Entertainment

The Soundtrack of Eric Chou’s Life

18 Dec 2015 by Chew Hui Ling

If we have to describe Eric Chou (周興哲) in three words, it’d probably be: deep, romantic, and oh-so-relatable – and the best thing is… he’s only 20 years old. The viral Taiwanese singer-songwriter has amassed near 40 million views on his YouTube channel and is one of Mandopop’s youngest breakout stars with his smash hit ‘Let’s Not Be Friends In The Future’. In an exclusive interview, we pick the brain of this utterly talented chap and find out what are the songs that really make up who he is.

The first album you’ve ever bought:

“My first ever album was from Evonne Hsu. I remember it had a heart shape. (Laughs) I was 10 at that time and I really liked her. I thought she was pretty and her vocals were very charming. The second record I bought was Jay Chou’s Nunchucks.”

The song you love belting out in the shower:

“I enjoy channelling my inner Sam Smith recently. I prefer tracks that require alternating between falsetto and my regular vocal range, and ‘Lay Me Down’ is one good example (begins humming it). Plus the reverberation is awesome in the shower – it works especially well on Adele’s ‘Hello’!”

The song you wish you’d written:

“‘You Better Listen To Me’ by Eason Chan. I think the melody is very unique; it possesses the ability to really draw people in and makes you want to continue listening. If this was a song I’d written, I’d probably add a few of my trademark soaring high notes here and there, and include lyrics that would tell the story of my personal sorrows.”

The song you’re the most proud of:

“Without a doubt, ‘Let’s Not Be Friends In The Future’. This song was inspired by a real story and I’m so glad that it has touched the hearts of so many people; there are fans who have left messages on my Facebook stating how it helped them through tough times. I didn’t expect the MV to go viral though! When I first saw the views, I think it was only around a thousand and I was like ‘Okay, that’s quite fast!’. Then it jumped to 6 million the next day, and eventually snowballed to 30 million as of today! That was pretty crazy. It is also the OST for Taiwanese drama The Way We Were, which I had a minor role in.”

The song you find the hardest to compose/sing:

“I gotta admit… all my songs are pretty hard to sing, that was one of my mistakes (laughs). I struggled with ‘Shutter in Love’ for the longest in the recording studio. Fast-paced numbers isn’t really my forte, so this is considered my first humble attempt at that, but it’s all a new experience. The fun part about going to a professional studio is probably the snack breaks (laughs). You can sing a line or two and munch on some fried fishcake in between.”

The song you’ll listen to when you’re sad:

“The thing is… I’m a very weird person and more of an introvert – let’s say if the party’s too high, I’ll start feeling gloomy for no reason, retreat silently to my room, and seek refuge in sad tunes. There’s this song called ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You’ by Meghan Trainor which I really like. Although it’s told from a female’s perspective, the lyrics ‘I found myself dreaming in silver and gold, like a scene from a movie that every broken heart knows’ send across a clear message of love that everybody can relate to. I recorded a cover of it if you wanna listen (laughs).”

The song you secretly love but will never admit:

“(Starts singing) Baby, baby, baby ooooh~ (Laughs) I love Justin Bieber songs, but that was during my high school period. You get made fun of so much because of that!”

The song you’ll sing to confess your love:

“’All of Me’ by John Legend. I’m into soul music recently, and I find that the lyrics John Legend dedicated to his wife was particularly deep and meaningful. I think it’d be the perfect song to express your feelings to the person you love. Back in middle school, I once confessed to a girl I liked by dedicating ‘Fairy Tale’ by Guang Liang to her on stage during a talent show – all my friends and even the teachers were aware that I had a crush on her. Unfortunately, we didn’t end up together. We dated for a week – you know, puppy love. We don’t contact each other often now, but we’re still Facebook friends!”

The song that is the soundtrack of your life:

“‘Gravity’ by John Mayer. I first heard this song in an art class in middle school, and I fell in love with it instantly. That was the defining moment when I realised that I needed music in my life. But if I had to choose one from my album, it’d be ‘My Way to Love’. Because you always gotta learn how to love.”

BONUS! Here’s Eric serenading you with a lil’ snippet of ‘Love You Again’.

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Entertainment

WINNER Confirmed Comeback for 2016

16 Dec 2015 by Venetia Sng

We previously mentioned that WINNER was supposedly scheduled for a comeback in November but, you know, YG Entertainment being YG Entertainment, their comeback got delayed. But no frets you Inner Circle-rs, the lads will (confirm plus chop) be back on 11th January 2016 with their latest release!

Winner-Comeback-2016

We can’t wait to start 2016 with a (WINNER) bang!

Informatics Jan 2019

Entertainment

EXO Will 'Sing for You' Under The Snow

10 Dec 2015 by Venetia Sng

Not all holiday/winter songs have to be cheery and happy. For all the lonely souls out there (like some of us), we do feel the need for moody and emotional songs during the festive season as well. And EXO’s latest track ‘Sing for You’ is the perfect song to listen to when you just want to huddle alone in your blanket with a cup of hot choco.

Their much-anticipated winter track ‘Sing for You’ is one of the tracks from EXO’s upcoming mini-album of the same name. Check out the music video below!

How are you loving the song and MV? Let us know by commenting below!

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Entertainment

Winners & Performances From 2015 MAMA

3 Dec 2015 by Venetia Sng

The 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) took place in Hong Kong last night and boy was it a spectacle! There weren’t any huge upsets as to who won what but we’re just a teeny weeny bit surprised that BIGBANG didn’t win every award that they were nominated for. No offence to EXO fans, we’re fans of EXO too. If you didn’t catch the live stream last night, check out the winners and their performances below!

Artist of the Year: BIGBANG

Album of the Year: EXO – EXODUS

Song of the Year: BIGBANG – Bang Bang Bang

Best Male Artist: J.Y. Park

Best Female Artist: Taeyeon

Best Male Group: EXO

Best Female Group: Girls’ Generation

Best New Male Artist: iKON

Best New Female Artist: TWICE

Best Dance Performance – Male Group: SHINee – View

Best Dance Performance – Female Group: Red Velvet – Ice Cream Cake

Best Dance Performance – Solo: HyunA – Roll Deep

Best Collaboration: Zion.T & Crush – Just

Best Vocal Performance – Male: Zion.T – Eat

Best Vocal Performance – Female: Ailee – Mind Your Own Business

Best Band Performance: CNBLUE – Cinderella

Best Rap Performance: San E – Me You

Best Music Video: BIGBANG – Bae Bae

K-pop Fan’s Choice – Male: EXO

K-pop Fan’s Choice – Female: f(x)

Next Generation Asian Artist: MONSTA X

Best World Performer: BTS

There were other performances from PSY, GOT7, special stage by Seventeen, CL and 2NE1! We were so stoked when we saw Dara, Minzy and Bom appear on stage after CL’s solo performance! Their reunion is the cherry on top of the marvellous night.

CL & 2NE1

PSY

GOT7

Seventeen

Did you manage to predict the winners last night and which was your favourite performance? Let us know by commenting below!

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Entertainment

What We Really Think Of Avicii's Latest Album

30 Nov 2015 by Hairin Rahman

Avicii is finally back! We’re delighted and surprised  by the decision to infuse his brand of EDM with elements of other genres in his new album, Stories. Check out which tracks we especially loved, and why we think the album reads like a book of cleverly curated and relatable short stories. Also, find out how to win Avicii merch as well as a copy of his latest album at the end of this post!

WAITING FOR LOVE

The first track off the Stories album, Waiting for Love’ has stuck true to what Avicii’s works have been known for – soaring vocals, atmospheric synths and country elements. We liked how Cherry Ghost’s Simon Aldred added to the running theme of all-consuming love and devotion, as well as the track’s music video, where it emphasised the ‘nothing matters but love’ message. Our favourite scene was where the grandpa rode his motorised chair cross-country to find his missing wife – it reminded us of Forrest Gump – especially when he was faster than a running ostrich. Amazing. 

TEN MORE DAYS

If Avicii wanted to showcase this new musical breadth he has acquired, this track is the best way to do it. The fact that ‘Ten More Days’ starts off with an 8-second uninterrupted lilt of the acoustic guitar had us rechecking that we were really listening to Avicii. Zak Abel’s soulful, raspy vocals jolts you with hopeful pensiveness that yes, while he’s still “ten more days under water”, it’s only “ten more days till it’s over”.  The lyrics speak to us about personal struggles in life and we can totally relate.  We’ve seen how some feel that this track was an awkward addition to the whole album and even dared say it was boring (how could they?) but hey, haters gonna hate!

FOR A BETTER DAY

‘For a Better Day’ was one of two songs released with the pre-order of the Stories album and as spoiled for choice as we were, this is our absolute fave. The song starts off with the mellow pipings of the piano carrying Alex Ebert’s needling vocals, and then drops into a hook that splashes out like a celebration after a dirty, drawn-out, drag-through-the-mud kind of struggle. It sounds like an anthem for the freedom seeker, and its controversial video, (which Avicii co-directed), certainly seem to echo that. A bit of warning, though – if you’re triggered by uncomfortable themes like death, violence and child trafficking, we suggest you give the music video a miss. We applaud him for using his music and creative freedom to spread awareness and engage discussion on issues he’s passionate about.

TRUE BELIEVER

You’d know right off the bat that ‘True Believer’ is one of the more electronic-focused tracks on the album, with the house instrumental at its very beginning. Listeners who have been with Avicii since he started would appreciate this assurance that Avicii hasn’t abandoned electronic music for more mainstream pop-driven success. We like the energy he put into this and how this leans more into the purer EDM, less pop territory.  Of course, having Coldplay frontman Chris Martin collaborate was also something else we love about this track, although we feel that Martin’s signature range and emotive vocals weren’t utilised quite as it should have been.

PURE GRINDING

We’re actually surprised we like this as much as we do! ‘Pure Grinding’ is a domain where Avicii has never ventured into but we like this new direction. While the soul infusion is strong, it doesn’t overwhelm Avicii’s signature sound and blends in as a seamless track that propels into new territory while staying grounded in his established identity. Avicii himself said he was able to explore new sounds on this album and we like how nicely and successfully this is manifested in ‘Pure Grinding’. Like “For a Better Day”, this track was a single released prior to the release of the album. And similarly, this track comes with a brilliant video. We don’t want this to sound like a commentary on social issues in the West, so we’re going to let you check it out for yourself and decide what Avicii is trying to achieve with this video. Enjoy!

It’s time to let us know what you think – did you love his album like we did? Comment below with your thoughts. Also, win exclusive Avicii merchandise, plus a copy of Stories! Click here to find out how. 

Informatics Jan 2019

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