Half-expecting Alessia Cara to be in the blue oversized suit she’s so often donned in her recent music videos and live performances for our interview, we were pleasantly taken aback to be greeted by the petite 22-year-old in an all-black getup – a stark contrast from her usual girl-next door look.

“I rarely ever wear all black. This is like my first time in a while that I’m saying that. Like wow, I feel very fashionable today,” she tells us with a grin after we compliment her matured wardrobe choice of the day, her quiet sense of confidence betraying her age. But nothing should come as a surprise from Alessia, however. The wunderkind had a wildly successful 2017 with the Zedd-collab ‘Stay’ – a bold departure in sound from her R&B roots – and even beat out the likes of Khalid and SZA to score her first Grammy win for Best New Artist earlier this year, proving to critics and fans alike that she’s set to be a mainstay in music’s current landscape.

Ahead of the release of her sophomore album The Pains Of Growing in the coming months, we sat down with the ‘Growing Pains’ songbird and find out that she’s actually just like one of us.

Hi Alessia! Is there anything that’s stood out for you in Singapore so far?

Hmm… I think just like the city itself and wherever we are. It’s beautiful – the greenery is gorgeous, the nature is beautiful, and the buildings are so modern. It’s a very good mix of city and wildlife.

Great performance at Hyperplay! You were amazing when you bounced back from the technical issue with the microphone.

Thank you! It was really amazing ’cause that can go wrong very fast. A lot of people in other places would probably “booo” me, but they were so supportive of me like “we can’t hear you but it’s okay”, you know? I felt so bad for them because it was my first time performing here, but thankfully, everything was fine afterwards and they were so nice about it. The fans [in the audience] were very sweet. 

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

thank you for having us @hyperplayofficial 🖤 first time in singapore was lovely

A post shared by ALESSIA CARA (@alessiasmusic) on

So, Best New Artist at the Grammys this year. Congratulations.

Thank you very much.

Was it a huge relief or validation for you to win, and with that established, what’s the next dream you want to follow up with?

I guess it’s hard ’cause that was a dream of mine for a long time, but I feel like it doesn’t end there. I wanna put out more albums and just keep getting better as a songwriter and as a singer, and hopefully it would be another Grammy for an album one day. That would be another dream; it’s not even about acknowledgements or accolades, it’s just being able to put out music that I’m proud of. That’s the goal.

You came out at such a young age with important messages similar to Lorde and Avril Lavigne previously, who both have very powerful points of views from a female. Did you always know that having positive messages was going to be a huge part in your music?

I’ve always wanted to be somebody who’s a voice for different people, whether it’s spreading positivity or even just writing about honest things that people could connect to because I feel like there aren’t a lot of positive voices around sometimes. When I was younger, I gravitated towards women who were speaking positively; it made me feel like I was one of them. So I figured if I’m given a platform, I wanna say something good. I wanna do good in the world. I don’t wanna be greedy and be like “oh, like I’m famous, I don’t care about anyone” you know? That just wouldn’t make sense to me.

“If I’m given a platform, I wanna say something good. I wanna do good in the world.”

Something that’s going to be honest is your new album, The Pains Of GrowingWhat’s something you think listeners are going to be surprised to hear on your album that they’ve not heard before?

I think they’ll be surprised to hear me talk about myself as personally as I am on this album. I rarely talk so much in-depth about myself or what I’m going through, so they’ll hear a lot of that. I think they may be surprised to hear certain kinds of sounds in there as I’m experimenting a little bit with different genres. So that’ll be cool. 

You’ve also mentioned that your upcoming record is incredibly personal. What’s your mindset knowing that these “journal entries” are going to take on so many different meanings to people around the world?

I feel like the process is kind of scary because you almost forget like people are gonna hear it, especially the more personal ones. I guess my mindset when I’m writing them is honestly just getting feelings out and saying what I feel like I need to say, whether it’s for myself or for other people. Once a song serves a purpose for me, I release it so that it can hopefully serve a purpose for other people. If it makes people feel close to me or feel like they have someone to relate to, then it’s great. That’s why I do it.

You’re more of an introvert than many singers who come across as extroverts. What advice do you have to share with youths out there who are naturally more shy, but feel like they’re pressured by society to be more outgoing?

If that’s who you are, then that’s who you are. I mean it’d be different if you’re scared and you want to get there – then I would say just put yourself out there and sometimes you have to push your boundaries in order to get to a place where you’re comfortable. You have to be uncomfortable in order to feel comfortable. But if that’s who you are and you’re happy being that, then don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be loud and talkative. You’re you for a reason. And it’s fine.

“You’re you for a reason. And it’s fine.”

Comparing to when you first debuted with ‘Here’ in 2015, how differently do you see fame now? 

Man, it’s so hard. I feel like fame is oddly kind of isolating, which is weird because you’re around so many people and a lot of people know who you are. Once people try to put you on this level, then you just kind of start feeling alone up there and you’re like “why am I up here when we’re all people”, you know? It’s a strange concept. I think the separation of a screen or a radio makes people forget that you’re just like everyone else. But I’m getting used to it now. I just try to find moments that are normal throughout my day in order for me to feel normal because when you’re in this setting (of doing an interview), it’s lights and cameras on you all the time and it’s easy to feel like, “whoa, am I an alien? What’s going on?”.

By the way, ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Disney’s Moana is such a fun song.

Oh, thanks!

Well, we were wondering: if you could be any Disney Princess, who would you be and why? 

Oh, this is tough. I used to really love Princess Jasmine ’cause she was just so cool but then well, she’s not a Disney Princess. I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland too because she’s able to think things into existence in her own little world and I always kinda felt like my imagination was like that and sometimes I wish I could run away to another world. So, maybe Alice!

BONUS: Watch Alessia Cara guess her famous celebrity friends (feat. Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Drake and more) based on their childhood pictures in our exclusive interview!

Special thanks to Universal Music Singapore for the interview!

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

The hottest names in music were all gathered at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for a night of chart-topping hits and jaw-dropping performances at the American Music Awards. Hosted for the second time by Tracee Ellis Ross (yes, Diana Ross’ daughter), the star-studded awards show was full of ‘OMG’ moments that are sure to go down in AMAs history. Here are our favourite highlights of the night.

Taylor Swift’s explosive opening performance

Here-are-all-the-best-moments-from-the-American-Music-Awards-2018-01-Taylor-Swift-Opening-Performance

Look what you made her do! If there’s one person who can blow the roof off a place, it’s Taylor Swift. In her fiery and slightly terrifying rendition of ‘I Did Something Bad’, the new and improved T-Swift whipped out a huge snake prop (affectionately named Karyn) and even got bleeped out at one point during her performance due to a cuss word in the lyrics. Say what you will about Tay-tay, but she just proved why she’s a top entertainer.

Tracee Ellis Ross is the cool aunt we hope to have

You might know her as Diana Ross’ daughter or the awesome Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish, but Tracee Ellis Ross can certainly hold her own when it comes to hosting an awards show. Her opening number saw her decked out in a latex black cat suit, rapping to Cardi B’s ‘Bodak Yellow’ AND dancing to songs that include Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ and Beyonce and Jay-Z’s ‘APES**T*. There’s simply nothing this woman can’t do.

Who knew dresses could do THAT? 

Here-are-all-the-best-moments-from-the-American-Music-Awards-2018-03-Mariah-Carey

Rocking a hot pink dress that accentuated her famous curves, pop icon Mariah Carey was present at the AMAs to perform her new single ‘With You’ – but that wasn’t just what her dress was for. As she belted out her slow jam, an army of dancers suddenly appeared from the tulle bottom of her skirt!

Shawn Mendes and Zedd’s swoon-worthy performance of ‘Lost in Japan’

In a joint performance of ‘Lost in Japan’ with Zedd, Shawn Mendes stole our hearts as he made us all swoon with his brilliant vocals whilst standing below hundreds of paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. A picture-perfect scenario, don’t you think?

Khalid wins his first AMA

The talented Khalid took home his first ever AMA for best soul/R&B artist and and thanked his mother, family and fans during his speech, before giving a shout-out to his Texas Democrat representative in relation to the upcoming Mid-Term Elections. This just makes us even more hyped up for his upcoming concert in Singapore!

Say hello to our new king of memes, Taran Killam!

Here-are-all-the-best-moments-from-the-American-Music-Awards-2018-06-Taran-Killam

Celebrities in the audience seat are no strangers to the wandering cameras that catch them mid-reaction when they least expect it. From Taylor Swift dancing in her chair to Chrissie Teigen’s crying face, we can now add Taran Killam’s epic shocked expression during Cardi B’s performance to the list.

Halsey live tweeting while on stage

Here-are-all-the-best-moments-from-the-American-Music-Awards-2018-07-Halsey-Live-Tweeting

In a non-traditional take on Halsey, Benny Blanco and Khalid’s ‘East Side’, the stage had been cosily set up to look like a studio jam session. As Khalid started the song, Halsey had apparently been live tweeting on the couch before it was her turn to sing. Way to use your time on stage, Halsey!

Camila Cabello + orchestra = ♥

Having already won an AMA for best pop/rock song, Camila Cabello delivered a stunning rendition of her new single ‘Consequences’, accompanied by a full orchestra that sent chills up our spines. Her formal ball gown and long gloves also really made for a fresh change from her usual, upbeat looks.

Ciara taking the AMAs to the next level

Just when we thought the AMAs had reached its peak, Ciara took to the stage for a show-stopping remix of ‘Level Up’ in a space-age white leather bodysuit – and boy were we shook. Known for her grade A dance abilities, homegirl slayed her performance while serving up major Janet Jackson vibes. Ciara’s performance was so lit that even Missy Elliott’s funky white sister (as seen on The Ellen Show) couldn’t help but get hyped too!

Here-are-all-the-best-moments-from-the-American-Music-Awards-2018-09a-Missy-Elliot's-Funky-White-Sister

Just another reason to love Panic! At The Disco

We all know how crazily talented Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco is. In a goosebumps-inducing tribute to the legendary rock band Queen (live-streamed from Sydney where they are currently on tour), Brendon and his band did justice to their tribute performance in a mind-blowing rendition of the Queen classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Just take a listen and you’ll see what we mean.

Taylor Swift gets political in a subtle way

Since her recent political post on Instagram, many were expecting Taylor Swift to address the issue during her first speech of the night. When she didn’t do so, people were surprised – with some thinking it was a one-off PR stunt. Little did they know, our girl was keeping that for her Artist of the Year speech where she cleverly and subtly transitioned from thanking her fans to encouraging people to register to vote for the Mid-Term elections. Anyone know if T-Swift is available to write our speeches?

What was your favourite moment of the AMAs? Let us know in the comments below!

Informatics Jan 2019

Somebody hold us – BTS just dropped the ultimate bomb on us by announcing the upcoming concert dates for the Asian leg of their Love Yourself world tour, and it seems like our prayers are finally being answered. Start saving up fellow ARMYs, ’cause our favourite boys will be heading to Singapore this January!

On 10 October, the seven-member K-pop supergroup announced that they will be performing a two-night show in Taoyuan, Taiwan this December, before making their way over to Singapore in January, Hong Kong in March and Bangkok later on in April. Other Asian dates have yet to be announced.

As soon as the news is out, local organisers One Production also confirmed that the band will be holding their highly-anticipated concert at the 55,000-seat National Stadium – a mega upgrade compared to their 5,000-capacity gig as part of their The Red Bullet concert at The Star Theatre five years ago. To add on, BTS is the first ever Korean act to stage their own solo concert at the prestigious venue. Look at how far they’ve come!

BTS World Tour Love Yourself In Singapore 2019

BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Singapore Concert Seating Plan

BTS World Tour Love Yourself in Singapore
Date: 19 January 2019
Time: 7pm
Venue: National Stadium
Tickets: $348 (Cat 1), $268 (Cat 2, Cat 3), $238 (Cat 4), $198 (Cat 5),$148 (Cat 6), $118 (Cat 7), $88 (Cat 8)

All Cat 1 ticket holders are entitled to join in a Sound Check lucky draw event. Tickets will go on sale 27 October, 10am via www.sportshubtix.sg. Good luck, ARMYs!

More related stories: BTS Just Showed The World They Don’t Lipsync In The Most Epic Way YetEverybody Needs To Watch BTS’ Emotional Speech At The UN General Assembly 

Informatics Jan 2019

After what seems like forever, K-pop behemoth EXO is making their hotly-anticipated comeback with their fifth studio album Don’t Mess Up My Temp0 on 2 November.

EXO is no stranger to experimenting with different genres and concepts with every comeback – whether it’s serving up reggae-EDM vibes with ‘Kokobop’, or going full-on swagger mode with the hip-hop banger ‘Overdose’ – and now we’re getting an entire album dedicated to the rock genre. Bikes, bad boy vibes and leather jackets? We’re digging that.

As if EXO-Ls aren’t losing their heads already, it’s been confirmed that Lay will be participating in the Chinese version of this new release, making it the first album to feature all nine members since their third studio album Ex’Act in 2016. At the news of the long-awaited OT9 reunion, it didn’t take long for fans to get extra riled up for their domestic return.

First things first, we’re no longer going kokobop.


The Kokobop era will be missed.

There were some EXO-Ls who went crazy with memes.


Others were freaking out about their new rock concept.



Throwback to their heavy metal version of ‘MAMA’ on 2016 SBS Gayo Daejun. Iconic.

But most importantly, everybody can’t wait for OT9!


Repeat after us: the kings are back!

EXO is set to make their full group comeback with Don’t Mess With My Tempo on 2 November 2018. Album preorders are now open.

Informatics Jan 2019

Who could ever forget the Taiwanese coming-of-age classic that launched the careers of Michelle Chen and Kai Ko, all while stirring the hearts of everyone across the world back in 2011? With its record-breaking success and the surge of remakes recently, we couldn’t help but wonder if You Are The Apple Of My Eye will also be getting its own reboot. And we’ve got good news: there’s now a Japanese version of the Giddens Ko-directed flick titled Ano Koro, Kimi Wo Oikaketa (Those Years, We Went After You).

Led by Yasuo Hasegawa, the highly-anticipated remake stars rising actor Yuki Yamada (Mischievous Kiss, Strobe Edge) and Nogizaka46 member Saito Asuka (Sakuran, Shoujo no Miru Yume) as protagonist Mizushima Kosuke and heroine Hayase Mai respectively.

Although no one can possibly take the place of Kai Ko and Michelle Chen’s iconic roles as Ko Ching Teng and Shen Chia Yi, we can’t deny that the casting team did an impeccable job at replicating their Japanese counterparts – it’s almost as if we’re looking at a parallel universe. Just check out their uncanny resemblance! 

You Are The Apple Of My Eye Saito Asuka vs Michelle Chen

You Are The Apple Of My Eye Yuki Yamada vs Kai Ko

You Are The Apple Of My Eye Comparison

While the original story begins in 1994, the new version will be taking place in the 2000s instead. The setting has also been changed to Japan, but we’re glad to know that the production crew has kept most of the plot in place which means they have a lot of hype to live up to. Some scenes were even filmed in Pingxi, Taiwan for an additional dash of nostalgia. For the uninitiated, You Are The Apple Of My Eye chronicles the decade-spanning romance between a straight-A student and the resident class clown as they navigate adolescent angst and growing pains.

The film has since been released on 5 October. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if it will eventually make its way to local cinemas…

More related stories: Taiwanese Hit Movie Our Times Is Getting A Sequel! Here’s Everything We Know So Far5 Upcoming Chinese Remakes To Watch After Meteor Garden

JCube Christmas Market

Get the Juicy Bits Delivered Fresh To Your Inbox