With a moniker like Lovelyz, the eight-member K-pop girl group certainly lives up to their name – even when it comes to fights among the members (more on this later).
Known for their delicate tunes, girl-next-door vibes and bubbly personalities, the talented ladies of Lovelyz have been slowly but steadily building their dedicated fanbase of Lovelinus thanks to their endless charms. Shortly after wrapping up comeback promotions for their fifth EP Sanctuary, local fans will finally get the opportunity to meet the girls at their first concert in Singapore this March. Ahead of their show, we caught up with the members via an email interview where they reveal their ideal weddings, how they resolve arguments and hopes for the future.
Hi Lovelyz! As it’s the first time you’re coming to Singapore, is there anything you’re looking forward to here?
Baby Soul: Singapore is famous for its city night view so I’m looking forward to that. (Sujeong: I want to take pictures of all the pretty buildings!)
Jin: Of course, it’s our Lovelinus in Singapore! Isn’t it a must? I miss you all so much.
In your latest album Sanctuary, all the members are dressed in beautiful wedding gowns for the concept photos. Describe what your ideal wedding would be like!
Jisoo: Instead of an ideal wedding, I think it will be fun if the groom wears a wedding gown while the bride wears a suit. It would be nice if both of us wear suits together, or even hanboks (Korean traditional costume).
Baby Soul: Like Lee Hyori sunbaenim, I would make the wedding ceremony simple and only invite a couple of close friends. And also take plenty of pictures!
Kei: I want my married life to be living in a house with a small garden and a big puppy playing outside, while my husband and I prepare food together in the house.
Mijoo is currently starring on the virtual marriage show In-Laws in Practice. If you were to swap genders and choose a fellow member to be your virtual marriage partner, who would you pick and why?
Mijoo: ……….. pass! (Laughs awkwardly)
Four members have appeared on The King of Masked Singer and all of you left quite an impression. How was the experience like?
Baby Soul: It was amazing. I performed with my face covered in front of the audience and nobody knew it was me. I did enjoy singing in this way and I think that was also the reason I could do even much better to show my talent.
Sujeong: I was so used to performing on stage with my members, so I was worried about completing the whole performance alone. But it was indeed a memorable and satisfactory experience for me.
Having eight girls in a group is no small number. How do you cope with conflict between the members?
Jin: We usually resolve it by talking it out, or simply letting it pass!
What was the silliest thing you guys have ever fought about?
Yein: Jiae is my roommate so we promised to wake each other up every morning. But when one of us fail to do that, we would end up quarrelling with one another (laughs).
Sujeong: Once, I was angry because the other members were eating delicious food and didn’t share it with me.
Kei: We got jealous because we wanted to become each other’s favourite member!
You are known for your innocent girl-next-door image, but is there any concept that you would like to try in the future?
Baby Soul, Jisoo, Mijoo, Kei, Yein: We want to try out a girl crush concept which is the complete opposite of what we do. Something powerful, chic and dreamlike?
Jiae: Instead of such a strong image, I prefer something like a uniform concept!
Jin: We still have many concepts that we have yet to try, so I hope that our members can also take part in the styling in the future.
2019 is going to be Lovelyz’s 5th anniversary! What are your plans and hopes for the year ahead?
Jisoo: I hope that we will be able to achieve good results on music charts so the public know how to sing our songs one day. We will work hard until Lovelyz is widely known and loved by many others!
A match made in marketing heaven, pop songstress Ariana Grande has teamed up with Starbucks to introduce her very own drink named the Cloud Macchiato.
For the longtime Arianators, you’d probably be familiar with Ari’s obsession with all things white and fluffy. Besides her not-so-subtle penchant for cloud emojis, the ‘Sweetener’ singer even released her latest perfume recently called Clouds. If that’s not enough to convince you that this collaboration was meant to be, here’s a gentle reminder that Ariana’s last name also happens to be one of Starbucks’ beverage sizes. Coincidence? We think not.
Launched in honour of International Women’s Day, the new Ariana Grande concoction is basically caramel macchiato topped with whipped cold foam – it’s like having a cloud in a cup. It comes in two flavours, Caramel and Cinnamon, and can be ordered either hot or cold. Unlike other special items that are usually available for a limited period of time before retiring to the ‘Bux graveyard, fans of Ariana will be thrilled to know that this will be a permanent addition to the menu. The bad news? You can only get it in the US and Canada for now.
Break up with your local Starbucks, we’re hopping on the earliest flight to the states (no one asked, but we’re obviously getting a Grande.)
As the world continuously gets introduced to new batches of K-pop groups, it’s easy to forget the pioneer generation of talents that first drew global attention a decade ago. From their unique concepts to their synchronised dance steps, these second-gen favourites never fail to remind us of how they helped to shape the K-pop genre to what it is today. Though some of them have since parted ways as a group, here are some iconic bands to remember that have made their memorable debuts back in 2009.
Before we had BLACKPINK, we had the fantastic four known as 2NE1. Characterised by their bold, bright outfits, the quirky foursome were recognised for their unique style which helped set them apart from their female counterparts during their reign. In the same year of their debut, the girls even clinched a Song of the Year win at the 2009 Mnet Asian Music Awards for their first number one single with ‘I Don’t Care’. Not bad for a then-rookie group, right?
Despite riding a high since their formation with a string of chart-topping hits and shiny awards, the quartet sadly called it quits in 2016 shortly after Minzy’s exit. Though all four members have been working hard on their solo careers since their split, it seems that now is finally the time for the least active member, Park Bom, to shine as she makes her long-awaited comeback this year. Blackjacks, where y’all at?
Hit rewind on 2NE1’s debut single, ‘Fire’:
As one of the first two groups to debut under CUBE Entertainment, 4Minute was responsible for turning their debut single ‘Hot Issue’ into an inescapable earworm that you just couldn’t get out of your head. Dubbed by their largely female fanbase as having a ‘girl crush’ image, the five-piece had an edgy dance-pop style which was evident in the choreography of their consecutive tracks following their first single. Though the quintet’s discography were filled with hits and misses, they were still able to bag several major accolades including a Rookie Award at the prestigious Golden Disc Awards in 2009.
Feeling the pressure from the competition of the cutthroat idol industry, the group unfortunately disbanded and left CUBE Entertainment, with the exception of HyunA who signed on as a solo artiste until her dating controversy which led to her parting ways with the agency and signing on with P-Nation, a new entertainment company founded by PSY.
Hit rewind on 4Minute’s debut single, ‘Hot Issue’:
If you’re the kind of fan who appreciated the underdogs of K-pop, then you might remember After School. Greatly influenced by the stylings of the Pussycat Dolls and spawned addictive hits such as ‘Diva’, ‘Because of You’ and ‘Bang!’, After School is a contemporary performance-based girl group that was initially formed with just five members. Unlike other girl groups of 2009, the band had an undetermined number of members due to their admission and graduation concept where members could get added or withdrawn. As such, the group often saw changes to their overall number of members, especially in the same year of their official debut where they lost one member and added three new ones.
But even with their inventive approach, it was difficult to maintain the group’s popularity as a whole. It’s probably part of the reason why After School has halted group promotions since 2015, in order to give the members an opportunity to explore their solo music, acting and modelling careers. They’ve also seemingly paused their admission exercise of members in late 2018, following the recent graduation of notable members Uee, Jungah and Lizzy.
Hit rewind on After School’s debut single, ‘Diva’:
In addition to the hot boy groups of the second generation like 2PM and Super Junior, we were also gifted the shockingly talented boys of BEAST. Known as the other pioneering group of CUBE Entertainment, the members were considered unique as they originally trained in different agencies. Their rise to the top didn’t take long when they got recognised for their musical versatility and dynamic choreography. These qualities were probably what contributed to the group’s success thus far, where they have collectively achieved significant recognition which identifies them as one of the most awarded groups of all time at the all-important Korean music industry award ceremonies.
While there was promise of a brighter future ahead for the sextet, fans were met with a surprise announcement when vocalist Hyunseung left in pursuit of a solo career in 2016. His sudden departure left the boys to make their comeback as a quintet, but it seemed more changes were already written in the books. In the same year, the other members officially launched their new label Around Us Entertainment, which saw them parting ways with CUBE and leaving their trademark BEAST moniker behind to rebrand as a new group named Highlight. Though they had planned to promote more as part of Highlight, the group has temporarily halted all promotions for the members to serve their mandatory military service before hopefully returning to the stage as a complete five.
Hit rewind on BEAST’s debut single, ‘Bad Girl’:
Did you know that CNBLUE started out in Japan before their transition into the K-pop world? The quartet was initially formed in 2009, where they held their very first live performance at the entrance of Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan with just their instruments and pure, unadulterated vocals. Their ability to flawlessly synthesise genres together with their unique band concept, was what set them apart and granted them a coveted spot in the Korean music scene. When they made their formal Korean debut in 2010 as FTISLAND’s junior group, their insanely catchy ‘I’m a Loner’ became an instant chart-topper which gave them their first music show win barely two weeks after their debut televised performance.
Despite their continuous success, the band has gone on a hiatus to accommodate the military enlistment of each member after their 8th anniversary fan meeting early last year. Although it may seem like a long time before the band gets back together, the closeness of the members’ date of entry has led fans to believe that there’s a high possibility of CNBLUE making a comeback in 2020. So if you’re new to the band, it isn’t too late to catch up before they make their return to the stage!
Hit rewind on CNBLUE’s debut single, ‘I’m a Loner’:
Aside from being one of the earlier girl groups to have an international member and an androgynous member, as well as the younger sister of former Girls’ Generation member Jessica, f(x) was also one of the first K-pop groups to get recognised internationally following their stint at the illustrious SXSW. Known for their experimental style and electropop-based sound, the girls made their official debut in late 2009 with their first digital single ‘La Cha Ta’, before gaining a larger fanbase through their own reality programmes and collaborative works with labelmates Girls’ Generation.
In 2015, f(x) became a four-member group when member Sulli announced her official departure to focus on acting. Despite the loss, the rest continued with the release of their fourth studio album, which they actively promoted until late 2016. Since then, they haven’t been active as a whole which leaves the current status of the group undetermined as the members are off pursuing their individual careers. It’s time to give f(x) a comeback, SM!
Hit rewind on f(x)’s debut single, ‘LA chA TA’:
Dubbed unofficially as Rain’s protégés, the suave boy band was put together by the legendary performer himself as the first artistes under the now-defunct J.Tune Camp. Having trained for two years, MBLAQ’s discography has seen them experimenting with different genres while maintaining familiar Rain stylistics within their strong choreography. The group made their major debut at Rain’s Legend of Rainism concert in 2009, which helped them to garner their first legion of domestic fans. But despite being destined for greatness, they never had a number one single on the Korean charts.
Perhaps that was what led to the eventual big setback for the group after two of its members, Lee Joon and Thunder, departed from MBLAQ six years after their debut. Although there has been no official word on the current status of MBLAQ, the remaining members have been left with no proper management to oversee their activities which is probably evident enough that this once promising group will probably not be making a comeback anytime soon.
Hit rewind on MBLAQ’s debut single, ‘Oh Yeah’:
When you hear the name Secret, you might just remember their girl-next-door hit ‘Shy Boy’ which came out in 2011. Formed in 2009, the girls were originally set to be an R&B and hip-hop centric group, only to be swayed towards the retro sounds reminiscent of OG K-pop queens Wonder Girls during their debut. By picking a niche sound that was refreshing in its own way, Secret was able to quickly grow their fanbase while maintaining their unique brand within the industry.
Despite the widespread popularity they’ve gained, the momentum for Secret started to slow down when Sunhwa left the group in 2016. Although the rest of them continued as a trio, the band was officially dissolved early in 2018 after it was revealed that the remaining members were locked in a legal dispute with their management company. Even with this harrowing experience, the girls seem unlikely to let that get them down as each of them are currently working hard on establishing their solo careers in music and acting.
Hit rewind on Secret’s debut single, ‘I Want You Back’:
If you’ve dabbled in the world of K-pop in 2009, you might be well-accustomed with the all-female group that created the oh-so catchy viral banger ‘Bo Peep Bo Peep’. For the unfamiliar, T-ara was originally a six-member girl group widely known for their hook-heavy dance pop tracks, paired with unbelievably cute concepts that often change up with the tracks they were promoting.
However, T-ara’s road to fame was not without its difficulties. In 2012, the group found themselves in the centre of a bullying controversy after member Hwayoung accused the others of mistreating her. The temporary suspension of the group’s activities during this period resulted in a heavy blow for T-ara’s gained popularity thus far. Besides their 2013 comeback, the girls had spent the better part of their time actively touring and promoting before returning to Korea in 2017 to produce their final album after a conclusion to the scandal. As of 2018, the remaining members have already left the company in pursuit of better and more promising opportunities.
Hit rewind on T-ara’s debut single, ‘Lie’:
Which second-gen K-pop group do you miss the most? Let us know in the comments below!
There was nothing fancy at Kodaline’s second Singapore concert, held at [email protected] last night four years after their last gig here. There was no flashy costume changes, complicated dance choreographies, or elaborate stage theatrics.
What they had was their voices: gusty, soothing, beguiling – which made their slightly over 90 minutes set flew by in an instant. Throughout the night, we were treated to hits from their latest album Politics of Living, with crowd-favourites from their earlier records Coming Up for Air and In a Perfect World thrown into the mix. The quartet started things off with the catchy opener ‘Follow Your Fire’, before going on to deliver their equally infectious bangers such as ‘Brand New Day’, ‘Ready’ and ‘Honest’.
Quite literally, the highlight of the night was undoubtedly their performance of ‘The One’. The heartfelt, stripped-back rendition aside, the crowd was also encouraged to whip out their phone lights to create a scene as beautiful as the song itself.
But perhaps the greatest evidence of the band’s buttery vocals was in ‘I Wouldn’t Be’. It had no backing tracks or instruments – just four pure, unadulterated voices that melded together with ease. Towards the end, the four-piece had every single one in the audience singing along to tracks like ‘Love Like This’, ‘One Day’, and ‘Love Will Set You Free’.
In saving the best for last, Kodaline returned onstage during an encore to deliver ‘All I Want’ and “High Hopes’. Before bidding goodbye, lead singer Steve Garrigan hoped that the band wouldn’t have to wait another four years before coming to Singapore again. “Maybe next year,” he mused.
The time has come yet again: Singapore GP has just announced the full entertainment lineup for the 12th edition, which features big names such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and – drum roll, please – the one and only Cardi B on the headlining bill for this year’s Formula 1 night race.
Taking place at the Marina Bay Street Circuit from 20 to 22 September, festival-goers can expect a diverse host of genres across nine stages at the three-day extravaganza. Other headlining acts to watch out for include electronic supergroup Swedish House Mafia, Jamaican musical collective Toots and the Maytals as well as renowned big beat DJ Fatboy Slim.
Here’s the complete list of F1 2019 acts:
Toots and the Maytals (20 September, The Wharf Stage Zone 1; 21 September, Esplanade Outdoor Theatre Zone 4)
Swedish House Mafia (20 September, Padang Stage Zone 4)
Cardi B (21 September, Padang Stage Zone 4)
Muse (21 September, Padang Stage Zone 4)
Fatboy Silm (21 September, The Wharf Stage Zone 1; 22 September, Padang Stage Zone 4)
Hans Zimmer (22 September, The Wharf Stage Zone 1)
Red Hot Chili Peppers (22 September, Padang Stage Zone 4)
Gym and Swim
Jupiter & Okwess
Parekh & Singh
Wolfgang Flür (Ex‑Kraftwerk)
General tickets start from $98 for a single-day ticket and $268 for a three-day ticket. But here’s a great deal for local F1 attendees: a limited amount of Friday Zone 4 walkabout tickets is available for Singaporeans and Singapore residents at an exclusive promotional price of $48, which can only be purchased over-the-counter at SISTIC outlets.
[UPDATE] Due to scheduling conflicts of her September and October tour, Cardi B has regretfully cancelled her performance at F1. Gwen Stefani will be taking her place as one of the headliners on 21 September.
The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2019 runs from 20 to 22 September at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. For more information, head over to www.singaporegp.sg