Best known for clinching the runner-up position in the 2009 season of Singapore Idol, Tabitha Nauser has gone on to make quite a name for herself. From repping +65 in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games theme song ‘Everyone’, to collaborating with Dutch duo Yellow Claw for their latest banger ‘Crash This Party’, and even releasing her own string of hit singles ‘Bulletproof’, ‘Body Language’ and ‘Rules’, the homegrown pop diva’s musical career has been a non-stop whirl of success. Through our short interview with the rising powerhouse, one thing’s clear: Tabitha Nauser goes by her own rules, and she’s winning at it.

Hi Tabitha! We love your new single ‘Rules’, could you share with us what it’s about?

It’s definitely a song that’s meant to be empowering and powerful. I wrote it from the viewpoint of a woman. As a woman, no matter which industry you’re in, people will always try to tell you what to do. So this song is to let these women know: “You know what? It’s okay if you want to do things your own way. You are powerful and you are strong enough to guide yourself.” 

So have you broken any rules in the past?

(Laughs) Oh my god, all the time. There are probably too many to tell you right now, but I’m pretty sure I have.  

You’ve got a new collaboration with Yellow Claw titled ‘Crash This Party’. How did that come about and how was it like working with the duo?

I was actually in Indonesia doing promo for one of my other songs, performing on an Indonesian TV show and Jim from Yellow Claw happened to watch the show and found out who I was, so he DM-ed me on Instagram saying, “Hey listen, I’m working on an album now and I heard you sing on the show. I think you’ve got a great voice, would you be open to collaboration?” And at that time I was like, “Oh my god is this Yellow Claw?!” (Laughs)

They sent me a couple of tracks, but I just felt like they weren’t the right fit for me as they were too EDM. So I passed on the first few ones, but they were super cooperative and really wanted to find a way to make it work. Thus, they kept sending me tracks and eventually we landed on ‘Crash This Party’ and we all agreed that it was a great song – for both Yellow Claw and myself. I flew over to their studio in Amsterdam to record, and that’s it!

It’s no secret that you love Drake. If you could re-record any song in your catalogue to feature him, which would it be?

(Gasps) That is such a good question. Oh my gosh… this is so hard. I would probably do ‘Rules’ with Drake. Yeah, can you imagine? ‘Cause it’s like moody and all, and he would do so well with that track – especially with the outro at the end.

Are there any other dream international and/or local collaborations you would like to make happen in the future?

For local artistes I’ve said this a couple of times, but I think THELIONCITYBOY would be a great person to collaborate with. And international… wow that’s hard. I would love to do something with SZA. I think that will be pretty dope.

You’ve gone from interviewing celebrities as a DJ to becoming a full-fledged artiste yourself. How was the transition like for you?

Oh, I love it! Interviewing people used to stress me out – I don’t know how you guys do it – like I used to be so nervous last time. I’d rather be the one answering questions, it’s just so much easier doing that. I think that would be the only thing that feels different to me. Other than that, everything’s pretty much the same. But I like this better (laughs).

From ‘Bulletproof’ to ‘Rules’, you’ve never been afraid to express yourself through music. What gave you the confidence to be the Tabitha Nauser we know today?

I feel that it takes time. You have to go through and experience different things. You’ve got to surround yourself with very positive people who want to nurture you and support you because when you’re in a positive state, it’s just better for everyone. When you’ve got good energy, it helps with your confidence and everything else so surround yourself with good people.

You’ve always been very vocal on issues such as female empowerment. What advice would you give to women who are struggling with their self-worth?

I would say that they have the power, you know what I mean? It’s easy to just tell somebody that they are beautiful but if you don’t believe it, then you’re never gonna believe it. You just need to find something about yourself that you like every single day and tell yourself about it. For example, if you’re great at drawing, just tell yourself “I’m a great artist!” It starts from there – just these small affirmations to yourself every day, it makes you believe in yourself little by little.

If you could change the rules of the local music industry, what’s one thing you’d wish to change for the better?

I feel like people are very quick to judge local music just because it’s local, and sometimes they don’t really give it a chance because they think it’s not as great as something that comes out of the US, the UK or anywhere else. I would say give it a listen and just forget that it’s local for awhile. Who knows, you might actually fall in love with it! I actually drew inspiration from both Singaporean and Western music – growing up, there were a lot of homegrown bands that I listened to. If I say the names of some of these bands, you’ll know how old I am (laughs).

What would you say was your biggest difficulty trying to make it in the local scene?

I think for me, the biggest difficulty was trying to rebuild myself as a singer and an artiste. I did come from Singapore Idol and a lot of people remember me for that, but after that I did a bit of deejaying, theatre and hosting. So for me, it’s just kinda re-introducing people to Tabitha Nauser. But I feel like people know now – they know I’m a singer and they know my music.

How has the local music scene evolved since your Singapore Idol days?

It’s unbelievable. With the advent of social media, everything is so accessible now. You are exposed to so many more local artistes and so many different genres of local music. It’s exciting because you have your underground rap, your mainstream rap, your indie stuff, your pop and dance tracks – and it’s so nice to see everybody co-inhabiting in that space. And for me to be part of it, is a huge deal for me.

What do you hope to ultimately achieve in this new phase of your career?

I just hope to be able to inspire more people and to empower a lot of other young girls. At the same time, I want to bring awareness to local music; to reach out to the region and to people overseas as well. I’m hoping to make a mark in some way.

Can we expect a full album to drop anytime soon? What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

Not an album, but an EP will be coming out this year. I’m trying to get it done as soon as possible. I have like one or two more songs that I’m trying to finish up and once that’s done I think it’ll come out. But I think the main goal for me in 2018 is to put out more music. I definitely want to do more live shows because I love performing on stage. I just want to put my music out there and have people enjoy it.

Listen to Tabitha Nauser’s latest single ‘Rules’ on Spotify.

More related stories: Local Singer-Songwriter Sezairi Talks Cats, Gender Roles And RomanceGentle Bones And MYRNE Talk New Music, Sam Rui And K-pop

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

Remember the 2014 ice bucket challenge that caused your timelines to be flooded (literally!) with videos of celebrities dunking a bucket of iced water over their heads in an effort to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)? Also known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS is “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord”. Four years later, the popular social media movement makes a comeback in South Korea, with hopes of building the first ever hospital specialising in treatment and rehabilitation for ALS patients.

The challenge was first initiated by Korean singer Sean of hip-hop duo Jinusean back in May, who is the director of Seung Il Hope Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to aiding in the research of the debilitating condition.

Since then, a wave of prominent celebrities have taken on the challenge, including K-pop stars from the likes of IU, Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung and Seohyun, EXO’s Chanyeol, Wanna One’s Jisung and Daehwi, TWICE’s Sana, Momo and Nayeon, B.A.P’s Daehyun and Jongup, ASTRO’s Cha Eun Woo, as well as actors such as Hyun Bin, Jo In Sung and Park Bo Gum.

 

A post shared by 이지금 (@dlwlrma) on

In recent news, Hyunjin from rookie girl group LOONA took one for the team and made the bold move of nominating YG Entertainment head, Yang Hyun Suk for the challenge – although he’s more likely to make a financial contribution instead.

Besides getting soaked for a cause, other stars decided to show their generous support by donating to the Seung Il Hope Foundation such as actress Kim Yoo Jung, iKON’s Bobby, GOT7’s Youngjae and Yugyeom, Wanna One’s Seongwoo, and Mamamoo’s Moonbyul and Solar (the latter two also chose to do the ice bucket shower in addition to their donations).

 

안녕하세요. 배우 김보라 언니의 지목으로 정말 감사하게도 아이스버킷 챌린지에 참여하게 되었는데요. 승일희망재단에서 국내 최초 루게릭 요양병원 건립을 위해 많은 노력을 하고 있다고 들었습니다. 완공이 되는 날까지 많은 관심 가져주시고 모두 함께 응원해주세요. 또 루게릭 요양병원 건립 후에도 지속적으로 많은 관심을 가져주셨으면 하는 바람입니다. 저 역시도 함께 응원하겠습니다. 저는 얼음물 샤워 대신 기부로 마음을 함께 하겠습니다. 제 마음을 같이 이어가주실 분은 배우 태항호님, 배우 정혜성님, 배우 박지빈님 입니다. @junghyesung91 @impactorpjb

A post shared by 잉? 김유정 (@you_r_love) on

It’s heartening to witness such an overwheming outpour of support and we hope the Seung Il Hope Foundation project will be a success!

Which star do you wish to see participate in the 2018 Ice Bucket Challenge next? Drop their names in the comments below!

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

A wild squirtle appeared! And it’s none other than NU’EST’s JR aka Kim Jonghyun, who surprised fans by dressing up as the Pokémon character for his 23rd birthday. Fun fact: JR’s known for his uncanny resemblance to wartortle, which gave him the lovable nickname of onibugi (wartortle in Korean).

It all started when the NU’EST leader posted a selca on his Instagram along with the caption “JR tour” a day before his birthday, which led to a flurry of speculation amongst fellow L.O.Λ.Es regarding the so-called tour.

 

감사합니다 예압

A post shared by @ pockyjr on

On 8 June, people spotted a random squirtle mascot going around the subway stations in Seoul and checking out the various birthday advertisements that were put up for 23-year-old. It turns out that it was in fact our resident onibugi inside the costume, evidenced by the Alexander McQueen sneakers that eagle-eyed fans recognised.

As usual, JR’s fanservice was off the roof. We couldn’t stop squealing over how cute he was waving his little hands and waddling around like a penguin – the chap even did a heart-fluttering dance in front of the billboards and took photos with fans to thank them for their support. Check out these oh-so-adorable moments below and try not to melt.




That’s it. We’re stanning forever.

Happy (belated) birthday, JR!

More related stories: These K-pop Stars Hit The Streets Without Anyone NoticingThis K-pop Idol Stalks His Fans Online And Writes His Own Fanfic

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

Celebrities might have the world swooning at their feet, but clearly, not everyone is a fan. Especially not Gordon Ramsay, who’s known for never mincing his words when it comes to critiquing food. Your favourite K-pop stars are no exception – just ask these fellow idols!

Victim #1: Jin (BTS)

Eat Jin’s mukbang career might very well be in danger thanks to a certain Twitter user, who tweeted Gordan Ramsay a picture of Jin’s jajangmyeon along with the caption: “My boyfriend thinks he can win a season of Hell’s Kitchen, could you rate his food and make sure that egg is properly cooked?” Although we think it looked absolutely delicious, the Hell’s Kitchen host wasn’t too impressed. Yikes!

Just yesterday, our resident foodie suffered yet another fresh blow with a fan showing the restauranteur a photo of an unassuming plate of fried rice that she “whipped up for mom” – when it was actually Jin’s creation. Needless to say, he spared no mercy in ripping it apart: “Looks like you’ve just tripped up!”

Victim #2: Cha Hun (N.Flying)

The N.Flying member made headlines earlier this January, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons. It all started when a fan wanted the celebrity chef’s input on “my brother’s halloween themed pasta” and has been “sending this to you since Halloween”. Predictably, he responded in typical Gordon Ramsay fashion: “I’ve been trying to ignore it since last October”. Ouch…

Victim #3: Mark (NCT)

NCTzens decided to join in the trolling fun by asking Gordon Ramsay’s opinion on Mark’s fried eggs that he made during an episode of It’s Dangerous Outside The Blanket: “my boyfriend was making eggs… What do you think?” To which, the TV personality drew laughs by suggesting that she dump him by replying: “Get back on Tinder!” Savage as ever.

It’s all in the name of harmless, sarcastic humour though – even the NCT members caught wind of the hilarious incident and couldn’t stop cracking up about it!


Oh well, there’s always room for improvement! Meanwhile, we’ll just be sitting here wondering who’s next to fall victim to Gordon Ramsay’s wrath…

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

What does Rihanna, Kylie Jenner and Jessica Jung have in common? Besides their unbeatable star power, these enterprising celebrities are also self-made bosses in their own right.

Seungri

A post shared by Lee seung ri (@seungriseyo) on

As if Seungri’s not busy enough being a global K-pop star, the 27-year-old has also been juggling several businesses on the side, including an EDM music label, a luxury lounge bar and a new high-end nightclub. His Japanese ramen chain Aori Ramen is arguably his most successful venture, having opened its 34th domestic branch this May. In recent news, the BIGBANG member is reportedly preparing for his solo comeback.

Rihanna

 

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

RiRi’s fabulous makeup brand Fenty Beauty has been slaying since its epic launch last year, boasting an all-inclusive range of products that’s paving the way for diversity – one foundation shade at a time. Besides the 40-shade foundation range, other cult favourites include the Killawatt Trophy Wife Highlighter and the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. And her Fenty empire is about to get even bigger with her newly-launched Savage X Fenty lingerie line, which includes pieces catering to women of all shapes and sizes. Queen did that!

Jessica Jung

From K-pop darling to helming her own fashion line BLANC & ECLARE, former SNSD member Jessica Jung has come a long way. Launched in Jung 2014, the minimalist label started off by creating a curated selection of wardrobe essentials – and it has since expanded their offerings to include denim pieces, accessories, eyewear and even a cosmetics range. Now, BLANC & ECLARE has made its mark on the international fashion scene, with a flagship store in New York and branches in China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand etc.

Kylie Jenner

 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

In just 18 months, Kylie Jenner turned her $29 lipstick venture to a $420 million business – and she’s poised to become the next billion-dollar baby in the beauty industry by 2022. Even though the 20-year-old has been busy with her new-mum duties, her dedication to Kylie Cosmetics hasn’t dwindled. “It’s not like I’m doing this to make money. This is just something authentic to me.” And she proves it through her generous efforts, having donated half a million dollars from her Birthday Collection Lip Kit to Teen Cancer America. 

Seo Eunkwang

 

A post shared by 서은광 (@btob_silver_light) on

Leader and powerhouse vocalist of K-pop boy band BTOB can now add F&B boss to his list of credentials. Seo Eunkwang is the co-owner of PLUSEIGHTTWO, a Korean dessert cafe that opened its doors right here in Singapore this January. Located at the first floor of Rendezvous Hotel, this minimalist space serves your usual brunch suspects of fancy toasts, coffee cubes and shaved ice. While the BTOB member isn’t able to oversee the operations personally, he might still pop by every once in a while so don’t freak out if you bump into him at the cafe!

Jaden Smith

 

A post shared by JUST water (@just) on

You may know him as Will Smith’s son or Dre Parker from The Karate Kid. Today, Jaden Smith is also known as the co-founder of JUST Water. The 19-year-old has officially revolutionised the bottled-water industry by creating sustainable bottles made of paper-based carton and plant-based caps. JUST Water also gives back to the community in Glens Falls, where the profits go towards helping to improve the city’s water infrastructure system. Organic spring water with a gorgeous packaging to boot and all for a wholesome cause? Get us a carton – or maybe 10!

This article was adapted from Teenage Vol.30 Issue 2, out on newsstands now.

Post Divider Leaderboard-Teenage Subscription

Get the Juicy Bits Delivered Fresh To Your Inbox