KOOZA Ignites The Child In You With A Wondrous Journey Of Nail-Biting Acrobatics And Playful Clowns

Many of us have the impression that a circus is where you see contortionists, jugglers and tight-rope walkers doing stunts and tricks, and clowns goofing around with their silly antics; we think of it as a place for slapstick entertainment.

Last week, I caught Cirque du Soleil Kooza, and I realised just how wrong I was.

[caption id="attachment_28376" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Big Top[/caption]

The latest addition to the world-famous theatrical producer Cirque du Soleil’s series, KOOZA, is back in Singapore.

Presented in the intimate setting of the iconic blue and yellow Big Top tents that sits beside Marina Bay Sands, KOOZA pays homage to Cirque du Soleil’s roots by combining thrilling acrobatic acts with the traditional art of clowning.

Inspired by the Sanskrit word “Koza”, which means “box”, “chest”, or “treasure”, the 140-minute show follows the journey of “The Innocent”, who opens the portal to a magical world through a mysterious box.

Portrayed by an endearing pyjamas-clad character, “The Innocent” took us through the acts, the whole time reflecting exactly how we felt as an audience – in awe of everything.

[caption id="attachment_28389" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Beautiful Stage Set[/caption]

We were thoroughly impressed by the stunning stage props, seamless transitions, the dazzling lights that complemented the acts, the adorable antics of the clowns, and the incredible stunts by the performers.

[caption id="attachment_28377" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Cirque du Soleil[/caption]

The Hoops Manipulation was one of first to leave an impression.

While most of us can’t even handle one hula hoop, the performer showed off her exceptional balance and impressive dexterity, spinning up to seven hoops at once, and making it look effortless while at it!

It’s no exaggeration to say that she was one with the hoops as she glided around on the aerial hoop, changing poses quickly while still managing to look graceful while doing so.

[caption id="attachment_28373" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Double Highwire[/caption]

Another highlight was the Double Highwire, which involved four nimble performers who not only demonstrated their remarkable ability to balance, but who also had to jump over one another, have a fencing match, and even cycle on a thin wire!

[caption id="attachment_28379" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Image Credit: Cirque du Soleil[/caption]

The Skeleton Dance takes you to the craziness of the dark side with its choreography and flamboyant feather costumes. Pretty as it was, it served as a well-timed break (to us at least) as our hearts were racing from the intense acts happening back to back.

[caption id="attachment_28374" align="aligncenter" width="768"] The Wheel of Death[/caption] [caption id="attachment_28381" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Wheel of Death (Image Credit: Cirque du Soleil)[/caption]

Our favourite act of the night was undoubtedly the Wheel of Death.

As the name suggests, a small slip up on the wheel can send you plummeting to your death. Be prepared to have your breath taken away and your nerves at an all time high as you watch the brave duo tame the enormous spinning contraption.

Throughout the night, we were kept at the edge of our seats. The crazy stunts we saw had us raving through the intermission and at the end of the show. The live singer and band, as well as goofy antics by the adorable clowns made it that much more entertaining.

True to Cirque du Soleil’s mission to invoke imagination and evoke emotions, we left the show wondering how amazing it would be if we worked or lived in a circus. Whether you’re already a fan of Cirque du Soleil, or have never caught any or their shows, don’t miss KOOZA! You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy your experience!

DiscoverSG Pro-Tip: Visit the toilet before you head over to the Big Top, and head over early! You don’t want to squeeze with the crowd for both ticket collection and bag check at the entrance.

Cirque du Soleil KOOZA will be performing in Singapore until 20 August 2017. Tickets are still available so get your preferred seats before they’re gone. Ticket prices start from $61.50, with the top tiered VIP Rouge – First Row tickets starting at $318.

Cirque du Soleil Kooza
Under the Big Top Tent, next to Marina Bay Sands
12 Jul – 27 Aug
Duration: Approx. 2 h 20 min (including 30min interval)

Purchase your tickets to Cirque du Soleil KOOZA here.

Also read, 10 Fresh Events And Food Spots That Have Just Popped Up In The Second Half Of July [16-31 July]!

(Header Image Source: Cirque du Soleil)

Korean Food Is All The Rage Now – Here Are 11 Ways To Eat And Drink Like A True Korean

e2i Korean masterclass

K-dramas, K-pop, Korean food… It seems Singaporeans are crazy for all things Korean, and for good reason.

Their heart wrenching drama storylines tug at our heartstrings. Their very successful reality-variety shows like Running Man leave us in fits of laughter. Their virally catchy pop tunes stick in our heads and are fun to sing along to.

[caption id="attachment_28120" align="aligncenter" width="600"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: e2i Korean masterclass Traditional Korean food on display at e2i’s Taste of East Asia event[/caption]

But although Singaporeans do enjoy Korean food, do you know that some of us may unknowingly be flouting Korean table manners?

To help us better appreciate their cuisine and get the full Korean dining experience, here are 11 ways you can eat and drink like a true Korean.

How Koreans Eat

In Korea, rice is a staple food with most of South Korea’s agricultural policies centred on rice. Though we are seeing more unique Korean food creations, the Koreans still love their usual meal of rice with side dishes.

[caption id="attachment_28121" align="aligncenter" width="600"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: The Spruce[/caption]

This is one act we are guilty of. While it’s that much more shiok to hold up your soup bowl for big gulps of the soup, it’s not recommended to do so in public, especially not so when you’re having Korean food – you’ll just seem rude.

3. Don’t reach across the table for food

As mentioned, a traditional Korean meal consists of a wide assortment of small side dishes that usually fill up the table. While it may seem normal for us to reach across the table for dishes placed further away, it isn’t for the Koreans.

It’s considered poor manners to extend your arm across the table to reach for food. The general rule is to bring the dishes closer to you, and if you really need to, get your friends to pass the food over to you.

4. When you’re done with your meal, place your utensils on the table

Once you’re finished with your food, don’t stick your chopsticks into your bowl, because they look like joss sticks offered to ancestors. It is regarded as disrespectful and a sign of bad luck. Place your utensils back on the table instead. But only do it after the elders have placed their utensils on the table, and make sure that you place them neatly.

[caption id="attachment_28122" align="aligncenter" width="600"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: 5. You must drink the soups and stews before trying any rice and side dishes

As Koreans like to start off a meal with alcohol, the soup or stew acts as a way to cleanse their palates from the ‘bitter alcohol aftertaste’ before digging in on the side dishes and rice.

It’s such a common culture that this is still practiced even with meals without alcohol.

How Koreans Drink

Korea has a strong drinking culture and you’ll often see Koreans pairing their food with a drink or two.

In the Korean eateries in Singapore, you’ll notice three types of Korean alcohol feature most prominently on the drinks menu: Soju, Makgeolli, and of course, beer.

[caption id="attachment_28124" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
e2i Korean masterclass From left to right: Maekju, Makgeolli, and Soju
Credit Image: e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: Kwon Soon Woo[/caption]

Always wait for everyone to have their glasses ready before you toast and drink up together.

4. Do not refuse alcoholic drinks

The Koreans consider it rude when someone turns down a drink, especially when the elders offer it to you. So… bottoms up!

Remember to also hold your cup or glass with both hands when someone is pouring drinks for you.

5. Turn sideways when you drink liquor

Like the Japanese, Koreans emphasise a lot on societal ranking. One way that juniors show respect to elders, especially those higher in the corporate ladder, is to turn away when drinking.

[caption id="attachment_28137" align="aligncenter" width="640"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: Dayre[/caption]

6. Alcohol-food pairings

Did you know that some Korean alcohols were meant to be eaten with specific foods?

Korea has a long history of having alcohol when celebrating special occasions. Besides long-stemmed beliefs (like consuming Soju during the new year as a way to drive away bad spirits and illnesses), these alcohols actually make Korean cuisine that much more enjoyable.

Soju + Anju

While Anju is a general term for side dishes consumed with alcohol, Anju is most commonly paired with Soju.

These side dishes aren’t just any kind of foods. These are usually finger foods like nuts and fruits, or salads like Golbaengi-muchim (a mix of moon snails and vegetables).

[caption id="attachment_28127" align="aligncenter" width="600"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: Pinterest[/caption]

Soju is also best paired with grilled meat like Samgyeopsal (pork belly).

Makgeolli + Jeon

The best food to eat with your makgeolli is Jeon, a fried pancake that at its most basic, consists of meat and/or vegetables, coated in flour and egg.

You can find all kinds of jeon—crispy, soft, doughy, and less doughy jeons versions, and they all pair deliciously with makgeolli.

Beer + Chicken

If you haven’t already heard of Chimaek, it’s about time you learnt of this.

[caption id="attachment_28129" align="aligncenter" width="517"]e2i Korean masterclass Image Credit: Trazy[/caption]

A combination of “chicken” and “Maekju” (beer), Chimaek very literally means chicken and beer. The Koreans love their chicken with beer, particularly spicy and fried chicken. There are even Korean restaurants like Chir Chir that specialises in selling just that.

Learning from Asian Masters at e2i’s Taste Of East Asia

Wondering where we learnt all of this? It was at e2i’s Taste Of East Asia event that happened in May 2017, where Dr e2i Korean masterclass Dr Kim Sang-woo, Chairman of the East Asia Cultural Project[/caption]

A session intended to introduce people to the cultural, economic and political aspects of Korea, Dr Kim gave us a peek into Korean food and cultural traditions that went beyond the glitz and glamour we’ve all come to associate with the country.

We Singaporeans love Korean food, and so does the rest of the world. Interestingly, food is one of the mediums through which Korea has forged closer, friendlier ties with other nations.

[caption id="attachment_28130" align="aligncenter" width="467"]e2i Korean masterclass Taste of East Asia[/caption]

Taste of East Asia is one of many masterclasses organized by the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to help working people.

For Taste of East Asia, people working in the F&B industry attended the professional development workshops by Korean, Japanese, Sri Lankan and Hong Kong masters, to increase their knowledge and mastery of food techniques.

Attendees also got to mingle with the masters, participants and booth exhibitors to expand their professional networks.

To find out more about future e2i events, you can contact e2i here.

This article is written in collaboration with e2i to help trade professionals upskill and network via trade events such as curated masterclasses.

We Tried Glamping For The First Time And It Was As Awesome As It Looks

If you own a Tumblr or a Pinterest account, you’ll probably have seen picture of glamping – large, spacious tents furnished with stylish bedding, cushions, and accessories.

For those of you who are coming across the term ‘glamping’ for the first time, it’s a combination of two words that typically don’t go together: ‘glamourous’ and ‘camping’. Like the term suggests, glamping is camping with a chic twist.

Now, this Instagram-worthy trend is available on our very own Singaporean shores!

With Glamping Society, you won’t have to move a muscle – all the heavy lifting is done for you. Everything is set up nicely for you, so all you have to do is bring your own clothes, toiletries, and entertainment.

Here’s what went down during our 2 day 1 night glamping experience at East Coast Park.

Our 2D1N Experience At East Coast Park

[caption id="attachment_27728" align="aligncenter" width="635"] Three tents with a gorgeous sea-facing view[/caption]

Because a total of 20 of us were glamping, Glamping Society gladly accommodated our request to have 3 tents. While each of the bell tents can accommodate up to 6 people, we felt that the main tent (the most spacious tent) was big enough to fit 2 or 3 more people comfortably – you just need to bring your own extra sleeping bags.

When we saw the tents fully set up, we were impressed by how pretty it was.

[caption id="attachment_27729" align="aligncenter" width="635"] The main tent[/caption]

The plush cushions, fairy lights, buntings, and overall bohemian look provided the perfect setting for hipster Instagram photos that’ll make your friends green with envy. There was even a big flamingo float in the main tent! While it was pretty random, we have to say it made for some pretty cool photos.

[caption id="attachment_27730" align="aligncenter" width="634"] One of the smaller tents[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27731" align="aligncenter" width="634"] Another one of the smaller tents[/caption]

While the two smaller tents didn’t match up to the main tent in terms of decorations, it was still comfy and welcoming with amenities like airbeds, cushions, a fan, a mini bar, and a cute picnic basket.

We were pleasantly surprised by the snacks and chilled drinks provided. Unlike the mini bar of a hotel, you won’t have to pay extra for consuming the goodies they’ve provided. Another treat we didn’t expect was the working fan – a clever touch that ensures it doesn’t get stuffy in the tent!

Thankfully, it wasn’t as hot as we thought it would be. The only thing some of us were really bummed out about was that no towels were provided, so we couldn’t bathe. (Glamping Society has stopped providing towels due to the constant damage.)

[caption id="attachment_27733" align="aligncenter" width="476"] We brought our own card games like Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity, etc.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27735" align="aligncenter" width="635"] We also had a BBQ at the nearby BBQ pit, which we booked here[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27734" align="aligncenter" width="635"] We also brought a guitar and sang songs![/caption]

In all, we had a lot of fun barbequing, playing card games, and lounging on the airbeds as we stayed up all night talking.

The location of our tents offered pretty views of the sea and this was the beautiful view we woke up to:

[caption id="attachment_27737" align="aligncenter" width="635"] Are we still in Singapore?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_27736" align="aligncenter" width="635"] The morning skies[/caption]


Taking into consideration factors like comfort, aesthetics, space, amenities, and cleanliness, here’s what we loved, what we didn’t love as much, and a couple of tips for you to keep in mind for your own glamping adventure!

Things We Loved

[caption id="attachment_27738" align="aligncenter" width="635"] Romantic lights when night fell[/caption]

What we loved most about our experience had to be the pretty decorations. They made for pretty photos and gave the tents a romantic, cosy atmosphere at night – great for heart to heart sessions with friends and even better for cuddling with your partner!

We also loved that the main tent was spacious enough to fit all 20 of us. A refreshing alternative to a hotel staycation, it was definitely a unique experience for all of us. We also liked that snacks were provided – these came in very handy when we were hungry in the middle of the night!

Things We Didn’t Love As Much

While our experience was great for the most part, we wish the two smaller tents were jazzed up a bit more. A flashlight would have been a handy addition to the amenities, especially since it was quite dark out at night. Another issue we had was that the air beds deflated with time, but at least they provided us with air pumps that made it easy to re-inflate them.

Tips To Make The Best Of Your Glamping Experience

1. Check out the map before deciding where to set up camp

We stayed at Area G, which is very far away from the main hub of East Coast Park.

While this might mean peace and quiet away from crowds, you won’t be able to find any food near you. If you pick this location, make sure you bring plenty of snacks and drinks to avoid going hungry or thirsty!

Also, consider where the public toilets are when picking your tent location. You don’t want to have to walk a distance when you need to take a leak in the middle of the night. So, make sure you check out the map before deciding on where to set up camp to ensure you get the most ideal glamping spot!

2. If you intend to have a BBQ, book pits in areas D and G

If you intend to have a BBQ party while glamping, you can request for your tent(s) to be pitched near certain BBQ pits. Just note that the official camping sites are areas D and G, so be sure to book the BBQ pits in those areas.

[caption id="attachment_27739" align="aligncenter" width="635"] BBQing with a view[/caption]

3. Zip up your tents before settling in for the night

If you’re not a fan of bugs, zip up your tents fully before settling in for the night. You don’t want to have to deal with a cockroach entering the tent at 3am in the morning like we did.

4. Bring your own entertainment

While Glamping Society provides plenty of luxurious amenities, you’re in charge of creating your own fun. Bring card games, portable speakers to blast your favourite songs (Glamping Society also no longer provides speakers due to constant damage), a guitar, and good company for a truly fun time!

[caption id="attachment_27726" align="aligncenter" width="635"] We had fun![/caption]

In all, we had a blast glamping. The tents were pretty, clean, spacious and sleeping arrangements were comfortable – at least for most of us. A totally unique experience, this is definitely something you should try at least once in your life!

To book a tent for yourself, check out their website here.

Also read Welcome To The Dark Side – These 13 Black Foods Will Surely Soot Your Tastebuds

The Ultimate June/July Guide To Cool Hipster Dates

There comes a point in every relationship where you hit a rut.

You’ve been dating your partner for a while. You’ve done movies, brunches, fancy dinners, treetop walks, and you’re honestly running out of things to do and places to go with your lady (or man). We’ve been there, we know the struggle.

If you are looking for new ways to inject fun into your relationship, why not head over to , right at the National Gallery Singapore.

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Be mesmerised by one of her infinity mirror rooms, let your inner child come alive among her trademark dots and pumpkin motifs, and check out the paintings in which 87-year-old Kusama pushes the envelope on her art.

Image Credit: Deezen

An exhibition that is equal parts fun and intriguing, you and your other half will lose yourselves in the splash of dots and colour of Kusama’s bold works. Before you head down, don’t forget to check outhere

 2. Silent Disco Asia 1st Birthday Party

You saw it at i Light, you saw it at the Star Wars Festival, and you probably saw it at dozens of other venues—silent discoes are a hot new trend in Singapore and it looks like it’s here to stay. If this is your first time hearing about such a thing, it’s exactly like it sounds—a noiseless dance party where instead of dancing to music blasting from speakers, you’re dancing to the tune of your own headphones.

Image Credit: Asialive365

On 17 June, Silent Disco Asia, the group that brought this trend onto our shores, will be celebrating its first birthday with the BIGGEST silent disco in Singapore, at the place it all began: Kult Kafe. Regardless of whether you and your partner are the dancing sort, put on those dancing shoes because this is a totally different kind of party.

Image Credit: 3. The O.P.E.N. 2017

Looking for something with a slower tempo? The O.P.E.N. 2017 is another event worth considering. Short for Open, Participate, Engage and Negotiate, this exploratory event spans a total of 5 weeks.

A festival of ideas that serves as a prelude to this year’s Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), it encourages the audience to consider this year’s theme: Enchantment.

True to its name, The O.P.E.N. is known to be participatory, and this final edition elevates the promise of participation and engagement.

Explore the idea of enchantment through a dizzying array of programmes across multiple mediums. Watch award-winning independent films you won’t find screened in movie theatres, engage with interactive installations, sit in on workshops, performances and keynotes, and be truly immersed in new ideas and perspectives.

In Art as Res Publicae, one of their programmes, audience will get to participate in a forum-like discussion revolving around the ‘intangible value’ of art.

What’s more, this wouldn’t be just another formal discussion. It also incorporates a play, commentators and a ‘special moment’ for the audience to participate. Keen to know how this works? Read this

An event that will engage your mind and all of your senses, you and your partner will have plenty to talk about after experiencing the diversity of works at The O.P.E.N.

After a four-year run, this year may be your last chance to catch The O.P.E.N. Make sure to register for the programmes you’re keen on attending, as capacity is limited!

The O.P.E.N. 2017
Address: Various Locations
28 June – 30 July
$45 (All programmes*), $25 (Concession pass-all programmes*), $10 (Single Entry Ticket)

*Note that one O.P.E.N. pass allows you to register for up to 6 O.P.E.N. films and up to 1 O.P.E.N. Kitchens Session

To purchase tickets, click here

4. Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth

Back for its seventh edition,
Image Credit:

Image Credit:
Time Out Singapore

An exhibition about our relationship with our home, this art show will have you seeing our environment in a brand new light.

Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth
Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555
6 May – 27 August
Free for Singaporeans, permanent residents, and children under six. For non-Singaporeans and PRs, $6 for adults, and $3 for children.

Prices vary for programmes. General admission to Imaginarium: To the Ends of the Earth Family Night at the Museum is $12

To purchase tickets, click here

5. Art Day Out! At Gillman Barracks

Gillman Barracks seems to be the place to be for a growing group of art-lovers and hipsters all over the country. Drawing crowds from all over at events like Art After Dark, this art cluster off Alexandra Road definitely ranks high on our list of top hipster date spots.

Image Credit: Gillman Barracks

This June, its popular Art Day Out! will return for a special School Holidays edition.

Before you tune out, pegging this as a kids-only event, there will be plenty of things for the grown ups among us to do as well. Think a curation of new exhibitions and special programmes, including an interactive art tour by one of Singapore’s leading theatre companies, The Finger Players.

Image Credit:
Image Credit: CDN Wallpaper

Experiencing various art forms in a place that’s off the beaten path? It doesn’t get more hipster than that!

Art Day Out! At Gillman Barracks
Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108937
24 June

This list of events is brought to you by

To sweeten the deal, you’ll be happy to know that A List Singapore has recently created a mysterious Black Box. It will contain curated items that open the way to different arts experiences every month. In it, you’ll find tickets to arts and culture festivals, exclusive merchandise, and tons of other cool stuff.

This month, A List will be giving away its Black Box to one lucky winner!  

Look forward to EXCLUSIVE A List merchandise, The O.P.E.N. Festival passes for two and Janice Wong gourmet chocolates worth over S$200. To get your hands on this exclusive black box, all you have to do is click here for more updates.

Ultra SG 2017 Was Lit – Offstage, We Got Up Close And Personal With Myrne, Rave Republic, And Sam Rui

For the party people, last weekend was THE long-awaited Ultra Music Festival Singapore 2017. Like last year, the 2-day electronic dance music festival in Singapore was ultra wet, ultra muddy, and ultra amazing!

EDM heavyweights Hardwell and Tiesto drew the largest crowd at the Main stage on Saturday, 10th June. And while the drizzle that started off in the evening turned into a heavy downpour, it didn’t stop us from partying hard with Dash Berlin. It was a fantastic experience and a god-sent respite from the scorching heat.

At the Live stage, we caught Indonesian rapper Rich Chigga, and fellow home-grown talents DJ-producer Myrne, and singer-songwriter Sam Rui. Sitting between the two stages is the Resistance stage, which featured iconic UK duo Sasha & John Digweed and American house DJ-producer Jonny Vicious.

We had a serious dilemma on Day 2, because the line-ups were crazy – in a good way. From Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki, and Steve Angello headlining the Main stage, to Pendulum and KSHMR on Live stage at the other end, it’s hard to go for one set and not have #FOMO from passing up on the other big names.

Not forgetting local acts on the Live stage: home-boy ShiGGa Shay, DJ Duo Rave Republic, and singer-songwriter Jasmine Sokko.

While it didn’t rain on day 2, it was perfect weather for the party. Knife Party made a special appearance too – a big treat to the fans!

Of course there’s cake. #ultrasingapore #steveaoki #cakeme #umf #singapore #ultra

A post shared by • Sház♞샤즈니 • (@shazbyshaz) on

Also, we finally got to witness Aoki’s famous cake-throwing ability.

Credit: Shazni

The lights and visuals were stunning. So were the sound and special effects. The free stuff like neon face and body paint, foil tattoos, photo print-outs, and goodie bags from several sponsor booths around the festival grounds added to the fun too (because we love free stuff).

As for food, drinks, and merchandise, payments had to be made via the RFID (radio frequency identification) tags on our wrist-tags. We had to top up our wrist tags via cash or credit card before buying anything – an upgrade from last year and it definitely made the ordering and collection process much easier and faster.

Another thing they ramped up this year was security. In wake of the rising terrorist-related attacks at major concerts and festivals, entrance bag checks were extremely thorough and we even got pat-downs. Kudos to the organisers and security for ensuring our safety!

We sent our DiscoverSG ambassadors down too, and this video wraps up the amazing time we had there.

We also scored the chance to chat with three home-grown artistes, Myrne, Rave Republic, and Sam Rui to get to know them a little better!


Why “Myrne”?

Avicii was taken. I tried a few other names like Tiesto and Hardwell, but it didn’t really work out.

I was a big fan of Talking Heads. The front man David Byrne wrote a book “How Music Works”, and it was a very influential book. It really affected how I saw the music industry and my career. So I ‘stole’ his name and put in the ‘M’ from my name. It was Byrne, now it’s Myrne.

If you were not producing music, what would you be doing now?

I love writing and journalism reporting, and I wanted to be a war journalist. Then I realised the high-risk environments they work in, so I decided I’d do something a bit more stable.

But otherwise, if I wasn’t into music, I’d probably do something total opposite. Probably a professor at a school, or just surround myself with learning and writing opportunities.

If you could pick out just one track of yours that represents who you are as a DJ-Producer, what would it be?

It’ll be Tiger Blood. It really represents what I am interested in when making music – collaboration. I did the track with my friend Graves, who is based in Hawaii.

The elements in the track are very symbolic of how I approach music. It’s a bit more melodic, very high energy, and a lot of old school chords and influences from R&B and old hip hop. I think that’s the best interpretation of my kind of music.

What about now? Who are some of your favourite artistes?

I’m really inspired by everything local. By people who grew up the same way I did, under the same circumstances, and yet they’ve gone on to do really interesting things.

Local artistes like Jasmine Sokko, who’s a good friend of mine and came from the same JC as me. She’s been doing electronic music and from Singapore as well so it’s really inspiring.

Sam Rui – her voice is really great. Also, Gentle Bones.

Any tips for aspiring DJs?

Don’t drop out of school.

To get good at anything, you have to spend a lot of time on it. If you’re going to be out at a cybercafé or a club all night, you’re not going to get good at DJing or producing music. You have to make some very significant lifestyle changes to improve your craft.

Rave Republic

Credit: Rave Republic’s Facebook

How different is it to DJ together compared to doing it solo?

It’s completely different. We’re more reserved alone and we don’t go on the mic as much. We also have our own tracks, so we surprise each other quite a lot with tracks that we drop. Through that, we build up each other up. Whereas when we play alone, we tend to just play what we’re used to.

We complement each other and together, we have so much energy.

Working together, were there disagreements that both of you had to work out?

Surprisingly, we’ve never had an argument for the 3 years we’ve been working together. We usually see eye to eye and never really had big differences. We’re both really chill too, so we’re good.

Why “Rave Republic”?

We wanted to create a community. Like a republic, or nation kind of thing. And Rave Republic just came to us.

We asked a few people and we had a few names like Rave-olution and Rave Nation, but Rave Republic just stuck.

Any crazy fan girl stories?

A girl broke into our house once and played our PlayStation. It was very strange.

The girl walked into our Swedish house-mate’s room where he was sleeping with his girlfriend, and that girl just went: “Shhh, shhh, I’m gonna use your bathroom. Shhhh.”She was really drunk, and so was our house-mate. So the next morning, he was like: did I imagine all that?

Apparently she had broken in to use our bathroom, played our PlayStation, and left. It was very confusing and weird for all of us.

What are your future plans for Rave Republic?

We’ve only been playing in Asia this past 2 or 3 years. The next will definitely be global expansion. It is one of our biggest goals to put Asia in the global map.

If you think about Asia-based artistes, there’s pretty much no one who’s hit it big overseas. And I know we’re ang moh, but we’re proud to call ourselves Singaporeans. We’ve lived here for 7 and 9 years. We grew our act here and it is our home. We really want to take the sound and our inspiration that comes from living in Singapore and Asia, and export it world-wide. Hopefully, Rave Republic can be that act!

We’ve going to announce some big news that will help with our goal of global expansion soon!

Sam Rui

Credit: Sam Rui

Why “Sam Rui”?

My stage name kind of happened by accident.

When I was creating my Youtube channel back then, I typed my first name (Samantha) into the name box, and “Wong Sze Rui” into the surname box like an idiot. Youtube took the “Rui” as my last name, so “Samantha Rui” showed up. I liked the sound of it, and it wasn’t so far off from my actual name, so it just stuck. I cut it to Sam since everyone calls me Sam anyway.

If you were not producing music, what would you be doing now?

I don’t actually produce, I think there’s this common misconception that I produce my music since it’s electronic, but my producer is GROSSE. I write the music and lyrics, he does the actual production. I feel the need to clarify that because I’ve been asked this a couple times and I can’t take credit for something I didn’t do.

If I weren’t making or writing music, I’d be in university studying psychology. Before music, I really wanted to pursue clinical psychology and eventually take over my mom’s private practice – she’s a counsellour and linguistic therapist. I was straddling school and music but felt like I was doing both at a 50% capacity, so I decided to focus on music at this point. However, I still plan to finish my degree and pursue that.

How would you describe your music style? What would be the one track of yours that really represents who you are?

My sound changes between songs on the album, so I’d loosely say my music is alternative-electronic R&B. The one thing that ties the whole album together is what I like to think as “soul”. Again I say this loosely. I don’t mean “soul” as in a powerhouse vocal, or any sort of jazz influence.

It’s the honesty I put into my music – the way I write, the way I sing and even the way we craft the tone of the beat and lay down the vocal. For example in my album, the aim was to capture whatever I was feeling at the time – heartbreak, sadness, loneliness, clarity – and fit them into songs, like time capsules.

The one track I feel captures this best is the outro of the album – 20,000. It means a lot to me because I wrote this as sort of a summary, a letter to myself.

Outside of Ultra, where else can we catch you perform?

I’ve got a couple shows coming up later this year.

I also live stream on Instagram every once in a while, where I basically see how many songs I can play to the 1 jazz chord progression I know. If you request a song in the chat there that I know, I’ll probably sing it. Like a fun DIY acoustic show.

What are your future plans for Sam Rui?

For now it’s just putting this album out and seeing my baby finally come to life. I’ve been sitting on it so long and it’s my first big project. After it’s out I hope to do some local and regional shows.

I’d want to get back to writing and I really want to collaborate with other local and regional artists. Performing is one thing but creating the music is a whole other ball game and I haven’t done that in a while, so hopefully I get the chance to again in the tail end of this year.


We thank Myrne, Rave Republic, and Sam Rui for their time!

Also, read This Trippy Mirror Maze Will Have You Losing Yourself In Infinite Reflections And Endless Hallways.

(Header Image Source: Ultra Singapore)

The Sister Act Musical Delivers Fun, Laughs, And Some Divine Wisdom

Sister Act converted me. Into a fan, I mean.

For those of you who may not know, Sister Act (the musical) is based off a film of the same name, originally starring Whoopi Goldberg. If you’re a fan of the original film, this adaptation remains true to it, for the most part!

Sister Act – The Musical

[caption id="attachment_26454" align="alignnone" width="1353"] Psyched for Sister Act![/caption]

Without giving away too much, this was my experience:

The musical got off to a lukewarm start, with a song number and introduction on how the protagonist, Deloris Van Cartier, unwittingly gets herself into a sticky situation. After witnessing her mob leader boyfriend commiting a crime, she is placed under protection by the police.

One ridiculous thing leads to another, and the wannabe diva winds up hiding at the Queen of Angels Church in the guise of a nun.

[caption id="attachment_26455" align="alignnone" width="1426"] The opening act of Sister Act[/caption]

The story continues with Deloris, disguised as ‘Sister Mary Clarence’, bonding with the delightful and endearing group of convent sisters. Without spoiling too much of the musical, I’d say it culminates in a heartwarming ending reminding us not to be afraid to be ourselves, and about how friendship triumphs even in the presence of evil.

The musical was not only laugh-out-loud funny, it was also mesmerizing.

The playful sarcasm poking fun at Catholic beliefs and practices had us bursting out laughing at many points throughout the show.

The transition of props and scenes were seamless. Throughout, I was gawking at the detail and beauty of the stage set-up for the Queen of Angels Church.

[caption id="attachment_26456" align="alignnone" width="1426"] The gorgeous set of the Queen of Angels Church[/caption]

Both the main stars and the supporting cast had impressive voices that brought to life the music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s won awards for his scores on Disney classics The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

At the end of the show, we overheard other Singaporeans singing praises of how “the pope was so good,” and how “he was so real and funny”, showing that even the supporting cast stole our hearts. Clearly, the audience had as great a time as we did, with some giving standing ovations and others dancing along during the final musical number.

If you haven’t caught the musical yet, there is still time!

Running until 28 May, catch Sister Act at the Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands! Tickets are going at $65 for Cat 5 to $185 for VIP Reserve seats.

Head here to get your tickets!

Sister Act
Venue: Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
9 – 28 May
Price: $65, $95, $125, $155, $185, $380, $620, $740. Click here for more details on prices.

Also read Beijing 101 Has Been Around For 43 Years, But What’s Their Secret To Survival? We Found Out

(Top Image Credit: City Nomads)