Entertainment

18 K-pop Bops Of 2018 That You Can't Resist Dancing Along To

18 Sep 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

As we’re nearing the end of the year, it’s fair to say 2018 has blessed us with plenty of addictive K-pop bops. Think BTS’ Nicki-Minaj-assisted ‘Idol’ that recently made its debut on the America’s Got Talent stage, or Pentagon’s ‘Shine’ that got everyone and their mothers addicted to the shoot dance. In case you need more additions to your K-pop playlist, here are some of our favourite chart-topping earworms of 2018 so far. We dare you to try not dancing along as you scroll down this list!

#1 ‘Idol’ – BTS

#2 ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’ – BLACKPINK

#3 Shine’ – Pentagon

#4 ‘Love Scenario’ – iKON

#5 ‘BAAM’ – Momoland

#6 ‘My Flower’ – JBJ

#7 ‘Dance The Night Away’ – TWICE

#8 ‘My Pace’ – Stray Kids

#9 ‘Always You’ – ASTRO

#10 ‘Latata’ – (G)I-DLE

#11 ‘Black Dress’ – CLC

#12 ‘We Go Up’ – NCT Dream

#13 ‘Power Up’ – Red Velvet

#14 ‘Everyday’ – Winner

#15 ‘Boomerang’ – Wanna One

#16 ‘Egoistic’ – Mamamoo

#17 ‘Oh My’ – SEVENTEEN

#18 ‘Lullaby’ – GOT7

 Have a favourite song that didn’t make it on the list? Comment down below so we can stan ’em too!

P/S: Why dance along to these infront of your screen when you can channel your inner dancing machine at Teenage Dance Challenge 2018? Last call for registrations – sign up here if you haven’t!

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It seems like just yesterday that IU burst on stage with her fresh-faced charms and sugary sweet tunes. Fast forward to now, the 25-year-old is known as one of the most successful artistes in the K-pop scene today. The multi-talented singer-songwriter will be embarking on a concert tour to celebrate her 10th year of debut, alongside UAENAs all around the world!

IU will be heading to seven cities across the Asia region, including Singapore this December! Be prepared to be swept away by her soothing vocals as she treats us to an eargasmic repertoire of all her biggest hits within her decade-spanning discography. It’s been more than a year since she dropped her own solo material – her last body of work being her 2017 10-track album Palette, before teaming up with Zico on their latest collaboration of ‘SoulMate’. But with news of an upcoming album in the works, chances are we might just be the first ones to get a sneak peek of her new tracks!

IU Concert Singapore 2018 

2018 IU 10th Anniversary Tour Concert <이지금 dlwlrma> In Singapore
Date:
15 December 2018
Time:
6pm
Venue:
The Star Theatre
Tickets: $268, $228, $188, $148

Tickets will go on sale from 13 October, 10am via APACTix. As we await for more details, check out the music video of ‘SoulMate’ with Zico:

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It’s a hot afternoon in Singapore, but we’re in the midst of someone effortlessly cool. Perhaps it’s the way he’s adorned in an orange silk shirt that looks like it can go from bed to runway. Maybe it’s how his platinum blonde hair glistens under sunlight by the window. Or maybe it’s because he’s simply Troye Sivan.

At all of 23-years-old, the YouTuber turned pop sensation is all grown up; embracing his brink of adulthood with fervour. Since his musical debut in 2015 – with the understated and introspective Wild EP and Blue Neighbourhood album – Troye Sivan has catapulted to teen pop royalty status alongside the likes of Lorde, Dua Lipa and Shawn Mendes, and became one of the bold faces at the forefront of an increasingly pro-LGBTQ pop culture generation.

On the aggressively sensual singles ‘My My My!’ and ‘Bloom’, Troye charges forth musically and visually with guns ablazing, declaring he’s got “his tongue between a lover’s teeth” and throwing aside inhibitions for devil-may-care dance moves. But just where was this inner confidence hiding all along? “Honestly, a lot of it comes from the fans. I meet the most incredible people every single day who just inspire me,” he says with an earnest grin. “You know, they’ll tell me their story of where they come from or what they’re going through, and I see them just like continuing on? And I really just pull from there.”

While it isn’t his first visit to Singapore – the Aussie lad previously visited with fellow YouTubers like Tyler Oakley as part of 2014’s YouTube Fan Fest – it’s the first time he’s dropping by as Troye Sivan, The Pop Star. His gradual ascent to superstardom unsurprisingly warranted a fan frenzy everywhere he went during his Singapore stint, which included an intimate fan signing session and album listening party.

But a very public bike ride around the city documented on his Instagram stories proved that fame hasn’t gotten to his head, instead embracing ‘normalcy’ as much as possible. In fact, he tells us that he much prefers to keep a low-profile (he cites RuPaul’s Drag Race and Thai food as the “perfect night in”) – an eyebrow-raising choice of lifestyle coming from one of music’s youngest and fastest-rising musicians. It’s a trait he shares with close friend Ariana Grande as well; their kinship and similar perspectives on growing up under the scrutiny of the public eye captured succinctly on their latest collaboration ‘Dance To This’ – a laidback anthem celebrating anti-celebrations.

It’s these offbeat choices that set Troye apart from his peers. Even his monochrome album cover for Bloom caused a minor buzz online as fans questioned its stark contrast to its album title. “Honestly, the first thing that popped into my head was that The Devil Wears Prada quote where [Miranda Priestly] is like, ‘Florals for spring, groundbreaking’ and I thought maybe I should try and steer away from the obvious,” he explains. “The album feels like such an accurate capture of where I’m at in my life [currently], and I really wanted to capture what I look like right now so that when I’m like 30, I can go back and listen to the album and be like, oh yeah, this was that time in my life.”

The songs off Bloom are equivalently honest and accurate as they flesh out Troye’s deepest thoughts in between the lines. On the melancholic ‘What A Heavenly Way To Die’, he longingly chimes “Because forever is in your eyes / But forever ain’t half the time”; while the feral confessional ballad ‘Animal’ holds nothing back, professing “An ode to the boy I love / I’ll die to care for you”.

It seems that Troye’s steadfast decision to live his complete truth has led to even more doors opening in what is already a tremendous year for him, which includes performing to a crowd of 60,000 alongside Taylor Swift, and countless magazine covers.

Come November, he would be in the middle of his anticipated trek around the world on the Bloom Tour, and marking his first adult foray into the world of film (well, he did play young Wolverine in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine). His blue eyes widen in excitement while describing his upcoming role: “The film is called Boy Erased. It’s about a boy who gets sent to a gay conversion therapy camp, where they basically try to turn kids straight. It’s based on a true story and I think the movie is going to be really, really powerful and important.”

It’s safe to say that 2018 is a year of growth for Troye Sivan, as he continues to tackle new projects in his ever-expanding resume. And in that growth lies the constant underlying message of acceptance and positive change, proving that he isn’t just in bloom; he’s full on blossoming into the perfect role model for the new generation.

Get Troye Sivan’s new album Bloom here.

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Entertainment

Here's Exactly What Went Down At HallyuPopFest 2018

12 Sep 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

From 7 to 9 September, more than 25,000 festival-goers packed into Singapore Indoor Stadium to catch their favourite idols at HallyuPopFest (HPF) 2018 – a first-of-its-kind music extravaganza that played host to over 100 K-pop stars, featuring a star-studded roster of powerhouse acts like Wanna One, NCT 127 and EXID alongside rising rookies like UNB, Gugudan and Dreamcatcher.

There was never a dull moment throughout the three-day festival, as fans were treated to an electrifying lineup of crowd-pleasing performances during the evening concerts. Although the audience was made up of varying fanbases from all walks of life, it was a heartwarming sight to see fans waving the glowing HPF lightsticks in unison to the beat – proving that music is truly universal.

And that was when we realised, this is really what K-pop’s all about.

Concert

Day 1

Kicking off the set was Korean-American heartthrob Eric Nam, whose showmanship was on full display as he delivered a solid performance of his latest hits ‘Potion’, ‘Don’t Call Me’ and ‘Honestly’. As the appointed emcee of the show, it came as no surprise how comfortable Eric was on stage – commanding complete attention with his flawless vocal delivery and effortless stage presence.

Just when we were left wanting more, VICTON took over with their infectious dancehall banger ‘Remember Me’. Although they are only two years into their debut, these hot-blooded lads certainly don’t lack in any department. Talent? Loads. Enthusiasm? Bring it on. We’re especially pleased with their well-timed ad-libs, which scored ’em plenty of charisma points in our books. Bonus: they also performed a killer cover of ‘Go Go’. BTS would be proud!

Momoland1

Cheers then erupted as MOMOLAND got everyone hyped up with their infectious earworms ‘BBoom BBoom’ and ‘BAAM’. Despite being one member down due to Ahin’s leg injury, the ladies still put on an energetic performance for their fans. We sure hope Ahin recovers soon!

Slowing down the pace, ballad legend Huh Gak descended onto the fog-shrouded stage for an emotional rendition of ‘Hello’, leading the audience into a mass singalong session. Not only was it memorable to us, it became a night to remember for Huh Gak too. “Instead of giving you a gift, I feel like I’m receiving [it] from you instead,” he tearfully thanked fans at the end.

Apink

Huh Gak’s labelmates Apink were next, and they definitely didn’t disappoint. After performing their recent comeback track ‘I’m So Sick’, the girls proceeded to treat fans to a slew of throwback bops such as ‘FIVE’, ‘Mr. Chu’ and ‘No No No’. 

It was at this moment that all the Wannables in attendance whipped out their nable bongs, eagerly anticipating the boys of Wanna One to make their grand entrance. And boy, did they enter with a bang – captivating the crowd with high-energy numbers like ‘Energetic’, ‘Boomberang’ and ‘Light’. Even though some of the members were noticeably not in their best form due to their hectic schedule, their professionalism is nonetheless worthy of praise.

Day 2

The party was just getting started! The first two acts to open the show were up-and-comers ONF and Snuper, who were both performing in Singapore for the first time. Ever so eager to please, both boy bands went all out to impress with their addictive tunes and razor-sharp dance moves. At one point, the latter group leaped into the crowd’s crazed embrace just to get upclose and personal with fans – high fives, hugs and all. We’d by lying if we said we weren’t even a teeny bit jealous…

AOA

With songs as catchy as ‘Bingle Bangle’, ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Heart Attack’, it’d be hard not to groove along to AOA. Our resident summer queens brought the atmosphere up a notch with their breathtaking visuals (don’t even get us started on how gorgeous Seolhyun looks IRL) and sizzling choreography.

EXID

Our favourite set of the night, EXID won us over with their girl crush vibes as they heated things up with their trademark sultry anthems ‘DDD’, ‘Hot Pink’ and ‘Up & Down’. This marked Solji’s return to the group after a two-year hiatus due to a serious thyroid disease, but the quintet showed no signs of losing any edge and came back stronger than ever.

Making a comeback as a full-fledged solo star, former SISTAR member Soyou showed that she’s more than capable of holding her own. Besides a special collaboration stage of ‘Some’ with labelmate Jeong Sewoon, the vocalist also surprised fans with her version of SISTAR classics like ‘Ma Boy’ and ‘I Swear’. All the feels!

Wannaone2 (1)

Performing for two nights straight had evidently taken a toll on Wanna One – Guanlin was seen with shades on, Daniel was spotted coughing throughout, and Jisung had to run backstage a couple of times – but that didn’t stop the 11-member group from giving their all for their closing set. Their setlist remained mostly similar to the previous day, but with the addition of slower numbers like ‘I’ll Remember’ and ‘I.P.U’, much to the delight of fans.

Day 3

The third and final day of HallyuPopFest boasted argubably the most well-rounded lineup of all. Although there was a mix of veteran and younger artistes, each group was stellar in their own right – nobody overshadowed anyone, and that’s a tough feat to achieve in such a large-scale festival.

UNB_2

Firing up the crowd right from the get-go, UNB brought the house down with a brilliant remix of Alessia Cara’s ‘Stay’ followed by a seven-song set of fan favourites like ‘Feeling’, ‘Ride With Me’ and ‘Black Heart’. Perhaps it’s because of their tough beginnings (context: UNB is a project group made out of idol underdogs through the survival programme The Unit), but it’s obvious they poured their hearts into every ounce of their set, which made them all the more endearing.

At first glance, Heize may look like your typical ice princess – but beneath her cold exterior lies a gentle heart, and a big voice. Halfway through her set, she made a dash towards the extended stage and adorably cooed over the fanboards she spotted in the front rows. What a sweetheart!

NCT 127_(2)

NCT 127 brought some serious swagger to the stage with their blistering set of hip-hop anthems such as ‘Limitless’, ‘Firetruck’ and ‘Cherry Bomb’. The nine-member unit commanded the loudest cheers that evening, and deservedly so.

When it comes to BTOB, their live vocals are the real deal. No such thing as lip-syncing here; these guys can belt out a tune just as well as they can slay a move. Their musical ability aside, there’s no doubting their camaraderie either. When they were not busy fooling around with each other, they never failed to include Eunkwang in their conversations – and even asked Melodies to yell a collective “Fighting!” for their precious leader, who had just enlisted in military service.

TAEYEON_1

Finally, it was Taeyeon’s time to shine. Despite being a one-woman show without her Girls’ Generation members, just her soulful vocals was enough to fill the stadium. But she was never alone, as she was joined by SONEs in the crowd who were swaying their pink lightsticks and crooning along to every word of her five-song set.

Photo credits: H.A.H Entertainment

That’s a wrap for HallyuPopFest 2018. For those who missed out on the red carpet action, check out the highlights here. See you next year!

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Entertainment

8 Iconic Red Carpet Moments You Missed At HallyuPopFest 2018

11 Sep 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

It was three days of Hallyu madness at HallyuPopFest 2018. Arguably the largest (and most hyped-up) K-pop event of the year, the mega music extravaganza saw over 100 idols making their red carpet debut, including the likes of Wanna One, Taeyeon, NCT 127 and more.

Over the course of three jam-packed days from 7 to 9 September, thousands of devoted K-pop fans flocked to the Singapore Indoor Stadium to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars. Despite the sudden downpour, fans weren’t letting a little wet weather rain on their parade – all geared up with ponchos and umbrellas in tow.

Missed out on the red carpet action? Here are the top highlights.

#1 When Apink were out there serving looks

Apink Naeun HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: Shannon Ang

Decked out in eye-catching monochrome outfits, all eyes were on the Apink ladies as they strutted down the red carpet. Visual queen Naeun looked particularly stunning with her chic bow tie ensemble and sleek ponytail. What a look!

#2 When EXID cured our OT5 withdrawals

EXID HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: Shannon Ang

EXID’s back as OT5! Leader Solji made her long-awaited return to the group after taking an indefinite hiatus due to a serious thyroid disease in 2016, with HallyuPopFest being her first official schedule. The girls also revealed that a new album is in the works, so be sure to show ’em lots of support for their next comeback!

#3 When Wanna One showed up in sharp suits

Wanna One HallyuPopFest 2018 Red Carpet
Credit: H.A.H Entertainment

Despite looking noticeably exhausted, Wanna One still put on their best-dressed foot forward as they stepped out in matching suits. The 11-member group walked the red carpet twice, but somehow managed to miraculously conjure rain for both days which unfortunately cut the Q&A session short – but they made up for it with tons of fan service.

Just look at this heart-fluttering clip of Daniel grabbing the hands of a fan at the front row!

#4 When Dreamcatcher went all out with fan service

Dreamcatcher HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: H.A.H Entertainment

Dreamcatcher’s fan service game was hard to beat. From blowing kisses to dishing out finger hearts, the girls certainly weren’t shy about showing their love for their beloved fans.

#5 When Heize ran out to take a plushie from a fan

Heize HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: H.A.H Entertainment

Being the total sweetheart she is, Heize spotted a fan holding out an Olaf plush toy to her and ran over to take it. It might seem like a small gesture, but it sure made the day of this lucky fan!

#6 When Eric Nam serenaded us under the sweltering heat

Eric Nam HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: Shannon Ang

We’re not kidding when we say Eric Nam was the star of the show. The man appeared for all three days of the red carpet, gamely answering questions, doing little dances and even gifted us with a spontaneous acapella in this unbearable weather. Major respect!

#7 When UNB suavely dodged a question

UNB Jun HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: Shannon Ang

An oopsie moment happened when UNB was mistakenly asked about their comeback plans in September, to which the members appeared flustered as they had just concluded promotions for ‘Black Heart’ not long ago. Luckily, Jun quickly came to the rescue by swooping in to say that “it’s a secret” and hope fans would anticipate their next album.

#8 When NCT 127 graced us with their presence

NCT 127 HallyuPopFest Red Carpet
Credit: H.A.H Entertainment

NCT 127’s appearance on the red carpet was brief, understandably so as we learned that they had touched down in Singapore in the wee hours prior to their performance. And hey, we’re not complaining – just their presence alone was enough to please all the NCTzens in attendance, who showed up in full force with their neon green lightsticks.

Featured image: Shannon Ang

Feeing the post-concert withdrawals already? Check out our full coverage of HallyuPopFest 2018 here!

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