Entertainment

TMA 2017: Meet Asia’s Hottest Acts Of The Moment

24 Dec 2017 by Teenage

The Asian music scene has never looked more promising. In recent years, we’ve witnessed an outpouring of regional artistes such as Darren Espanto, Yuna, G.E.M., Joker Xue, ONE OK ROCK and Slot Machine who have shot to global fame and are now household names in their own right. 

Here are the nominees for TMA 2017 ‘Asian Act of the Year’:

Darren Espanto (Philippines)

Darren Espanto

Darren Espanto may only be 16 years old, but the Filipino-Canadian dynamo has come a long way. Since winning the Pinoy Singing Sensation competition at the age of 10, he has landed a record deal and even scored Platinum on his debut album, amongst other prestigious achievements.

Yuna (Malaysia)

Yuna

Boasting an extensive discography over an 11-year career, Yuna is no stranger to the music scene. While the Malaysian singer-songwriter hasn’t released any new material since her 2016 album Chapters, you can still get your Yuna fix through her recent collaborations with fellow artistes TOKiMONSTA, Big Wild and Emmit Fenn.

G.E.M. (Hong Kong)

G.E.M.

Anyone who has ever been to a G.E.M. concert wouldn’t doubt her ability to command a crowd. In town for her Queen of Hearts tour back in August, the Hong Kong sensation easily racked up two packed nights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium – a testament to her showmanship as a performer.

Joker Xue (China)

Joker Xue

Despite making his debut more than a decade ago, it wasn’t until recent years that Joker Xue finally got his big break in the form of mega hit ‘Actor’. Since then, the multihypenate has been charging full steam ahead and he’s never looked back.

ONE OK ROCK (Japan)

ONE OK ROCK

A formidable force in the J-rock scene, ONE OK ROCK is never afraid of exploring uncharted territories, as evidenced by their self-explanatory eighth album Ambitions. Chock-full of blistering throat-punchers and stadium-sized anthems, it reflects the band’s lofty dreams of conquering the world. Safe to say, they’ve succeeded.

Slot Machine (Thailand)

Slot Machine

It’s rare enough for a rock outfit to make it big outside of their stomping ground, and even more so when they’ve managed to stay relevant after nearly two decades. The Bangkok-based foursome launched their first all-English entry Spin The World in 2016, steadily making their way into the Western market and beyond.

Full list of TMA 2017 nominees (vote here!)

Local Act of the Year
Gentle Bones
Jasmine Sokko
Sam Rui
Sezairi
Tabitha Nauser
The Sam Willows

Asian Act of the Year
Darren Espanto (Philippines)
G.E.M. (Hong Kong)
Joker Xue (China)
ONE OK ROCK (Japan)
Slot Machine (Thailand)
Yuna (Malaysia)

Best Breakout Act
Camila Cabello
Dua Lipa
Rich Chigga
KARD
NU’EST W
Wanna One

Best Alternative Act
Coldplay
Halsey
Imagine Dragons
LANY
Bolbbalgan4
Epik High

Best Female Artiste
Ariana Grande
Demi Lovato
Taylor Swift
IU
Sunmi
Taeyeon

Best Male Artiste
Ed Sheeran
Harry Styles
Kendrick Lamar
Shawn Mendes
G-Dragon
Zico

Album of the Year
24K Magic – Bruno Mars
DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Divide – Ed Sheeran
Melodrama – Lorde
Reputation – Taylor Swift
Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

K-pop Album of the Year
1X1=1 (To Be One) – Wanna One
Holiday Night – Girls’ Generation
Kwon Ji Yong – G-Dragon
Love Yourself: Her – BTS
Palette – IU
The War – EXO

K-pop Group of the Year
Blackpink
BTS
EXO
Red Velvet
SEVENTEEN
TWICE

Best Collaboration
‘1-800-273-8255’ (Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid)
‘Despacito’ (Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber)
‘Swish Swish’ (Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj)
‘Wolves’ (Selena Gomez, Marshmello)
‘Best of Me’ (BTS, The Chainsmokers)
‘Palette’ (IU, G-Dragon)

Song of the Year
‘Despacito’ – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber
‘Look What You Made Me Do’ – Taylor Swift
‘Shape of You’ – Ed Sheeran
‘DNA’ – BTS
‘Gashina’ – Sunmi
‘Ko Ko Bop’ – EXO

MV of the Year
‘Boys’ – Charli XCX
‘Havana’ – Camila Cabello, Young Thug
‘Look What You Made Me Do’ – Taylor Swift
‘New Rules’ – Dua Lipa
‘Don’t Wanna Cry’ – SEVENTEEN
‘Spring Day’ – BTS

Voting for Teenage Music Awards ends on 3 January 2018. Stay tuned for the results!

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Entertainment

This K-pop Holiday Playlist Is All You'll Ever Want For Christmas

23 Dec 2017 by Chew Hui Ling

Leave it to Spotify to ring in the festive season with their holiday playlists – be it your oldie-but-goodie carols, all-time favourite holiday classics, or new cold-weather jams to soundtrack every party on your list. Oh hey, there’s something for the K-pop lovers too! 

Specially curated for the K-pop fans, the music streaming service has also compiled a medley of festive picks from your favourite Korean acts. Let Taeyeon get you into the mood with sentimental tracks off her latest holiday release This Christmas – Winter Is Coming, while the boys of Monsta X end it off on a heart-warming note with their new wintry tune ‘Lonely Christmas’.

Press play, and sing along!

Have a merry K-pop Christmas, everybody!

More related stories: Soak Up The Festive Cheer At These Christmas Events!Festive Feasts Your Parents Will Appreciate More Than Actual Christmas Gifts5 Fam-friendly Netflix Shows To Binge-watch With Your Relatives

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Entertainment

TMA 2017: 6 Local Acts That Put SG On The Music Map

23 Dec 2017 by Teenage

If you haven’t caught up on the voting action, Teenage Music Awards 2017 is back for our second edition and we’re kicking things off with the nominees for ‘Local Act of the Year’! 

In the running for the title are The Sam Willows, Sezairi, Sam Rui, Jasmine Sokko, Tabitha Nauser and Gentle Bones – all of whom have set our local music scene abuzz and successfully made a name for themselves. Voting is now open, so be sure to #SupportLocal and vote for your favourite homegrown act here!

Let’s take a look at the TMA 2017 ‘Local Act of the Year’ nominees:

The Sam Willows

The Sam Willows

Our August 2017 cover stars had much to celebrate about this year, from releasing double singles ‘Keep Me Jealous’ and ‘Save Me’, to being nominated for the Best Southeast Asia Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. A full-length album is in order for 2018, which can only mean more great things on the way.

Sezairi

Sezairi

It’s been eight years since Sezairi clinched the Singapore Idol title, and he’s still firing up the dancefloor with his feel-good tracks – the latest being the deliciously retro ‘’70s’. And with his dapper style and penchant for cat motifs, what’s not to love?

Sam Rui

Sam Rui

Sam Rui doesn’t just “do better” like she claims on her slinky single ‘Better’ – she did it best this year, in our opinion. The local songbird made an indelible mark on the music scene with her feisty spirit and equally sizzling R&B jams on debut album Season 2.

Jasmine Sokko

Jasmine Sokko

For an artiste who prefers maintaining an air of anonymity, Jasmine Sokko’s music and career is a standout in every aspect. Case in point? Her debut EP , which showcases her eclectic style to perfection and is well-deserving of the attention it received.

Tabitha Nauser

Tabitha Nauser

Fellow Singapore Idol alumni Tabitha hung up her deejay duties to pursue a music career this year, and we couldn’t be happier that she did. And if the music video for her new banger ‘Body Language’ is anything to go by, we’ve got a bona fide pop star in our midst.

Gentle Bones

Gentle Bones

Sporting a new musical partnership with producer MYRNE, Gentle Bones is making a gradual comeback with his bubbly hit ‘JU1Y’ and recent release ‘B4NGER’ that lives up to its wild name. Only time will tell if there’s a collaborative album in the works – fingers crossed!

Full list of TMA 2017 nominees (vote here!)

Local Act of the Year
Gentle Bones
Jasmine Sokko
Sam Rui
Sezairi
Tabitha Nauser
The Sam Willows

Asian Act of the Year
Darren Espanto (Philippines)
G.E.M. (Hong Kong)
Joker Xue (China)
ONE OK ROCK (Japan)
Slot Machine (Thailand)
Yuna (Malaysia)

Best Breakout Act
Camila Cabello
Dua Lipa
Rich Chigga
KARD
NU’EST W
Wanna One

Best Alternative Act
Coldplay
Halsey
Imagine Dragons
LANY
Bolbbalgan4
Epik High

Best Female Artiste
Ariana Grande
Demi Lovato
Taylor Swift
IU
Sunmi
Taeyeon

Best Male Artiste
Ed Sheeran
Harry Styles
Kendrick Lamar
Shawn Mendes
G-Dragon
Zico

Album of the Year
24K Magic – Bruno Mars
DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Divide – Ed Sheeran
Melodrama – Lorde
Reputation – Taylor Swift
Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

K-pop Album of the Year
1X1=1 (To Be One) – Wanna One
Holiday Night – Girls’ Generation
Kwon Ji Yong – G-Dragon
Love Yourself: Her – BTS
Palette – IU
The War – EXO

K-pop Group of the Year
Blackpink
BTS
EXO
Red Velvet
SEVENTEEN
TWICE

Best Collaboration
‘1-800-273-8255’ (Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid)
‘Despacito’ (Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber)
‘Swish Swish’ (Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj)
‘Wolves’ (Selena Gomez, Marshmello)
‘Best of Me’ (BTS, The Chainsmokers)
‘Palette’ (IU, G-Dragon)

Song of the Year
‘Despacito’ – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber
‘Look What You Made Me Do’ – Taylor Swift
‘Shape of You’ – Ed Sheeran
‘DNA’ – BTS
‘Gashina’ – Sunmi
‘Ko Ko Bop’ – EXO

MV of the Year
‘Boys’ – Charli XCX
‘Havana’ – Camila Cabello, Young Thug
‘Look What You Made Me Do’ – Taylor Swift
‘New Rules’ – Dua Lipa
‘Don’t Wanna Cry’ – SEVENTEEN
‘Spring Day’ – BTS

Voting for Teenage Music Awards ends on 3 January 2018. Stay tuned for the results!

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5 Fam-friendly Netflix Shows To Binge-watch With Your Relatives

22 Dec 2017 by Johanna Teo

Forget watching festive reruns by your lonesome at family gatherings. We’ve curated a list of Netflix’s top recommended shows to watch with your fam in 2017, that’ll have everyone gathering round. After all, a family that binge-watches together, stays together, right?

Stranger Things

Strange things are happening in Hawkins, Indiana. Set in the ’80s, the abduction of young Will Byers sets off an unimaginable chain of events that sees the appearance of an odd girl with supernatural powers, uncovers evidence of terrifying experiments and exposes the small town to a sinister, paranormal threat. Stranger Things strikes the perfect balance of intensity that’ll keep your fam hooked from the get-go without scaring ‘em off midway.

Riverdale

Before Archie and gang graced our laptop screens in Netflix’s Riverdale, they were living it up (as cartoon characters) in the classic Archie Comics series which is the version your parents will probably remember. Reintroduce them to these 2017’s updates and bond over what’s arguably the hottest teen drama of the moment. Would they be #Bughead or #Varchie shippers?

The Good Place

Follow the misadventures of Eleanor Shellstrop, a morally dubious woman who was mistakenly sent to The Good Place. Upon realising that she was in an afterlife paradise exclusive only to the top do-gooders on Earth, Eleanor tries in vain to become a better person – by first hiding the truth and lying through her teeth about it. A lighthearted comedy that explores heavy topics like ethics and existentialism, The Good Place is chockfull with interesting conversational topics that’ll help you get to know your relatives on a deeper level without being super intrusive.

Chef’s Table

Perfect for watching after digging into a Christmas feast, Chef’s Table features world-renowned chefs from all over the globe. And because it’s impossible to explore a chef’s artistry without showing off their perfected dishes, expect plenty of mouthwatering, closeup shots of #foodporn that’ll have you scrambling back to the dinner table for seconds (or thirds!)

Star Trek: Discovery

It’s time to beam the first Star Trek series in a decade onto your TV screen! Set 10 years before the events of Star Trek: The Original Series, follow the crew of the USS Discovery as they navigate perilous situations that arise as a result of the Klingons and the Federation going to war. Whether you’re a sci-fi lover or not, this latest addition to the Star Trek canon will keep you at the edge of your seat, epic space wars and all!

Featured image: Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

What will you be be binge-watching this festive season? Share your recommendations in the comment section!  

Skechers D’Lites 3.0

Entertainment

SHINee Jonghyun's Passing Sparks Conversation On Mental Health

19 Dec 2017 by Johanna Teo

Kim Jonghyun, SHINee’s lead vocalist has passed away. According to the police, Jonghyun was found unconscious in a residential hotel in Seoul on Monday afternoon and rushed to the hospital. He had inhaled carbon monoxide from burning coal briquettes in a pan. His sister had alerted the authorities after Jonghyun sent her a series of suicidal texts saying, “It’s been hard”, “Let me go. Tell me I’ve worked hard. This is my farewell.” His death was made official on Monday evening. He was only 27.

Jonghyun’s sudden passing came as a shock to the entire K-pop world. There seemed to be little to no warning signs of his suicidal tendencies, but the heartbreaking truth is, Jonghyun had long shown signs of depression. In the short time since news of his death broke, many revelations have come to light. Shawols and media outlets recalled the times where Jonghyun spoke openly of his personal struggles, be it in interviews embedding it in his song lyrics – he often spoke of sadness and his depression back when he was a radio show DJ on Blue Night.

 

A post shared by @jonghyun.948 on

Even his last Instagram post, which was a screen grab of Dear Cloud’s ‘Beside You’, bore poignant lyrics that hinted of his heavy mind. Jonghyun captioned it, “I pray you aren’t hurting”. Posted on 20 November, his upload didn’t seem out of the ordinary in a year filled with constant publicity.

Apart from his two solo concerts in early December, Jonghyun was also working hard for his comeback. The singer had even filmed an MV and participated in album jacket filming three days prior to his death. “His new song had a bright vibe. He seemed the same as usual on the MV set. I couldn’t feel at all that he was struggling all this time.” For those who watched the teaser of JTBC’s Night Goblin where Jonghyun makes what’s possibly his last TV appearance, his cheerful façade belies his inner turmoil. The short clip of the upcoming Sunday episode has since been taken off JTBC’s YouTube channel.

Especially in Korea, where mental health topics are still regarded as taboo, Jonghyun’s acknowledgement and continuous outspokenness on his depression was not only a brave gesture, but one that had helped many fans through their own dark times.

The release of Jonghyun’s farewell letter, which he had entrusted to Dear Cloud’s Nine9, is a heartbreaking read. And along with its release onto social media came even stronger waves of support advocating for mental health awareness. Perhaps the most painful realisation is that you truly never know who may be suffering. As one of K-pop’s brightest stars, Jonghyun always kept smiling. As a result of his playful personality, he was given quirky, affectionate nicknames by fans – he lived up to each one. Jonghyun never seemed to stop shining.

*Warning, the contents of this letter may be triggering* 

Offstage, nobody knew the extent of his dark thoughts. According to reports by Dispatch, Jonghyun often struggled when it came to music – his personal expectations troubled him greatly and he spoke about “getting bumped down as he gets older”. With the cutthroat culture of the entertainment industry, it is often forgotten that K-pop idols aren’t hit-churning machines. Just like their fans, they are human too.

You will never stop shining. Rest in peace, Jonghyun.

If you are thinking about suicide or know someone with suicidal thoughts, please call Samaritans of Singapore at 1800-221 4444 (24-hour hotline), or email them at [email protected].

Featured image: SM Entertainment

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