You’d be hard-pressed to find a fellow Singaporean who hasn’t heard of The Sam Willows, arguably one of the hottest acts that is fast revolutionising our music landscape.

The homegrown quartet, made up of Benjamin Kheng, Narelle Kheng, Sandra Riley Tang and Jon Chua, has been chalking up an impressive record of honourable accolades throughout their six-year career, and they show no signs of losing steam anytime soon. Just take a look at the results of their latest studio record I Know, But Where, which topped the Singapore iTunes charts within an hour of its release. But apart from their musical achievements, they are really just a band of friends who love making music together and fooling around with one another. During our recent interview with the local pop darlings, we found out quite a bit of amusing tidbits about ’em – fanboying shenanigans, memes and all.

#1 They are massive fans of CL.

Teenage: You’ll be playing at We The Fest and Hyperplay soon! How do you feel about performing alongside big names like CL?

Jon: Oh, I’m so excited for CL. We are very big fans. I think it’s perfect because CL is known as the baddest female, and I’m known as the baddest male, so… (laughs)

Narelle: Self-proclaimed. We’ve actually played once with CL before when she was still in 2NE1. We went on right after her and you know when you’re onstage you have in-ear monitors where you sing into a mic and it goes straight into your ears? So right before we went out we had to put them on, which meant that we heard everything that was coming out of her mic, directly into our ears. She’s such a good vocalist, it’s insane. I got goosebumps just hearing her voice.

Teenage: Have you guys met her before?

Jon: No, but I’m planning to find her in her dressing room.

Sandra: Oh my god, don’t say that Jon. That sounds so creepy!

Jon: I’m not gonna lie about it! Like, I’m so excited for CL… so excited.

#2 A TSW x Alessia Cara collaboration, anybody?

Teenage: What other artistes performing in the upcoming festivals you guys would like to collaborate with?

Ben: Alessia Cara!

Narelle: We just love really love Alessia Cara so much. I mean she started off on YouTube as well, writing songs about things that are real to her. And I think she’s so down-to-earth! Ben has a massive crush on her just ’cause of her voice.

#3 They are super into cartoons.

Teenage: Tell us more about the inspiration behind your album’s dystopian concept.

Narelle: We were thinking about how we could put our faces on the cover, but somehow we just couldn’t think of how the four of us would be photographed to represent these songs. It kinda started with ‘Robot’, like we knew from the start we wanted it to have something to do with animation. We were sitting in the studio and Sandra had this idea of a human and robot sitting on a cliff looking out into the distance… then we had our friend do the visual and we all fell in love with it. It just felt right. I think even with all the other cover arts, we also had a bit of a cartoon feel to it. I don’t know, I’m just in a cartoon phase in my life. You’re a cartoon right now, in my mind! (Laughs)


#4 And a pretty competitive band too!

Teenage: What are your thoughts on other bands such as One Direction and Fifth Harmony breaking up recently?

Narelle: I don’t know, we haven’t really given it that much thought. We also know that there is a lifespan of how long we get to be together, but we’re just working through it.

Sandra: We’re also very competitive by nature, so when we hear a different band has broken up we’re like: “Yes!”

Narelle: Hah, we’re still here! We’ll be like fifty and singing Canto songs.

Jon: I think the day that The Sam Willows break up is gonna be a very sad day. Like all this work and what we’ve been through together as a band… definitely that day will come – we know that for sure but well, not anytime soon because we’ve got a new album to promote, so…

Narelle: And we have a contract! (Laughs)

Bonus: Did we mention they make iconic memes?

We asked each of them to come up with a face that best suits their rather unconventionally-titled album I Know, But Where – and well, they certainly did not disappoint.


Can’t get enough of The Sam Willows? Be sure to grab a copy of our latest issue coming out this August, featuring the band’s track-by-track breakdown of I Know, But Where. Plus, a mega poster for you to pin up!

Meanwhile, check out their full album on Spotify.

Think you know all there is to know about your favourite celebrities? Think again. Apart from their superb acting and singing chops, plenty of Hollywood stars and K-pop idols alike have other hidden talents you may not know of – such as their dancing capabilities. At the risk of falling even harder for them, check out these 8 celebs who got their start from the street dance scene.

#1 Harry Shum Jr.

As 1/2 of everyone’s favourite OTP (#Malec anybody?), Harry is perhaps best known for playing the eccentric warlock Magnus Bane in the Netflix original series, Shadowhunters. But before the glitz, glamour and eyeliner, this multi-talented heartthrob also bagged recurring roles as Cable in the Step Up movie series, and Mike Chang in the musical comedy-drama Glee. Believe it or not, his interest in dance was sparked by someone daring him to audition for his high school team! 

#2 Park Woojin (Wanna One)

We all know our beloved K-pop artistes are well-versed in virtually any art form, and Wanna One’s resident dance machine is no exception. Having been exposed to dance from a young age, Woojin makes B-boying, crumping, popping and locking seem effortless. But this isn’t just thanks to his natural-born talent; the inspiring idol also spent countless of hours perfecting his craft during his trainee years. Don’t believe us? Check out foetus Woojin’s lit AF dance battles!

#3 Taylor Lautner

Although many might know him as Jacob Black in Twilight, you’ll be surprised that our adorable wolf boy has been melting hearts even before his #TeamJacob days. If you’d known him as a junior in high school, you’d know that the dude has some serious talent. Besides being on both the football and baseball teams, the lad also took up karate, acting, jazz and hip-hop classes. Just look up a few of his old dance videos – you’ll thank us later.

#4 Kahi

A former dancer for DJ Doc, BoA and many more major artistes, it didn’t take long for Kahi gain her own following. Going on to be part of After School, she soon became known as one of the most formidable girl group leaders in the industry. But despite the many changes in her entertainment career, this powerful diva has remained at the forefront of the K-dance scene. All hail queen Kahi!

#5 Channing Tatum


From his role as Tyler Gage in the iconic Step Up series, to his portrayal of the sexy Michael Lane in Magic Mike, Channing Tatum has proved time and time again that he’s born to be a dancer. Having started out as a humble nightclub performer, the high school athlete has since expanded his repertories in multiple genres of dance. Hip-hop, ballet, modern – this trailblazer has tried it all, and slayed at it.

#6 Alyson Stoner


Any ’90s Disney Channel kid will know Alyson Stoner. Appearing in cult classics like Camp Rock, Phineas and Ferb and Jonas Brothers: Living The Dream, Alyson never once failed to spice up the screen with her bubbly personality and energetic choreography. As a burgeoning child actor, our ultimate girl crush also acted alongside Channing Tatum in Step Up, going on to dance backup for notable artistes like Eminem and Will Smith. She’s also responsible for the epic meme inspired by Missy Elliott’s ‘Work It’ MV.

#7 GOT7’s Yugyeom

His shirt pretty much says it all: he’s got plenty of swagger, and the talented chap ain’t afraid to flaunt it. Before debuting as GOT7’s well-loved maknae, Yugyeom was already making a name for himself with his show-stopping street dance performances. And in case you didn’t already know, all of his best moves involved an insane amount of skilful footwork. Stan talent, y’all!

Music is more than just entertainment. For some, it’s a soundtrack that accompanies them through the good times; for others, it’s a form of remedy to nurse their invisible wounds. Everyone has a sound out there that speaks to them – we asked fans to share with us how their favourite artistes have touched their lives.

vampire weekend

“For me, music is both a form of expression and a form of escapism. The moments when I’m playing the guitar or lying in bed with Vampire Weekend’s eclectic sounds on repeat, are when I briefly forget my troubles and feel the most alive. There’s something about it that can momentarily transport you to another place or transform you into a whole other person. So whenever life gets tough, it’s comforting to know that there’s still this little space in my mind I can go back to – just to lose myself for a while.” – Emma, 19


“One of my favourite artistes is Lorde. While being her fan is filled with the unrelenting thrills of wondering when she will ever come to Singapore and clutching her Melodrama album as one embodies its name, Lorde’s music is at times so supremely specific but so refreshingly relatable. Keep the clichés coming: through breakups, fights and happiness, her narrative is one that I’ll never forget.” – Nikki, 18


“Rihanna has always been my personal OG. Her blend of R&B and reggae tunes coupled with her fiercely unapologetic spirit has since influenced my preference in music. At her peak, I was still a teenager juggling self-discovery – but her boldness and self-empowerment really rubbed off me. It gave me that courage to just ‘be me’.” – Sienna, 21


all american rejects

“I honestly can’t imagine a world without music. For every occasion, there’s always been a song with lyrics to get me through a hard time, or a feel-good rhythm that makes me want to bust out my air guitar moves anytime, anywhere! On the most mundane days or times when I’m down, I’ll put on a playlist of all my favourite songs from The All American Rejects and all’s well in an instant. Music is my comfort food.” – Audria, 18

the corrs

“Music has always been a major part of my life, as my parents would frequently tune in to the radio and play music around the house while I was growing up. Having spent my childhood listening to artistes such as The Corrs, Bryan Adams and Michael Learns To Rock, I’ve developed an affinity for music ever since, which resulted in a career pursuit at a music label as well as writing for music features. While I’ve never been able to commit to learning how to play an instrument, my love for music continues as a passionate hobby, and it will remain that way for a lifetime.” – Shawn, 24

taylor swift

“I remember getting my first MP3 player and the good old days where I would send Taylor Swift hits to my friends over Bluetooth. Music has been such an important part of my life and I’ve only grown more appreciative of it. Music brings people together through common interests; it’s a universal experience that transcends cultural boundaries. Music is an avenue for artistes to express themselves, and for audiences to find parts of them inside. And I cannot thank my lucky stars enough that I have music to get me through my daily morning commute.” – Gwen, 18

james bay

“With the many genres of music, such as pop, rock or even instrumental, it has been a great outlet of creative expression to me as it can attune to any emotions that I may feel. James Bay, in particular, is one of my go-to artistes as his songs range from head-bangers to melancholic tunes so I can just switch it up according to my mood.” – Nicholas, 16

the 1975

“When I first came across The 1975, I was just starting out on the journey of self-exploration and enlightenment that comes with being an adult. They’d just released their debut record – a catalogue of dark lyricism set against a synth-pop background that was so identifiable yet unique. I was immediately captivated. But what struck me most was that they had released four EPs before dropping the full-length album – a move they deemed necessary to ‘express [themselves] properly’. It’s this self-confidence that the band has as a whole and as individuals, that I hope to emulate someday, because there’s nothing better than going through life as a person who is unapologetically yourself.” – Jing Wen, 23

How has your favourite artiste changed your life? Share with us your story in the comments below!


The Next 1D? Meet The New Generation Of Rising Boy Bands

13 Jul 2018 by Julia Yee

It seems like just yesterday that we had One Direction ruling the pop scene. Three years later, a new wave of boy bands is taking the world by storm. With their infectious tunes and heartthrob-worthy good looks, it’s only a matter of time before these up-and-coming acts take over the 1D-shaped void in everyone’s hearts.



Members (left to right): Zion Kuwonu, Edwin Honoret, Nick Mara, Brandon Arreaga, Austin Porter

An American-Canadian quintet brought together by Simon Cowell, the bulk of PRETTYMUCH’s appeal undeniably comes from their retro R&B swag – head-to-toe streetwear, Michael Jackson-esque moves and all. Steering away from manufactured pop hooks, their smooth Latin jams are what sets the band of brothers apart. And get this: these multi-talented dudes not only sing and dance, but are also an extremely artsy bunch – just take a look at their Instagram. Guess you could say they’re PRETTYMUCH the whole package!

Songs to listen to: ‘Summer on You’, ‘No More‘, ‘10,000 Hours’

Why Don’t We 


Members (left to right): Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Zach Herron, Jack Avery, Daniel Seavey

From their pitch-perfect harmonies to their all-American charm, there’s nothing about Why Don’t We that doesn’t scream stan-worthy. Ditching over-the-top choreography, they opt for subtle displays of group dynamics such as the occasional synchronised dance moves. Sound-wise, the band’s groovy synth beats and inescapable hooks are sure to get you hooked on first listen. Just check out their official Spotify playlist for the perfect party mix!

Songs to listen to: ‘Talk’, ‘Hooked’, ‘Trust Fund Baby’

New Hope Club 


Members (left to right): George Smith, Blake Richardson, Reece Bibby

Donning vintage patterns and nostalgic jean jackets, the lads of New Hope Club fit right into a ’90s boys-next-door aesthetic. Their gorgeous sense of style, coupled with gentlemanly charms and energetic stage presence, is enough to rival even the most experienced of musicians. But they aren’t exactly your cookie-cutter boy band stereotype; unlike their all-vocalist counterparts, frontman Blake sings lead, accompanied by George on guitar and Reece on bass. Much like their mentors from The Vamps, the British trio straddles the line between a modern boy band and a 20th century rock outfit, paving the way for new kinds of all-boy acts.

Songs to listen to: ‘Medicine’, ‘Fixed’, ‘Perfume’

 In Real Life


Members (left to right): Sergio Calderon, Chance Perez, Drew Ramos, Michael Conor, Brady Tutton

In 2017, five hopefuls emerged as winners of the American reality music competition show Boy Band – going on to sign with Hollywood Records and building their fanbase, starting from YouTube. And considering the amount of hard work these boys put in to get to where they are today, In Real Life deserves all the recognition they could get. Despite coming from contrasting backgrounds, their differences only made their brotherly bond all the more endearing.

Songs to listen to: ‘Tattoo’, ‘Eyes Closed’, ‘How Badly’

Citizen Four


Members (left to right): Connor Boatman, Mikey Fusco, Carson Boatman, Austin Percario

Consisting of a former X Factor contestant, a dancer from America’s Best Dance Crew, and two brothers with a shared love of music, Citizen Four is a band chockfull of talent. Originating as a cover act on YouTube, the collective has since undergone several member swaps, but their diverse mix of characters is what keeps them going strong. Watch long enough, and you’ll begin to see how each of their signature traits complement the others perfectly: witty Austin, polished Mikey and dreamy Connor – all kept grounded by big brother Carson.

Songs to listen to: My Name (Say It)’, ‘Want You Back’, ‘Testify’

Which boy band has caught your eye? Show ’em some love in the comments below!

First it was Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson. Now, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are reportedly engaged after a mere month of dating – sorry Jelena and Shailey shippers!

It all started when Biebs first met 14-year-old Hailey Baldwin backstage at The Today Show. Sparks flew and what followed was a whirlwind of “we’re just friends” encounters – having breakfast, attending a baking class, getting matching tattoos and even going on a tropical vacation together. It wasn’t until January 2016 that Biebs made it sorta Instagram-official with a picture of them locking lips, adding on that the supermodel is “someone I really love” in an interview with GQ a month later.


A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

In that same interview, it’s also worth noting that the ‘Sorry’ crooner stated: “What if Hailey ends up being the girl I’m gonna marry? If I rush into anything, if I damage her, then it’s always gonna be damaged. It’s really hard to fix wounds like that. I just don’t want to hurt her.” Well, it looks like Justin is now ready to take their relationship the next level – and he’s going all the way. Rumour has it that the 24-year-old allegedly popped the big question to Hailey during their trip to the Bahamas over the weekend, and from the looks of the Bieber fam’s not-so-subtle social media posts, it’s safe to assume that wedding bells are ringing.


@justinbieber Proud is an understatement! Excited for the next chapter!

A post shared by Jeremy Bieber (@jeremybieber) on

It seems like just yesterday that we were crying over Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez getting back together, and swooning over Shawn Mendes and Hailey Baldwin looking utterly OTP-worthy on the Met Gala red carpet. Oh, how times have changed!

At this point, neither Justin or Hailey have since confirmed the reports (hey, Biebs did wear a wedding ring to troll the paparazzi after all).


It’s official: the pop star has finally confirmed his plans to wed his “love of my life” in a lengthy Instagram post. As if it’s not already heart-fluttering enough, the husband-to-be even revealed that they got engaged on 7 July: “We got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT!” Now, BRB while we spam refresh on Hailey’s page for a picture of her huge diamond ring.

Congratulations to the lovebirds!

More related stories: 8 Power Couples That Stole The Show At The 2018 Met GalaJustin Bieber & Selena Gomez Are Hanging Out Again And The Internet Can’t Handle It

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