Known as one of the most famous K-lifestyle festivals, the Korean Brand & Entertainment Expo 2018 (KBEE 2018) opened to throngs of fans waiting to discover new Korean brands as well as meet their favourite K-pop idols.

KBEE 2018

Held on 1 and 2 November at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, it was two days of Hallyu goodness at KBEE 2018. Not only were fans able to get upclose and personal with Honourary Ambassadors 2PM’s Lee Junho, Song Ji Hyo, SNUPER and Boy Story at their respective fan events, attendees were also treated to thrilling performances by the various artistes during the opening ceremony.

Amidst the flurry of events, we also managed to catch up with K-heartthrob Junho to talk about his cooking skills, his best 2PM memories and his upcoming plans for 2019. Read on for his full interview.

Hi Junho, welcome back to Singapore! It’s been 10 years since you’ve broke out into the industry, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt as an artiste?

There’s this quote that I’ve always heard from Jun.K and it goes, “You are passionate in your heart and very rational in your head”. As I feel like I’m still learning as I go along, I think it’s very important to be led by your heart with passion but at the same time think rationally to make hard decisions.

You’ve have taken on various roles since making your acting debut. Which has been your favourite so far?

I like everything (laughs). I’ve acted in about seven dramas so far and every moment was very memorable for me. Particularly, [I remember] coming to Singapore to promote for this movie called Cold Eyes back in 2013. Although my character wasn’t one that appeared much in the film, I felt that it was still a very significant role as he played a part in creating tension amongst the characters. It was also my first ever on-screen performance and I view it as a piece that brought me a lot of good luck.

You’ve acted with a lot of notable actors through the years. Are there any actors whom you would like to work with in the future?

I was very lucky in a way. I’ve worked with a lot of wonderful sunbaes from the start and I felt that I’ve gained a lot from this experience. During filming, I learn a lot from different people on set, so as long as I can meet a fellow actor whom I can learn from, it would mean a lot to me.

You played a chef in Wok of Love that debuted onscreen earlier this year. We’re curious – did you have to attend cooking classes for the role?

Yes, I had to attend classes for about a month where I learned how to cut vegetables the right way and picked up other cooking techniques. That’s where I learned how to use the wok as well.

 
 
 
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중식당 열어야겠어요. #풍이네 #풍화요리

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Do you find yourself cooking more now that you’re equipped with the skill?

The essence imparted from the wok is very important. But when I’m at home, I don’t have all the things to cook with the wok so I wouldn’t really put the skills I’ve learnt to good use outside of the set. I feel that I make pretty decent food with the wok and although I haven’t had a chance to cook for my family yet, I hope to do so someday.

What’s one dish that you will never get sick of?

Stir-Fried Kimchi Rice. I really like fried rice, but I like the fact that there’s kimchi inside as well. It’s one of my favourite dishes!

Two years ago, you were in a drama called Memory. What’s the best memory you’ve had in your career?

Being part of 2PM is my best memory. It’s also the best thing I’ve ever done.

 
 
 
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As we’re nearing the end of the year, what are some of your New Year resolutions for 2019?

To always be healthy, and to continue to being in contact with my fans.

If you could give the other 2PM members a New Year’s resolution you want each of them to fulfill, what would it be?

For Taecyeon, I would want him to constantly work hard as he has just returned from the army. For Jun.K and Wooyoung, don’t be sick. For Chansung and myself, it’s to stay strong. As for Nichkhun, I would also want him to constantly work hard at what he’s doing… because he would be the only one left after the rest of us enlist in the army, so I’d want him to continue spreading the fame of 2PM by himself (laughs).

Featured image credit: The Big Issue

Thanks to KBEE Singapore for the interview opportunity with 2PM’s Lee Junho!

More related stories: Nichkhun Reveals Who’s The Best Cook In 2PM2PM’s Nichkhun Shows He’s The Perfect Oppa Material Both On And Off Screen

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Entertainment

iKON Had Fans Tickled Pink At Their Continue Tour In Singapore

7 Nov 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

If you thought WINNER’s concert was lit, you’re absolutely right – but leave it to iKON to bring the atmosphere to a new high at their 2018 Continue Tour in Singapore.

Staging their sophomore concert at the Max Pavilion right after their YG labelmates, the seven-member K-pop outfit delivered a high-octane set packed with solid live performances, rousing solo stages, and of course, a ridiculous amount of highly-entertaining banter in true iKON fashion. Similar to WINNER, iKON took charge of the dialogues without the presence of a translator, keeping the crowd in fits of laughter with their witty comments and side-splitting antics throughout the two-hour showcase. We recap some of the funniest moments of the night.

#1 Oh, nothing much – just Jinhwan being jinhwan. 

Taking a breather after performing a string of high-energy tracks such as ‘Bling Bling’, ‘Sinosijak and ‘Rhythm Ta’, the boys took some time to catch up with SG iKONICs. While the other members were busy talking about their love for chilli crab and wanting to visit Sentosa, Jinhwan casually added that “Singapore is my city. It’s so fresh and clean, just like me!”, which drew a chorus of mock disapproval from the members. Look at their hilarious reaction below!


#2 A moment of silience for Double B… literally.

While the vocal line went backstage to prepare for their next performance, Bobby and B.I took over the mics to keep the crowd entertained. They did everything they could to stall the time – from initiating a ‘Love Scenario’ sing-off, to an aegyo battle (which was clearly not the rap duo’s forte as they outrightly declared they’re not “aegyo people”) – but their members were still not ready.

Running out of topics to talk about, they were left with no choice but to stare at the audience in silence. “We don’t know what to do anymore!” an exasperated Bobby cried out. Fortunately, the vocal team swooped in to save the poor lads a couple of seconds later.


#3 Yunhyeong and Jinhwan being savage towards each other.

“Who’s the most handsome?” Bobby asked the crowd, which led to a playful exchange between Yunhyeong and Jinhwan as the former claimed that his “face is better than Jinhwan’s”. Not one to let a shade-throwing opportunity slip by, Jinhwan proceeded to take a swipe at the vocalist: “Well, you should work harder on your face because Chanwoo’s is better!” Oh, burn.


#4 A wild Bobby on the loose!

Fans went hysterical when Bobby appeared in a super adorable sea lion onesie (a character from League of Legends named Urf) during ‘Best Friend’. Check out his cool breakdancing and twerking moves!


#5 So… who’s gonna protect who?

iKONICs’ fan project was a huge success! During the encore, fans were holding up banners that read “We’ll protect iKON’ which successfully caught the members’ attention. “No, we will protect you,” a particular smol angel by the name of Jinhwan commented, while our almighty leader B.I timidly added in, “Please protect me”.  Aww… let’s just all protect one another, shall we?

Featured image credit: YG Entertainment

We couldn’t think of a more heart-fluttering way to end off the night. What was your favourite moment during #iKONTINUEinSG? Tell us in the comments below, iKONICS!

More related stories: 6 Times WINNER Won Us Over During Their Long-Awaited Singapore ConcertBLACKPINK’s Coming To Your Area For Their 2019 World Tour

Informatics Jan 2019

K-pop boy band WINNER is a winner in many ways, but what really won over the crowd during their Everywhere Tour in Singapore, was their ability to connect with their beloved Inner Circles (or rather, SingerCircles – newly-dubbed by Seunghoon and made Instagram-official by leader Seungyoon).

Very few K-pop acts could stage a full-length concert sans a translator onsite, but WINNER proved that there’s no such thing as a language barrier in their dictionary as the talented quartet – mainly Seungyoon – bantered their way through the two-hour show without any serious lost-in-translation moments.

“The title of our tour is called ‘Everywhere’, isn’t it?” Seungyoon addressed the crowd in textbook-perfect English no less. “It’s named based on our desire to go everywhere in the world where our fans are waiting for us. We want to experience difference cultures and make special memories with Inner Circles.” And boy, was it a memorable one indeed. For those who weren’t able to join in the fun last weekend, here are some of the standout highlights of the night.

WINNER Concert Singapore

#1 WINNER and their Singapore Flyer misadventures

The boys confessed that they visited the Singapore Flyer in hopes of having a whirl on it, but they weren’t able to make it in time for the last ride. “We were so sad,” a disappointed Seungyoon lamented adorably. But as all millennials do, he did the next best thing: taking a proof shot of it and promised to upload the photo onto his social media accounts later on. His excuse? “So we could have a special memory with you guys!” #OKcan

#2 How Seunghoon shows his love for Mino (albeit forcefully)

“I think we need a bit of love for the next song,” the members hinted for ‘Love Me Love Me’, to which Seunghoon took it quite literally and swiftly planted a smooch on Mino’s cheek. “That is love!” the former exclaimed with a cheeky grin, much to Mino’s surprise as he stood frozen at his spot. Ah, don’t we all just love bromance?

#3 Mino being an absolute tease during his solo performance

Mino knows exactly what fans want – but he ain’t gonna give it to y’all that easily. Things got rather steamy during his solo stages of ‘BODY’ and ‘Turn Off The Light’, which saw the rapper unbuttoning his jacket to reveal his chiselled abs at one point. Such a tease!

#4 Seungyoon blessing the crowd with a cover of ‘Troye Sivan’s ‘Youth’

During their Malaysia and Bangkok stops, Seungyoon performed John Legend’s ‘All Of Me’ and Ariana Grande’s ‘My Everything’ for his solo stage. For Singapore, he decided to go with an acapella of Troye Sivan’s ‘Youth’ (and if you actually search up the lyrics, all the songs he has chosen can be seen as song dedications to fans – how sweet is that?). “It’s my first time performing this song so I felt nervous and forgot some of the lyrics,” he admitted bashfully, but fans were super supportive and cheered him on. You did great, Seungyoon!

#5 Can we talk about the BIGBANG tributes by Jinwoo and Seunghoon?

We all know that WINNER is highly respectful towards BIGBANG, and they certainly did their sunbaes justice during Jinwoo and Seunghoon’s solo stages – with Jinwoo showcasing his mesmerising vocals with a sentimental rendition of G-Dragon’s ‘Untitled, 2014’, followed by Seunghoon channeling serious rocker vibes with an electrifying performance of ‘Taeyang’s ‘Ringa Linga’. Our VIP hearts are satisfied.

#6 WINNER jokingly poking fun at Inner Circle’s fan project

While waiting for WINNER to return for the encore, Inner Circles sang along to ‘Movie Star’, held up banners and those at the seated section were tasked to form a ‘W’ using flashlights. It was a heartwarming sight – but something seemed to have went wrong along the way for the ‘W’ project, causing the members to playfully comment on the ambiguously-shaped alphabet. “Is that supposed to be a W?” Seungyoon quipped, but appreciated the gesture nonetheless and proceeded to gather the other members for a group photo.

Taking turns to say their final goodbyes, Seungyoon got visibly emotional as he thanked fans: “Singers don’t exist if there are no listeners. Without you guys, we would’ve never made it this far. Today’s our happiest day ever, and I hope it will be your happiest day too.”

Oh, it sure was, Seungyoon.

Photo credits: YG Entertainment

Were you there during WINNER’s concert in Singapore? Tell us what was your favourite moment of the night!

More related stories: iKON Had Fans Tickled Pink At Their Continue Tour In SingaporeBIGBANG’s Seungri, BLACKPINK, iKON, Winner And More To Make Their Netflix DebutBLACKPINK’s Coming To Your Area For Their 2019 World Tour

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Following the worldwide popularity of Train To Busan and the recent successful opening of Korean blockbuster film Rampant, it is no surprise that the Korean world of zombies are giving the Western walking dead a run for their money. We caught up with Director Kim Sung Hoon alongside the gorgeous leading men, Hyun Bin and Jang Dong Gun, at the Rampant press conference in Singapore where they gave us five reasons why the historical film is a must-watch for zombie fanatics.

From the same makers of Train To Busan, Rampant follows the story of Prince Lee Chung who has to protect the Joseon nation from the nightmarish monsters plaguing the country. To make things worse, Kim Ja Joon, the minister of military, is plotting to overthrow the dynasty…

#1 It’s the first Korean movie that combines historic drama with zombies.

5-Reasons-Why-Rampant-is-The-New-Zombie-Flick-You'll-Love-01

In this all-new combined genre of Korean period drama meets zombies, Director Kim expressed that his inspiration stemmed from his desire to create a movie that is uniquely Korean, but with a dash of Western influence. “When the idea first dawned upon me, it really excited me. I thought that the images this movie could create was going to be magnificent and very new to the audience too. So the inspiration really came from the idea of combining something that’s uniquely Korean or Asian and the West.”

#2 Though they play rivals, the bromance between the two leads is the reason for their masterful performance.

5-Reasons-Why-Rampant-is-The-New-Zombie-Flick-You'll-Love-02

Both leads are well-known for their superbly close friendship and one of the reasons why Jang Dong Gun could portray his role so well was due to the fact that he was in this project with his brother from another mother, Hyun Bin. “I felt more at ease and more comfortable acting alongside [Hyun Bin] for this production,” the actor commented. “Besides knowing me well, there’s also that high level of trust as a good friend. I’m just very grateful for the opportunity to be able to work in the same project alongside my very good friend, who’s also a great actor.”

Hyun Bin was equally excited when his sunbae took on the project as it is also the first time that the twosome get a chance to work with each other and observe one another’s work ethics. “This was the time that I could really see a new side of Jang Dong Gun, not just as a friend or a man I know, but also as an actor. So there’s been a lot of learning points for me to see how this guy changes when the camera turns on.”

#3 Most of the stunts in the film are done by the actors themselves.

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Though it may look like there were many stuntmen involved in this seemingly action-heavy film, you would be surprised to know that the cast members mostly took on the job themselves. In fact, the lack of stuntmen on a film of this magnitude had become one of Director Kim’s main challenges. “There were very little stuntmen involved [in the entire process], so there were safety issues involved because most of the cast members had to do most of the action scenes themselves.”

Because of this, Jang Dong Gun jokingly expressed that he wouldn’t want to switch roles with Hyun Bin due to the sheer amount of intense stunts our hardworking oppa had to go through. “He would be rolling on the floor one moment, and the next minute he could be fighting with zombies in the film (laughs). There’s just so much to do [for him]. We were also doing the filming at the peak of winter so the conditions were really harsh.”

#4 The costumes and outlooks of each character play a crucial part in the story.

5-Reasons-Why-Rampant-is-The-New-Zombie-Flick-You'll-Love-04

While the two actors’ outrageously good looks were masked by their rugged new appearances, these were important in Director Kim’s story development. “For Hyun Bin’s character, a lot of thoughts went into his transition into a Korean prince, starting from the outfit he has on when we first meet him. As for Jang Dong Gun’s character, the fabric of his outfit is very different from the other characters; he has this tiger striped pattern on his outfits that are made of velvet to further accentuate his character.”

#5 Jang Dong Gun knows how to play the perfect antagonist.

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This is not Jang Dong Gun’s first rodeo as a villain and you can tell with the way he portrays Minister Kim in Rampant. “In my career as an actor, I’ve played many roles; many good roles and some villains. When it comes to playing the villain, what makes it more interesting and meaningful is that you get to reveal very in-depth emotions that you might never have experienced or you may have tried to hide.”

Photo credits: Golden Village Pictures

Catch Hyun Bin and Jang Dong Gun in Rampant, now showing in cinemas islandwide!

Informatics Jan 2019

At 17, Irish-Filipino singer-songwriter AndreaH has achieved more than most people her age.

Not only has she successfully carved out a burgeoning solo career for herself, the rising pop star has also supported The Script on tour and is currently opening for Sam Smith on the Southeast Asian dates of his The Thrill of It All Tour – and she’s only getting started. Armed with a guitar in hand and a genuine voice that resonates well beyond her years, AndreaH represents the new generation of young hopefuls who are set to dominate the future music scene. Fresh off the heels of her latest single ‘You’, we speak to the 17-year-old about her musical journey thus far, her experience touring with Sam Smith and more.

Hi Andrea, congrats on the release of your new single ‘You’! What’s the inspiration behind the track?

Well, many people think it’s about me and the guy I’m in love with, but this song is actually about my best friend and her boyfriend. I was really fascinated by this whole idea of love and being in love so I decided to write about it. ‘You’ has two meanings – one is about my best friend’s relationship with her boyfriend, and the second meaning is how I think being in love is like and what I think it’ll be like for me in the future.

You’ve mentioned that each song you’ve written comes with a backstory. Which is the hardest to write for, and which do you find closest to your heart?

I think the hardest song to write is also the closest to my heart, which is ‘Best Friend’. It’s a song dedicated to my best friend when she was leaving – she was the closest person I’ve ever had as a friend in my life and she really brought out the best in me. On her last day, I sang the song to her and we both started crying. Although it’s a happy song, it just makes me miss her more and more each day.

How would you describe your brand of music to a first-time listener of AndreaH?

Singer-songwriter vibes, and that everything is pure from the heart. For a teenage girl, hopefully my music is something they can relate to.

You’re currently opening for Sam Smith – and that’s a huge deal! How’s the experience like touring with him?

I feel honoured and privileged to get to open for the amazingly talented Sam Smith. Honestly, it’s an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. The feeling you get on stage is indescribable – not to mention that Sam is such a nice guy; he made me feel so welcomed which also made performing a lot easier.

AndreaH Sam Smith

If you’ve ever had the chance to collaborate with any artiste, who would it be and why?

There are so many artistes I’d love to collaborate with! But if I had to choose one, I’d say James Bay. His voice is so raw and unique, and he gives off such distinct singer-songwriter vibes — which is definitely something I aim to give off in my music. He also explores different sounds ad instruments in his new album, which shows just how versatile he is and his development as a musician.

Stepping into the music industry at the young age of 17 isn’t an easy feat. What are some of the challenges you’ve had to face as an emerging artiste?

I think the biggest challenge was not letting anyone change who you are and shape you into what they want you to be. It’s definitely hard to put your foot down as a 17-year-old, especially to people in the industry who are a lot older and wiser. However, I did learn – and fast – so I feel much stronger and happier now as I’m going down the route I know is best for me.

How’s it like juggling school, touring and performing all at once, especially since you’re at the time when your music career is starting to take off?

It’s definitely challenging. I’m doing a very difficult high school diploma, and the school suggests that you spend lots of time working rather than doing extra-curriculars as the workload is very demanding. But I made sure that I finished all my work way in advance before I went on tour. I don’t procrastinate at all, which is something that took me a while to achieve. By completing my work early, it allowed me to focus on my passion, which is music. I believe that opportunities come and go, so you have to grab them whilst you can. I’d never give up on this opportunity so I made sure I stayed on top with academics to prevent it from stressing me out.

Who would you say are your biggest supporters throughout your journey?

My friends and family. They are the ones who tell me to keep going when I want to give up, and they are the ones who have my back when times are tough. They want the best for me all the time, and they make sure to get rid of anything that is in my way of reaching my goals. Whether it’s giving me a long pep talk or sending me all the work I missed in class, they encourage me to be the best version of myself.

AndreaH

What’s a piece of advice you’d like to give young, aspiring singers who wish to pursue a career in music just like you?

Don’t let anyone be the judge of you and your music. If you’re happy with yourself as a musician and what you’ve created, that is all that matters. Also, definitely work hard and show your passion for music; hard work allows you to get things done and passion makes sure that everything you do in music is to your best ability.

Lastly, what are your upcoming plans in 2019?

I graduate in May next year, so I hope that I can possibly tour as soon as I finish school. I’m also planning on releasing an EP around June and I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted! To those who’s been following me on this journey, thank you for all the love and support. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love doing without you all.

AndreaH’s latest single ‘You’ is now available for streaming and purchase.

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