Interview: Nathan Hartono On Love, Cosplay And Spider-Man

13 Mar 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

For longtime fans of Nathan Hartono, you might remember his days as a fresh-faced jazz crooner with crinkly eyes and a beaming smile. Now, he’s made it huge even beyond the local music scene, having made his official debut in China with his first ever Mandarin release ‘Electric Love (爱超给电)’. Yet despite his ongoing successes, the 26-year-old is still the same humble boy at heart. Catching up with the lad about his electrifying new single, he shared with us about his new musical direction, upgraded Chinese skills and penchant for cosplaying as… err, Spider-Man? Read on!

Hi Nathan! It’s been almost a year since we last had you on our January cover. How has 2018 been for you so far?
We’re just kicking it off and it’s been great so far. I’ve spent most of the past year in China and working on my Mandarin release. A lot of the year remains to be seen because I know I’ll be spending a lot of time in Beijing, so I’m both excited and a little bit scared for that.

Your Chinese has certainly improved a lot! How would you rate your skills from a scale of 1 to 10?
Before, it was like… 2. Now, I’m like a 5? I’m getting better, but I wouldn’t be so brave to give myself an 8 or 9. I want to reach a level where I can actually write songs in Chinese, and it’s gonna take awhile (laughs).

Who says Nathan Hartono can’t Chinese? Watch our resident heartthrob read the lyrics to ‘Electric Love (爱超给电)’ with a romantic twist here:

For the music video of ‘爱超给电’, you’ve mentioned that it’s “a love letter to all shapes, sizes and colours of love”. What was the inspiration behind it?
For the song itself, it’s really about love that can strike you in many ways, so we kind of took the concept over to portray the diversity of love. The ensemble in the music video – the dancers, cosplayers and drag queens – are all people who are comfortable in their own skin and true to their idea of beauty. Sometimes it’s conventional and sometimes it’s completely unconventional, but it’s just so much fun to see and experience.

You’ve had lots of Japanese-inspired characters from dolls to pigs in the music video. If you could cosplay as any character in the world, who would you pick?
I wouldn’t play the pig, just saying. Hats off to her man, she was in that inflatable suit for most of the day and she was sweating buckets. It was horrible! But back to the topic, I’d like to cosplay as Spider-Man – swinging from place to place across the traffic and all, that’s the one thing I’ve always fantasised about even till now. I remember there was a period in my life where I was obsessively looking for a Spidey costume for Halloween… still never fulfilled that wish though (laughs).

While we’re at it, what are your thoughts about Japanese culture?
I’ve been to Japan a couple of times, but one thing that’s always reaffirmed for me is that it has a very obsessive culture – in a good way. They are very good at completely giving their all into one task and making sure it can be done to its best extent. It’s such a fundamentally different place from the rest of the world, so much so that it seems like they’re very much ahead of everyone else. But I love it because when it came to working on this music video with the Japanese crew, everyone was extremely detail-oriented and gave themselves fully to the project which was very inspirational to see.  

Let’s talk about your upcoming album. How’s the record going to sound like now that you’re going towards a fresh musical direction?
Musically, I’m in a strange place right now. So far, it’s sounding very different from the things I’ve done before so to even define the genre itself is difficult. I would say pop for the most part, but there are also bits of R&B and some jazz elements here and there.

Lastly, what are the top three things on your musical bucket list?
Firstly, I need to release the EP but that’s going to be done so I guess that’s cheating (laughs). Being able to write more, which has always been a resolution I fail at. And lastly, [it’s] just really getting into the flow of producing a lot more, be it my own music or other people’s stuff.

Thanks to Warner Music Singapore for the interview opportunity!

Nathan Hartono’s debut Mandarin single ‘Electric Love (爱超给电)’ is out now.

More related stories: It’s Official: Nathan Hartono Will Be Making His Debut In China!10 Times Nathan Hartono Won At Internet HumourWhy Nathan Hartono Doesn’t Need First Place To Win


8 New Shows To Binge-Watch On Netflix This March

12 Mar 2018 by Nicole Chan

The month of March brings us a whole slew of Netflix series to get us into couch potato mode. With the March holidays in full swing, we’re here to give you the scoop of must-watch titles you should definitely binge on!

Dear White People 

What is it about? Filled with the perfect mix of satire and wit, this series follows the similarly-titled acclaimed indie film and is set in a “post-racial” society, where students of colour try to overcome social barriers and prejudiced judgements in a predominantly white Ivy League school.

Why a must-watch: This series brings our attention to significant societal issues such as racial bias and social injustice. Besides raising awareness about these important topics, it also features a strong, empowering black identity which is arguably necessary on national television these days. Despite its complex plot, the events are peppered with lighthearted jokes and will unfold with intriguing plot twists you’ll never see coming. 

Date released: Currently available on Netflix

Marvel’s Jessica Jones 

What is it about? Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jessica Jones is a fictitious superhero armed with a myriad of extraordinary superpowers, snark and a teensy bit of sweet. Running a detective agency in the day, join our titular heroine on her double-life adventures as she simultaneously tries to get through each day and save the people around her. 

Why a must-watch: Though fictional, this show explores important, hard-hitting issues such as PTSD and assault in a realistic and honest manner through the complex yet endearing characters. Watch on as the various characters come to terms and try to resolve their problems with courage in season two.

Date released: Currently available on Netflix

The Crown 

What is it about? The Crown is a biological timeline of events, chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Featuring the endless political rivalries and challenges between countries, witness how the newly crowned head of the monarchy has undoubtedly shaped the entire second half of our second century for good.

Why a must-watch: A politically charged yet heartbreaking tale of royal romance, this British series is perfect for history buffs and any anglophiles.

Dare released: Currently available on Netflix

Bates Motel

What is it about? A contemporary prequel to the well-known 1998 horror film Psycho, Bates Motel is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Although the events are rather twisted and borderline gory, it unravels in such a thrilling and shrewd way that you’ll be gripping onto the edge of your seat in anticipation for what’s next.

Why a must-watch: Unlike the movie, the latest season incorporates more elements of Norman Bates’ childhood and psychological state, truly fleshing out his descent into madness which makes us empathise with him as a character. We like that it also elucidates his close-knit yet emotionally complex relationship with Norma Bates.

Date released: Currently available on Netflix


What is it about? If you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy and horror, have a whirl at this adrenaline-pumping thriller flick. Watch as an all-female entourage explore unchartered territories full of danger, threats and impending doom in a whole new fantastical universe.

Why a must-watch: Not only does this film feature a stellar cast with fan favourites like Natalie Portman and Oscar Issac, it also plays with realistic sci-fi effects and stimulating visuals that will leave you craving for more. 

Date released: 12 March 2018


What is it about? A remake of the popular 1947 family film, this heartwarming adaptation follows the journey of everyone’s favourite canine star Benji. After being adopted by a kind family, the once-orphaned mutt strikes up a friendship with the two kids and comes to their rescue when danger befalls them.

Why a must-watch: The touching film will not only tug at your heartstrings, but will serve as a timely reminder to give some love and TLC to your family pet as well!

Date released: 16 March 2018

A Series of Unfortunate Events 

What is it about? Based on the best-selling gothic tale by Lemony Snicket, the comedy-drama series follows three orphans who are investigating their parents’ mysterious death. In a cruel twist of fate, the siblings end up with an evil guardian named Count Olaf who relentlessly pursues the siblings’ inheritance. Will the Baudelaires trio succeed in foiling Olaf’s devious schemes and plots?

Why a must-watch: With a perfect blend of cynicism, humour and entertainment, many reviews and critics have claimed that the Netflix series has not only matched up to the novels’ standards, but surpassed them. Only time will tell if the renewed season will turn out to be a hit or miss, but we sure have high hopes for this one!

Date released: 30 March 2018


What is it about? Compared to bigger genres like pop, the hip-hop culture is rather understated – which is why this film aims to highlight the impact hip-hop has made on our global and music scene. From up-and-coming artistes to moguls of the hip-hop world, Rapture showcases an impressive cast of big-name acts as Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze as they share their experiences thriving in the industry. 

Why a must-watch: With the lack of mainstream platforms to explore the extensive hip-hop culture, this original documentary is here to fill the void. Made with the music lover in mind, you’ll be able to live the lives of your favourite rappers and really connect with them on a much personal level.

Date released: 30 March 2018

Which Netflix series are you currently watching right now? Share with us in the comments below!

More related stories: 5 Fam-friendly Netflix Shows To Binge-watch With Your RelativesFriends Is On Netflix! Here Are 5 Iconic Episodes To Binge-Watch Right Now

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Following the footsteps of their counterparts Wanna One and JBJ, MXM (Im Youngmin and Kim Donghyun) are the next Produce 101 alums to conquer our shores!

Since making their much-anticipated debut last September, the trailblazing duo has barely rested on their laurels — performing at music shows, making variety show appearances and attending award ceremonies, amidst churning out new tunes. Hot on the heels of their latest comeback with the double single release REMATCH, MXM will also be kicking off their second fanmeeting tour with a long-awaited stop in Singapore this May.

Fun fact: did you know Youngmin used to live in Singapore when he was young? Welcome back, Youngmin!


MXM MATCH UP Fanmeeting in Singapore 2018
Date: 4 May 2018
Time: 8pm
Venue: [email protected] Box
Ticket prices: $148 for Rock Zone (standing), $248 for VIP (seated)

Tickets will go on sale on 17 March, 10am via www.apactix.com. Good luck!

Watch the music video of MXM’s latest track ‘Gone Cold’:

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#MeToo Hits Korea: 5 K-Idols Who Spoke Up About Female Empowerment

7 Mar 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

Since last October, the #MeToo social campaign has been sweeping the entertainment biz, inspiring others to come forward with their own accounts outing major Hollywood stars. It was only a matter of time before the Weinstein effect snowballed into the K-pop industry – and it’s finally here, with allegations against several high-profile actors and entertainers coming to light day after day. In light of the ongoing movement, fellow celebrities have also been stepping out to join the conversation.



The f(x) member has always been vocal about standing up for issues she care about, and she couldn’t have said it any better. One of the first Korean celebrities to speak up about the topic, Amber took to Instagram back in October to show her support for the movement: “It happens everywhere, even [in Korea]. I want to add my voice as well. Not only from what I have experienced but also from what I have seen my friends and loved ones have to go through… and because it’s so common, I hate to say it.. the feelings became so numb and we all felt that we just had to ‘deal with it. As the human race, let’s continue to show love, compassion and respect towards one another.” Say it louder, Amber!



A post shared by Amber J. Liu 刘逸云 (@ajol_llama) on



Apart from being total girl crush material, we love that Sunmi has never been one to shy away from addressing controversial topics. In a recent interview, the former Wonder Girls member opened up about the double standards of being a female idol. “It’s a difficult world for women to live in because the standards for a female artiste are strict. Whether it’s dating scandals, personal abuse or sexual harassment, the blow is even bigger for female celebrities just by looking at the comments section. I wanted to be reserved about it, but it made me so mad these days. It gets unfair sometimes.” ‘Nuff said, Sunmi is the ‘Heroine’ we all deserve. 



During the recent press conference for her upcoming drama My Husband, Mr. Oh!, UEE commented: “As I read things online, I feel sad and shocked thinking that such things have happened. As a woman, I would like to voice my support.” The former After School member is the latest celebrity to get on board with the campaign, and we sure hope more stars will follow suit. 

Kim Tae Ri

Kim Tae Ri

In a televised broadcast with Newsroom, Kim Tae Ri expresses how she relates to the movement as an actress who started out in small plays. “I think I felt more of those feelings because I know all too well about the perpetrators’ social positions and that their power is too great. I do not dare assume that I know how much pain the victims feel,” she shared. “However, I know the horrible structure that would make me also have to be silent if I were in that situation. I think this series of events is a miracle. I hope that this kind of movement doesn’t just end with exposures and apologies, but will result in creating a better society.” 

BTOB’s Hyunsik


 It’s not just the female celebrities who are taking a stand for themselves – BTOB’s Hyunsik is one of those who openly advocated for women’s rights. A 2013 interview resurfaced in light of the recent events, where the then 21-year-old revealed that he detests “people who are like trash and commit crimes against women because they believe women are weaker”. And for a rookie idol who was merely one year into his career, it’s refreshing to see Hyunsik shedding light on the issue.

With more and more celebrities speaking up about #MeToo, we hope it will keep the conversation moving forward and spark a change. If you or someone you know have faced sexual assault, please seek help by calling the Sexual Assault Care Centre at 6779 0282.

More related stories: 5 Female Positive Movements To Get Your #GirlPower On!Oprah Winfrey’s Empowering Speech At The 2018 Golden Globes Is Everything9 Fifth Harmony Lyrics To Make You Feel Like A Total Girl BO$$

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When you think of girl power, you think of Fifth Harmony. We all know that the 5H girls are the ultimate queens of pop right now, with their charismatic charms, insane vocals and catchy tunes. From the brilliant bops of ‘Down’ and ‘He Like That’, to indelible melodies like ‘Make You Mad’ and ‘Angel’, there’s no doubt that the fabulous foursome knows how to put the bass in the beat. Ahead of their PSA Tour in Singapore, we caught up with Dinah Jane for a chat on their new album, her thoughts on female empowerment and more!

You’ve come so far since X-Factor! If you could share a piece of advice with your X-Factor self, what would you say?
I was 18 at that time and I feel that confidence was something I struggled with. So I would probably tell myself to surround yourself with people who truly love you because they’ll build your confidence. They know your worth so they can help you grow. With them by your side, you’ll blossom into who you’re meant to be.

You’ve sung many of your tracks in Spanish and they all sound incredible. If you woke up one day, fluent in any language you’d like to be fluent in, what language would you speak?
I think Spanish is a sexy language and everyone can agree on that. I wish I learned Tongan growing up though! I was raised with my grandparents and when I was learning it, my mum would be like “she’s from America so she’s got to speak English”. So I would definitely love to learn Tongan.

You were more involved in producing your new album. How has this new creative freedom shaped you as an artiste?
I feel more fearless now. This self-titled album sparked something in me and I feel more capable now to write my own music. It opened a whole different door for me. Ever since [the album], I feel so inspired and so moved to go out there and speak the truth. I always say it’s easy to write a love song, but the difficult part is writing something super personal to you. Ultimately, it’s all about not letting fear hold you back. Whatever comes first to your mind creatively, run with it. Marry it.

What are some of your favourite lyrics from the new album?
I especially love ‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ and my favourite lyrics are “Don’t promise me tonight without tomorrow”. I think that would make a great Instagram caption.

Sam Smith mentioned that he wants 5H to sing at his wedding during Carpool Karaoke, so we want to know – who would you like to sing at your wedding?
Sam Smith! (Laughs) We have to do another karaoke session because that just wasn’t enough. I would love for Sam Smith to sing ‘Latch’ at my wedding! His angelic voice while I’m walking down the aisle, you know?

If you had the chance collaborate with anyone you’d like, who would it be and why?
I’m a huge reggae girl, so Bob Marley – it would be incredible working with him. Bob Marley and the Wailers are just everything to me. Or Miguel! I love Miguel! He’s such an amazing artiste. I love how lyrically awesome and how witty he can be so I think we can create something cool.


We love how you guys are so vocal on social media – from advocating for social injustice to self-empowerment. How important is having a social media presence for an artiste today?
It’s super important to stay connected with your fans so that you can hear their stories and what they’re going through. We’re always told that we’ve saved so many lives through our music.

What are some issues do you wish people would care more about?
I love kids, so anything to do with children. We visit a lot of children’s hospitals and it just sparks something in me. We go there to sing some songs, let them know there’s hope and help them with what they’re going through.

With all the female empowerment movements that are gaining traction right now, what does girl power mean to you?
Unity. We all come from different backgrounds and have walked different paths. So with our experiences we can unite as one and empower each other and strengthen each other.


everything’s blurry but the feelings are real

A post shared by ♛DinahJane (@dinahjane97) on

Thanks to Sony Music Singapore for the interview opportunity!

ICYMI: Fifth Harmony will be coming to Singapore for their PSA Tour on 14 March at [email protected] Box so don’t forget to get your tickets to the show before they’re all gone. Don’t say you didn’t get the memo!

More related stories: PSA: Fifth Harmony Is Returning To Singapore In 2018!Fifth Harmony Gave Sam Smith The Surprise Of His Life On Carpool Karaoke9 Fifth Harmony Lyrics To Make You Feel Like A Total Girl BO$$

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