The Harry mania is in full force. Returning solo following a prior gig with his ex-bandmates of One Direction back in 2015, his live concert at The Star Theatre to a 5000-strong sold-out audience proved to be a much more intimate affair.
Speaking to the media at a very private press conference before the concert, Harry was fully aware his solo shows would be vastly different from the 1D productions we were used to before. On the beginnings of performing alone, he revealed with a grin, “It was one of the most nerve-wracking things I think. During the shows, there were always a couple of places where I had to do things or speak or whatever. I was very aware that I was on my own. So that was interesting. But I really enjoyed doing that and trying to embrace it, it’s a lot of fun. I guess I enjoy the attention.”
It’s not like the absence of his previous bandmates put any dent to his spectacle of a show. Sauntering onto stage decked in his now-signature floral suit, the dapper 23-year-old was all smiles as he launched into ‘Ever Since New York’ and recent hit ‘Two Ghosts’, igniting a frenzy among his fans that comprised mostly of screaming teenage girls. Why majority of his followers would be female is clear – the dashingly handsome British crooner knew every cheeky smile, wink and crowd-pointing move to get decibel-rocketing squeals from the crowd. Perhaps his firm stance as a pro-femme next generation pop star also resonates positively.
“I think music is and should be a safe space for everyone. I don’t see why that would ever or should ever exclude women. It’s often dismissed a little bit – younger girls’ taste in things. I still don’t really understand that at all. Women and girls, in particular, are very much the future and our future. I feel very lucky to get to play in front of such an amazing group of strong women and men every night. It’s something that I feel very honored to get to do”, he shared earlier in the press conference too.
While he only has an album of 10 songs, he made up for a potentially short set with covers that got the wildest cheers of the night. First breaking out into a soulful hit he penned for fellow star Ariana Grande ‘Just A Little Bit Of Heart’ before surprising with rockier versions of 1D’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, they were purposeful reminders that Harry has somewhat ditched the pop roots he built his name on for a more genuine, bluesy rock sound truer to his artistry. That notion couldn’t be more evident on the soaring ballad ‘Sign of the Times’, which – despite a slight hiccup at the start of the song – drew the 75-minute short set to close on a high.
Image credit: Hélène Pambrun
Fans who missed the chance won’t have to wait long for his return either – one that he’s teased will be significantly different from his solo live debut. “I’m starting to think about what that show is going to be now and I’m trying to get some ideas together. So, going into the next one, there are a lot of things that I’ve learned that I didn’t know before. It’s always been important to me that the show is good because I want people to come even if they’re not necessarily the biggest fan of the music they can leave and appreciate the show and come and have a good time. It’s important to make sure that the show is always growing, change some stuff up and put some surprises in. So I’m looking forward to working out exactly what’s that gonna be.” And come May 2018 when he takes the larger Singapore Indoor Stadium stage, rest assured that it’ll be an even grander occasion than what we witnessed.
Singapore, you were very special tonight. Thank you for having me. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you again soon. H
Billie Eilish is not like most 15-year-olds. For one, she’s on the cusp of superstardom. As her single ‘Ocean Eyes’ went viral this year, so has her status as one of music’s most promising, with her eclectic style and genre-bending tunes – and she’s doing it all on her on terms. Ahead of her Singapore debut performance at Laneway Festival 2018, we speak to the 15-year-old wunderkind about her meteoric rise, upcoming birthday plans, and why she doesn’t want you to smile at her.
Hey Billie! Where are you calling from right now, and what’re you up to?
I’m in LA, laying on my bed. Last week I got back from my first tour, which is crazy. So I’m finally home for a couple of months. It’s great to have some time off!
First things first, congratulations on the EP, don’t smile at me. But why that title?
(Laughs) Well, thank you! The reason why I came up with the title right away, is that I really like when things are named after something that’s kind of more, a sentence or description of something instead of like a “deep word”. Some albums are just called like one word that means nothing. I think that’s so dumb. I’m super inspired by a lot of Corbin’s music and the Arctic Monkeys have really cool titles. Corbin has a song called ‘Take The Blame So I Don’t Have To’, and I think that’s so interesting. He never says that in the song, but that’s what I think is cool about it. When I saw that title, I clicked to listen to it because it looks like it would sound cool.
With don’t smile at me, I hate smiling first of all. In LA, if you’re walking down the street and if a stranger is walking the opposite way and they make eye contact and smile at you, the correct response is to smile back. But if I don’t smile back, then I feel bad because they’d then think I’m a horrible person. So I hate that! I don’t want to be thought of as a bad human because I didn’t do something that nobody asked me to do. So don’t smile at me. Doesn’t mean I hate you, we’re still cool!
We don’t really smile at each other in Singapore so you might like it here… Ahh, yes! That’s the way!
How far along are you on making the debut record?
I’m working on it right now. I haven’t written any of the songs yet, which is exciting for me to see what my brother and I will create. It doesn’t make me worried that I’m not gonna be able to do it. I’m just going to keep trying to be as creative as possible, with names and titles.
Are there artistes or producers that you and your brother would love to work with, possibly for your album? Or are you keeping it strictly family-only for now?
I’d say for writing my songs, I would stick with my brother because we work so well together. We’ve worked with other writers, and it didn’t feel right. I just feel that the stuff we like the best are the stuff we created ourselves. And that’s not a diss to anyone else, it’s just that we’re more comfortable that way. But it’s really fun to work with other artistes, especially artistes and producers I look up to. I resonate better with creatives rather than a writer assigned to write for an artist. But I’d say like a dream collaborator, and I say this in every interview, Tyler the Creator would be my #1. That would just be crazy.
What are your thoughts on giving up a conventional schooling life to pursue a music career? Do you ever feel like you’re missing out?
I’ve never been to school so I can’t really say if school is better or worse because I don’t know. But I will say that nothing that I’ve ever wanted to do involves school, but that’s just me. That’s just the way that I found myself. It doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t go to school and they should do something else. If you’re really interested in something being taught in school, then learn it, why not? But for me, I really wanted to learn about other things that school wasn’t offering.
So I did and that was the way that I worked. There was a year where I wanted to go to school, but I realised that the only reason I wanted to was to go to school instead of actually learn. So I was like, that’s dumb, I’m already learning things and I have enough friends, I don’t need this. I didn’t wanna waste my time with something I didn’t care about.
You’ll be on the Laneway Festival lineup next year, and it’s your first large-scale festival! How does that feel for you, and what are you expecting?
It’s exciting. I have never played a festival. I played a little festival that I wasn’t really announced for, and it was aged 21 and older, and nobody knew who I was, so nobody came. Which was fine, it was a cool experience. But now it’s like, “Here’s a festival Billie, now go play it!”, that’s crazy! I’ve only heard good things about [Laneway], nobody has said anything negative about it whatsoever. I’m just so hyped.
Are there any artists on the lineup you can’t wait to catch as well?
I haven’t seen the lineup in a while but I remember seeing Mac DeMarco, Anderson .Paak and The Internet, which is craaazy?! They’re all amazing.
What can fans look forward to from your live shows?
Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it yet! But I know that it’ll be lit. I trust myself in knowing that it will be really fun. I think we might have more than my brother and I performing. We’ll maybe have a drummer and more people in the band to play with us, which is super fun and I’ve never done that before. I can’t even wait!
Being the youngest on the Laneway lineup, do you think that’s to your advantage or disadvantage?
I think that’s to my advantage in this case, for sure. What’s funny though; Laneway itself is an 18+ only event (in some countries), so technically I couldn’t even go if I wanted to, which is weird.
There’s bound to be people who’ll shrug off your music because you’re 15, yet there’ll be way more people who’ll be like “She’s cool BECAUSE she’s 15”. What do you have to say about haters?
I think there’s more advantages than there are disadvantages of being so young. I think if anything – and I’m not saying this is about me – but people think that if you’re younger and doing something cool, it’s more impressive than if you’re older and doing something cool. Which is kind of unfair to older people, but it also kind of makes sense. It is really pretty cool to be doing all of this!
Image: Laneway Festival Singapore
You’re also turning 16 in a month! How’re you planning to celebrate your upcoming birthday?
Thanks! I’ve been trying to [plan] recently, and when I was younger, I really want to have a Sweet Sixteen. But… I don’t know. I feel like recently, I don’t have the friend group that I had and I’m kind of in a transitional period with friends, so there’s not really anyone I feel that cares enough about me to be with me on my birthday? That sounds depressing as sh*t, but it’s true. I was thinking of either having a party and invite everyone or just have a little thing and have a few people come over, or going somewhere… I don’t know. I kind of just want to have a piñata, that’s it.
What about hanging out with fans on your birthday?
Dude, I’d be down. That’s a good idea!
Having parents that are also actors, what are your thoughts on possibly becoming a multi-talent one day: singer, dancer, actress, fashion designer?
Definitely. If I was acting, I’d be an artist first – like a proper singing musician. Like the way Rihanna did it – not that I want to copy Rihanna, I mean I think everyone does – but I think the fact that she’s an artist and she’s made it clear that that’s what she is first and then she goes and does really cool acting gigs, that’s the coolest way to do it. But I don’t want to be an actor. I used to when I was little but I think that’s just ‘cos I wanted to be on a TV show and have someone kill me, because that’s every child’s dream. I think the idea of working really hard on something and then maybe not getting it, I hate that. If I’m going to work hard on something, I want to know that I’m gonna at least make something of it in the end. I feel like acting is so random and it’s really about your connections and I hate that. I want to work for what I want instead of it being random.
You’re also named one of VEVO’s 2018 Artists To Watch. What else do you have planned for the year ahead?
A lot of stuff’s coming. New content, music, videos, shows – everything. Expect to see my face everywhere.
Featured image credit: Laneway Festival Singapore
Watch Billie Eilish perform ‘my boy’ below. Catch her live at Laneway Festival 2018 on 27 January 2018. Tickets available here.
In case you didn’t know, Lilly Singh aka the magical unicorn we know as Superwoman is a solid BTS fan. It all started in 2015, when The Fine Bros had a ‘YouTubers react to K-pop’ segment – they showed Lilly BTS’ ‘Dope’ and from then on, our girl was hooked.
In the two years since, Lilly found plenty of ways to express her love for BTS; sliding BTS’ songs into her videos (Re: ‘When You Don’t Know The Name Of A Song’) and straight up reacting to them over and over again (Re: ‘The Time I React To K-pop’ Day 933, BTS – Blood Sweat and Tears | My Parents React (Ep. 21), The Time My Parents Fell In Love With K Pop (Day 674)).
As like the ARMYs that showed up at the AMAs, Lilly – who was invited to introduce Shawn Mendes – had one mission that fateful day: try to meet BTS! And in case you think Lilly’s just riding on the gigantic BTS hype, she reassures her viewers, “I will have you know that I’m actually very familiar with BTS songs – this is not a persona. I think they’re really dope! ‘Fire’, ‘Dope’, ‘Blood Sweat & Tears’, I know what’s up!”
When BTS finally took the stage for their historical debut as the first-ever Korean boy band to perform at the AMAs, Lilly had all the feels.
But while she had watched BTS perform live, Lilly had yet to fulfil her mission. So she hung around like any good fan girl would even though her feet were “broken” by the gorgeous magenta heels she had on, and her hard work paid off!
Even if it were only for a fleeting moment, even if she wasn’t able to v-log much or get a proper photo w the boys, Lilly managed to shake hands with all of them. And she’ll always have the footage of her shaking Jungkook’s hand.
ARMY and Team Super were all here for the interaction, congratulating Lilly on her success.
YOU FINALLY SAW THEM LILLY‼️ YOURE PARENTS WILL BE SO PROUD OF YOU 😂 what's the feeling when you met them? i wanna know bc my damn ankles can't relate 😭😂 pic.twitter.com/Wsf2CxWVwg
YOU MET THEM?!! OMG CONGRATS this actually makes me rlly happy YOU KNOW UR PARENTS REACT TO BST VIDEO IS HOW I GOT INTO THEM? AND NOW IM A WHOLE FAN ACCOUNT, NEVER STANNED ANY1 THIS HARD IN MY LIFE SO THANKS
In case you haven’t heard, BTS (aka the hottest K-pop group of the moment) performed at the American Music Awards 2017, and drove everyone absolutely crazy! Here’s a list of celebrities who have officially became ARMYs.
Giving the world a much needed reminder of how K-pop is awesome, BTS stormed the stage with an epic performance of their hit ‘DNA’, which left many celebrities gasping for more. Not only did they gain famous stans with their Love Yourself: Her hit, the seven-member group also made history as being the first-ever Korean boy band to perform at the AMAs. This truly is a proud moment for the BTS ARMY!
Before their rise to fame and fortune, many celebs came from humble beginnings and had to hustle like every one of us non-famous folks. From working in retail to scoring a job in F&B to being a dog walker, these stars prove that hard work is essential at every stage of your life.
Living up to her badass Badgal Riri reputation, the singer-songwriter-actress-mogul (you get our drift) was an army cadet in a sub-military program who had fellow Barbadian singer Shontelle as a drill sergeant. They did push-ups, wore combat boots, fatigues and crawled through mud together.
Before starring in Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus’ first (and last) non-Hollywood related job was at a place called Sparkles Cleaning Service, where she would clean houses. “I had one normal job and I actually liked it.” The songstress shared, “I was like 11… I can clean toilet bowls.”
Prior to becoming the… Legend he is in the music industry, the ‘All of Me’ crooner worked as a consultant doing client management with Boston Consulting Group. According to ex-colleagues, John Stephen (as he was known back then) was “lovely and brilliant and built excel spreadsheets like there was no tomorrow”. You know who to hit up the next time you’re stuck in an Excel pinch!
Perhaps Beyoncé’s secret to her perfect mane came from working at her mum, Tina Knowles’ hair salon to earn pocket money. If Queen Bey can earn her keep sweeping up customers’ hair, then know that there’s no job too little!
You may already know this one if you’ve heard his hit ‘Spaceship’ where he sang “Let’s go back, back to the Gap/Look at my check, wasn’t no scratch”, but Kanye did indeed work part-time at the Gap (ironically) and was responsible for their customer service. While his stint there didn’t end very well, Ye cites the chain retailer for inspiring his passion for style – which ultimately led to the craze-inducing YEEZY brand.
Harry Styles is raking in the dough now, but once upon a time, he was actually making it. Before his One Direction days, the Brit heartthrob spent his spare time working at a bakery in Cheshire. His job scope included serving customers in the shop and loads of cleaning; scrubbing the floor, tray washing, counter cleaning and mopping the floors. And according to glowing reviews from his former employer, Harry was very hardworking and didn’t complain about his work, and that he was the “most polite staff they ever had”.
Stomping down the runway might be her main gig now, but Kendall Jenner’s first-ever job involved strutting down the streets – as a dog walker. She revealed this little known fact to Vogue’s 73 Questions video awhile back.
It’s common for stars to have waitressing gigs on their resumes, but we’re sure none of them took to it like Lady Gaga did. “I was really good at it,” the star revealed, “I always got big tips.” And even though she wasn’t performing onstage just yet, Mother Monster found a way to perform – for her customers that is. “I always wore heels to work!” she shared in an interview, “I told everybody stories, and for customers on dates, I kept it romantic. It’s kind of like performing.” Other ex-waitresses include: Lana Del Rey, Elizabeth Banks and Naya Rivera.
Fresh off his decision to drop out of UCLA back in the ’90s, James Franco was a struggling actor trying to realise his dreams – in the meantime, he sought a job at McDonald’s. Although it lasted only three months, the actor shared, “”All I know is that when I needed McDonald’s, McDonald’s was there for me. When no one else was.” He also revealed that he would take the opportunity to hone his craft, practicing fake accents, “Brooklynese, Italian, British, Irish, Russian, Southern” while he worked at the drive-thru. Another McDonald’s alum? Rachel McAdams.
Growing up, Jennifer Lawrence worked as an assistant nurse at a summer camp her mother managed, and had performances in local theatre on the side. And before she became the Hollywood A-lister we know and love, Jennifer had an actual five-year plan where she’d give up acting and head to nursing school if it didn’t work out.
Before getting her big break, Emma Stone worked at the Three Dog Bakery, LA’s best bakery for dogs. And she fondly recalls her time there, sharing about the bakery’s top treats (Pop Tarts for dogs, Pupcakes and a dog Oreo made with carob and honey) and the time “a mum would come in and buy them for her kid because she thought dog Oreos were healthier.”
Serving for two years as an enlisted soldier in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat trainer when she was a mere 20 years old, Gal picked up many valuable lessons, including discipline and respect. And according to the real life Wonder Woman, she shared that her background had given her the advantage to win the role of Gisele in Fast and Furious because, “the director Justin Lin really liked that I was in the military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons.”
Bonus: Barack Obama
The 44th president of the United States has an impressively long resume, but it turns out that his first job – scooping ice cream at Baskin Robins – taught him plenty. “scooping ice cream is tougher than it looks,” he shared, “[It] wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it taught me some valuable lessons. Responsibility. Hard work. Balancing a job with friends, family and school.”
Do you share any of the same jobs on your resume? Tell us in the comment section!