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Album Review: 5 Must-Hear Tracks From Paramore’s Latest Record, ‘After Laughter’
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Album Review: Kasabian Revives Rock N’ Roll With New Record – 'For Crying Out Loud'
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New Band, half•alive's Amazing Talent Could Take Them Places!!
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It’s not everyday that you get to see two of the most iconic pop singers in this generation with none other than Jack Antonoff.

The Bleachers frontman recently had Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen join his band onstage for an MTV Unplugged performance of Hate That You Know Me, a song that originally features Jepsen.

The trio is known to have been longtime collaborators and real-life buddies - much evident in Lorde and Jepsen's comfortable stage presence with Antonoff. Talk about an expensive pair of backup singers, eh?

Listening to these three artists jam to a song live while belting out incredibly high notes is indeed a breath of fresh air.

Watch the video here:

 

Watch the rest of Bleachers' MTV Unplugged performances here.

 

Photo Credit: MTV

There is no doubt that it’s quite a challenge to top last year’s stellar line-up, but 2017 Singapore Grand Prix still continues to attract music fans for its 10th anniversary.

Warming up the eager audience on Night 1 was pop rock band OneRepublic that had fans who waited for 7 hours just to catch them up-close.

The band opened with the heart-wrenching Stop and Stare followed by the anthem of a song that is Secrets, inviting the crowd to sing along with the talented Ryan Tedder. Though as emotional and exciting as it was, the first number did not exactly hype up the vacant-eyed audience as much as the second one, this wasn’t much of a shock as Brent Kutzle breathtakingly brought the latter song to life with his famous cello intro.

Despite the slightly slow start, OneRepublic began to trigger everyone’s sentimentality in moments when Tedder would briefly explain inspirations of songs he wrote for other artists and later belted out live with the band. “If you know this song, sing it. If you don’t, don’t sing it,” Tedder instructed the stunned audience after revealing that he’d co-written Halo by Beyoncé, Happier by Ed Sheeran, and Rumour Has It by Adele.

However, the most memorable part of the evening was when a male fan caught Tedder’s attention midset. It turned out that the fan was at a OneRepublic show in Vancouver three weeks ago and was told by Tedder that he would buy him a beer if he flies to Singapore for their F1 gig. Keeping his word, Tedder immediately handed the fan a beer directly from stage. Talk about dedication!

As expected, F1 shows tend to be generous on the visual front. The alluring lights and impeccable stage set-up made songs like Good Life, Apologize, and Counting Stars more cinematic. Though all good things must come to an end as OneRepublic concluded with the much-awaited Love Runs Out, leaving a group of wide-eyed fans hoping for more.

Finally making their Singapore debut were Ariana Grande and The Chainsmokers on Night 2 at the Padang Stage.

Arianators could be easily spotted in the crowded pit with their black bunny ears, suggesting that they were indeed at the event solely for Grande. This was, of course, just an addition to their passionate singing.

Grande was in full pop star mode with quick costume changes and a variety of props onstage. Her Side to Side performance was delivered exactly like in the music video – a workout themed set up with Grande and backup dancers on exercise bicycles.

Known for her velvety vocals, the 24-year-old effortlessly showed off her prowess in the soulful pop ballad I Don’t Care, which was made even more “eargasmic” by chilling electric guitar solos.

Serving us some words of female empowerment were video interludes that took about 5-10 minutes of the show, which could’ve been at least just dedicated to performing more songs like Problem that we did not hear in its entirety given the limited 60-minute set.

Though Grande’s mere presence already brought excitement to the crowd, a little audience interaction would have been more satisfactory. We’d like to think that she was just saving her energy for a solo tour in Singapore in the near future. But for now, we can only hope.

One might quickly question how pop singer Ariana Grande ended up opening for The Chainsmokers. But the evening itself proved the critics wrong, at least temporarily, as the EDM-pop duo surpassed (almost) everyone’s expectations.

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have been severely criticized for their music's lack of variety. Although their tracks couldn't necessarily be labeled as "legendary," the duo was able to transform The Padang into a huge dance floor filled with an energetic mob through tracks like Roses, Closer, and Don’t Let Me Down - all of which enticed the crowd to sing along.

It is indeed undeniable that music that’s fun, catchy, and devoid of meaning could be aggressively electrifying. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible without those captivating pyrotechnics and animated emojis.

With unparalleled energy released in the first two evenings of the F1 concerts, we were unfortunately met with gloomy weather on the Night 3. But the skies quickly cleared up prior to Duran Duran’s set, giving us a breezy atmosphere for their '80s new wave music.

The award-winning synthpop band attracted a large group of fans comprising mostly of an older audience who eagerly responded with screams on par with Arianators’ the evening before.

Lead singer Simon Le Bon’s efforts in being culturally inclusive were evident in wittily crafted song introductions, getting audience members to shout out where they’re from preceding the band’s performance of Last Night In The City - a song about bringing people together, according to Le Bon.

“Did you catch your Laksa and Nasi Goreng? Is anybody hungry?” he further asked the crowd before delving into their hit song, Hungry Like A Wolf.

If that wasn’t endearing enough, the entire band manifested an exceptional stage presence that radiated from Dom Brown’s edgy guitar licks to John Taylor’s signature basslines. It’s no wonder that they’re able to attract a huge following of supporters even from the other side of the world.

Working the crowd brilliantly into songs like Save A Prayer and ending their set with Rio, Duran Duran certainly still carries the same fervor from their emergence in the '80s, almost four decades ago. While the crowd, unfortunately, did not get to hear The Reflex live despite their enthusiastic chanting, that devotion in itself demonstrates the band’s undying legacy as new wave icons.

Following the EDM themed dance party this year’s concerts were going for, record producer and DJ Calvin Harris closed the weekend with his jam-packed mixes - some of which constantly struck familiarity amongst the majority of the crowd that probably left the venue as EDM converts.

Radio hits like This Is What You Came For, How Deep Is Your Love, and Outside induced a rare euphoria that everyone would usually be devoid of on a Sunday evening. But before you know it, Rihanna’s vocals slowly enveloped the enormous mosh pit with We Found Love and after which ensued a whirlwind of frenzy.

Did I mention a toddler being carried by his dad in front of me during Calvin Harris’ set? Yes, that happened, and I guess that little boy can proudly tell his friends in the future that he had first “clubbing” experience with Calvin Harris as the DJ.

With this, one might confuse Singapore Grand Prix 2017 as Ultra Singapore given its EDM headliners. However, this risky move unexpectedly revives the definition of an after-party, reminding everyone that this year’s line-up is definitely what a celebration is all about, despite everyone’s doubts.

 

Photo Credit: Singapore GP and Joyce Pang for The Straits Times

You might have heard of Rami Malek from his starring role in Mr Robot, but the rising star continuously proves his acting prowess as Freddie Mercury for an upcoming biopic.

We get it. Malek’s build is slightly smaller than Mercury’s.

But there is no doubt that Malek really does resemble Queen’s frontman quite a bit. Just toss in a little imitation of Mercury’s signature moves and mannerisms onstage, and he’s good to go!

Of course, this was all captured in a sneaky video posted by U.K. publication The Sun.

In the video, Malek was filmed recreating Queen’s famous performance at Live Aid charity concert in 1985. 

Here’s the original performance by the legendary band.

The resemblance is uncanny, eh?

This certainly made us even more eager to see Malek’s take on hit songs like Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, and Bohemian Rhapsody!

 

Photo credit: Entertainment Weekly

Catching Ariana Grande’s Singapore debut next week, but not a full-fledged Arianator? We’ve got you covered!

Ariana Grande has been dominating the pop scene ever since her breakthrough on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious.

What the 24-year-old is mostly famous for is her Mariah Carey-esque whistle tones that often dominate public spaces in Singapore – an infectious virus that leaves you with no choice but to eventually be familiar with some of her top hits.

But we’re not even complaining! Grande is one of today’s most talented artists who can effortlessly deliver stunning vocal quality and at the same time bop along to her catchy melodies.

So, almost everyone can hum to at least one Ariana Grande song by now. But the question is, can you sing along?

If you’re one of those people who need to know the lyrics to get the full concert experience, you’ve come to the right place.

We know it’s a challenge to even try to match Grande’s vocal prowess, but one can try.

Here are 5 Ariana Grande songs you need to memorize before her Singapore debut!*

*If you're attempting to practice these songs in your room, please inform your family members beforehand. Loud squealing might occur.

 

1. One Last Time

 

2. Into You

 

3. Break Free

 

4. Dangerous Woman

 

5. Problem

Photo credit: Ethan Miller

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 16:26

5 Game of Thrones Actors Who Are Also Musicians

It’s always endearing to discover actors’ side hustles, or even hobbies, that they immerse themselves in apart from the well-beloved (or hated) characters they play on TV.

Game of Thrones actors are undoubtedly a talented bunch, so it wasn’t at all surprising finding out that they also engage in other creative platforms.

Here are 5 Game of Thrones actors who are also talented musicians.

 

1. Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm)

The commander of the Unsullied is not as mysterious in real life as he is in the show. Jacob Anderson goes by stage name Raleigh Ritchie and has a diverse range of R&B tracks that one can easily swoon over. Grey Worm drops his Valyrian accent for his real, raspy and soulful voice in his album, You’re a Man Now and I must say that Cowards is definitely a track you should pay attention to.

 

 

2. Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton)

Far from his terrifying character as Ramsay Bolton, Iwan Rheon gives out a melodramatic vibe as he serenades us in indie folk songs like Dinard.

 

 

3. Jerome Flynn (Bronn)

It was certainly kind of a shock to find out that jolly ol’ Bronn was part of an English singing duo in the ‘90s, but life does surprise you sometimes. Jerome Flynn was half of Robson & Jerome, a duo that gain a bit of popularity for their covers. Here's one that might ring a bell.

 

 

4. Kristian Nairn (Hodor)

Yes, Hodor is a DJ. Having already played a gig in Singapore some time ago, Kristian Nairn confessed that music "felt more natural" to him despite studying both acting and music in college. Don't judge Nairn's mute character on the show as DJ HODOR knows how to get the party started in real life.

 

 

5. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)

We’ve seen him effortlessly sing in Coldplay’s Game of Thrones: The Musical. But it seems like there’s more where that attitude came from. It recently has just been reported that Tyrion Lannister himself used to be the frontman of a punk-rock band called Whizzy… and there are several pictures to prove it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, HBO

I used to adore Taylor Swift. I really did.

I had posters of her plastered all over my bedroom wall when I was 15. I saved up my allowance to get a copy of Fearless that I later repeatedly played on my CD player whenever I’d get home from school. Heck, I even taught myself how to play the guitar because of her!

But god, 2017 Taylor Swift is almost like a reincarnation of our past 2007 selves… and I’m not just talking about Reputation’s album art.

Swift recently released a single called Look What You Made Me Do. The song is, undeniably, a bop. But behind those seemingly quirky beats are lyrics inspired by nothing but loathing, KARMA, and unending references to lists.

Here’s a line from the new single:

I've got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined.

Here’s another line from Blank Space:

Got a long list of ex-lovers. They'll tell you I'm insane.

How many lists does she have? Is she really keeping track of all these people?

If Swift’s trying to be the Arya Stark of pop music, let’s just say most people aren’t really on her side.

We can’t blame them though, because if she’s not whining about an ex-boyfriend, you sure can expect her to shade some people who allegedly did her wrong.

One thing I do miss is her ability to spark nostalgia in songs like The Best Day or even channel unapologetic optimism in Shake It Off.

But perhaps pain overpowered Swift and led her to execute vengeful thoughts through lyrics like:

Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me
Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me do

Yes, that’s her new single's entire chorus, if you’re ever wondering.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Listen to the single here:

********

Love it or hate it, one question remains: What did we really make her do?

 

Photo Credit: Mert & Marcus

Taylor Swift might have been on the down low for the past couple of months, but the pop singer sure does know how to tease a major comeback.

Swift recently deleted all her posts from social media and came back with cryptic videos followed by an announcement of new music - a newly released single and an upcoming album entitled Reputation.

As expected, fans are more than willing to see the move as groundbreaking, even making sense of the symbolisms in her comeback posts.

However, her sudden disappearance from social media as a publicity tactic does not necessarily fall under the category of “breaking the internet,” as she’s not really the first artist who’s done it.

Though, discussing her lack of originality does not seem to interest the public these days. What are they talking about, you may ask? Well, let’s just say people on social media are constantly mocking her poorly designed album art for Reputation.

Here are a few posts about the album art that made us chuckle:

Perhaps the terrible design is a metaphor for her "damaged" reputation? Who knows?

****

Photo credit: Getty Images 

Despite emerging into the music scene at a young age, Norwegian DJ and producer Alan Walker proves that nothing’s impossible with ardent passion and persistent grit.

Having supported acts the likes of Rihanna and Justin Bieber, Walker initially started producing music only in his bedroom for the record label NoCopyrightSounds. This then led to the roaring success of his single, Faded, and a series of follow-up singles currently dominating the EDM scene.

 

We spoke to Walker about the symbolism in his music videos, his views on being a DJ, and a whole lot more in the interview below.

 

1. What kind of music did you listen to growing up and how did it influence your music now?

Techno music was my music of preference. That was also part of the reason for me wanting to pursue music production. After watching movies, I also gained an interest for film scores, so that has definitely influenced my music as well. Especially when it comes to melodies.

 

2. How do you choose vocalists for your songs? Is there a main criteria that you follow?

It varies from song to song. For Tired, I was actually presented with the demo vocals from Gavin James to begin with. And for Faded, we ended up going with Iselin Solheim’s vocals, even though she was initially intended for demo only. It was just so great, and went well with the song.

 

3. Prior to your success in the EDM scene, you were interested in computer programming and graphic design. How much did your interests in such areas impact your career in music?

It had a lot to say in developing my visual identity as an artist, and is something that you can find traces from in my artwork, logos, videos, and more.

 

4. The music videos for Alone and Faded start with characters with masks on, which they later take off at the end of the video. Can you explain the symbolism behind that recurring concept?

The mask is not about me wanting to hide my identity. Actually, I wear the mask to symbolize that people are all the same and all equal. For me, anyone could be the person behind the mask, and anyone can achieve amazing things.

 

5. How do you keep track of ideas you randomly get when you're touring?

That’s a good question. I’ll have to record or write them down somewhere, or share the idea with someone else in order to not forget it.

 

6. Can you share with us one song that you adore and wish you could've produced yourself?

My all-time favorite is ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer.

 

7. Do you prefer to be a member of an audience or playing for a crowd? Why?

I enjoy both, actually. There’s nothing better than being on stage. But I also like to attend a show as a regular fan, especially with some of the artists I like.

 

8. Many EDM producers are drawing the lines between being a DJ and an artist. They think being an artist is more than just about the "drops" in their songs. What element in your music do you think sets you apart from the usual stereotypical impressions of being a DJ?

First of all, it’s important to note that you can still be either a DJ or an artist, without being both. And there’s obviously a lot of artists who don’t DJ, and vice versa. Also, I agree that being an artist is more than just creating drops. The music that is released by the most successful artists today is clearly a testament to that, because they are often complete tracks and not just driven by drops. You can see that on the charts as well, as EDM music has been a part of the top charts in recent time.

 

9. Which festival that you've played at is the most memorable for you and why?

Probably Main Stage at Tomorrowland this year. It was amazing!

 

10. Name 3 musicians that you can't stop listening to right now.

It varies from time to time. But at the moment: Hans Zimmer, Kygo and Armin Van Buuren

 

 

Photo Credit: Rikkard Häggbom

LANY’s indescribable allure has captured the hearts of many - most of whom are seeking solace in their dreamlike soundscapes and visually appealing floral aesthetic.

This is almost unsurprising as the three-piece band embodies a laid-back aura synonymous to their romantic yet effervescent melodies.

But there’s more to it than meets the eye as frontman Paul Klein opens up about their writing process while briefly mentioning the possibility of coming back to Asia next year.

The slightly reserved guitarist/keyboardist Les Priest and drummer Jake Goss also joined in the conversation as we played the famous game, "Never Have I Ever" - Do the bandmates use each other's toothbrush? Have they ever embarrassed themselves on stage?

Find out all these and more in the video below.

 

Photo credit: Teejay Vergara for Spin or Bin Music

If you haven’t already heard, Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco recently landed a lead role in the Broadway show “Kinky Boots”.

As expected, we’ve had P!ATD fans who would eagerly wait at the stage door to ask for autographs and apparently scream at Bredon’s face, like what most teenage fangirls do.

But it seems like the screaming is taking a toll on Urie’s mental well-being that he decided to stop greeting fans at the show.

While I understand that most fangirls would preferably express their excitement through piercing squeals, it is worth mentioning that Urie also deserves to be treated as a normal human being and not just a mere celebrity that only exists for our entertainment.

Also, give the guy a break! He’s trying to immerse himself in a different art form and should be respected the same way as other musical theater actors. The fact that he was already kind enough to meet fans and sign P!ATD merchandise at a Kinky Boots show manifests how much he appreciates their support.

Zack Hall, a friend of Urie, explained the situation in a tweet.

So, the next time you cross paths with a famous person, try striking a conversation or asking for a picture politely. But definitely refrain from screaming things like "HAVE MY BABIES!" in their face.

 

Photo Credit: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

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