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  • LIFESTYLE

    In for the kill

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 28/04/2019

    » From debuting on CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to being the first K-pop group to perform at this year's Coachella, BLACKPINK are unstoppable in their quest for global pop domination, which is the ultimate goal that lies at the heart of South Korea's ongoing cultural export scheme. Like their label mates Big Bang and 2NE1, the Seoul-based quartet is meticulously designed by industry behemoth YG Entertainment. But what really sets BLACKPINK apart from their peers is their collective cosmopolitan edge -- Jisoo representing Korea, Lisa bringing the spicy Thai flavours and New Zealand-born, Australia-raised Rosé and New Zealand-raised Jennie completing the picture with their multicultural upbringing. Singing and rapping in Korean, Japanese and English, they're probably the first all-female idol group to have amassed an army of fans, endearingly known as "blinks", not only from Asia, but also North America and elsewhere, in just a few years.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Time for T

    Brunch, Suwitcha Chaiyong, Published on 28/04/2019

    » Despite the language barrier, most Thai pop stars dream of being recognised on the international stage. Some have made inroads. Pop rock outfit Slot Machine released an album of English-language songs, which helped get them on the international music festival circuit. Thai-German pop idol Jannine "Ploychompoo" Weigel has built up a significant fan base online with the help of a number of songs in English; she currently has more than 3.3 million followers on YouTube. Thanwa "The Toys" Boonsoongnern caught the eye of Korean fans with his performance at the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards in South Korea. Last month, the 23-year-old was back in Seoul for a fan meeting.

  • LIFESTYLE

    J-pop gone rogue

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 07/04/2019

    » Anyone who's been to Japan (or spent a decent amount of time on the internet) would have probably come across T-shirts with puzzling or badly translated English. Perusing CHAI's pastel-hued website gives you a similar experience except that everything actually makes sense -- "We Are New Exciting Onna (female) Band From Japan! NEO KAWAII ! COMPLEX IS ART!," its meta description announces. A click and a quick scroll down also give you an overview on the group's "NEO KAWAII" ethos, which essentially goes against any notions of the classic kawaii ("You don't need to have big eyes or have skinny legs to be KAWAII! There should be many more types of KAWAII, and everyone is KAWAII in her own way … Our insecurities make us who we are. The insecurities become art. KAWAII is a never-ending journey!").

  • LIFESTYLE

    Footloose and fancy-free

    Brunch, Chanun Poomsawai, Published on 17/03/2019

    » Over the past decade, Beirut's Zach Condon has been a go-to guy for what I like to refer to as "speciality indie rock". This is just a fancy way of saying that the music is unlike your typical indie sound. Beirut are masters when it comes to injecting world music elements into their repertoire, which has accumulated into a sizeable discography since their 2006 debut Gulag Orkestar. And although the boys may have faltered somewhat with previous effort No No No, they're back stronger than ever with their latest, Gallipoli.

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