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interview

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Thai soloist Sorn releases new single and reflects on what it means to be ‘Nirvana Girl’

  • Sorn, a former member of K-pop girl group CLC, released a new digital single on Sep. 15 titled “Nirvana Girl,” featuring vocals from her former CLC groupmate Yeeun and choreography from her former CLC groupmate Seungyeon. 
  • This will be Sorn’s first new music project with Yeeun and Seungyeon since CLC’s official disbandment announcement back in May. 
  • The Thai soloist, who is currently signed by WILD Entertainment Group, has released three singles so far this year: “Save Me,” “Scorpio” and “Sharp Objects.” 
  • Sorn sat down with NextShark ahead of the single’s release to chat about what her solo journey has been like and what it means to be a “Nirvana Girl.”

“I don’t feel like I can really, fully inspire anyone just yet,” Sorn tells NextShark over the phone while in South Korea.

The 25-year-old Thai artist has come a long way since becoming a K-pop trainee under CUBE Entertainment at age 15. With a decade of experience under her belt – nearly seven of which were with the now-disbanded K-pop girl group CLC – Sorn has journeyed as a soloist down a road of humility.

Filipino band Ben&Ben break into US music scene with first-ever North American tour and new single

  • Filipino folk pop band Ben&Ben dropped a new English single titled “The Ones We Once Loved" on Friday.
  • In their fifth year as a band, Ben&Ben will embark on their first-ever North American tour and perform in five U.S. cities starting this September.
  • While speaking with NextShark, Ben&Ben discussed their stances on societal issues with their music relating to women empowerment, the LGBTQ-plus community, good governance and mental health.

Filipino band Ben&Ben are bursting into the American music scene with their first-ever North American tour and the release of a new English single titled “The Ones We Once Loved.”

Currently one of the top bands in the Philippines, Ben&Ben formed in 2017 and consists of nine members: twin duo Miguel Benjamin and Paolo Benjamin, Poch Barretto, Keifer Cabugao, Andrew De Pano, Toni Muñoz, Pat Lasaten, Anges Reoma and Jam Villanueva.

Curtis Waters is more than a TikTok gimmick: ‘There’s so much amazing sh*t that I have yet to do’

Within the Wild West of the digital age’s musical landscape, everyone from major label signees to independent dreamers operating out of garages and bedrooms are competing to create the next trending hit. But for Curtis Waters, whose single “Stunnin’” became the signature soundtrack for style clips all over TikTok, his relationship with the track that propelled him into cultural relevance is complicated. 

“I can’t be mad at it and, you know, it’s made the world a better place because people enjoy it, but for a long time, I felt really embarrassed of it,” Waters tells NextShark. “I felt like people don’t see me as the artist I see myself and that they see me as a gimmick.”

‘Vulnerability is weakness’: the ‘House of Ho’ cast on Asian masculinity, filial piety and a new gen of Asian Americans

The Ho family returns for their second season after an almost two-year hiatus, promising more Hos and a ho’ lot of drama.

Centered around a wealthy Vietnamese American family based in Houston, Texas, HBO Max’s reality TV series “House of Ho” gives viewers an intimate glimpse into the opulent lives of immigrants who have achieved the American Dream. Viewers may be surprised, however, to discover that the Ho family deals with the same issues that many average Asian Americans deal with in their own lives, some of which stem from cultural dissonance. Disagreements about how children should be raised, differences in the treatment of sons and daughters and the pressures placed upon them by their parents well into adulthood are just a few sources of drama viewers can expect to see and possibly relate to while observing the Ho family.

‘Why is the story still unknown?’: ‘Free Chol Soo Lee’ co-directors refuse to let America forget Korean American wrongfully convicted of murder in 1973

Julie Ha and Eugene Yi’s six-year journey to illuminate the life and legacy of Chol Soo Lee, a Korean American man falsely convicted of murder, began at the end of his story.

While Ha first learned of him through her mentor K.W. Lee, a journalist who played an instrumental role in raising awareness of the injustices that plagued the wrongly convicted man, she truly came to grips with the gravity of Chol Soo Lee’s situation at his funeral.

‘I’m always going to be me no matter what country I’m in’: BIBI chats artist authenticity and Camp McDonald’s collab

South Korean singer-songwriter BIBI has been a busy bee this past year.

Back in January, the Feel Ghood Music artist collaborated with former IZ*ONE member Yena on the track “Smiley.” In April, she joined 88rising for their superstar set at Coachella, where she performed “Best Lover,” one of the tracks included in 88rising’s “Head In The Clouds Forever” EP. Last month, she was featured in CHUNG HA’s song “Crazy Like You” from the latter’s second studio album “Bare&Rare.”

Eric Nam says being Asian ‘now feels like a superpower,’ talks heartbreak as song inspiration in new interview

  • In an interview on the “Zach Sang Show” about his most recent album, “There and Back Again,” popstar Eric Nam shared his thoughts on identity, love and aging.
  • Most of the songs on his new album appear to be about heartbreak, including the hits “I Don’t Know You Anymore” and “What If.”
  • When inquiring about the inspiration behind his songs, Sang asked Nam if he has been in a relationship recently.
  • “Not in the last year…or two. It’s been a minute” Nam said. He also explained that he does not share who his songs are about, preferring to leave it up to the listener’s interpretation.
  • “I watched Olivia Rodrigo totally go after a single human being in an entire album” Sang points out. “And she’s doing quite well.”
  • Nam responded that he chooses not to, explaining, “It’s an old man, graceful way of doing things.”

Popstar Eric Nam shared his thoughts on identity and love in an interview about his most recent album, “There and Back Again,” on the “Zach Sang Show.”

The interview was published on Saturday to the YouTube channel of talk show host Zach Sang, who has interviewed countless notable artists on his show, including Blackpink and Ariana Grande.

‘It just felt good to be seen’: ‘Turning Red’ boy band 4*Town on Asian representation in Pixar’s new movie

4*town
  • The “Turning Red” voice actors behind Disney Pixar’s first-ever boy band 4*Town spoke with NextShark about the animated film’s Asian representation and universal themes.
  • “To see this type of representation on screen that I haven’t seen that much growing up… it really made me feel seen and heard,” Vietnamese American singer Topher Ngo (who voices Aaron T. in the movie) said.
  • When asked about the takeaway message of the film, Josh Levi (voice actor of Aaron Z.) replied, “[Be] kinder to everyone and also kinder to yourself as you're navigating. I don’t know if that expires, trying to navigate and figure that out as you grow up even through middle school, as an adult, in your career, in your future and your family, so yeah, just grace with yourself, too.”
  • The voice cast behind 4*Town also features Jordan Fisher (Robaire), Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas O’Connell (Jesse), who also helped write the band’s three songs, and Filipino American actor and singer Grayson Villanueva (Tae Young).

Disney Pixar’s first-ever boy band 4*Town spoke with NextShark about Asian representation and the universal themes they took away from Domee Shi’s “Turning Red.”

Pixar’s latest animated feature, which follows the story of a Chinese Canadian teen who hits a particularly awkward stage of puberty when she turns into a giant red panda, hits close to home for the fictional boy band’s voice actors.

‘I was the only one doing it’: TV chef icon Martin Yan on 43 years of sharing Asian American cuisine

  • Television chef Martin Yan spoke to NextShark about his 43 years in the industry, discrimination he has faced, the meaning of “authenticity” in cooking, and how he has become more vocal in advocating for Asian American communities.
  • In his new web series called “MY Chinatown,” Yan hopes to support the communities around him, saying he has become “more vocal” in his advocacy in the past few years.
  • “The Chinese have been living in Chinatown, have been working hard in Chinatown, have been contributing to the economy of the U.S., the tourism of California and the city, for 160 years! We are part of America. It’s a melting pot. Why do you have to hate us?” he said.

Chef Martin Yan has spent 43 years sharing Asian American culture and cooking on broadcast television – now he hopes to engage in more activism with his “MY Chinatown” series.

When Martin Yan joins the Zoom call, he instantly glides into TV presenter mode. After settling in with his AirPods, he cheerily walks me through the Chinese New Year decorations that have taken up the majority of his kitchen. 

Skepticism over Peng Shuai’s freedom voiced by WTA chief, journalist who interviewed her

Peng Shuai interview
  • A picture taken during Peng Shuai’s first in-person interview with Western media since her disappearance late last year showed Chinese Olympics Committee Chief of Staff Wang Kan in the background.
  • Marc Ventouillac, one of the L’Equipe reporters who interviewed Peng, said the 36-year-old athlete “seems to be healthy.” However, he admitted it was “impossible to say” if the three-time Olympian is truly “free to say and do what she wants.”
  • “It’s important, I think, for the Chinese Olympic Committee, for the Communist Party and for many people in China to try to show: ‘No, there is no Peng Shuai affair,'” he said.
  • Women’s Tennis Association Chief Executive Steve Simon said Peng’s interview with the French magazine “does not alleviate any of our concerns about her initial post from November 2.”

Chinese Olympics Committee Chief of Staff Wang Kan was reportedly spotted near Peng Shuai during a rare interview with French sports magazine L’Equipe over the weekend.

A picture taken during the interview shows Wang’s reflection in a mirror, with him standing across Peng, 36, during her first Western media interview since her alleged disappearance in November 2021, New York Post reported.

‘No one is just one thing’: Michelle Li doubles down against racism, launches Very Asian Foundation to amplify AAPI voices

Michelle Li
  • Michelle Li, a news anchor with KSDK in St. Louis, received a call on New Year’s Day from a viewer who complained about her mentioning dumpling soup.
  • The viewer called Li “very Asian,” a phrase that quickly morphed into a movement as politicians, journalists, celebrities, influencers and social media users showed support and shared their own stories.
  • Li appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday where she received seed funding to start The Very Asian Foundation, an organization that will amplify AAPI voices.

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to indicate that the caller who complained about Li for covering a Memorial Day celebration did not reach KSDK, but another station Li had worked with years ago.

Weeks after receiving a racist voicemail that quickly transformed into a solidarity movement, Missouri news anchor Michelle Li launched The Very Asian Foundation, an organization committed to amplifying diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices.

Meet the viral TikTok star veganizing classic Korean dishes

korean vegan

In a time when identity can be divisive, Joanne Lee Molinaro has curated a space to bring people together: Korean, vegan or otherwise.

The first time I encountered Molinaro, also known as the Korean Vegan, it was through her TikTok. The app’s algorithm, always uncannily certain of the type of content I would want to watch, delivered me a video of hers. It eludes me now which one I saw first, exactly — but I remember immediately going to her profile and scrolling through dozens more.