Right after claiming the winning title of the 2009 Singapore Idol, Sezairi Sezali’s rise to fame has been nothing but phenomenal. Amassing loyal fan bases in and out of Singapore, the local music sensation rocked the indie scene with his first full-length album Take Two, which became 987FM’s highest ranked Asian song to date. Having landed a record deal with Sony Music, the bonafide star has since released a self-titled EP and a brand new hit single ‘It’s You’. We caught up with this talented singer-songwriter for a short chat, where he opened up about his love for music-making, felines and married life.

Hi Sezairi! You’ve been recording for some time in Sweden, what were some things you missed the most back home?

Oh man, the first thing I did when I came back was to go straight home – and my wife and I made mee soto. My wife makes the best mee soto. She’ll be like, “Dude! Let’s make mee soto!” and I’m like, “Yeah! I’m looking forward to this weekend!” And so we’ll make it together. I’m not into getting her to cook and me sitting down and waiting kind of thing.

That’s sweet! Did you miss your cats too?

Oh yeah! I have two or three that sleep with me at night, and while we were away in Sweden, they had to stay in the living room where there’s no air conditioning. The moment we got back, they were scratching like crazy at my bedroom door (laughs). So the first thing I did was to climb into bed with all of them and let them have some AC.

 

Good lord, I miss you guys so much 😭hang in there!! #catsofinstagram #neko

A post shared by SEZAIRI (@sezairi) on Sep 21, 2017 at 8:32pm PDT

What’s the best thing about having cats?

I feel like they teach you a lot about loving, because they don’t give you an option. Like sometimes they jump on your keyboard, and I throw them off. But then I realise that’s not unconditional love; is a living thing less important then my game? No. It taught me that when you love somebody, you have to do it all the time. You can’t choose when you want to take care of it. You can’t adopt something or be in a relationship only because it’s advantageous to you. Yeah, I think about these things when I’m petting my cat (laughs).

You often feature cat avatars in your music videos and album art. Can you share with us why you chose to do so?

It was a fear that I had to overcome because my mum is afraid of animals, so I kinda caught it along the way since young. Back when my wife and I were dating, I would have my feet on the sofa because I found cats scary. She used to have this cat that just hated my guts and I’m like, “Dude, why?!” But she warmed up after a couple of years and before she passed away, she was on my lap for the longest amount of time. They taught me how to be patient, understanding and love unconditionally. I thought those are very important things I wanna keep reminding myself, so I took on the avatar.

 

Out now on all digital platforms. What do you think? Ready to join the kat army?

A post shared by SEZAIRI (@sezairi) on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:04pm PDT

What are some of the other fears you’ve had to overcome?

I haven’t got over a lot of things including my fear of transportation, flying especially. I have this impending feeling of doom whenever I’m on a plane; I always feel like something might go wrong. And I used to be scared of being at the front seat of cars. I love cars, you know? That’s the ironic thing. But whenever I was in the front seat, I felt like the car was going to bang something and that gave me a lot of anxiety. But I’ve gotten over cars, so next is planes. I get so nervous that I know what model I’m getting on and how it performs in the sky. Like, I know a triple 7 will be safer in what region because it has a bigger engine or something (laughs). I’m a walking trivia lah!

Let’s talk about your latest single ‘It’s You’. What was the inspiration behind the song?

I just wanted to write a cheesy ballad, really. The main thing I wanted to do when I started writing the song was to for once, put that person on a pedestal instead of being vulnerable myself. ‘Cause I’m very used to a style of writing where I’m very self-inflictive like, “Urgh I’m hurt, look at me!” But this time around, it was a challenge to write about something nice for once – something that could lift you up instead of dragging you down, and that was very liberating for me.

You’ve mentioned that the underlying theme is love. Did you write it with your wife in mind?

I don’t write things with her in mind, but she’s always on my mind (laughs). So everything that I claim to understand, without even thinking about her, it’s about her – you know what I mean? Love is something I feel comfortable talking about, because I understand it very well. Like when I talk about how men should treat women, I talk about it with gusto – I’ve thought about it a lot, I’ve practiced it, I’ve experienced when things go wrong. In ‘It’s You’, I sing about having to choose her daily, letting her lift you up and how “It’s okay to be vulnerable, you don’t have to be a man – what is the definition of a man?” When I sing it, I thoroughly believe in it.

 

u. 230116.

A post shared by SEZAIRI (@sezairi) on Apr 30, 2018 at 7:16pm PDT

Would you consider yourself a romantic? What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done?

I guess I’ve always been – it just wasn’t cool to admit it at a younger age, like your friends will say, “Oh, you’re so whipped!” I was brought up to think that it was wrong to think of someone you love all the time. It was borderline obsessive like, “Is it wrong to feel the way I feel?” But at this age I’m more like, “You wanna call me whatever, then call me lah. I’m above what you think of me.” I’m not very good at doing things, but I’m good at saying things. Especially with my wife – I know the vocabulary to use to get her to feel a certain way, and more often than not I’m not about the big gestures. In fact, we don’t get each other Valentine’s Day gifts, we’d just wake up every morning and say ‘I love you’ and it’s very normal for us to be publicly affectionate. I don’t feel like you should hide these things.

Name some of your current favourite love songs!

‘Get You’ by Daniel Caesar. Have you heard that? You should! It’s an incredible song. How about that Charlie Puth song with Boyz II Men called ‘If You Leave Me Now’?

How has the local music scene changed, compared to when you first started out?

Oh, it’s totally different! When I first started out, the local music scene consisted of just a couple of punk and alt rock bands because those were the only things the niche crowd would look at. Everyone else would be listening to western music because that’s part of our media. But now it’s so diversified that I feel like classifications are useless in this day and age. Singaporean artistes have always been very inquisitive and with the tools we have now, everyone’s growing at an exponential rate. Back in 2009, there was no digital music distribution – if you wanted to listen to a Sezairi song you had to buy a CD or listen to the radio and there were only a few shops that sold albums of local musicians.

And since our content is also in English, people would be like, “Why do I need a local singer when I can listen to Beyoncé?” So that’s the extra struggle we have to deal with. There’s been people who paved the way, so you can see the road; whereas in English music, no one’s really paved the road for anywhere – it’s just a road going round and round. But all it takes is for one English artiste in Singapore to go all the way, and the road will be paved for everyone else. If you want to be an artiste, you can’t confine yourself to one territory.  

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would you say?

“It’s not your fault.” (Laughs) The younger me was a very different me. 10 years ago, I was thrown into a lot of things real quick and I didn’t know how to deal with what was going on. And on hindsight I feel like some things I could’ve dealt with better, and some things just happened because they happen – it’s really nobody’s fault at the end of the day.

Lastly, what else can fans expect from you in the coming year?

Everything else that’s going to be released has a similar theme [to ‘It’s You], like sounds I’m familiar with and music I grew up listening to. So you can expect a lot more neo R&B – that kinda stuff.

Listen to Sezairi’s new single ‘It’s You’ on Spotify.

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Hot on the heels of Netflix’s A Korean Odyssey (or Hwayugi) fame, Lee Seung Gi is arguably the It actor of the moment.

Shortly after wrapping up filming for the hit K-drama, the 31-year-old has been landing deals left, right and centre – not only is he the host of Mnet survival programme Produce 48, he’s also set to star in upcoming blockbuster drama Vagabond alongside potential co-star Suzy (Gu Family Book reunion, anybody?).

That’s not all: we’ve just gotten news from our friends at Red Spade that the actor will be holding his long-awaited fanmeeting in Singapore this July, five years since his last visit in 2013! And with his witty charms, charismatic personality and multi-talented abilities – he sings, acts and is a total heartthrob, what’s not to love? – it’s safe to say you’re in for a solid treat. 

2018 Lee Seung Gi In Singapore

2018 Lee Seung Gi in Singapore
Date: 7 July 2018
Time: 7pm
Venue: [email protected] Box
Ticket prices: $248 (VIP), $218, $178, $138

VIP ticket holders are entitled to handshake and an L folder. Tickets will go on sale from 18 May, 10am via www.apactix.com

Good luck!

More related stories: Wanna One To Return To Singapore For 2018 World TourTWICE Returns To Singapore For A Stadium Show In JuneGOT7 Officially Announces World Tour, Including Singapore Date In August

Skechers D’Lites 3.0

There’s nothing quite like attending a Harry Styles concert. A charming young Brit with an iconic voice and a phenomenal amount of success under his belt, the ‘Sign of the Times’ crooner is one person who needs no introduction. Ever since taking a break from being part of the world’s biggest boy band, the former One Direction member’s career has only gone in one direction – up.

Barely six months after staging a smaller-scale show at The Star Theatre last November, the 24-year old proved that he’s perfectly capable of commanding a 6,000-strong audience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 3 May. It was 90 minutes of pure musicianship, nostalgic singalongs and all-around good vibes as the burgeoning rockstar treated us to yet another unforgettable show – and boy, what an emotional ride it was.

#1 THE ANTICIPATION

We’ve participated in our fair share of waiting games for plenty of shows before, but this was the most painful yet intriguing one by far. As we wait for Hazza to take the stage with bated breaths, a series of abstract and thought-provoking animations of rubric cubes played over and over in a hypnotic manner on the big screen. The suspense drove the audience crazy – it was clear that this natural-born star knew very well the effect he had. 

#2 THE AWE

Harry Styles 2

From the minute he stepped out on stage, the charming heartthrob was already blowing kisses left and right – all while flawlessly belting out the notes to the opening number ‘Only Angel’. Looking ever so dashing in a blinding golden shirt, the curly-haired wonder sauntered onstage to ear-splitting applause; to say that he looked like a god in gold would not be an overstatement. With his effortless charisma and alluring vocals, complete with the all-out visual assault of pop art graphics and theatrics, we were thoroughly entertained from the start to finish.

#3 THE HIGH

Harry Styles 1

Powering through the set with aplomb, Harry had the crowd hyped up right from the get-go as he churned out hit after hit. Although the concert started out on a slow note, it didn’t take him long to shake off his initial nerves and get back to what he does best: working the stage. “I have one job, that is to entertain you. You also have one job, that is to enjoy yourself,” he exclaimed. “So if you wanna dance, dance. Feel free to be whoever you wanna be in this room!” Busting out quirky moves that could rival even Mike Jagger, Harry’s infectious dancing mid-performance got everybody up on their feet in an instant.

#4 THE AMUSEMENT

harry-styles

Credit: dunkirks.tumblr.com

Not only is Harry incredibly talented, he’s also blessed with that signature British humour we all know and love since his One Direction days. His effortless banter with the audience kept us hooked onto his every word. One particular bit that had us in stitches was when he rallied the entire crowd to sing a birthday song to a fan, but it turns out that her birthday was actually four days later, leaving a bewildered Harry in disbelief. “You are all liars! I trusted you. I trusted all of you,” he playfully chided the fans.

#5 THE NOSTALGIA

Despite his individual success, Harry has never distanced himself from the band that started it all, which only makes us adore him even more. Not only did ‘Olivia’ play before he came onstage – pleasantly surprising Directioners in the audience – he also dedicated a substantial part of his setlist to songs he had previously written for 1D such as ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, ‘If I Could Fly’ and ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. Being able to identify with his boy band roots and simultaneously build a sound he could call his own, isn’t something many artistes in the same boat could have done. We all got rather emotional when the singer took a sombre moment to thank the fans who have been supporting him for the past three years. Here’s to many more!

Image credits: Hélène Marie Pambrun

Can’t get enough of Harry Styles? Don’t forget to grab a copy of our latest issue featuring none other than Hazza on the cover! Out on newsstands now.

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Ryan Reynolds never fails to surprise us with his unpredictable antics, but spoiler alert: who would’ve guessed that he would make an appearance on one of the biggest singing programmes in Korea? Leave it to the Deadpool 2 star to pull off what’s perhaps the most jaw-dropping performance ever in the history of King Of Masked Singer. 

In town to promote the upcoming Deadpool sequel, the fictional anti-hero took time off his hectic schedule to pop by the set of King Of Masked Singer – think of it as Korea’s answer to The Voice; best known for its concept of showcasing the hidden vocal talents of popular and underrated singers while masking their appearances behind elaborate costumes. Deciding to give it a whirl on the 13 May episode, the Canadian actor took to the the stage in a sparkly unicorn suit and left the audience in awe with his breathtaking performance of the Annie classic ‘Tomorrow’.

“Oh, his accent is nice,” commented a certain panel member. Little did they know they were in for the biggest plot twist of their lives… Then came the grand reveal, and everyone in the studio lost their minds because standing right there in front of them was none other than the one and only Ryan Reynolds.

Meanwhile, the YouTube comments section erupted into a frenzy too: “So this is the reason why he wasn’t at Met Gala!”, “This is one of the most random things that has ever happened to the K-pop world.”, “I didn’t know Deadpool quit being a superhero to become an unicorn instead.”

Well… guess we’re now fans of Ryan Reynolds sunbaenim.

Check out his spectacular performance above!

Deadpool 2 starring Ryan Reynolds will be showing in Singapore from 17 May 2018.

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95% – was what MXM rated their chemistry with each other at the open press conference for their [MATCH UP] Fanmeeting in Singapore.

We’ve always known that Youngmin and Donghyun are inseparable since their Produce 101 days, so it comes as no surprise these two would make an unbeatable pairing as MXM. And fans are more than convinced that their impeccable teamwork isn’t just for show when they were in town last week, all sunny smiles and bubbling with infectious energy as they bounced around the stage. Can’t get enough of them? Here’s a collection of moments that proved they’re the perfect duo.

#1 They have the same variety sense.

MXM IN SG 2

When asked what kind of variety shows would they want to appear on during the press conference, MXM spared no hesitation in answering Running Man as they’re both very active. “We’d love to take part in a programme that throws us in the wild and allows us to pick up survival skills and do everything from scratch,” Youngmin shared, which immediately brings to mind Law of the Jungle. Donghyun added, “We enjoy cooking and travelling as well, so Three Meals A Day or a travel show would be fantastic.” Hey fellow producers, how does a love call to Rhymer sound?

#2 And they love teasing us.

MXM IN SG 3

One of the most adorable moments during the fanmeeting was when they were asked what fans could expect from the show, to which the crowd playfully called out for the boys to show off their six-packs. “Not today, maybe next time!” quipped an amused Youngmin, while Donghyun cheekily patted his tummy and looked around for his non-existent abs.

Check out their hilarious reactions below!


#3 They’re same same, but different.

To further prove their strong bond with each other, MXM played a quick game where they attempted to match up their answers to a series of ‘This or That’ questions. Although they had differing opinions on a couple of questions – Youngmin prefers summer while Donghyun prefers winter; Youngmin likes coffee while Donghyun likes tea – they still have plenty in common with one another. For instance, both of them chose the colour black over white. Not to mention they have the cutest bro-handshake ever. Friendship goals!


#4 Their fan service game is A+.

When it comes to dishing out fan service, MXM never disappoints. Besides blessing us with top-notch live performances, the two-hour set was peppered with mini game segments where fans could get upclose and personal with the lads. Some lucky fans were even able to walk away with a selfie polaroid with the boys, much to the envy of everyone else in the audience.

However, the rest of us had our fair share of perks too as we were treated to a mandatory high-touch session and a group photo opportunity after the show – no one was left out. Both of them were clearly worn out towards the end, but they showed no signs of exhaustion and entertained fans throughout it all. With this alone, we have no doubts that MXM will certainly go far in their music career.

#5 They are humble at heart.

MXM IN SG

As this was their first time performing in Singapore, fans put in extra effort to make it an unforgettable experience for MXM. Not only did they specially prepare banners that read “Let’s be together forever”, they also made a video montage and brought out a diamond-shaped cake as a surprise for the boys – which was a huge success. “We feel like we’ve received a lot more than what we gave you today. We are so grateful for your love and support,” Donghyun enthused, overwhelmed with gratitude as both of them bid farewell to their adoring fans.

Three hours later, we left the venue with heads swimming and hearts oh so full.

Image credits: IME Singapore

More related stories: Wanna One, NU’EST W & Other Hot K-pop Boys To Have On Your Radar, 13 Things That Only Happen At A Wanna One FanmeetingWanna One To Return To Singapore For 2018 World Tour

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