BTS has made phenomenal strides in their career since their glory days at the BBMAs, but perhaps the reason why they’ve managed to draw in such a fiercely devoted fandom is their dedication in using their music for good.

In collaboration with their Love Yourself: Her album, the K-pop supergroup launched the Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF – which has successfully raised a total of 606,000,000 KRW since last November. And now, the official Twitter account rolled out the #BTSLoveMyself hashtag movement in an effort to spread the message of self-love while encouraging fans to post pictures of themselves. 

Here are some of the responses we collected:






Even fanboys joined in the action.

The hashtag trended worldwide, resulting in a heartwarming outpour of love and support from ARMYs around the world. Not only did it help fans to embrace their flaws and build their self-worth, it also created a wholesome and positive community where people can feel uplifted and lift one another up.

Thank you, BTS.

For all of you reading this: whether you’re a fan or not, join in the #BTSLoveYourself movement and post a picture of yourself on social media. Love yourself, and love others. 

More related stories: BTS’ Love Yourself: Her Might Just Be Their Best Album YetBTS Just Showed The World They Don’t Lipsync In The Most Epic Way YetWatch Jimmy Kimmel Get Schooled On K-pop By BTS Stans

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Rising to greater heights after gaining international acclaim, ONE OK ROCK takes Singapore by storm yet again on their Ambitions Asia tour. Boasting a slew of notable artistes like Avril Lavigne and 5 Seconds of Summer, their latest album had fans in a frenzy. We caught up with the J-rock juggernauts before their show for a short chat where they got real about international recognition, future ambitions and more.

Playing on your album name Ambitions, we want to know – what were your childhood ambitions?

Taka: Ever since I was a child, singing came naturally to me because both my parents were singers. It wasn’t exactly my “ambition” to be a singer, but I knew that I wanted to sing as well.

Toru: I’ve always wanted to perform abroad and even started a band when I was in high school. And now that I’m touring the world, I guess you could say that I’ve fulfilled my childhood ambitions!

Ryoto: My ambition has always been for the band to be successful and I’m grateful that we’ve gained global recognition. So I guess you could say that I’ve fulfilled my ambitions too.

Tomoya: My childhood ambitions have also been fulfilled. I’ve always wanted our band to be successful. I even moved to Tokyo and started getting involved in music activities to make that happen, so I’m really excited that we’re here today.

What about your ambitions as a band in the future?

Taka: We’ve been doing this for over a decade, so I feel like our first chapter has come to a close and we’re ready to take on the next chapter. In terms of our music concepts, I believe that we’re going to try something different. We don’t have a clear picture of that yet, but we’re really looking forward to it.

You’ve worked with Western artistes like Avril Lavigne and 5 Seconds of Summer. How was that like and are there any Asian acts you’d like to collaborate with?

Taka: We’ve always admired Western artistes and after collaborating with them, we’ve become more accustomed to their culture. So I think that compared to when we first started out, we’re able to stand on par with them now. We grew up listening to American music, so we don’t really know many Asian musicians. But now that we’re touring the world and performing in Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, perhaps we’ll start looking into the artistes in Asia and hopefully strike up some collaborations.

 

A post shared by Taka (@10969taka) on

As a J-Rock band with distinct western influences, how has this opposition of J-rock norms contributed to your global success?

Taka: While our Japanese fans mean a lot to us, we’ve always wanted an international audience. Gaining success in Japan, solely, was never our ultimate goal. When we first started, we actually bought flight tickets to America without having a solid tour plan, but our manager eventually stopped us from doing that. But we’ve always hoped to expand our audience and gain worldwide success. So naturally, we took on a different style [as compared to other J-rock bands] to get to where we are now.

Do the fans in different countries respond differently to your music?

Taka: Different fans in different countries do respond differently. Our fans in Japan tend to be more quiet and really listen to us when we perform, but other fans in Asia are very different. For example, our Taiwanese fans were very energetic and sang along to our songs during our concert. The response is always different in Europe too. I feel like we’re always being tested on stage in America though, especially during our first tour there. In terms of the American market, we didn’t start from scratch or even point zero – it was below that.

 

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We felt very out of place and sensed that they didn’t resonate with us or our music. It felt like they were thinking “Why are these Asians playing rock music?” It was as if an invisible line had been drawn between us and them. So while they [Westerners] look at us differently, we are also looking at them in the same way. I think the most important thing is to get rid of the line so that they can start resonating with our music.

Featured image credit: JulenPhoto

Watch out for our full concert review coming soon, and meanwhile hit replay on ONE OK ROCK’s Ambitions album.

More related stories: Interview: Which Girl Group Caught Super Junior’s Eye Recently?Camila Cabello Proves Herself As A Bonafide Solo Star On Her Self-Titled Debut Album, All The Major Concerts To Save Up For In 2018

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Multitalented entertainer, powerhouse vocalist, master of gags… and now, Seo Eunkwang of K-pop boy band BTOB can add F&B boss to his list of credentials. The 27-year-old is the proud co-owner of PLUSEIGHTTWO, a new Korean dessert cafe that has just opened its doors on 19 January.

Located at the first floor of Rendezvous Hotel, PLUSEIGHTTWO is named after the dialling code for South Korea and serves your usual brunch suspects of fancy toasts and coffee, along with gorgeously-plated Siltarae Bingsu flavours (Korean shaved ice) such as choco, matcha and banana. We’re obsessed with the minimalist vibes of this quaint hideout – all crisp white walls, quintessential white marble tables and delicate pops of greenery that make this place super Instagram-worthy at every turn.

The BTOB member himself was also present for the media preview yesterday, so who knows… you might just bump into him at the cafe or spot him casually hanging out on the streets. Singapore Melodies, you know what to do!

 

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PLUSEIGHTTWO is located at 9 Bras Basah Road, Rendezvous Gallery #01-02, Singapore 189559.

More related stories: These K-pop Stars Hit The Streets Without Anyone Noticing5 Local Cafes Every Minimalist Lover Needs To Check Out8 Celebrity Beauty Brands That Are Actually Worth The Hype (And Where To Get Them)

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This time last year, fans of Camila Cabello were reeling over her departure from Fifth Harmony only one month prior. But with her breakthrough solo single ‘Havana’ topping every music chart in existence and her self-titled debut album hitting #1 in 100 countries within the first week of its debut, there’s no doubt that she’s indeed Miss Moving On.

 

i love you. thank you. #ThisIsCAMILA #CAMILA 🦋

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Initially titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving., the ‘Havana’ songstress made the decision to rename the album to Camila. “I decided to call it by my name, because this is where this chapter in my life ended. It started with somebody else’s story, it ended with me finding my way back to myself,” she wrote. And it’s with this immense sense of self-empowerment that she goes about belting out her new songs, leaving  thrilled and thoroughly obsessed with every track.

1. ‘Never Be the Same’

Camila kicks off her record with the slow but electrifying ballad ‘Never Be the Same’, giving listeners a taste of her distinct voice as a R&B goddess — a far cry from her Fifth Harmony days. She considers this the best song she’s written so far and fans went wild when she uploaded a nostalgic music video as a “New Year’s Eve gift”. One thing’s for sure, after jamming to this hit, we know we’ll ‘Never Be The Same’.

What Camila says: ‘Never Be The Same’ was about a boy that I was with for like three months, not even, it was like two months and I’m just like, ‘you’re the one…it’s you!’”

2. ‘All These Years’

Featuring dreamy acoustics and soothing vocals, ‘All These Years’ is Camila’s favourite tune in the album. The singer has admitted that she was nervous to share this track because “it’s really personal” but released it anyway, and fans are hanging on to every word she croons in this bittersweet ballad. “And it was just a quick hello, and you had to go / And you probably will never know, you’re still the one I’m after all these years,” she sings on the chance encounter with her former flame.

What Camila says:

teenage-camila-cabelo-all-these-years

3. ‘She Loves Control’

The perfect fusion of R&B and good ol’ pop, ‘She Loves Control’ is an empowering number featuring electronic dance music producer, Skrillex. Camila admits to being a control freak over creative issues and wants girls to feel empowered when they sing along to the groovy track. “I just love the idea of girls singing the lyrics like that. I feel like it’s a bold statement to make and it’s good way to live your life, to have control of how you do it, how you live it.” In an attempt to regain control of her own life, Camila renamed her album – stripping power from anyone in her way and taking full ownership of her artistic vision.

What Camila says: “I don’t want to give that power over somebody else; that the whole first album revolves around them and this bad situation. It’s giving that too much power. [Changing the title] was me taking power over the title and control over what the album was about and me just taking power over my own life.”

4. ‘Havana’

A nod to her Cuban heritage, ‘Havana’ incorporates elements of Latin and reggae music to appeal to the listeners. We’re all familiar with this inescapable track and even the former US President Obama is impressed – naming ‘Havana’ as one of his favourite songs of 2017. It’s been a good five months since ‘Havana’ took over the airwaves, but we just can’t help but go “Havana oh na na” every single time.

What Camila says:

teenage-camila-cabello-havana

5. ‘Inside Out’

The cheery reggaeton tune has got us vibing and bopping along to ‘Inside Out’. An ode to her hometowns, Camila sassily sings “de Miami a México, esta cosa se prendió (from Miami to Mexico, this thing caught on)”, highlighting her Mexican roots while reminiscing her childhood in Florida.

What Camila says: (On leaving Cuba and making the move to Miami) “Why were we packing up our stuff? Why was my grandma hugging me tighter than usual? Where were we going? ‘We’re going to Disney World!’ That’s what my mom told me when we were crossing the border. She packed a little backpack with my Winnie the Pooh journal and my doll, and we crossed the border from Mexico to the US, seeing my Dad become an ant in the distance as he stayed behind.”

6. ‘Consequences’

Camila bravely showcases her fragility in ‘Consequences’, a profoundly personal tune on heartbreak and sorrow. Unlike her display of boldness in previous tracks like ‘Havana’, the singer opens up to fans about mistrust and the effect a broken relationship had on her, even admitting that she “lost a little weight because (she) wasn’t eating”. She shares the ups and downs of her past romance as her tear-jerking anthem takes a turn from the optimistic “young, and wild, and free” and “cool, and hot, and sweet”, to a bleak “dumb, dark, and cheap” – taking us on a rollercoaster of emotions.

What Camila says: (On her negative thoughts) “I would wake up with a super-accelerated heartbeat and really negative, intrusive, compulsive thoughts. I was so inside my head, and I didn’t know what was happening. I totally understand now, being in it, why there shouldn’t be such a stigma on mental illness, because it’s a pretty common thing for people. But you can get help. If you’re dedicated to making it better, you can — because I’m in a much better place now. I started reading books about it and it really helped a lot when I understood, and that [the thoughts I was having] weren’t real. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to slow down and take care of yourself.”

7. ‘Real Friends’

‘Real Friends’ is an introspective track on Camila’s life as she relates her struggles in finding genuine friends. In this acoustic ballad, Camila tells all about the superficial nature of the industry. While many believe that she could be referring to Fifth Harmony, she was quick to dismiss those rumours, clarifying that the song is about “feeling lonely and disillusioned by people in LA while [she] was away from home”.

What Camila says: (On fake friends) “So many people have disappointed me. And there’s also been so many people – not so many, but a few people who make everything worth it, stick through it, and they show loyalty.”

8. ‘Something’s Gotta Give’

Originally titled ‘A Good Reason To Go’, the former Fifth Harmony member pours her heart out on her reasons for leaving the fivesome in this heartfelt number. Upon the release of her debut album, she explained that expressing her desire to do more solo projects and write songs for the group sparked tensions and how she eventually decided to make the painful decision to call it quits.

What Camila says: “I feel like that could’ve been the last song on The Hurting, The Healing, The Loving if that makes sense. ‘Cause that’s the one song that perfectly sums up what the old theme would’ve been like. It was about this toxic thing that was going on and me deciding ‘this is not good for me’. Getting to a point of desperation like, ‘something has to change because I can’t really take this anymore.’ This song is the perfect piece of that era, which is why I thought it was important to have it.”

9. ‘In The Dark’

As opposed to ‘Real Friends’ where Camila expresses her desire for true friendships, she’s encouraging her muse (and fans) to be true to themselves. She asks: “Who are you in the dark? / Who are you when it’s 3am and you’re all alone and L.A. doesn’t feel like home?”, coaxing him to “show [her] the scary parts” in her smooth R&B track ‘In the Dark’.

What Camila says: “I wrote ‘In The Dark’ after a Grammy party last year, so basically the song was kinda like me making an observation on the outside looking in about somebody that I met. It was like a famous guy and I was just noticing how a lot of the time it’s this facade. People that are celebrities, they kinda can’t turn it off, like it’s always a performance, it’s this mirage. I don’t really wanna fall in love with a name or just because you’re famous. I wanna get to know the real person, the human stuff, the twisted stuff… that’s what makes people interesting. I was just like perfection is boring, so that’s basically what that song is about, me wanting to know the real person, not the famous person.”

10. ‘Into It’

Deemed the “real gem” of the record by critics, this addictive banger presents the playful side of Camila as she sings “Whatever trouble that you’re thinking, I could get into it”. Needless to say, we’re really ‘Into It’. The euphoric tune is sure to get everyone dancing along to the beat — we couldn’t think of a better way to end off an epic album.

What Camila says: “This track was something I [spent] forever working on. I just tried every single possibility. [The album] ends with this new chapter, ’cause once you’re done with all the stuff you’re bummed out about, you have all this room to feel the more fun stuff.”

Camila is now available for purchase and streaming.

More related stories: 7 Times Camila Cabello’s ‘Havana’ Music Video Left Us ShookHere’s Why Foo Fighters’ Concrete And Gold Album Is Truly Their “Sonically Biggest” YetDemi Lovato And Miley Cyrus Go Head To Head In Same-Day Album Releases 

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Interview: Which Girl Group Caught Super Junior's Eye Recently?

12 Jan 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

When it comes to K-pop, nothing really beats the golden era during the early 2000s where second-generation groups like DBSK, Girls’ Generation and Super Junior reigned supreme. 13 years down the road, the SM supergroup of ‘Sorry Sorry’ fame is still at the top of the game and they show no signs of fizzling out. The latest instalment of their long-running Super Show series is proof – tickets to their first two days in Seoul were all sold out in less than nine minutes, which makes us even more excited for their concert here.

SUPER JUNIOR WORLD TOUR SUPER SHOW 7 in SINGAPORE

Ahead of the upcoming Super Show 7 (SS7) in Singapore on 27 January, the boys recently took time out for an email interview with us where they talked about their touring memories, plans for the future and more.

Having been in the industry for over a decade now, what are some sacrifices you’ve had to make for your music career?
Heechul: For these days, I don’t think there’s a sacrifice only from us. I think everybody including the members and our ELFs all make sacrifices for one another and love each other.

While Super Junior has always been known for your bright image, were there times when you felt down?
Heechul: I suffered an accident 11 years ago, so my body condition was badly affected because of the repercussions. I felt really discouraged as I couldn’t even walk and run well. But now, I’m standing here on the concert stage performing for ELFs because they never fail to cheer me up. Of course, I would also like to show them that I am a professional.

Are there any new idol groups that have caught your eye recently?
Heechul: I am not sure if the Singapore fans know them, but I would like to give a shoutout to my students from Mnet’s Idol School whom I actually guided and feel responsible for. The girls have recently debuted as fromis and I hope nothing but the best for them.

We just had to ask – which member looks best in a ‘Black Suit’?
Heechul: I’m pretty sure I’m not the one, because I think I would suit casual outfits more!

As the first K-pop group to star on a home shopping channel, can Super Junior promote SS7 in home shopping style? 
Yesung: We invite you to a new unpredictable world! You can find feelings from joy to anger, sorrow to pleasure – all at SS7.

What was the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you during Super Show?
Yesung: I can’t exactly remember when, but I think it was during SS3 or SS4 that I attempted to jump from the lift, but my shoes ended up getting caught [in it]…

Finally, what are your plans for the year ahead?
Yesung: In 2018, we would like to go on a new adventure to meet fans from all around the world through SS7.

You’ve heard ’em – don’t miss your chance to catch Super Junior at Super Show 7 in Singapore on 27 January 2018 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to grab them before they’re all gone!

More related stories: EXO PLANET #4 The EℓyXiOn In Singapore Is Officially Happening!It’s Official: KARD’s Coming To Singapore For Their Asia Tour!, All The Major Concerts You Need To Save Up For In 2018

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