Entertainment

One Direction: Better Together Or Happier Apart?

22 May 2017 by Bryan Yeong

It’s official: One Direction is truly over… for now. With Liam Payne being the last member to drop solo material, we’ve now gotten a taste of the Fab Fivesome’s varied musical stylings. So how do the former-1D heartthrobs fare against each other? Gather Directioners, we’re heading beyond the shirtless single covers to break down the music.

ZAYN


Photo: popfection.net

Genre: R&B
One Direction’s resident ‘bad boy’ has been busy since being the first to hop off the band at the height of their success in 2015, a mere two shows after their first-ever performance in Singapore (lucky us!). Since then, the introvert has launched his debut album Mind Of Mine to double #1s on both US and UK charts, alongside the equally chart-topping jam ‘Pillowtalk’. He’s the subject of every guy’s envy too, scoring model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid as his companion and even putting their drop-dead gorgeous looks to use in fashion spreads for VOGUE and Versace. And with a Taylor Swift collaboration and a new single ‘Still Got Time’, it’s safe to say Zayn’s doing just fine on his own

Listen to ‘Still Got Time (Feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)’: 

NIALL HORAN


Photo: BBC.co.uk

Genre: Folk-pop
Don’t count the Irish songwriter of the band out. Since the band’s hiatus, Niall has taken a slightly different approach, leaving the SYCO (Simon Cowell’s record label) family behind and jumping ship to Capitol Records under Universal Music, which houses heavyweight names like Katy Perry and Sam Smith. The move might be a wise one, considering how quick he was to drop solo music in September 2016 – a lush, softer sound compared to his peers. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Niall conquered with the tender and slow-paced ‘This Town’, reflecting a more Ed Sheeran / Jamie Scott-esque route for the crooner. He just most recently dropped a mid-tempo thumper ‘Slow Hands’ that’s slowly creeping up charts, but it’ll be the long-awaited album that will prove if he has the makings of a true solo star. 

Listen to ‘Slow Hands’:

LOUIS TOMLINSON


Photo: Tumblr

Genre: Pop / EDM
You might have to put those #Larry rumours to a rest and ship the musical love between #Laoki instead. Yup, rather than stepping out onto the music landscape purely solo, Louis teamed up with eccentric DJ Producer Steve Aoki for their uplifting club anthem ‘Just Hold On’ back in December 2016. The song was a surefire hit, reaching a peak of #2 on the UK Charts, and proved Louis’ mettle as a serious star during a performance on The X Factor UK finale, which he dedicated to his late mother. While there hasn’t been anything new cropping up from the tattooed dad since, we’ve definitely got a good inkling of what’s to come, and we hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Listen to ‘Just Hold On’:

HARRY STYLES


Photo: Sony Music Singapore

Genre: Rock
Was there any doubt that Harry Styles was the true blue rocker of the group? Harry exceeded all expectations and blew the world away just two months ago with his first solo single, the reflective ballad ‘Sign Of The Times’. Gone are the bandanas and long hair, with Harry opting for matching coloured suits and a sleek swept-back hairdo instead for recent promotional performances. Following well-received performances on Saturday Night Live and The Today Show, his self-titled debut album seems on lock to debut atop the coveted Billboard 200 Album charts too. A deserved achievement for Harry – the album boasts the grittiness and raw appeal of classic old-school rock n’ roll that’s made everyone from Zedd to Charli XCX fans. He’s also the first former-1D member who will be giving us a taste of his solo work live, with a sold out show on our shores come November 23rd.

Listen to Harry Styles:

LIAM PAYNE


Photo: Idolator

Genre: Hip-Hop/R&B
Congratulations are in order for Liam. Not only is he the newly proud parent of a son with Cheryl Cole, named… uhm… Bear Cole, but he also has another baby on his hands: his solo music. Most recently released, the Ed Sheeran-written ‘Strip That Down’ features Quavo from Migos (only the hottest hip-hop group at the moment) and showcases a brand new style for Liam. Channelling his inner Chris Brown over a pulsating beat, Liam celebrates his sensual side with a striptease. But that’s not the only revealing thing about the song. “”I used to be in One D, now I’m out free”, he coos at one point. Seems like someone’s never been more glad going solo, and we can’t say we aren’t just as stoked for all of them either…

Listen to ‘Strip That Down’:

Do you think One Direction’s better together or apart, and which former-1D member’s solo music are you the biggest fan of? Sound off in the comments below! 

Teenage Dance Challenge 2017 Finals

Most of you probably would’ve heard of Riverdale – a hit teen drama based off the classic Archie Comics series that’s currently residing at the top of our Netflix binge-watching list. With the show’s obvious nostalgia factor, on-point cast members and the complex albeit intriguing romances, it’s no wonder Riverdale fans have quickly formed their own favourite couple ships between these unbelievably gorgeous teen characters. And with season one of the show drawing to a close tomorrow (which leaves a huge gap in our Netflix playlist), we couldn’t help but wonder: if Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica were real life teenagers, what would they totally Netflix and chill to? Our friends at Netflix reveal the deets. 

Jughead x Betty (Bughead)
Jughead x Betty

When Jughead and Betty started flirting early on in season 1, we were totally freaked out ’cause the OG Archie Comics had everyone thinking Jughead’s only love was food. But their chemistry has gotten us deep into the Bughead ship. As IRL actors Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse revealed, this duo is totally into narco-suspense dramas like Breaking Bad – unsurprising considering Betty and Jughead’s love for gritty investigative journalism. Perhaps it was implied, but it’s kinda odd that Cole Sprouse didn’t list Riverdale as one of his favourite shows… unlike a certain KJ Apa. 

Betty x Veronica  (Beronica)
Betty & Veronica

To be honest, Beronica is THE mother ship for us. Despite a couple of bumps along the way, Betty and Veronica go together like peanut butter and jelly, and are equally delicious too! According to Camila Mendes and Lili, these gals will bond over intense dystopian dramas like Stranger Things and Black Mirror – you won’t see Beronica binge-watching fluffy chick flicks, that’s for sure. 

Veronica x Archie (Varchie) 
Veronica & Archie

While Varchie’s romance took longer than expected to ignite, the chemistry between these drop-dead gorgeous characters more than make up for it. So what would they be watching on a Netflix date? Apparently House of Cards and 13 Reasons Why, according to KJ Apa and Camila Mendes’ pick of their favourite Netflix shows. It seems pretty apt, considering Veronica’s aptitude for manipulation mastery, which comes in handy when helping the Riverdale squad out of sticky situations. 

Archie and Betty (Archetty)
Archie-and-Betty

Ah, the end game couple that never really got off the ground. These childhood best friends have got a rock solid foundation but it seems like that’s all there really is, what with Bughead’s romance and Archie’s attraction towards Veronica and (spoiler alert) that whole Grundy chapter. Nevertheless, based on their ‘Netflix binge-watch’ list, KJ Apa and Lili Reinhart will definitely bond over murder mysteries like American Crime Story and *ahem* Riverdale. Meta much? 

Jughead x Archie (Jarchie) 
Archie & Jughead

How did Jughead and Archie’s bromance blossom despite being practically polar opposites in character? Perhaps what drew them together was their love for retro thrillers – one that Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa share IRL as well. Based on their Netflix picks, we’d say the boys will be binge-watching Stranger Things when season 2 comes out. Don’t judge us, but we’d give anything to be a part of that sleepover. 

Who’s your Riverdale ship? Leave a comment and share the love. In the meantime, stay tuned to the Riverdale season 1 finale, airing tomorrow (12 May) on Netflix! 

Teenage Dance Challenge 2017 Finals

Instead of spending last weekend doing whatever a superstar diva does, Nicki Minaj was hard at work on Twitter, promoting a contest for fans to join her at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. In an unexpected turn of events, she ended up spending her night coming through for dozens of struggling college students. 

After Nicki tweeted that she “makes enough money to fly members of #TheKingdom out from any country in the world,” a fan jokingly asks her if she’d pay for his school fees. As ya’ll know, student loans are no joke, especially in America. To everyone’s surprise, Nicki immediately responded. 

“Show me straight A’s that I can verify with your school, and I’ll pay for it.” She cheekily added, “Who wants to join THAT contest?” Of course, Twitter went wild. Requests for help with student loans poured in, complete with photo evidence. 

This went on for about an hour, with Nicki tweeting back to over 30 fans.

@Cesarszn tweeted: “1k would be more than enough for my 3 summer classes. Help me Nic!” To which she responded, “That’s it? I’ll send it tomorrow. DM me your bank info babe. Next!” 

She even stopped to show concern for a fan who appeared to have more than financial issues on her plate. @macsirena said, “What about helping a fellow immigrant that wants to go to school?” Nicki quickly followed up with: “You want to go to college but can’t? How much do you need to get you in school? Is that the only thing stopping you?” 

Ending her Twitter Santa spree on a high note, Nicki tweeted, “Ok you guys. It’s been fun. Let me make those payments tomorrow then see if I have any money left. I’ll do some more in a month or two.” Various news sites have since confirmed that Nicki indeed kept true to her word, and that she has already made payment on several of the Twitter requests.  

TBH, Nicki Minaj has won our hearts with her generosity. Whether or not she’ll return for round 2 of her charity spree, or even set up her own education fund, Nicki is truly one to follow. 

Featured image: H&M

Teenage Dance Challenge 2017 Finals

Entertainment

Dua Lipa Dishes On Her Undying Love For Troye Sivan

9 May 2017 by Bryan Yeong

Two hours before she played an intimate invite-only showcase to a select group of fans and media, Dua Lipa sat down with us at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach for an interview. The statuesque 21-year-old English singer/songwriter was all pumped and raring to tell us more about her hotly anticipated debut album that drops on June 2nd. We suss out what it felt like to work with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, why she once thought she couldn’t sing and what else’s in store for the trailblazer.

Given the hype surrounding your debut release, do you think there’s any pressure to deliver? How do you think you’re handling it?

Well, pressure makes me work really hard, and I enjoy the pressure. Now I feel like i’ve come to a really good point, especially with this album. I feel really proud of it and I’m just really ready to release it. 

It’s so nice to see ‘Be The One’, which was released in 2015, take off in different parts of the world now. What do you think is so special about that song that makes it a slow-burner hit?

It’s quite crazy how ‘Be The One’ has taken a life of its own… It’s slowly kind of, gone to different territories and it’s been really quite wonderful because it’s taken me to so many new places. And maybe because it’s one of my first songs to really hit radio and introduced people to me. It always felt like the right song as the first introduction, but I also think it has a really infectious beat. Not to blow my own trumpet, but I think there’s nothing quite like it. There’s something really different about it rhythmically and lyrically that makes you want to sing along to it. It’s a pop song but also has an underlying meaning. I feel very lucky [with it].

The run up to the album release has been extraordinary. How has the artistic process been for you?

I think now the times are changing so much and it takes a lot to break a new artiste and introduce them to the world, and there’s so many territories. It feels like it’s been a long time, but I’ve only for the first time now, a month before my album, have the opportunities to come to places like Southeast Asia. I think, especially for a debut album, you can no longer just put one song out and expect the whole world to hear it, because it’s really dominated by bigger artists – the second they release an album it dominates the whole chart, really. So that’s why it feels like it’s been so long and quite staggered. Everytime I felt I was ready to release my album, there were different opportunities that’d come up. Now I personally feel like I’m very ready for the album as a whole.

Speaking about opportunities, you’ve also got collaborations on the album. We’re dying to know, what was it like working with Chris Martin of Coldplay on the track ‘Homesick’?

It was an amazing experience. He’s an artiste that really admire inspires me. I’ve listened to his music my whole life, so it was really surreal to get to sit next to him on the piano and hear him perform so close to me. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from him, just as an artiste and [by the way] he’s so humble and kind. It was very nerve wracking for me to play him songs from my album, getting feedback and learning. It’s a very special process to write a song with someone and I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to work with him. ‘Homesick’ is definitely a special song and I’m excited that he got to sing on it too…

We might just jump straight into that song first when the album drops!

It’s the last song on the album and I feel like it’s a very beautiful way to close the album as a whole.

What sets you apart is your unique, smoky tone that’s easily identifiable on your songs and features. Has there even been people in the past who doubted your abilities to be a pop singer, with your raspy tone?

It definitely stopped me me doing a few things! When I was young, I wanted a place in the choir but I couldn’t sing the high notes, which I still struggle with. I’ve got a loud, belty voice but I can’t hit crazy high notes. That was definitely one of those things where as a child, it was quite heartbreaking. I was like, “Oh, I can’t sing! I can’t hit the high notes!” When I went to theatre school, it was there that the teacher really helped me build my confidence but I’m really glad that I kept my tone because I feel like it would’ve changed if it weren’t for musical theatre. So I feel like I stayed for the right amount of time so I still wouldn’t lose my identity and my voice. It’s definitely my lower register that separates me.

Photo by Aloysius Lim
Aloysius Lim / Warner Music Singapore

Do you have anything to say to people who doubted your potential to be such a huge star?

Everybody’s entitled to their opinion and that’s absolutely fine. To anyone that wants to do something and there are people getting in the way of it, I feel like as long as they believe in themselves and they stick by it and it’s something they’re really passionate about, they shouldn’t let go of that dream. Because one person’s opinion is dulling your sparkle, it shouldn’t be the reason you stop doing what you’re doing.

You’re part of the rising generation that’s finding fame through social media. How do you think you’re different from people who are trying to get their start there but have yet to do so?

I use social media to my advantage. I was like, “Okay, what’s the best way for me to showcase what I do?” and I thought I’d put it on the internet. I put videos on Facebook and my friends in school watched it. It was way to show people that I was singing. And if I met anyone who wanted to do music, I’d tell them to listen to my cover [of a song] and if they liked it, I’d ask to work together. It was an ongoing thing like that where I used it more as a tool and a portfolio to get out there. It’s a thing now where social media is really taking over. They’re a lot of independent artistes doing it all on their own. It’s really just about being persistent and believing in what you do because that’s the only way you’re gonna make anyone else believe in you, is by being sure of yourself.

You opened for Troye Sivan’s tour and the dynamics of your friendship with him is just adorable. What’s he like to tour with?

Before I went on tour with him, I knew his music of course, but I didn’t know him on a personal level. It was my first time doing such as big tour in the US. He’s so sweet, so kind and hardworking. He was really inclusive and I felt like I was really spoilt because a lot of people in my band were telling me that you don’t really get experiences like that when you go on tour. You barely even get to see the artiste. He’s definitely a massive role model, especially for the LGBTQ community and it’s something that really inspired me, that the things you really believe in, you should speak up about and you should support [them]. Be it the LGBTQ rights, or about minorities or feminism, or just whatever you believe in. He’s just such a nice person. Seeing his success happen to such a nice person is really sweet.


Dua Lipa with Troye Sivan backstage at The Suburbia Tour

On a scale of 1-10, how psyched are you to be opening for Bruno Mars next year?

I am a 12? A 13!? I don’t really know. I mean, getting to do such a massive tour in stadiums and to get to share a stage with an artiste that’s so amazing, I can’t even. I remember watching him on stage at the BRIT Awards and I was dancing and I couldn’t stop. I absolutely can’t wait.

So what’s next in the pipeline after the album release?

I’ll be doing festivals this summer. I’m also announcing tour dates so I’ll be starting the album tour in UK/Europe and it’ll grow and hopefully I’ll come back to Singapore, that’d be insane. I’ll just keep going and I’ll start writing again early next year for the second album and I’ve got a few songs already. I feel like because I’ve learnt so much about the process and how I like to write and work, I think the second album will come much quicker.

Dua Lipa’s debut album is out on 2nd June. Listen to her music here. Thanks to Warner Music Singapore for the interview!

Featured image credit: Aloysius Lim / Warner Music Singapore

Teenage Dance Challenge 2017 Finals

It’s official, Harry Styles isn’t the only one coming to Singapore this November! Ed Sheeran’s upcoming gig was literally just announced and either way, we’re gonna be at least $100 poorer because whether it’s choosing to see Harry Styles or Ed Sheeran on tour, there’s no way we’re gonna miss both. Here are the details of their shows ahead of ticket sales. 

Ed Sheeran Live! in Singapore 2017
Ed Sheeran - Social Media Square

Date: 11 November 2017 (Saturday)
Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium 
Tickets price: $248 / $208 / $188 / $148 / $108 (price excludes $4 booking fee)

Tickets go on sale on 11 May (next Thursday) at 10am at www.sportshubtix.com 

Listen to Ed’s latest album, ÷ (divide) here: 

HARRY STYLES LIVE ON TOUR 2017 – SINGAPORE 

HARRYSTYLES_SG_Poster

Date: 23 November 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 8pm
Venue: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre
Ticket prices: All Seated – $68, $98, $128, $168 (price excludes $4 booking fee)
 
Tickets available from www.apactix.com, hotline +65 3158 8588, Indoor Stadium Box Office and all SingPost outlets.
Public on-sale date: 5 May 2017 (Friday). Online sales start at 9:00am. Hotline, Indoor Stadium Box Office and all SingPost outlets start at 10:00am.
There is a maximum number of 4 tickets per transaction.
 
Listen to Harry’s latest track, ‘Sweet Creature’ here. His self-titled album will be released on 12 May.

Who will you be catching in concert? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Teenage Dance Challenge 2017 Finals

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