. But I remember that I hadn’t been in a country that was so hot and humid [until then] and I remember it was clean, beautiful and had exotic plants. I was just [gasps] and there were temples. When I came in last night, the moment I stepped outside the doors and felt the humidity, it reminded me of being here previously. They say that everything changes quickly here, so I guess there’s a lot that’s different since 20 years ago.
Was there any food that you wanted to try again, or you’ve yet to try?
This morning I had this amazing food that I remembered I had too when I was here as a kid. But I don’t remember what it’s called – it was this bread with some kind of curry. It tastes so good!
Congrats on your recent EP When I Was Young. Why did you release it as a surprise?
I like the whole thing about doing surprises. But it was also ‘cos I’m working on my second album and it’s almost done now, but it’s been taking so long between my first album to my second that I felt like I had to put out something. I’ve been writing so much music within these years and I kinda needed to put out some songs that go way back, mixed with some new songs and put them in just a little EP. I really wanted to do that.
What was it like having so many songs over the course of four years in your back pocket, then choosing which to put on an EP?
My second album’s coming out next year, and I think for the EP, it was not that hard to pick [which songs] actually. I had a pile of songs that I knew were going for the second album and all these “maybe”s that I love as well. Then there’s the whole thing about what fits together better. I also have the title for the album, so it’s that whole thing about creating the concepts. Picking the songs for the EP was not super hard because it made sense for this thing, while the others made sense for a full album.
There’s a lot of the colour red and imagery of a rose for your When I Was Young EP. What do those signify?
The red rose symbolises fertility and maturity. If you see the video for ‘When I Was Young’, I’m was actually really inspired by a painter Edvard Munch from Norway who has these paintings of ‘The Woman in Black, White and Red’. Red obviously is the bloom of life, White is about the pure youth and unspoiled beauty, and Black is about death, the coming of age and getting older. I think the roles are very strong and super symbolic.
You’ve done a ton of killer collaborations with everyone from Iggy Azalea to Major Lazer. Which has been the most fun to record?
Everyone that I’ve collaborated with, I have huge respect for. And many of them are my friends, but I think it’s Major Lazer. I’ve collaborated with those guys so many times and they’ve really become music family to me. They’re my favourites for life.
You clearly have a great relationship with them. Do you guys balance work and play in the studio?
A lot of the time when I’m with them, it’s because we’re doing a show or we’re in the studio or something like that. It just feels very family when we hang out. We always work when we’re hanging out, and we have a lot of fun! It’s one of those things where you’ll know it yourself when you hang out with someone a lot, it becomes normal and there’s chemistry.
A personal favourite is ‘Final Song’. What would be your ultimate song you’d want to hear at the end of a night?
So, at a party or whatever, my favourite closing song – and I’m totally bias here – but it’s Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’. That song is just, the best song! But my favourite song at the moment is… I really like that one that goes “ooh woo, I’m a rebel just for kicks now!” (Portugal. The Man’s ‘Feel It Still’)
Credit: Upsurge Productions
One thing that’s really interesting about yourself is that you’re mainstream, yet still keep an obscure reputation. How do you find the right balance between the two?
I think it’s always hard to find the right balance within those two, because it’s two things that’s contradicting each other. But I really have love for both sides of it. I really love the obscurity but I also really love pop music. And it’s so hard because a lot of people think you have to choose one and I totally get that, and maybe it’s true, maybe I should choose! But I am just kind of stuck between it though. What is a good place where you can marry those two things without it seeming weird? But I’m up to search for the right balance.
Stay tuned for more of MØ coming soon. In the meantime, check out a special message from her below!
Special thanks to Upsurge Productions and Sony Music Singapore.
K-fans all over the world will know the pain of having to explain the intricate nuances of K-pop to non K-pop folks. Whether it’s nodding knowingly at their exclamations about how every dude looks unexplainably gorgeous, or refraining from violence when they ask why we like listening to music of a language that we “don’t even understand”, the struggle is real. Which is why Jimmy Kimmel’s conversation with BTS fans – where they schooled him on the bare basics of K-pop totally gave us life.
As you probably already know, BTS has been making the rounds on popular TV shows such as The Ellen Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! And while we’ve had our list of things we anticipated/would love to see happen, the epic exchange between Jimmy Kimmel and BTS fans during a commercial break caught us by surprise.
It started by Jimmy casually striking up a conversation with the question: “Just out of curiosity, how many of you came specifically to see BTS?” As the audience responded with hearty screams, he continues, “I didn’t even know what a BTS was! I swear to God, I was like ‘What is this? What’s going on?'”
Obviously the dude now knows very well what “a BTS” is (the awesome group that’s imploding ovaries across the globe, duh), so he tests out the water further by quizzing fans on their favourite songs, how they found out about BTS (“YouTube”), and why they liked the group (“Because their music is awesome, all seven of them are very attractive, and also they dance really well.”)
Then came a question that probably befuddled many non-Kpop fans: “There are seven guys… Seven is a lot for a boyband, isn’t it?… I don’t think there’s ever been a boyband with seven members in it before.”
Sorry Jimmy, but we’re sure that at this exact moment, K-pop fans’ everywhere rolled their eyes so hard they could see their brains. Luckily, said BTS fan stepped in coolly to correct him, saying that Super Junior had 13 members… (She also said that SEVENTEEN had 17 members, which is totally wrong but she gets a free pass for being an awesome BTS fan.) Not surprisingly, Jimmy was AMAZED. “How does that work? Does each of them make $8 a year?”
Moving along, Jimmy continued asking about the most popular K-pop groups,”Right now, it’s BTS,” the fans share, “BIGBANG, EXO…” Of course, we hear the audience scream out GOT7 and BAP as well. As the conversation wound down, the fans also ended up teaching Jimmy about RM’s updated name – it took Jimmy a little while to understand the new moniker, but he eventually got it.
Watch Jimmy get his impromptu K-pop lesson here:
BTS’ performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! will be airing on 29 November, Wednesday on ABC, so keep a look out for more BTS goodness as they come!
What is the most ridiculous K-pop related question you’ve received from a non-Kpop person? Share your experiences with us in the comment section!
Breakout Korean group, KARD is headed our way come 21 January 2018! Are you ready to catch these wildcards in action?
Catching the world’s attention with their insane vocals, popular co-ed group KARD is headed to Singapore as part of their 2018 WILD KARD TOUR IN ASIA. Their second fan-initiated tour, KARD has achieved plenty in their short time since their debut; such as being selected as one of Billboard’s “Top 5 K-pop Artists to Watch in 2017” and having their first world tour in 25 cities including London and New York.
Presented by MyMusicTaste, KARD will be kicking off in Bangkok and headed to Singapore afterwards. Fans can expect this powerhouse group to bring older favourites such as their debut effort ‘Oh NaNa’ and newer hits from their latest EP, You & Me!
2018 Wild KARD Tour in Singapore
Date: 21 January 2018 (Sunday) Time: 7:30pm Venue: Zepp @ Big Box Tickets: Ultimate Kard: $238 (includes hi-touch and group photo) Wild Kard: $168 (includes hi-touch) General admission: $88 *All tickets are standing
Presale tickets for MyMusicTaste users who requested KARD’s show in Singapore will be available on Apactix on 4 December at 4pm, while general sales start from 7 December at 4pm.