The Sundown Festival, which celebrates the best of Asian music, returns for its eighth outing with local acts taking over the spotlight!
Happening on 5 August 2017 at the City Beach Resort, there’s no better way to get into the festive National Day cheer than immersing yourself with the very best of Singapore’s music scene. In anticipation of the concert, the Teenage team caught up with three of the acts –Derrick Hoh, FARRAGO, and Jack & Rai.
How does it feel to be headlining the first all-Singaporean lineup of Sundown Festival?
I feel incredibly excited! I’ve been pushing local music to everyone I’ve worked with throughout my music career and to be able to be part of this year’s line-up is extremely exciting for me.
Any homegrown acts that have caught your eye recently?
Ling Kai! We touched base recently, and I’ve been a secret admirer of her work. Her music is very different from what I do but I love that untamed nature of her music – it’s very refreshing. Hopefully we can work together in the future!
What can we expect from your upcoming live showcase at the Esplanade?
It’s going to be extremely intimate. Besides debuting my new singles, I am going to have many close interactions with my fans. Since my last showcase, my life was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride and I can’t wait to share these experiences with my fans on stage.
What’s next in the pipeline for you?
I’ll be busy filming a drama in Singapore and working on brand new singles for myself. I’ll also have multiple releases in the coming months as a songwriter, with songs I penned for some great artists. Unfortunately, I can’t disclose them now but stay tuned to my social media channels to get the latest updates.
This isn’t your first time performing on the Sundown stage. As a headlining act, how does it make you feel this time round?
The organisers of Sundown Festival have been good to us over the years. It’s great to be asked back and we are looking forward to playing to people who may not have heard our music yet.
What are three songs off your discography you think a first-time listener should definitely check out.
‘Hissy Fit’, ‘Traffic Lights’ and ‘Trilby Hats and Sunflowers’.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
That is extremely hard to answer as a group. We all have very different tastes in music, hence the name of the band. Some examples – Toto, Slayer, Dream Theater, Beck, Brian Wilson, No Doubt, Courtney Love and Stevie Wonder. Confusing, right?
What’s next in the pipeline for you?
It’s time to get recording again. Some new material is ready to be worked on and hopefully we can step up to another level. Unfortunately, the studio we recorded our album at has closed its doors so we are still trying to figure the logistics out. That is the plan in the next few months. Pete, are you reading this?
What are your thoughts on the current music scene and how has the landscape changed from when you first started out?
The scene is really vibrant now, as compared to when we first started in 2002! Digital music production has allowed more musicians to record their own material and put it out there, so we’ve actually seen quite a surge of young musicians being heard online, plus NAC’s Noise Programme has also provided a pretty consistent platform to showcase some of these acts live.
Any homegrown acts that caught your eye recently?
Plenty! More recently, we’ve seen acts like LEW, Shak, Stopgap and Take Two (now known as M1LDL1FE) and we totally enjoy the music they are creating.
If you could turn back in time and have a conversation with Jack & Rai circa 2005, what would you say to them and how would they respond?
Present: Guys, you really need to start writing and releasing more of your own material, make music videos, get on Youtube and do more of your own stuff!
2005: Got it, bros! We’re working on it progressively!
Present: *roll eyes*
You guys are known to have great teamwork, but when was the last time you guys disagreed on something?
The last time? Probably on which song to play next in our set, which usually results in a blank stare and then one of us quickly reacts to jump into the intro of the song he wants to play!
Catch the Sundown Festival 2017 on 5 August at the City Beach Resort, Labrador Park. Tickets from $15, Sistic.
A week after cancelling his Purpose World Tour, Justin Bieber takes to Instagram to share a very important message.
Justin Bieber has constantly been in the news since the cancellation of his Purpose World Tour. In those seven days alone, he hit the headlines multiple times – accidentally running into a paparazzo with his pickup truck, unleashing backlash from fans for wearing Purpose merch, and drawing flak from fellow musicians for cancelling said tour. And there’s been tons of gossip and speculation about Justin’s true reason for backing out of the tour.
Turns out, it’s pretty simple. Taking to Instagram to share a heartfelt post (in a snapshot of a word document), Justin addresses fans directly, telling them how grateful he has been for this journey with them, that “learning and growing hasn’t always been easy but knowing I’m not alone has kept me growing”.
He continues by ‘fessing up how he has “let his broken relationships dictate the way I acted toward people and the way I treated them”, and that he has let “bitterness, jealousy and fear run my life”. JB adds, that he’s aware that “I’m never gonna be perfect, and I’m gonna keep making mistakes but what I’m not gonna do is let my past dictate my future…” and that he “wants to be a man that learns from them and grows from them”.
Offering more insight on why he cancelled his tour, JB continues, “Me taking this time right now is me saying I want to be sustainable. I want my career to be sustainable but I also want my mind, heart and soul to be sustainable.”
The fact that he admits outright the need to take time off his intense and very hectic schedule (years of back-to-back touring for 150 shows across 6 continents!) is very important. While it seems like a no brainer that everyone would need to take breaks from time to time to focus on themselves and their wellbeing, the fact is that many fail to acknowledge this, much less practice it.
And even though most people aren’t multimillionaires with legions of fans, JB’s situation is highly relatable. Living in a fast-paced society with endless deadlines to meet and commitments to juggle, burn out seems inevitable if we don’t learn how to slow down. Learn to be okay with setting time aside to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, be like JB – take all the time you need to relax and recharge.
Like he puts it: “THIS MESSAGE IS IS VERY GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT BUT ITS FROM THE HEART. BUT I THINK THERES SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT IMPERFECTIONS!!” (sic)
Featured image credit: Billboard
What do you think about Justin’s IG apology? Share your thoughts with us!
Truly serious TV buffs would have at least one prematurely cancelled series that they’re still mourning over. And be it due to legit reasons like budget issues or even low ratings, we absolutely loathe it when a good show (that we’re emotionally invested in!) gets booted off our screens. But that’s no reason to forget about them altogether. Ahead, we recap 8 TV shows that were canned before their time, to have on your must-watch list!
Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23 (2012 – 2013)
With a name that boldly includes an expletive, this short-lived sitcom was bursting with personality. Where Apartment 23 largely succeeded was in its appealing cast – New York party girl Chloe (played by Krysten Ritter before she stepped into Jessica Jones’ shoes), small town, wide-eyed roommate June (Dreama Walker) and heartthrob James Van Der Beek in an exaggerated, fictionalised role of himself – and madcap episodes worth their weight in comedic gold. Bogged down by an out-of-place TV scheduling, parent network company ABC decided to axe the series – even its well-received albeit modest ratings weren’t enough to save this fan favourite and its colourful characters.
Netflix’s runaway hit drama Sense8 defied barriers with relation to themes such as sexuality, religion and politics, but one thing it could not overcome was a sudden cancellation by the streaming network channel. Citing high production costs that was still not justified by the series’ strong viewership, Netflix abruptly pulled the plug on the show, which in turn incited a barrage of outcries from fans, who even created online petitions in protest. The campaign kinda worked – while they aren’t bringing back the show, there’s a two-hour Sense8 special finale is currently being planned for 2018.
The O.C. (2003 – 2007)
If you weren’t a fan of long-running teen drama One Tree Hill, chances are you were a devotee to The O.C. instead – the primetime soap that introduced us to a fresh-faced Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton and Adam Brody. Documenting the scandalous lives of Orange County’s wealthiest, it spawned into a pop cultural phenomenon that ultimately paved the way for future teen hit shows like Gossip Girl and MTV’s Laguna Beach despite its short four season run. Even though it’s been a decade since the series finale aired, we still can’t help but to scream along to the unmistakable chorus of Phantom Planet’s ‘California’, that served as the show’s theme song. California, here we coooooooomeee!
Harper’s Island (2009)
Horror-mystery slashers are hard to come by in the television department, and when they do, they largely fail to leave a major impact. Harper’s Island hoped to buck that trend, with a whodunit Survivor-meets-The Walking Dead concept surrounding an island wedding, and at least one character killed off by the end of each episode. Presented almost like a gameshow to viewers at home where we enjoyed guessing who would bite the dust and who was the serial killer, the 13-episode set was an exciting and intense series that left us hungry for more. Unfortunately, the show itself fell victim to its own theme, eventually being canned after merely one season.
There were high hopes for Netflix’s 2017 comedy series Girlboss. After all, it was based off popular online fashion chain Nasty Gal and its owner Sophia Amoruso, with feminism taking the central theme of the series. But subpar acting, unlikable characters and messy plot lines plagued the series into oblivion after just one season. Which is a bummer considering the show’s promise early on in the series that partially called to mind the brilliance of Ugly Betty.
The Simple Life (2003 – 2007)
Before Keeping Up With The Kardashians invaded pop culture, reality television was at its peak with 2003’s The Simple Life, which followed the hijinks and shenanigans of then-notorious partying socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. We laughed at them, and with them, as they milked cows on a farm, wormed their way out of traffic tickets and teased customers at fast-food joints. The world caught itself by surprise thinking we’d resent their brattiness even more, instead realising that the teen icons did indeed have hearts of gold and an over the top sense of humour. The series ultimately waned off after a lackluster fifth season – which followed their infamous feud – but we’ll always have Paris’ famous phrase “That’s Hot” emblazoned firmly in our minds.
My Name Is Earl (2005 – 2009)
Brimming with heart and a positive message, My Name Is Earl followed the titular character trying to make amends for all his past wrongdoings after winning the lottery. The show gained a following bolstered by strong characters particularly in Jaime Pressly as sassy ex-wife Joy and Ethan Suplee as Earl’s dimwitted brother Randy. NBC drew flak for cancelling the beloved sitcom on a cliffhanger that was Season 4. And while there were plans to extend its run on another network or tying up loose ends with an online movie, neither came into fruition.
Veronica Mars (2004 – 2007)
Nobody kicked butt on TV as well as Buffy The Vampire Slayer did, but if anyone came close, it would have to be Veronica Mars. Playing a take-no-prisoners student detective, Kristen Bell truly shines as the titular character, perfecting her unique blend of wit, grit and willpower all while solving murder mysteries. The greatest mystery however, was why network The CW canned the series after only three seasons – resulting in the show’s creator Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell initiating a Kickstarter campaign to give the series closure through a film. The project was a resounding success, achieving its goal within 10 hours upon launch and culminating with the critically acclaimed feature film, that marked a happy ending for this television gem.
Featured image: Netflix
Which show do you wish would make a return to television? Let us know in the comments below!
Cinephiles will be kept busy this August with the bevy of movies scheduled for release this month!
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn star as a hopeless mother and daughter who embark on a wild trip to Ecuador after the former was dumped. And seeing as they end up getting kidnapped and stranded in the middle of goodness knows where, it’s safe to say this vacation is one where everything that could go wrong, did.
Catch a glimpse of ’70s Singapore through local pop singer and composer Dick Lee’s biopic, Wonder Boy. Starring Benjamin Kheng (The Sam Willows) as a young Dick and Julie Tan as his mysterious love interest, Wonder Boy is a coming-of-age film that’ll show not only Dick’s budding singer-songwriter career but also monumental events that happened during his teenaged years.
Based on the best-selling anime of the same name, Gintama is a live-action period comedy which follows a young samurai (Shun Oguri), after feudal Japan is taken over by aliens.
Earth’s about to be taken over… by cats! A film perfect for cat lovers, Meow is a feline-centric flick about aliens (hailing from Planet Meow, we kid you not) who are residing on Earth disguised as super adorable and intelligent cats. Then, Xi Xili – an oversized cat-like alien – arrives, determined to take over the human race to ensure the survival of his world. Obviously, his plans go horribly awry after an unsuspecting family adopts him as a pet.
The Dark Tower
With his hometown falling apart, Roland Deschain embarks on a dangerous quest to reach the ‘Dark Tower’ in the End-World, hoping that by reaching the point between time and space will he be able to save all existence from extinction. But before he can make his way to the tower, he has to come face-to-face with vicious monsters as well as a menacing sorcerer named Walter Padick, who will stop at nothing to make sure that the tower gets destroyed.
The Emoji Movie
Delve into the secret life of emojis as you enter the city of Textopolis, home to all your favourite emojis. Here, each emoji only has a single facial expression, except for Gene, who’s bursting with multiple expressions due to a missing filter. In a desperate bid to become “normal” like the others, Gene sets off in hopes of finding the Code that can fix him. But when a greater danger presents itself, will Gene and his friends be able to save their world before it’s deleted forever?
Horror film fans will absolutely love Annabelle: Creation, the prequel to 2014’s Annabelle. 12 years after losing his young daughter in a tragic accident, a doll maker and his wife open up their home to a nun and several children after their orphanage was shuttered. Unbeknownst to them, their new house guests soon become the target of the doll maker’s evil creation, Annabelle.
A famous surgeon witnesses his daughter’s death in a tragic accident and is mysteriously forced to repeat that day endlessly, where he tries desperately to thwart fate and save his daughter’s life. A thickly layered film nestled within A simple plot nestled within a thickly layered chain of events, A Day is a thought-provoking film that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat.
A Family Man
A successful headhunter whose thriving career requires constant attention is given a rude awakening when his eldest son is diagnosed with cancer. Forced to reevaluate his priorities between his dreams of owning a company and being with his family, Dane Jensen’s (Gerard Butler) realisation and scramble to make up for lost time is an often-neglected reminder of what’s truly valuable in life: family.
What happens when four lifelong friends take an overdue trip to a totally lit music festival in New Orleans? Chaos, partying and all round hilarity of course! Starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith, this feel-good comedy will have you roaring in laughter all while reveling through the ladies’ madcap adventures.
The Sleep Curse
In an ironic twist of events, a neuroscientist researching ways to limit human’s need for sleep is approached for help by an old flame whose family is cursed with insomnia – her grandfather and father were driven to madness after long bouts of sleep depravation. Through a series of gory experiments and paranormal-tinged events, the true origins of the curse is revealed, to horrific results.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
A follow up to Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, former vice-president Al Gore’s comeback to the big screen shows his fight against climate change as he travels around the world to educate future generations and influence international climate policies. Touted as a “gorgeous cinematic excursion that started as a profound slide show lecture”, An Inconvenient Sequel will showcase this environmental powerhouse’s on-camera and behind the scene moments as he endlessly pursues the hope that mankind can overcome the perils of climate change.
The Battleship Island
Set in 1944, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, 400 Korean civilians were lured by the promise of high wages to work on the ‘Battleship Island’, but were instead conscripted into horrific slave labour. As the war nears its end, their captors decide to blow up the island (and everyone on it) to cover up their abusive treatment on the Korean laborers, who as a result plan a mass prison break to escape their doomed fate.
47 Meters Down
After a messy breakup, Lisa invites her free-spirited sister Kate along for her Mexican vacation to help her break out of the “boring” mould her ex-boyfriend labelled her with. While hesitant at first, the sisters soon find themselves inside a shark cage surrounded by beautiful ocean life. But when the cage’s winch snaps, the girls are plummeted down to the seabed. And with a rapidly decreasing oxygen supply, they must figure out a way to outsmart the toothy predators before it’s too late.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Opposites clash with hilarious results when protection agent Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) gets tasked with safeguarding his mortal enemy – notorious hitman, Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). With only 24 hours to get to the International Court of Justice, they’ll have to first overcome a ruthless dictator who’s out for blood. And while the two actors may have set their respective Deadpool and Nick Fury suits aside, we’re certain this adventure’s still gonna be an explosive one.
Attempting to find out the reason behind his parents’ mysterious disappearance, Audi and his friends head to an abandoned hospital and realises the horrific truth: there has been a zombie plague outbreak. Trapped within the zombie horde, the teenaged boys must fight the insurmountable odds and battle their way out.
Science fiction meets video game fantasy in Kill Switch. Set in the not so distant future, humanity has discovered a way to tap onto unlimited quantum energy. Through their experiments, a mirror universe called ‘The Echo’ is revealed, and strange, destructive anomalies start occurring. Physicist and former NASA pilot, Will Porter is sent into The Echo with the Redivider, a device that is believed to be able to balance the power transfer between the two universes. But, Will soon learns that the Redivider is actually a kill switch used to destroy The Echo and all its inhabitants, to save humanity in the ‘real world’.
A movie that has been referred to as “the redneck version of Ocean’s Eleven”, Logan Lucky follows two brothers – a down and out mechanical operator (Channing Tatum) and his Iraqi vet brother (Adam Driver) – who attempt an elaborate heist in the middle of a huge NASCAR race.
A heated game of cat and mouse ensues between infamous thief Cheung Tan and French detective Pierre, as Cheung and his gang attempts to pull off a huge jewel heist. Starring Andy Lau, Tony Yang, Shu Qi and Jean Reno, expect nothing but action-packed scenes from start to finish.
The Tag Along 2
The sequel to 2012’s popular horror film, The Tag Along, the supernatural tale of urban legend “The Little Girl In Red” is told through the stories of three women – a social worker, an unstable mother and a pregnant lady – who are inexplicably embroiled in a terrifying series of events.
Despite it being an arrangement that saved her from poverty, Sophia Sandvoort was an unwilling participant in her marriage to the rich and powerful merchant, Cornelis Sandvoort. When she meets a struggling young painter from whom her husband commissions a portrait painting, she begins a passionate romance with him. Set within the Tulip Mania period in the Dutch Golden Age, the forbidden lovers will have to risk everything they have in the high-stakes tulip bulb market, or have their freedom ripped from them.
Which movies will you be catching this August? Let us know in the comment section!
In anticipation of DNCE’s arrival in Singapore for their first headlining Asian tour, we caught up with Cole Whittle to talk about his favourite song from the album, who he thinks has the best body moves, and the band’s plans for Joe the birthday boy.
DNCE doesn’t want to be taken seriously.
Between their colourful members, irreverent songwriting, cheeky visuals, and even their choice of fashion, this pop-rock quartet is more about having fun than anything else. According to Cole: “As soon as you put rules on the creation process, a lot of the fun can go away.”
And with a style mantra of a “6-year-old” who dresses like his “favourite superhero or comic book character”, Cole seems to be the perfect embodiment of the band. We had a chat with the colourful bassist of DNCE to find out more about the band that he calls “the X-Men”.
This will be DNCE’s first time headlining a concert in Asia. How excited are you guys?
I don’t even think ‘excited’ is the word. We’re so overjoyed to be coming and seeing all these amazing countries and experiencing the different cultures. And we promise to put on some shows that will be memorable forever.
You guys will be performing in Singapore on 15 August, which happens to be Joe’s birthday as well. Any plans for the birthday boy?
I can tell you that for Joe’s birthday in Singapore, we will party all night. It will be legendary. People will talk about it for years, and years, and centuries from now. Because it’s going to be such a celebration, not just for Joe’s birthday, but also being in such a beautiful country.
What’s your favourite song from DNCE?
It changes all the time. I’ll have to say ‘Cake By The Ocean’ because that’s the song that kicked open the doors to the whole world, and showed them who we were and our personalities. Another is a song that Joe and I wrote together – ‘Unsweet’. That one just feels like a free-loving anthem to me. Every time I play that I just feel so good.
Touring can be hectic. What do you guys like to do to unwind?
That’s a funny question. The second we have a day off, within five hours of being separated and doing our own thing, we all meet each other and we all get super bored. I would say that one day off is enough vacation for us. We just want to be doing interviews, playing concerts, travel, and party all over again. It’s very hard for us to stop.
Who in the band has the best body moves?
We are kind of like the X-Men you know. Everyone’s style is just so different. I would say that I’m the best twerker and breakdancer. And Joe has the best like salsa, tango, and ballroom dancing [skills]. Jack has the best head bang, and JinJoo has the best hip hop dancing.
Fashion is obviously a huge part of who you are. How would you describe your personal style?
I’ll describe it as ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks’. I approach it like a 6-year-old kid who hasn’t been told what he can wear, what’s popular, and what’s appropriate yet. I like to be the person in the room to take the pressure off everyone else. So if you’re in a room with me, you don’t have to worry about anyone looking at you, or judging you. I’ll take all the pressure.
What’s next for DNCE?
We are writing songs right now. We are collecting tunes we are really excited about. We are going to release more new music by the end of the year. We just want to tour the world and we can’t wait to come to Asia and make a memorable experience for all of the fans.
Catch DNCE live on 15 August at the Suntec Convention Centre. Tickets from $128, APACtix.