Any unassuming passerby who passed by the Singapore Indoor Stadium on a certain weekend might think there was a World Cup screening going on, but no – it was a K-pop concert staged by none other than the hottest girl group of the moment, TWICE, as part of their TWICE 2ND TOUR ‘TWICELAND ZONE 2: Fantasy Park.

Commanding a 8,500-strong crowd of hardcore ONCEs, it was a treat for the army of testosterone-filled fans who turned up in full force: dreamy stage set-ups, fun performances and endless fan service. The audience certainly lapped it up in delight, armed with candy bongs in hand as they roared and chanted along to every song. Here are the thoughts that ran through our minds over the course of the three-hour set:

#1 “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

The TWICE girls made their grand entrance decked out in breathtaking white gowns, looking ever so angelic as they descended on stage in a row of elevated swings. It wasn’t even one song in that they switched up their costumes for cute floral dresses, promptly launching into a sequence of familiar melodies such as ‘Like OOH-AHH’, ‘Cheer Up’ and ‘Likey’. Transforming the stage into a winter wonderland complete with snowflake embellishments and whimsical fairy lights, they winded it down for a couple of mid-tempo numbers including ‘Someone Like Me’ and ‘Turtle’. Check out how gorgeous the set-up was!

#2 “Gotta love those girl crush vibes!”

Ever since ‘Like OOH-AHH’, TWICE has stuck with the same ol’ formula of sweet bubblegum earworms that fans have come to love. So we couldn’t help but wonder when would they change up their concept – and boy, did they surprise us with a total image overhaul. Ditching their cutesy appeal to showcase a more refined look, the ninesome returned to the stage in dashing pinstripe suits as they delivered a solid repertoire of remixes. “A lot of our songs are bright and bubbly, but we wanted to try something cool this time round,” explained Momo. Hey JYP, can we propose a ‘Touchdown’ 2.0 for their next comeback?

#3 “Can we please debut these sub-units?”

You know TWICE for their addictive bops, but we often forget that they’re made up of unique personalities that aren’t always translated to their presence in the group. Thankfully, each member got a slice of their own spotlight with solo performances and special unit stages: Dahyun showed off her fierce charisma with a killer rendition of Rain’s ‘Rainism’ (or rather, ‘Dahyunism’), Jihyo, Momo and Tzuyu channeled their inner Beyoncé for ‘End Of Time’, Jungyeon and Nayeon swapped gender roles for a sizzling cover of Baek Ji Young and Taecyeon’s ‘My Ear Candy’.

#4 “We love inclusive queens!”

Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out Mina, Chaeyoung and Sana on purpose. In fact, we wanted to give special mention to the trio, who performed the throwback hit ‘Oppa’ by Wax. Although it was intended as a treat for their oppa fans (an endearment term for older brother), Sana didn’t forget to give a shoutout to female as well as younger fans. “There are a lot of people here who are unnies (older sister) and dongsaengs (younger brother/sister) too,” added Sana, before rallying the other members to greet the fellow unnies in attendance.

#5 “How cool would it be to have a Winner x TWICE collab?”

Remember when TWICE performed EXO’s ‘Overdose’ and SEVENTEEN’s ‘Pretty U’ during their Singapore show last April? This year, the nine-member group once again impresses with their electrifying cover of WINNER’s smash hit ‘Really Really’. Needless to say, we’re really really loving it!

#6 “Who says TWICE can’t sing? Fight us.”

Admittedly, TWICE doesn’t have the cleanest of reputations when it comes to live singing. The use of backing tracks was a tad too obvious at some points, but we understand it’s strenuous enough having to keep up with the back-to-back choreography, let alone hit those notes effortlessly. However, that doesn’t mean the ladies can’t hold a tune – just check out this acoustic performance of ‘What Is Love?’. We sure hope they can have more opportunities to show off their vocal skills in the future though!

#7 “Aww, don’t cry!”

Before the night comes to an end, ONCEs surprised TWICE with a special fanmade video while holding up banners that read “We will wait for TWICE to return”. Touched at the gesture, a teary-eyed Jihyo took the time to thank fans: “I can’t believe we have doubled the amount of ONCEs we can meet today. Thank you so much for always loving and supporting us!” Wrapping up the show with a promise to return next year, they proceeded to walk us down the TWICE memory lane with a medley of all their greatest hits so far.

Is it too early to start prepping for #TWICELAND3inSG? We think not.

Featured image credits: ONE Production

More related stories: 9 Moments In Twice’s Record-Breaking MV That Has Us Pressing ‘Likey’Wanna One, SEVENTEEN & TWICE Performed A BoA Medley And It Was Glorious

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Entertainment

7 New K-Dramas You Need To Start Binge-Watching This Summer

25 Jun 2018 by Julia Yee

Growing bored of re-watching the same ol’ K-dramas? Grab your popcorn and tissue box, because we’ve rounded up a brand new list of must-watch shows for your viewing pleasure. Happy bingeing!

#1 MR. SUNSHINE

Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Min Jung, Byun Yo Han

What it’s aboutBased on the infamous US expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the tale of an unlikely romance between a runaway servant boy and an upper-class girl. Against a backdrop of sinister conspiracies and bloody warfare, this Shakespeare-esque love story of Eugene Choi (Lee Byung Hun) and Go Ae Sin (Kim Tae Ri) will bring you on an emotional rollercoaster right from the beginning. Brought to you by the creators of the iconic Descendants of the Sun and Goblin, this upcoming drama promises to tug on your heartstrings just as much.

Mr. Sunshine is available on Netflix from 19 July onwards.

#2 WHAT’S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM?

Starring: Park Seo Joon, Park Min Young

What it’s about: If you’re a sucker for the “rich guy falls in love with poor girl” trope, then you’re gonna love What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim?. The rom-com series follows a narcissistic Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon), the young vice-president of his family’s company, who unknowingly falls in love with his secretary, Kim Mi So (Park Min Young). After nearly a decade of insisting on a “business relationship”, will he finally fess up to his feelings for her?

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim? is available on Viu.

#3 COME AND HUG ME

Starring: Jang Ki Yong, Jin Ki Joo, Heo Joon Ho

What it’s about: Does first love = true love? Come And Hug Me follows the budding relationship of two high school sweethearts, Do Jin (Jang Ki Yong) and Jae Yi (Jin Ki Joo), who are torn apart after Do Jin’s psychopathic dad murders Jae Yi’s parents. Years later, the two cross paths again – Do Jin now a rookie detective and Jae Yi an aspiring actress. Can they overcome their tragic past, or is history doomed to repeat itself?

Come And Hug Me is available on Viu.

#4 SUITS

Starring: Jang Dong Gun, Park Hyung Sik

What it’s aboutYou’ve probably already seen its American counterpart, but the Korean adaptation of Suits promises to be just as good. Go Yeon Woo (Park Hyung Sik) possesses a photographic memory and extraordinary IQ, but his dreams of becoming a lawyer are dashed thanks to his poor family background. A disheartened Yeon Woo settles for a job as a parking valet, but after a series of coincidences, finds himself in the office of Choi Kang Seok (Jang Dong Gun), a legendary lawyer in the prestigious Kang & Ham Law Firm. Impressed by Yeon Woo’s talents, Kang Seok takes a leap of faith by hiring the amateur legal genius.

Suits is available on Viu.

#5 A KOREAN ODYSSEY

Starring: Lee Seung Gi, Cha Seung Won, Oh Yeon Seo, Lee Hong Ki, Jang Gwang

What it’s aboutA contemporary spin-off of the Chinese classic Journey to the West, this Netflix original calls to question the true nature of good and evil. Son Oh Gong (Lee Seung Gi) can never die and wanders the earth in exile as punishment for his past mischiefs; Jin Seon Mi (Oh Yeon Seo) is a real estate CEO who saved Oh Gong many years ago. The two come face-to-face again in a chance encounter, and an epic love story ensues.

A Korean Odyssey is available on Netflix.

#6 SOMETHING IN THE RAIN

Starring: Son Ye Jin, Jung Hae In

What it’s about: If you’re in need of some good ol’ fairytale romance, this one is for you. Happy-go-lucky Yoon Jin A (Son Ye Jin)’s life seems to be going as planned, except for one thing: a missing soulmate. But her prince charming is closer than she thinks – enter Seo Joon Hee (Jung Hae In), a dashing young man who just so happens to be the brother of Ye Jin’s best friend. Cue lots of heart-fluttering, swoon-worthy moments as Jin A begins to see Joon Hee in a whole new light!

Something in the Rain is available on Netflix.

#7 ARE YOU HUMAN?

Starring: Seo Kang Joon, Gong Seung Yeon

What it’s aboutNam Shin (Seo Kang Joon), who is the heir to a large company, lies comatose in the hospital after a tragic accident. In an attempt to protect his son’s image, his mother exploits her authority on brain science and artificial intelligence to create Nam Shin III – an android that is the spitting image of Nam Shin. Kang So Bong (Gong Seung Yeon) becomes the bodyguard for the new Nam Shim, but as time passes, her feelings for Nam Shim III grow more and more complicated. A unique love story that ultimately leads you to question: what really makes a human, human?

Are You Human? is available on Viu.

What K-drama are you currently hooked on? Let us know in the comments below!

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Entertainment

7 Things To Know About The Next Big C-pop Boy Band, NEX7

22 Jun 2018 by Chew Hui Ling

C-pop might’ve taken a backseat in recent years thanks to the emergence of Korean pop culture, but it seems like it’s about to make a comeback in a huge way. Leading the pack is NEX7 (乐华七子), a new seven-member group formed by music giant Yuehua Entertainment. Despite only making their debut yesterday (21 June), these talented lads are well on their way to superstardom over in China. Before they take over the world, here’s everything you need to know about this rising boy band.

NEX7

#1 They already have a massive fanbase.

You might recognise them from Chinese survival reality show Idol Producer (think China’s answer to South Korea’s Produce 101). All seven boys participated in the programme, but only three of them – Fan Cheng Cheng, Justin Huang and Zhu Zheng Ting – snagged a spot in the Top 9 with a combined vote count of 42 million, promptly making their debut in the project group Nine Percent. Although the other Yuehua trainees didn’t make it into the final lineup, each of them garnered quite a following for their individual charms as well.

#2 Three of them are already part of a boy band.

As previously mentioned, Cheng Cheng, Justin Huang and Zheng Ting are part of the Idol Producer-formed Nine Percent and will be promoting for a total of 18 months before their disbandment in 2019. Unlike their K-pop counterparts Wanna One, whose contract prevents the members from participating in their respective company activities, Nine Percent’s terms seem a lot looser – which explains why the Yuehua trio is able to overlap promotions with NEX7’s. We hope the boys aren’t too exhausted from their hectic schedule though…

Nine Percent

#3 Remember Justin and Jung Jung?

Avid fans of Produce 101 might also be familiar with Justin and Zheng Ting, who took part in season two of the South Korean talent competition in 2017. Although both were regrettably eliminated, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise – look where they are now! We’re glad they finally got the recognition they deserved (even though a part of us kinda miss their interaction with the other Yuehua sprouts).

#4 They come from prestigious backgrounds.

NEX7 is the newest boy group under Yuehua Entertainment, one of the biggest music companies in China with major artistes such as Han Geng, UNIQ and more under their wing. They’ve also expanded their Korean branch operations in 2016 and currently co-manages Cosmic Girls with Starship Entertainment. Fun fact: Cosmic Girls’ Cheng Xiao was NEX7’s dance mentor on Idol Producer!

Not only do they boast illustrious company backing, the boys come from relatively well-off families as well. Justin ain’t called “贾富贵” (Just Rich) for nothing, while Zheng Ting’s literally a walking Gucci ad. Then there’s Fan Cheng Cheng aka the younger brother of Fan Bing Bing, who is one of the highest-paid actresses in China. We’re a lil’ doubtful about a certain Ding Ze Ren though, who appears to only own that one (1) stripped shirt during their Idol Producer days…

Fan Bing Bing Fan Cheng Cheng

#5 They received training in Korea.

As Yuehua Entertainment is based in both China and South Korea, it makes sense that the multinational company would send their trainees for formal training in the latter country. In fact, the boys are pretty proficient in Korean too. Prior to joining Yuehua, Ze Ren was a former trainee at SM Entertainment along with the NCT kids – and chances are, he’d probably have debuted with the K-group.

#6 They have a bond like no other.

It’s no secret that the NEX7 members are super tight-knit with one another, evidenced by their endless shenanigans on Idol Producer – and it’s certainly not for show. Who could ever forget the time when Zheng Ting and Justin casually rocked facial masks to dance practice, or that heartbreaking moment when Wen Jun broke down in the arms of the other members after the ranking announcement? Pass the tissues, please.

https://91prcnt.tumblr.com/post/171597531826/like-father-like-son


#7 Wait a minute, they debuted?!

NEX7 just dropped their debut album The First, led by the title track ‘Wait A Minute’ – and boy, is it a bop. A straight up hip-hop number, ‘Wait A Minute’ will get you hooked instantly on its bombastic beats and the not-so-occasional ‘woos’ and ‘skrrs skrrs’.

Check out their explosive music video below:

Decided to stan NEX7 yet? Drop ’em some love in the comments below!

More related stories: Meet The Superstar Mentors Of The Upcoming Produce 101 China101 Facts You Need To Know About Produce 101’s Wanna One

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What a crazy year it has been for Charlie Puth, who not only celebrating the success of his first entirely self-produced effort Voicenotes – but the burgeoning pop star’s also taking it on the road with his third headlining tour.

Shortly after opening for Shawn Mendes on his Illuminate World Tour, the ‘Attention’ crooner announced his own concert tour with Hailee Steinfeld as his supporting act. The live extravaganza is set to kick off in Toronto this July, before making its way across 32 cities in North America and finally – Asia. The singer-songwriter has just revealed that he will be embarking on a seven-stop trek across the region in October and November, which will include a show in Singapore on 13 November!

Charlie Puth Voicenotes Asia Tour Singapore 2018

Charlie Puth ‘Voicenotes’ Live in Singapore
Date: 13 November 2018
Time: 8pm
Venue: The Star Theatre
Tickets: $248 (VIP BOX), $188, $148, $108, $88

Tickets for general sale will go on sale 28 June, 10am via livenation.sg, while the pre-sale for Live Nation members will begin 27 June, 10am (register here for pre-sale access befpre 25 June, 6pm).

More related stories: 5 Things You Need To Know About Charlie PuthWe’re About To Get The Halsey Show We Deserve In SingaporeParamore Will Be Back To Rock Singapore This August

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For 5 Seconds of Summer, these past few months have been a non-stop blur of success. Staging a whopping comeback with their third studio album Youngblood, the Aussie rockstars quickly became the top act in their home country. Currently the only band ever to have two full-length records entering the Billboard charts at #1, it’s no doubt 5SOS’ newest effort will be just as well-received.

“The making of Youngblood was nothing short of an ultimately transformative experience, for every single member of 5SOS,” wrote the quartet when they released the title track to thank fans for their unwavering support. Having grown out of their pop-punk beginnings, the 5SOS you hear in Youngblood boasts a completely different sound riddled with experimental pop-rock elements and addictive synth beats.

1. ‘YOUNGBLOOD’

“Youngblood say you want me, say you want me out of your life / And I’m just a dead man walking tonight”

“One of my favourites. Never been more proud of anything,” frontman Luke wrote, and there’s no doubt why. Subdued and vocally-restrained verses slowly build up the momentum, which then bursts into a rhythmic chorus that can only be described with one word – powerful.

2. ‘WANT YOU BACK’

“I remember the roses on your shirt when you told me this would never work / You know even when I say I’ve moved on, yeah I still dream for you”

This head-banging single gave us a taste of the band’s newly-honed songwriting skills. Diverging from their cheeky lyrical delivery in Sounds Good Feels Good, ‘Want You Back’ introduces a more mature and laidback production, complemented with a groovy bass line that keeps us hooked on every verse. According to drummer Ashton, this was the last song on the album to be written – when “[the band] had an entire body of work just sitting there” and were wrecking their brains for the perfect single to present it. Guess the best masterpieces come from serendipities!

3. ‘LIE TO ME’

“It’s 3am and the moonlight’s testing me / If I can make it till dawn then it won’t be hard to see that I ain’t happy”

A soundtrack for the broken-hearted, ‘Lie To Me’ is about figuring out how to move on in the aftermath of a bad relationship which, as Ashton says, “the other person is in it for reasons that you aren’t”. Some fans have pointed out that it seemed to be a sequel to ‘If You Don’t Know’, with its similar lovesick rhetorics and whimsical riffs. But in this one, you get a more matured take on heartbreak with melancholic lyrics that everyone can relate to.

4. ‘VALENTINE’

“I love the light in your eyes and the dark in your heart / You love our permanent chase and the bite of our bark”

‘Valentine’ makes use of intense – almost creepy – lyrics as a hyperbolic representation of the obsession that ensues when you fall in love with someone. Sappy lines sung with drunken melodies spur that oh-so-familiar feeling of helpless adoration reminiscent of young love. Fans of the goth and post-punk era will feel right at home with this one.

5. ‘TALK FAST’

“Talk fast, romance / Won’t last, I’m okay with that”

‘Talk Fast’ is arguably the one of the funkiest songs in Youngblood – just try to not groove along to this catchy tune! Just like its spitfire tempo, this upbeat number seems to be reflective of the breakneck speed that the boys’ lives have been moving at lately – what with non-stop touring and back-to-back shows. Lines like “I’ll take what I can get from you” are sung breathlessly, blending the words into one fleeting vocal line that is strangely cathartic. 

6. ‘MOVING ALONG’

“Thinking ’bout you lots lately / Have you been eating breakfast alone like me?”

A throwback to the band’s early beginnings, this song makes use of fun beats to deliver heartbreaking lyrics, punctuated with humorous lines like “Is it bad that I’m wishing you’re so broken? That you haven’t found fish in the ocean”. Much like ‘Heartbreak Girl’ and ‘Beside You’, it seems like Youngblood is just as centred around girl troubles – but with less goof and more maturity. The boys have certainly been ‘Moving Along’ (sorry, we had to) from their angsty teenage days.

7. ‘IF WALLS COULD TALK’

“If these walls could talk, I’d hope they wouldn’t say anything / Because they’ve seen way too many things”

An emotional and unapologetically vulnerable track, ‘If Walls Could Talk’ is the epitome of the new 5SOS. Still musing about the same grievances featured in their previous albums, the band has taken that remorse and added a refreshing, spunky twist to it – and we’re not complaining.

8. ‘BETTER MAN’

“Darling all of my wrongs, they lead me right to you / Wrapped in your arms, I swear I’d die for you”

Looking back on their musical evolution, it seems only natural that they have progressed towards dark electro pop in some of their newer tracks, and ‘Better Man’ is one of them. Luke’s acrobatic vocals transition smoothly from suave and lilting in the first few verses, to assertive and smouldering in the choruses. Ashton once said that being in a band means you never really grow up, but the lads have certainly found a way to do so without losing their boyish charm.

9. ‘MORE’

“And all the things that we dream about, they don’t mean what they did before / I just wanna get back to us ’cause we used to have more”

Vocally dense and instrumentally heavy, ‘More’ has just the right amount of swagger to please our rock-lovin’ hearts. Michael’s commanding power chords, Calum’s ground-rocking bass line, Ashton’s lively drumming and Luke’s soulful vocals make this track complete.

10. ‘WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME’

“You imagine when you close your eyes you’re with me on the other side / So why won’t you love me?”

Luke’s trademark ’80s falsetto vocals are peppered throughout the entire album, but his soaring notes in ‘Why Won’t You Love Me’ might be his best yet. This song is proof that 5SOS is one of the few bands that can still pull off a Petrarchan lover track, without coming off as too whiny.

11. ‘WOKE UP IN JAPAN’

“It was more than just a neon weekend / Light slipping through the third floor curtain”

And of course, we have the obligatory “travelling rockstar wakes up in a new place every morning” trope. Luke sings about – you guessed it – waking up in Japan, but “feeling low, feeling lonely”. It paints a vivid picture of a lonely musician partying away his woes, feeling dissociated with everything around him. Despite the glamour of life on the road, it appears even the best rockstars need a place to call home sometimes.

12. ‘EMPTY WALLETS’

“Think the high out with the low / And away and away we go”

If you need a badass new addition to your playlist, you’re gonna love ‘Empty Wallets’. An evolution of ‘Waste The Night’, it explores the familiar themes of partying all night and not holding back on a good time – reminiscent of the band’s adolescent “long hair, don’t care” mentality. Roll those car windows down and turn up the volume on this tune on your next road trip!

13. ‘GHOST OF YOU’

“So I drown it out like I always do, dancing through our house with the ghost of you / And I’ll chase it down with a shot of truth, that my feet don’t dance like they did with you”

You might’ve already guessed from its title, but this song will break your heart in many ways. Opening with a sombre guitar riff, its instrumental also incorporates delicate piano notes that make lyrics like “too young, too dumb to know things like love” all the more heart-wrenching. After the all-out pop assault of Youngblood, ‘Ghost Of You’ leaves you with a hauntingly beautiful aftertaste.

14. ‘MONSTER AMONG MEN’

“Demons hide behind my back / And I can see them, one, two, three, four”

Lead guitarist Michael may not have many lines in Youngblood, but his vocals in ‘Monster Among Men’ more than makes up for it. A reappearance of the demons from his solo in ‘Jet Black Heart’, it features stripped verses bursting into a pounding chorus, mimicking the polar mood swings that caused him to hurt a loved one over and over again. And if you think Michael’s shining moment only lasts as long as the first verse, you’ll be blown away by his epic guitar solo later on!

15. ‘MEET YOU THERE’

“So you go your way and I’ll go mine / And if we’re meant to, I’ll meet you there”

If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, ‘Meet You There’ is the perfect anthem for you. Something along the lines of ‘Close As Strangers’, this lively ditty speaks about two lovers leaving their fate up to the stars. The most iconic part of this track however, is when the beat drops and a dubstep-like mix comes on (just listen to it, and you’ll know what we’re on about).

16. ‘BABYLON’

“Burned too bright, now the fire’s gone / Watch it all fall down: Babylon”

The final song in Youngblood (not counting hidden bonus tracks) is testament to how far 5SOS can push their songwriting and composing prowess. Alluding to the ancient Mesopotamian city, ‘Babylon’ depicts the story of a thriving civilisation that was destroyed at the hands of the Assyrian Empire. It draws parallels of this defeat to a deteriorating relationship, telling you to face the painful truth: “We said we’d both love harder than we knew we could go, but still the hardest part is knowing when to let go”. 5SOS couldn’t have picked a more fitting track to bring the album to an anthemic close.

5 Seconds of Summer’s third studio album Youngblood (Deluxe) is now available for streaming and purchase.

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