From Crazy Rich Asians to Noah Centineo, MasterChef glory to S-hook zehzeh, 2018 has been quite a wild (an understatement, really) year. We recap the top headlines that had the world talking in the past months – no tea, no shade, just facts!

#1 GOTTA CATCH ’EM ALL

Pokemon Centre

Get your Poké Balls ready, ’cause Singapore is getting her very own Pokemon Centre! To be situated at Jewel Changi Airport, the spanking new outlet will be the game franchise’s only permanent retail store outside of Japan, and will feature merchandise created exclusively for the Jewel branch – think old-school trading cards, adorable accessories and plushies. Pokémon fans will no longer need to travel far to catch ’em all when it opens in the first half of 2019!

#2 RIHANNA TAKEOVER

Rihanna

We just can’t get enough of Rihanna! Our all-time favourite queen has been hard at work throughout the year – she launched four new Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paints, returned with the all-inclusive Savage x Fenty lingerie collection, and not to mention her surprise visit at Sephora ION Orchard for Fenty Beauty’s anniversary celebrations. Despite of all these, we still want more of RiRi.

#3 CRAZY RICH MADNESS

Crazy Rich Asians

We might be a little biased, but the Jon M. Chu-directed Crazy Rich Asians (CRA) was undeniably the movie of 2018 – from a gratuitous display of our little red dot on the international stage, to seeing fellow Singaporeans on the big screen (shout-out to Pierre Png’s abs). On top of that, the all-Asian cast was a win for racial representation in Hollywood, so it’s hard to not feel a little proud when watching this flick. It has also been confirmed that a sequel to the blockbuster romcom is in the works, so we think it won’t be long before the CRA gang gets back together again.

#4 NOAH CENTINEO FEVER

Noah Centineo

We have nothing but gratitude for Netflix for blessing us with not one, but two movies that featured the perfect specimen that is Noah Centineo. The 22-year-old heartthrob first came into our lives as the swoon-worthy Peter Kavinsky in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, before capturing our hearts all over again as Jamey in Sierra Burgess Is A Loser. Here’s hoping we get to see more of this hottie in 2019!

#5 BABY, ONE MORE TIME

K

It’s hard to keep up with the Kardashian-Jenner clan. In the year of 2018 alone, three of the sisters gave birth to adorable babies. Questionable names aside, it’s time to acquaint yourself with these new and very cute additions to the family: Stormi Webster is the daughter of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, Chicago West is the latest offspring in the Kim-Kanye union, and Khloe gave birth to True Thompson with husband Tristan.

#6 BLAST FROM THE PAST

Maplestory M

Who could ever forget good ol’ games of yesteryears like Neopets and MapleStory that accompanied us growing up? If you’re a fellow ’90s kid, chances are you’ve spent your time after school earning Neopoints through games like Cheat, or farming for mushrooms to level up in Henesys. We’ve got good news: your favourite childhood games have made a comeback in the form of mobile apps, such as Neopets: Legends and Letters and MapleStory M that are sure to be a hit amongst today’s tech-savvy generation.

#7 HISTORY IN THE MAKING

North Korea-United States

Another historic event that put our humble stomping grounds in the spotlight: the 2018 North Korea-United States Summit, which was hosted at Sentosa Island. In that time, Singapore unexpectedly received the attention of a global audience – queries of where exactly is this ‘secluded island’ spiked, while the ‘dark history’ of our current tourist spot, Sentosa, was drudged up by international media. Who knew that people knew so little of our homeland?

#8 #TEAMYANNY OR #TEAMLAUREL?

Yanny Laurel

This year also saw the legendary poll created by Twitter user @CloeCouture cause rifts between friends, family and everyone on the Internet. Did you hear ‘Yanny’ or ‘Laurel’? Everyone thought they were right – but as it turns out, science didn’t exactly have an answer. Between the ambiguous sound waves and poor audio quality, it was basically impossible to discern. In case you were wondering, we heard ‘Yanny’.

#9 THANK YOU, AVICII

Avicii

The passing of 28-year-old Swedish DJ Avicii came as a shock for the music industry. We lost a bright mind, but it also shed light on important conversations about mental health, depression, and the gruelling effect the music scene has on its artistes. In recent news, the ‘Wake Me Up’ producer’s Avicii: True Stories documentary is revealed to be qualified for Oscars consideration and will also be making a theatrical comeback with showings in New York and LA beginning this December.

#10 THE NAS DAILY EFFECT

Nas Daily

Hands up if you’ve learned more about Singapore from travel blogger Nas Daily than you did from your Social Studies textbook. Known for his popular daily 1-minute video series, the Internet sensation made a total of 14 videos dedicated to our country – citing Changi Airport as the “world’s best airport”, spending a day at a landfill, and experiencing being a Freegan with a local dumpster diver. His trip might be short, but he certainly taught us a lesson or two about how good we have it in this “almost perfect country”.

#11 SALTED EGG, AGAIN

Salted Egg

It’s no secret that we are a predictable bunch; slap on ‘salted egg’ to anything and it’s enough to drive Singaporeans nuts. Case in point: Indomie’s Salted Egg Instant Noodles. Labelled as a premium flavour, demand for the highly-raved ‘curly fried noodle’ reached an all-time high since its release in August. What used to be an Indonesia-exclusive product is now carried by major supermarkets. Food fads may come and go, but it certainly seems like salted egg yolk is here to stay.

#12 A MODERN FAIRYTALE

Royal Wedding

Behold, a wedding so grand it stole the attention of the entire globe. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot on 19 May in a royal ceremony that featured famous guests, a sparkly tiara, and a dramatic veil with delicate embroidery that included every flower in the Commonwealth – and that meant a space for our very own national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim. May the Duke and Duchess of Sussex live happily after ever!

#13 KIKI, DO YOU LOVE ME?

In My Feelings

Another year, another viral challenge. Known as the #InMyFeelings Challenge, the Drake-inspired dance craze was first created by comedian Shiggy, who busted out his slick moves to the meme-worthy tune of ‘In My Feelings’. It has since taken the world by storm, with Hollywood heavyweights like Will Smith and DJ Khaled as well as K-pop idols like BTS’ J-Hope jumping onto the bandwagon. The star of the show himself subsequently dropped the long- awaited music video featuring a bevy of celebrity cameos in the closing credits, including the aforementioned stars!

#14 COOKING UP A STORM

Masterchef Singapore

Things are flaming up in the MasterChef kitchen! In the UK edition, a judge made news when he commented that a rendang was lacking in crispiness (which was just outright baffling). The Australian edition saw Singapore-born Sashi Cheliah taking home the winning trophy, thanks in part to his rendition of a chicken lemak dish and pineapple tart with lime ice cream dessert. And riding the MasterChef waves is Singapore’s own inaugural edition of the reality show, where Zander Ng bagged the coveted title after winning over the judges with his five-course banquet. Congratulations to Singapore’s first ever MasterChef!

#15 S-HOOK INFLUENCE

Shook

Marketing 101: think outside the box. For a certain Lerine Yeo, her unique selling tactic has made her quite the sensation on Facebook. By using S-hooks, this enterprising comedienne taught everyone how to maximise holes in a shirt to carry extra items like an umbrella, EZ-link cards and even wanton mee. Thanks to the Internet, the 30-year- old ended up scoring a contract deal with Mark Lee’s company. One thing’s for sure: this won’t be the last you’ll see of her.

#16 THE BTS TAKEOVER

BTS

2018 is, without a doubt, BTS’ year – we’re just living in it. Many K-pop acts have attempted to break into the American market, but none have seen as much success as that of BTS. Vox labelled them as “the band that changed K-pop”, and TIME even gave them a spot on their “25 Most Influential People on the Internet” list. The seven-member juggernaut became the first South Korean band to top the Billboard Artist 100 chart, took to the Times Square, and collaborated with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Steve Aoki and Fall Out Boy, amongst other record-breaking achievements.

#17 MAD FOR PLAID

Plaid

Plaid is now back in style! Although checkered prints have always been a wardrobe staple, there’s no denying the fact that the Cher Horowitz-inspired look is having a huge moment in the fashion world lately. Designer brands like Versace, Michael Kors and Dior began putting their own contemporary spin on the trend, with matching co-ords, unexpected colour pairings and bold silhouettes dominating the runways.

#19 POWER DUO

Beyonce JayZ

Of course, we can’t miss out on the collaborative masterpiece that is Everything Is Love. A creative union between husband-wife duo Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the surprise joint album offers listeners an intimate glimpse into their life, their love and their family. We couldn’t have asked for a better finale to their trilogy of albums, and that’s not forgetting the epic music video of ‘APES**T’ where the power couple rented out the whole of the Louvre in Paris. Cue standing ovation!

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 4.

Did we miss anything out? Comment down below what you think is the hottest tea in 2018!

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So you’re not one of those people who enjoy the Marina Bay countdown shenanigans, making merry in the sand, or partying it up until the clock strikes midnight; not to worry. There’s no one right way to spend the last day of the year, so for the homebodies who hate human contact, we pulled together some screen recommendations you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Before Sunrise

An oldie but a goodie, 1995 romantic drama Before Sunrise tells the tale of two strangers who fall in love over the course of a night and good conversation. Jesse (Ethan Hawke), a young American man, meets Celine (Julie Delpy), a young French woman, on a train in Europe; on a whim, the two disembark in Vienna and spend the night walking around the city and getting to know each other.

Don’t expect a grand plot; the film focuses on the depth of conversation between the two young, idealistic individuals, who ruminate on genuinely stirring beliefs that will have you tearing up and/or nodding furiously throughout the film. Should you fall in love with the couple (and their all-inspiring dialogue courtesy of writer and director Richard Linklater) by the end, there are two sequels that continue the story nine and 18 years after the first film respectively.

How To Be Single

Here’s one for the romance cynics who have no one to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. Despite its cheesy title, this 2016 film is actually a poignant narrative of self-discovery masquerading as a slapstick rom-com. Sit back and settle in for a string of poorly handled relationships, undertaken by a star-studded ensemble comprising Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann and Alison Brie. Adapted from a novel of the same name, How to Be Single gets in a good number of gags while weaving in multiple storylines that still manage to hold their emotional weight. Bonus: There are a few festive scenes of New Year’s Eve that will tie in nicely to your real-time mood.

Les Misérables

It was a 50-50 split when the 2012 musical drama film Les Miserables first hit cinemas; some hated the singing, others the 158-minute run time. Six years later, Victor Hugo’s classic story is getting another shot onscreen. A new non-singing adaptation by BBC is spinning the rich material into a six-episode mini-series premiering 31 December in Singapore. You’ll still get to see Jean Valjean’s (Dominic West) steady redemption from former convict to respected mayor; but fans will be pleased to know that the show is devoting significant screen time to Fantine, played here by the lovely Lily Collins, and her life before destitution.

The Hangover

While everyone else is out prepping for an actual hangover the next morning, get your own fix a safe cinematic distance away with the epic comedy trilogy of The Hangover that first premiered in 2009. For the uninitiated, Bradley Cooper and Co. spend a wild night in Las Vegas throwing a bachelor party – and spend the rest of the film trying to recall what happened, along with finding the lost groom. Understandably, the two sequels, which pretty much follow the same narrative arc, don’t quite match the first in freshness (how innovative can you get with the same concept?). But overall, the trilogy is dumb, loud, and deliciously entertaining for a chill night in away from real idiots noise.

Black Mirror

Let’s be real; society as we know it is getting progressively dystopian and international politics are going to run civilisation into the ground. Who’s to say 2019 will be any better? If you enjoy an unhealthy dose of pessimism and despair, kick off the New Year with a wake-up call from TV’s most depressing but realistic sci-fi anthology (which you can stream on Netflix). In no particular order, some of our favourite episodes include White Bear, Playtest, The Entire History of You, and Hang The DJ. And for fans well-versed with the series – the US drop of Black Mirror’s Season 5 is coming real soon (28 December); so now’s the best time to rewatch the first four seasons in anticipation.

A version of this article first appeared on SG Magazine.

More related stories: Ring In 2019 At These Unforgettable Year-End Countdown Parties12 Highly-Anticipated Movies To Watch Out For In 2019

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With a macabre moniker that translates literally to “End of the World”, one would’ve expected J-rock band Sekai No Owari to appear all dark and gloomy – but they were anything but.

Upon stepping into the interview room, we were greeted by the bright-eyed members who were all decked out in their performance get-ups – Fukase in his sharp suit and tousled hair glory, Nakajin looking dapper with a pair of shades, Saori rocking a gorgeous red dress, and of course, there’s DJ Love with his signature clown mask – ahead of their set at F1 Singapore.

 
 
 
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Thank you Singapore for having us🏁🏁🏁🍾🍾 @f1nightrace

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Known for their quirky brand of electropop tunes, Sekai No Owari is no stranger to performing on our shores, having played a solo gig here back in 2017 and now becoming one of the esteemed headlining acts for F1 alongside international artistes like Jay Chou, Dua Lipa and Martin Garrix. We speak to the pop quartet about their unique approach to songwriting, breaking into the US market and more.

End Of The World is a pretty dark name for a band, but your lyrics always have a positive element to them. How does this affect your songwriting process?

We consider ourselves as an entertainment band, so we put a lot of emphasis on what we think our fans like to watch us sing about. We don’t just express the fun aspects of life, but also sadness, anger and all sorts of different emotions – just like movies. There are lighthearted romcoms, there are horror films, so on and so forth. At the end of the day, what we aspire to do is to perform something that others can actually enjoy watching.

We know that the inspiration behind your moniker was because you’ve experienced the lowest period of your life, but what were the highest points of your career so far?

In terms of the highest point of our career, we feel that we are rewriting our record every day. For example, we had a concert in Hong Kong and now we’re able to perform in Singapore for the second time. It’s an ongoing process so we can’t really pinpoint and say that this is the highest point.

 
 
 
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Breaking into the US market admittedly isn’t easy, especially for Asian acts. What were some of the challenges you’ve encountered along the way?

One of the most prominent difficulties is obviously the language, so we had to take a different approach when we make English songs as compared to Japanese tracks. At the end of the day, the music that we’re making has to reach the audience. For the Japanese audience, we have a good idea of how they would respond to our music; but for the overseas fans, it’s kind of difficult to predict what the reception will be like.

At the same time, it’s easy to say that it’s all due to culture differences, but is it really? We can’t generalise our audience because every individual is different in their own ways. We don’t think it’s the correct thing to do because we’re all humans after all. All that matters to us is that we can connect with fans around the world, and it’s all thanks to our music that brings us to so many places. That’s what keeps us going.

You guys have known each other since your childhood days! Tell us a secret of the member next to you that people don’t know about.

Nakajin: Before we made our debut, we were building our own lifehouse called Park Earth. It was around the time when Saori used to wear army pants a lot; she looked almost like Bruce Willis from Die Hard. That was when she looked the coolest ever!

Saori: At our apartment, we have a water dispenser and Fukase has the habit of always leaving his cup on top of the water tank (laughs).

Fukase: From his high school days till he was about 24 years old, DJ Love only owned and wore one pair of shoes. He’d wear the same pair day after day, and after the shoes were damaged, he would throw it away and buy the exact same pair again. That was his rule back then!

DJ Love: Whenever Nakajin goes to the washroom, he takes a long time to come out. Mind you, he wasn’t showering!

 
 
 
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If the members were to swap roles bodies with each other for a day, who would you want to be?

Nakajin: For the rest of us, we all want to be DJ Love because his identity hasn’t been revealed yet and nobody knows what he really looks like so we’re free to do whatever we want to do, eat whatever we want to eat!

Lastly, what’s next for you guys?

We’re in the midst of producing our newest album right now, and after that we wish to tour around Asia. It’s going to be a themed tour!

Check out Sekai No Owari’s latest music video for ‘Illumination’:

Thanks to Sony Music Singapore for the interview opportunity!

More related stories: ONE OK ROCK Talks Global Success And Breaking Asian Stereotypes5 Reasons Why Japanese Heartthrob Koudai Matsuoka Is One To Watch

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We just can’t get enough of #Covinsky, can we? Barely four months after the initial release of romantic comedy To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix has just confirmed that a sequel is in the works – and yes, our favourite onscreen lovebirds Lana Condor and Noah Centineo are onboard for the next instalment!

In an official announcement posted on Lana Condor’s Instagram, the actress is seen pondering over what Christmas gift to get for her TATB costar, Noah Centineo, when she receives a FaceTime from the latter (also, is it just us or is Noah extra cute here?).

Channeling her inner Lara Jean Covey, she says excitedly, “I was literally just thinking about what to get you for Christmas. By the way, if we’re going to do this thing, we’re going to need a new contract.” She adds on, “I am so excited. It’s officially official. We are making the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel!”

And as if news of a sequel isn’t enough to get us all hyped up, Lana then takes a mysterious call and exclaims, “What? You’re going to make the perfect John Ambrose!” For the uninitiated, John Ambrose McClaren plays a major role in the upcoming sequel as Lara Jean’s childhood friend and possible love interest. In the previous film, the character is portrayed by Jordan Burtchett and Lana’s comment seems to be implying that they’ve recasted the role. Any guesses who the new John Ambrose might be?

There’s no word on the release date as of now, but we’ll be sure to keep you guys posted. Meanwhile, excuse us while we binge-watch TATB for the nth time…

More related stories: These Up-And-Coming Netflix Stars Are Your Next Instagram Crushes22 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Noah Centineo

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After dropping a major hint during his appearance for HeadRock VR in November, news is finally out that BIGBANG’s almighty maknae Seungri will be holding his very own solo concert in Singapore as part of The Great Seungri Tour.

Set to be held at The Star Theatre on 23 February 2019, VIPs can look forward to a variety of thrilling performances including solo hits off his latest record as well as a couple of BIGBANG fan-favourites. As a lil’ spoiler, the 28-year-old even included Jennie’s ‘SOLO’, G-Dragon’s ‘Good Boy’ and Taeyang’s ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips’ into his setlist for his recent Osaka concert. We can’t wait to see what other surprises he has up his sleeves!

When it comes to putting on a show, this man certainly knows how to entertain a crowd so you’re sure to be in for a fantastic (baby!) time. And just in case you needed more convincing to attend his concert, this is likely to be his final tour before he enlists for mandatory military service next year – don’t miss your chance to catch Seungri upclose and personal!

The Great Seungri Tour 2019 Live in Singapore

The Great Seungri Tour 2019 Live in Singapore
Date: 23 February 2019 (Saturday)
Venue: The Star Theatre
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $288, $248, $208, $168, $148

Tickets will go on sale 26 December 2018, 10am via APACTix.

Meanwhile, watch Seungri’s latest music video of ‘WHERE R U FROM’ featuring Winner’s Mino:

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