Agnez Mo: “I do what I believe in. I will sing what I feel is real to me.”Posted October 17th, 2014 At 3:47 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and Interview: Jerry Leong
If you’re at all into pop and R&B music, you’d better start taking heed of the name, “Agnez Mo”, for this is one spunky pop icon you’ll want to keep an eye on. With an exhausting list of over 80 award nominations, Agnez Mo is already a bona fide superstar in her home country of Indonesia. Having begun her career as a child singer and actress, her musical and acting exploits propelled her into an unprecedented level of dominance in the Indonesian entertainment industry.
Her next target? US pop chart supremacy. Agnez Mo’s first international single “Coke Bottle” (featuring rapper extraordinaires, Timbaland and T.I.) hit the States last month and like a shaken up can of soda, it’s been fizzing up the web with over six million views online to date. This explosion of popularity is an encouraging marker for her international debut album which is poised to be released in early 2015.
For the spry Agnez Mo, the journey of striving to reach her ambitions far outweighs even the music itself. She is all about smashing stereotypes, embracing your true self and translating dreams into reality.
We caught up with the multi-talented maestro, who now spends her time in L.A., to hear what she has to say about the challenges which Asian musicians face while breaking through the American music scene as well as her thoughts on her own personal music journey thus far.Read more >>
Guy Sebastian: “Everyone’s got their personal demons. In my life, it’s constantly trying to keep everything going.”Posted July 7th, 2014 At 9:15 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and Interview: Jerry Leong
Popular singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian has come a long way since emerging triumphant in the first edition of Australian Idol way back in 2003. The baby-faced young lad has now evolved into a confident and seasoned performer, as witnessed in his recent MTV Sessions performance where he belted out track after track with supreme gusto.
Guy’s reached lofty heights in his musical career too, having released several critically successful albums and collaborating with hip-hop luminary, Lupe Fiasco, for the smash hit, “Battle Scars”. All this success has not gotten to Guy’s head either as he remains refreshingly down-to-earth off-stage. It is obvious that even after 12 years in the music industry, he remains as passionate about his craft as ever, eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree and voice waxing lyrical whenever he speaks about his work.
In our interview below, we spoke to Guy about his upcoming album, “Madness”, some of his own personal “Battle Scars” as well as whether fans will see the return of that unforgettable afro.Read more >>
DJ Krush: “It is very important to move forward and experience everything you’re interested in”Posted March 4th, 2014 At 3:32 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: VJ Alan Wong
It’s rare to find an artist with a style so unique that it’s hard to define. Most music is familiar to us and fits nicely into a specific genre. Well that’s not how DJ Krush works.
Japanese DJ Hideki Ishi a.k.a. DJ Krush refuses to let genres define his style. He strives to create music that is brand new, unique, and like nothing else his audiences have ever heard. DJ Krush is a legendary DJ in Japan and is considered one of the pioneers of Japanese hip hop. Over the last 20 years, he’s been creating tracks that rise above genre classification and become personal outlets for his own self expression. For DJ Krush, music seems to be a way of life, a process through which he can explore himself and the world around him. His music is an experience. And the most exciting thing? You will get to experience it when he is here in Singapore come March 7 at Gem Bar!
To prep for his performance, I got the chance to ask DJ Krush a few questions about his process, style and Japanese hip hop. Read on!Read more >>
James Blake: “We make mistakes all the time. That’s the beauty of doing things completely live.”Posted January 23rd, 2014 At 6:27 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
“You’d have to excuse me. I’m just eating some bread,” mumbles James Blake over the phone from his London apartment. Apparently, the British singer/songwriter is taking things very easy with just two phone interviews scheduled for the day, thus opting for a late breakfast. Having released his second album Overgrown back in April 2013 to unanimous critical acclaim and snagging the Mercury Prize in the same year, James is certainly looking to take a breather from all hustle and bustle of being a constant buzz act of most major music press. In comparison, the foreseeable future of 2014 seems rather free and easy. He has just recently finished a guest appearance on BBC Radio 1′s Residency show where he dropped a new track named “40455″ and is currently in the middle of his Asia tour that includes the exclusive appearance at the Singapore leg of Laneway Festival. After which, he would move to L.A temporary with Chicago-born MC/rapper Chance to see if they could “make something together.” It all seems so chilled and relaxed that makes one envious. But madness might pick up again if he does win more awards that he is nominated for in the coming months. Who knows? With music seemingly taking a backseat, we did some catching up with James and talked a lot about love, his Asia tour and more.Read more >>
Savages: “If what we are doing as a band can inspire a generation of people to find the strength to trust their instincts, that would be incredible.”Posted January 23rd, 2014 At 4:38 am By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
The first time I saw Savages live was at Rough Trade East in London last May. The band was going to release their debut album Silence Yourself and one could almost feel the electrifying tension of anticipation in the air. Much has been written about the band prior – dystopian post-punk, commanding manifestos, unwavering ethos, and their stark monochrome aesthetics shrouded with a veil of mystique. Which goes to say, Savages is definitely not a band you could easily chance upon and forget the next minute. Jehnny Beth (vocals), Gemma Thompson (guitars), Ayse Hassan (bass) and Fay Milton (drums) are a band that presents themselves exactly how they want to be. Live, there’s no doubt that they will immerse and connect themselves right in the moment with you. Now, here comes the caveat: What they require of you, is your full attention. No smoke nor mirrors. Just your complete, utter surrender.Read more >>
Kurt Vile: “If you really want to do it and if you have the talent, don’t wait around for something to happen”Posted January 6th, 2014 At 5:23 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
Listening to Kurt Vile’s understated blend of psychedelic fuzz folk is like taking a long scenic road trip across the great America. Dusty skies, deep red sunsets, windows rolled down, wind in the hair, and wholesome sense of working class triumph. Obvious shades of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Velvet Underground aside, what’s unmistakable about the Philadelphian troubadour are his unhurried slacker drawl and heart, which he attributes to his upbringing in a household of 10 and formative years of slogging blue collar jobs at end. People say life experience is what makes a man, and what you hear of Vile today took miles in his shoes since his first demo cassettes when he was a mere 17-year-old. At age 34, Vile has already released five albums and most notably, his latest and critically acclaimed – Wakin On A Pretty Daze. And words of advice from Vile? As we found out in the phone interview with him below, if you have the talent and you want it bad enough, you should never sit around and wait for things to happen. They never do until you work for it on your own.Read more >>
Youth Lagoon: “Nothing of worth should ever be rushed. When someone tries to push me to do something fast, I go out of my way to do it slower.”Posted January 2nd, 2014 At 6:08 pm By MTV ASIA
Text: Lennat Mak
Interview: Noah Harland
The art of creative intent can be an elusive subject sometimes. Why do artists choose to write and present their music the way they do? What inspires and compels them? And why do common people like us relate to the songs like they are the soundtrack of our lives? If one could put all those tidal waves of complicated feelings eloquently in plain words, we suppose songs would lose their subtle musical nuances that play in your head whenever your memory triggers a familiar emotion. For Boise, Idaho native Trevor Powers, otherwise known by his moniker Youth Lagoon, his creative force comes from the subconscious, where his mind is off on a million things at once and moments where he chooses to focus on, resulting in two albums – The Year Of Hibernation (2011) and Wondrous Bughouse (2013) – of introverted, visceral pop oddities. This January 25, Youth Lagoon will take on Laneway Festival Singapore where all his wondrous musical idiosyncrasies will come to life on our shores. We tried to get a hold of the 25-year-old on the phone for a chat, but his tour schedule seems to put us all on the wrong end of the line. So for now, here’s an email interview with Trevor that reveals a little bit about his creative process, why commercial success does not mean a thing to him and how patience is one thing we should all learn in our lives.Read more >>
Chvrches: “It’s important for female musicians to keep doing what they are doing and push the boundaries”Posted December 13th, 2013 At 6:15 pm By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
Chvrches’ meteoric rise in the music-sphere is nothing short of a phenomenal one. Originally starting out as a studio project, the trio – Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty (they all do synth work and sing, so pigeonholing them into just any one duty in the band is not doing each of them justice) – only toyed with the thought of being a live band with the demo of “Lies” back in May 2012. That’s barely two years of live experience if you do the math. And yet, through the course of the band trying to find their feet in the live music business, the trio has become a tour de force to be reckoned with. Granted, it still takes a lot more for a band to display a consummate level of showmanship when a majority of the time, it’s about a lot of button pushing around on stage. But as a frontwoman, Lauren, who cites Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Debbie Harry of Blondie as people she looks up to, serves up what she knows best – portray a genuine representation of what Chvrches is, both on record and on stage. And of course, their incendiary light show, lauded by some as the best in the business, really helps too.
With all the hype surrounding the band, the critical acclaim of their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe In (which Rolling Stone named at No. 32 on the 50 Best Albums of 2013 list) and their forthcoming date with Laneway Festival Singapore come this January 25, we talked to Lauren who shared more on the development of Chvrches’ live act, the misogyny surrounding female musicians and more!Read more >>
Meet The Parents – Hanli’s VersionPosted November 8th, 2013 At 6:32 pm By Hanli Hoefer
So this week, a theme sort of came up through conversations with those around me. I guess this topic has always been talked about but here is a little spiel about how my parents raised me. I come from an extremely unconventional background. My parents are artistic, liberal, anti-establishment, creative and incredibly cultured. There are many factors that weigh into this topic for example, my parents were pretty old parents! Dad is 71 years old which is the age of most of my friends grandparents, even some of their great-grandparents! And mom is – actually no I’m not going to give away her age, she has always religiously looked after her skin so even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe me. So being older than others they have lived longer, and through a lot more, hence they have seen it all. So they took my brother and I on vacations to developing countries so we were aware of the shittiness of this world outside my Singapore bubble. The idea of anything “normal” was, for a lack of better words, boring.Read more >>
Meet The Parents – Alan’s VersionPosted November 8th, 2013 At 5:46 pm By Alan Wong
It’s crazy to think that about a year ago I made the decision to move to Singapore. I mean, a year! They say that as you get older time seems to go by faster and faster. I never really understood that. A year is and always will be the exact same amount of time, 365 days…12 months.
It has also been 10 months since I’d seen my parents. Not quite a year, but it sure felt like it. I knew I didn’t have to pick them up at the airport. They are perfectly capable of grabbing a cab from Changi to the hotel on their own. But I didn’t care. I needed to be there when they arrived. There is something special about the arrival hall of an airport. It always makes me think of the movie Love Actually and all of the slow motion smiley shots of family members and loved ones hugging and kissing. I love that. Especially since moving my career to the other side of the world, the instances of seeing my family/friends arriving are important to me. Something about the moment you first see each other, and smile, and rush in for that hug that somehow makes up for the last 100 hugs you’ve missed out on.Read more >>