In case you haven’t heard of all the buzz surrounding the one and only HallyuPopFest, the final mammoth lineup of the three-day K-pop extravaganza is finally confirmed!
To say that we are beyond stoked for this massive gathering of K-pop acts is an understatement. Especially when we’re talking about trending supergroups including Wanna One, NCT 127, EXID and AOA, as well as powerhouse soloists such as Taeyeon, Heize and Eric Nam. To add on to the already impressive lineup, fans also get to discover a new crop of up-and-coming gems such as Momoland, UNB and Dreamcatcher that are poised to become the next big things so you can say you were there first.
Check out the full lineup below, in order of announcement:
BTOB Soyou Gugudan Jeong Sewoon Yu Seungwoo Dreamcatcher MYTEEN Apink Eric Nam Huh Gak EXID VICTON ONF SNUPER NCT 127 Taeyeon AOA UNB Momoland Heize Wanna One
The festival is set to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from 7 to 9 September 2018, and will feature a myriad of activities including a public red carpet event, meet and greet sessions, and even global audition opportunities where K-pop hopefuls can take a shot at stardom!
HallyuPopFest 2018 Date: 7 to 9 September 2018 Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium Tickets: $498 (Daebak Package A and B), $298, $268, $238, $198, $148
All tickets will include access to same-day showcases and entry to concert. Public sales will start on 7 July, 10am via www.sportshubtix.sg. An exclusive 3-day pack, which applies to only Category 1 ($298 x 3 = $894) and Daebak Pass A ($498 x 3 = $1,494) tickets, is available for purchase during the 1-day priority sale on 6 July, 10am to 11.59pm. More details can be found here.
Any unassuming passerby who passed by the Singapore Indoor Stadium on a certain weekend might think there was a World Cup screening going on, but no – it was a K-pop concert staged by none other than the hottest girl group of the moment, TWICE, as part of their TWICE 2ND TOUR ‘TWICELAND ZONE 2: Fantasy Park.
Commanding a 8,500-strong crowd of hardcore ONCEs, it was a treat for the army of testosterone-filled fans who turned up in full force: dreamy stage set-ups, fun performances and endless fan service. The audience certainly lapped it up in delight, armed with candy bongs in hand as they roared and chanted along to every song. Here are the thoughts that ran through our minds over the course of the three-hour set:
#1 “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
The TWICE girls made their grand entrance decked out in breathtaking white gowns, looking ever so angelic as they descended on stage in a row of elevated swings. It wasn’t even one song in that they switched up their costumes for cute floral dresses, promptly launching into a sequence of familiar melodies such as ‘Like OOH-AHH’, ‘Cheer Up’ and ‘Likey’. Transforming the stage into a winter wonderland complete with snowflake embellishments and whimsical fairy lights, they winded it down for a couple of mid-tempo numbers including ‘Someone Like Me’ and ‘Turtle’. Check out how gorgeous the set-up was!
Ever since ‘Like OOH-AHH’, TWICE has stuck with the same ol’ formula of sweet bubblegum earworms that fans have come to love. So we couldn’t help but wonder when would they change up their concept – and boy, did they surprise us with a total image overhaul. Ditching their cutesy appeal to showcase a more refined look, the ninesome returned to the stage in dashing pinstripe suits as they delivered a solid repertoire of remixes. “A lot of our songs are bright and bubbly, but we wanted to try something cool this time round,” explained Momo. Hey JYP, can we propose a ‘Touchdown’ 2.0 for their next comeback?
You know TWICE for their addictive bops, but we often forget that they’re made up of unique personalities that aren’t always translated to their presence in the group. Thankfully, each member got a slice of their own spotlight with solo performances and special unit stages: Dahyun showed off her fierce charisma with a killer rendition of Rain’s ‘Rainism’ (or rather, ‘Dahyunism’), Jihyo, Momo and Tzuyu channeled their inner Beyoncé for ‘End Of Time’, Jungyeon and Nayeon swapped gender roles for a sizzling cover of Baek Ji Young and Taecyeon’s ‘My Ear Candy’.
Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out Mina, Chaeyoung and Sana on purpose. In fact, we wanted to give special mention to the trio, who performed the throwback hit ‘Oppa’ by Wax. Although it was intended as a treat for their oppa fans (an endearment term for older brother), Sana didn’t forget to give a shoutout to female as well as younger fans. “There are a lot of people here who are unnies (older sister) and dongsaengs (younger brother/sister) too,” added Sana, before rallying the other members to greet the fellow unnies in attendance.
#5 “How cool would it be to have a Winner x TWICE collab?”
Remember when TWICE performed EXO’s ‘Overdose’ and SEVENTEEN’s ‘Pretty U’ during their Singapore show last April? This year, the nine-member group once again impresses with their electrifying cover of WINNER’s smash hit ‘Really Really’. Needless to say, we’re really really loving it!
Admittedly, TWICE doesn’t have the cleanest of reputations when it comes to live singing. The use of backing tracks was a tad too obvious at some points, but we understand it’s strenuous enough having to keep up with the back-to-back choreography, let alone hit those notes effortlessly. However, that doesn’t mean the ladies can’t hold a tune – just check out this acoustic performance of ‘What Is Love?’. We sure hope they can have more opportunities to show off their vocal skills in the future though!
Before the night comes to an end, ONCEs surprised TWICE with a special fanmade video while holding up banners that read “We will wait for TWICE to return”. Touched at the gesture, a teary-eyed Jihyo took the time to thank fans: “I can’t believe we have doubled the amount of ONCEs we can meet today. Thank you so much for always loving and supporting us!” Wrapping up the show with a promise to return next year, they proceeded to walk us down the TWICE memory lane with a medley of all their greatest hits so far.
Growing bored of re-watching the same ol’ K-dramas? Grab your popcorn and tissue box, because we’ve rounded up a brand new list of must-watch shows for your viewing pleasure. Happy bingeing!
#1 MR. SUNSHINE
Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Min Jung, Byun Yo Han
What it’s about: Based on the infamous US expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the tale of an unlikely romance between a runaway servant boy and an upper-class girl. Against a backdrop of sinister conspiracies and bloody warfare, this Shakespeare-esque love story of Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) and Go Ae Sin (Kim Tae Ri) will bring you on an emotional rollercoaster right from the beginning. Brought to you by the creators of the iconic Descendants of the Sun and Goblin, this upcoming drama promises to tug on your heartstrings just as much.
Mr. Sunshine is available on Netflix from 19 July onwards.
#2 WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM?
Starring: Park Seo Joon, Park Min Young
What it’s about: If you’re a sucker for the “rich guy falls in love with poor girl” trope, then you’re gonna love What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?. The rom-com series follows a narcissistic Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon), the young vice-president of his family’s company, who unknowingly falls in love with his secretary, Kim Mi So (Park Min Young). After nearly a decade of insisting on a “business relationship”, will he finally fess up to his feelings for her?
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? is available on Viu.
#3 COME AND HUG ME
Starring: Jang Ki Yong, Jin Ki Joo, Heo Joon Ho
What it’s about: Does first love = true love? Come And Hug Me follows the budding relationship of two high school sweethearts, Do Jin (Jang Ki Yong) and Jae Yi (Jin Ki Joo), who are torn apart after Do Jin’s psychopathic dad murders Jae Yi’s parents. Years later, the two cross paths again – Do Jin now a rookie detective and Jae Yi an aspiring actress. Can they overcome their tragic past, or is history doomed to repeat itself?
What it’s about: You’ve probably already seen its American counterpart, but the Korean adaptation of Suits promises to be just as good. Go Yeon Woo (Park Hyung Sik) possesses a photographic memory and extraordinary IQ, but his dreams of becoming a lawyer are dashed thanks to his poor family background. A disheartened Yeon Woo settles for a job as a parking valet, but after a series of coincidences, finds himself in the office of Choi Kang Seok (Jang Dong Gun), a legendary lawyer in the prestigious Kang & Ham Law Firm. Impressed by Yeon Woo’s talents, Kang Seok takes a leap of faith by hiring the amateur legal genius.
Starring: Lee Seung Gi, Cha Seung Won, Oh Yeon Seo, Lee Hong Ki, Jang Gwang
What it’s about: A contemporary spin-off of the Chinese classic Journey to the West, this Netflix original calls to question the true nature of good and evil. Son Oh Gong (Lee Seung Gi) can never die and wanders the earth in exile as punishment for his past mischiefs; Jin Seon Mi (Oh Yeon Seo) is a real estate CEO who saved Oh Gong many years ago. The two come face-to-face again in a chance encounter, and an epic love story ensues.
What it’s about: If you’re in need of some good ol’ fairytale romance, this one is for you. Happy-go-lucky Yoon Jin A (Son Ye Jin)’s life seems to be going as planned, except for one thing: a missing soulmate. But her prince charming is closer than she thinks – enter Seo Joon Hee (Jung Hae In), a dashing young man who just so happens to be the brother of Ye Jin’s best friend. Cue lots of heart-fluttering, swoon-worthy moments as Jin A begins to see Joon Hee in a whole new light!
What it’s about: Nam Shin (Seo Kang Joon), who is the heir to a large company, lies comatose in the hospital after a tragic accident. In an attempt to protect his son’s image, his mother exploits her authority on brain science and artificial intelligence to create Nam Shin III – an android that is the spitting image of Nam Shin. Kang So Bong (Gong Seung Yeon) becomes the bodyguard for the new Nam Shim, but as time passes, her feelings for Nam Shim III grow more and more complicated. A unique love story that ultimately leads you to question: what really makes a human, human?
C-pop might’ve taken a backseat in recent years thanks to the emergence of Korean pop culture, but it seems like it’s about to make a comeback in a huge way. Leading the pack is NEX7 (乐华七子), a new seven-member group formed by music giant Yuehua Entertainment. Despite only making their debut yesterday (21 June), these talented lads are well on their way to superstardom over in China. Before they take over the world, here’s everything you need to know about this rising boy band.
#1 They already have a massive fanbase.
You might recognise them from Chinese survival reality show Idol Producer (think China’s answer to South Korea’s Produce 101).All seven boys participated in the programme, but only three of them – Fan Cheng Cheng, Justin Huang and Zhu Zheng Ting – snagged a spot in the Top 9 with a combined vote count of 42 million, promptly making their debut in the project group Nine Percent. Although the other Yuehua trainees didn’t make it into the final lineup, each of them garnered quite a following for their individual charms as well.
#2 Three of them are already part of a boy band.
As previously mentioned, Cheng Cheng, Justin Huang and Zheng Ting are part of the Idol Producer-formed Nine Percent and will be promoting for a total of 18 months before their disbandment in 2019. Unlike their K-pop counterparts Wanna One, whose contract prevents the members from participating in their respective company activities, Nine Percent’s terms seem a lot looser – which explains why the Yuehua trio is able to overlap promotions with NEX7’s. We hope the boys aren’t too exhausted from their hectic schedule though…
#3 Remember Justin and Jung Jung?
Avid fans of Produce 101 might also be familiar with Justin and Zheng Ting, who took part in season two of the South Korean talent competition in 2017. Although both were regrettably eliminated, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise – look where they are now! We’re glad they finally got the recognition they deserved (even though a part of us kinda miss their interaction with the other Yuehua sprouts).
#4 They come from prestigious backgrounds.
NEX7 is the newest boy group under Yuehua Entertainment, one of the biggest music companies in China with major artistes such as Han Geng, UNIQ and more under their wing. They’ve also expanded their Korean branch operations in 2016 and currently co-manages Cosmic Girls with Starship Entertainment. Fun fact: Cosmic Girls’ Cheng Xiao was NEX7’s dance mentor on Idol Producer!
Not only do they boast illustrious company backing, the boys come from relatively well-off families as well. Justin ain’t called “贾富贵” (Just Rich) for nothing, while Zheng Ting’s literally a walking Gucci ad. Then there’s Fan Cheng Cheng aka the younger brother of Fan Bing Bing, who is one of the highest-paid actresses in China. We’re a lil’ doubtful about a certain Ding Ze Ren though, who appears to only own that one (1) stripped shirt during their Idol Producer days…
#5 They received training in Korea.
As Yuehua Entertainment is based in both China and South Korea, it makes sense that the multinational company would send their trainees for formal training in the latter country. In fact, the boys are pretty proficient in Korean too. Prior to joining Yuehua, Ze Ren was a former trainee at SM Entertainment along with the NCT kids – and chances are, he’d probably have debuted with the K-group.
#6 They have a bond like no other.
It’s no secret that the NEX7 members are super tight-knit with one another, evidenced by their endless shenanigans on Idol Producer – and it’s certainly not for show. Who could ever forget the time when Zheng Ting and Justin casually rocked facial masks to dance practice, or that heartbreaking moment when Wen Jun broke down in the arms of the other members after the ranking announcement? Pass the tissues, please.
NEX7 just dropped their debut album The First, led by the title track ‘Wait A Minute’ – and boy, is it a bop. A straight up hip-hop number, ‘Wait A Minute’ will get you hooked instantly on its bombastic beats and the not-so-occasional ‘woos’ and ‘skrrs skrrs’.
Check out their explosive music video below:
Decided to stan NEX7 yet? Drop ’em some love in the comments below!
What a crazy year it has been for Charlie Puth, who not only celebrating the success of his first entirely self-produced effort Voicenotes – but the burgeoning pop star’s also taking it on the road with his third headlining tour.
Shortly after opening for Shawn Mendes on his Illuminate World Tour, the ‘Attention’ crooner announced his own concert tour with Hailee Steinfeld as his supporting act. The live extravaganza is set to kick off in Toronto this July, before making its way across 32 cities in North America and finally – Asia. The singer-songwriter has just revealed that he will be embarking on a seven-stop trek across the region in October and November, which will include a show in Singapore on 13 November!
Charlie Puth ‘Voicenotes’ Live in Singapore Date: 13 November 2018 Time: 8pm Venue: The Star Theatre Tickets: $248 (VIP BOX), $188, $148, $108, $88
Tickets for general sale will go on sale 28 June, 10am via livenation.sg, while the pre-sale for Live Nation members will begin 27 June, 10am (register here for pre-sale access befpre 25 June, 6pm).