Interview with …. Arab Sones

Girls’ Generation, aka SNSD, is undeniably one of the highly recognized and best-selling K-Pop girl groups in South Korea. Their 2009 hit bubblegum song Gee, gained them attraction in their homeland and beyond. They continued to sweep up the charts, win awards and release hit songs like Genie, Mr.Mr., Hoot, The Boys, Run Devil Run, and many more, with the help of their loyal fans, who go by Sones.

Meet the Arab Sones and admins behind the official Twitter Arab fan account @ArabSone9.

They share with me why they like the superstar girl group, what they worked on for SMTown concert, the gifts they sent to them and many more.

Hello! Tell me more about yourself and the admins as well as the @ArabSone9 Twitter account? Why did you decide to create an Arab Girls’ Generation fan account?

Hi^^ we’re 10 admins from different countries

Admin Nourah: Hello👋

I’m Nourah from Kuwait and I’m 18 years old. I became a sone in 2008 and that was the best thing I ever did in my life💓.

Admin Fajer: Hello 💕

I’m Fajer from Kuwait and I’m 25 years old. I became a sone in 2011 and I’m still a sone till the end of my life. I really love this group so much and I really enjoy their music

Admin Rahaf Als: Hello ♥️!

I’m Rahaf/راهف  from Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 i’m 21 years old. I became a sone in 2009 and I’ll always be a sone. SNSD is the source of my happiness and I’m so blessed that i knew them and i loved them because they are THE BEST.

Admin Rahaf Alj: Hello!

I’m Rahaf and I’m from Kuwait. I’m 18 years old. I became a sone in 2012. My bias is Sooyoung and I really love Girls Generation.

@Arabsone9 was created in July 8th 2014.

The reason why we created this account is that we wanted to communicate with all of Arab sones easily and translate SNSD’s news for them.

Since there’s a lot of Arab sones and a lot of people who love Girls’ Generation, we decided to create this account to let many people know more about them, to post every single new & update about the members and to support them of course!

@Arabsone9 is not just an account for us , can we say it’s our daily routine? we spend all the day long in the account. Even from this account the admins became so close to each other.

We even communicate with each other daily ! Like calling and chatting. Last but not least we hope to keep running this account for along time.

We want to make many people know this great girl group which is Girls’ Generation and enjoy their music just like we do!

Who are mostly your followers? (Nationality, gender, age groups etc…)

Admin Fajer: There are many followers from so many different countries

But the most are from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and about the gender mostly are females without a specific ages because they are divided from teenagers to adults

What made you become interested in Girls’ Generation and when would you say you first became a Sone?

Admin Nourah: I saw SNSD for the first time in 2008 on korea tv channel , the channel was airing their songs so I liked them a lot and their singing abilities amazed me , so I started searching about them on YouTube I watched their first reality show called ( girls go to school ) and because of it I liked their personalities then officially I became a sone , SNSD is the first kpop group that I liked until now.

Admin Rahaf Alj: I knew SNSD in 2009, but I wasn’t interested in Korean pop. After three years my friend told me about the korean pop and she showed me a video of korean band. Then I searched about korean pop in general. Then SNSD attracted me , so that’s how I became a Sone, and I really can’t wait to see them.

Admin Fajer: I’m a sone since 2011 , I was enjoying my time on YouTube watching random videos then suddenly I noticed their song gee I was curious about it but after I watched the music video I found myself searching more and more about them until I decided officially to become a sone !

Admin Rahaf Als: I became a sone after listening and watching to their song gee. When I watched it for the first time my love for them growing a lot since that moment and I’ll be a sone forever.

Although some members have left SM Entertainment to pursue other activities, you still share all the members’ news and updates with your followers. Why is that?

Admin Nourah: We became sone when SNSD used to have 9 members, we stayed with them days and years! We loved each member in special way.

We can’t hate any member for any reason!

Wether if one of them left the group to focus in her own life or to make her own solo we will still support her and we will update the all members news

And about the members who left SM recently they’re still in Girls’ Generation

What do you like most about Girls’ Generation?

We like everything about them , their performances , songs , fashions and personalities.

As a group they are perfect in many ways like their voices , their perfect vocals and the things that makes SNSD always special is their different concepts and their unique songs!

What we like the most is their strong relationship between them, especially when they gathered together to celebrate Sooyoung’s birthday together at Tiffany’s apartment even though the three members left the company.

What songs would you recommend for those who are new to the K-pop girl group?

Admin Nourah: Into the new world and All night

Admin Fajer: Lion Heart and Genie

Admin Rahaf Alj: Love is bitter and The boys

 

Any projects (posters, fan chants etc…) you worked on for the SM Town concert in Dubai that you can share with us?

Admin Nourah: Yes of course! We worked on a lot of projects for the SMTown concert in Dubai. Here are the projects that we prepared:
We gave 1 thousand small banners for the Sones, and of course we gave it to the other fans!
And we already gave 3 banners to Hyoyeon,Yoona and Taeyeon.
What was written on the small banners is
“Thank you for coming and making our dream come true“
We also made one huge banner , we wrote on it
“Stay together sailing into the new world, with you who made our life complete“.
The second project is the gifts for all the 8 members, we’ve already bought the gifts for each member from swarovski and the gifts contain Sone’s letters, and we are so happy that we gave them our gifts😭💓.

What did you think of the SMTown concert and seeing the members live? How were you all feeling at the moment? 

Admin Nourah: The concert was really great and even SM Artists were so great on the stage, but we hoped for a group stage for SNSD. However, their solo stages were great too !
Their voices can’t be described so amazing and they’re so beautiful !
Before the concert day I met hyoyeon accidentally and I was able to give her our gifts and she smiled at me a lot, I really wanted to speak with her more but I was so nervous and shocked but just seeing her made me so happy , honestly I feel like its a dream I can’t believe that I was able to see and meet our girls , and its my second time seeing taeyeon but this time she was so close !😭💞
Our girls are really pretty and it can’t be described in words

Have you worked on any other projects for Girls’ Generation? Do you collaborate with other Girl’s Generation accounts around the world and send gifts, display posters etc…?

Yes! Back on time when Taeyeon came to the UAE, we gave her a necklace made out of gold, but we couldn’t give her while she was in UAE, so we sent it to Korea, so we are not sure if she received it or not!

The second gift was for Taeyeon too. We made a food support for her comeback “Why” for her and her team.

We actually planned for a lot of projects for the whole members and the soloist members but we couldn’t do them for some reasons. Wait for us in future for a lot and bigger projects.

Is there anything that you’d like to add or share with readers?

Admin Rahaf Alj: First of all thank you for giving us the chance for being a part of this interview! Secondly, we would like to share our experience with you guys, seeing our favorite idols in real life was like a dream! We still can’t believe that we saw Girls Generation members in real life we were so happy to had that amazing experience!
Finally, we hope to see our favorite idols again in different Arab countries in future.
At the end we hope you enjoyed reading our interview and thank you so much for reading it!

SNUPER held a super performance at Ajman University

The screaming of young girls and multicolored glowing light sticks and banners filled the air as soon as a small video introduction of each member of K-pop boy band SNUPER was played on a screen in an auditorium at Sheikh Zayed Center for Conferences & Exhibitions in Ajman University.

It was not only when Su Hyun, Sang Ho, Woo Sung, Sang Il, Se Bin and Tae Woong equally entered the hall from opposite sides and walked towards the stage while singing their title song You = Heaven, from their first single album Compass, that passionate fans released even louder screams at the sight of their favorite idols.

The six members took little a break to introduce themselves after singing their hit retro song Platonic Love and impressed their fans, officially known as Swings, with their choreography and signature music style.

Amid shrill hysteria, the members dressed in green and white attire continued to showcase their impeccably choreographed dance routines without losing vocal range, and even stepped off stage during one of their performance to get closer to enthusiastic fans.

During their free mini concert, Se Bin, the group’s purple-haired rapper, briefly demonstrated his Taekwondo skills to the crowd.

In attempt to get closer with their fans, each member handpicked one of multiple colorful sticky notes, filled with questions written by Swing, on a whiteboard, and invited the lucky questioners on stage to personally present them with a gift.

The photogenic group ended their concert by singing upbeat tracks Shall We Dance and The Star of Stars from their debut mini album and 4th repackaged mini album, respectively.

SNUPER delivered a fun, super performance with a total of seven songs and announced that they are set to release their new mini album April 24th.

Interview with …. Arab Cassiopeia

Dubbed as “Asia’s Stars” and “Kings of K-pop”, TVXQ!, short for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, are a K-pop duo that consists of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. Originally debuted as a five-member in 2003, TVXQ! have been actively promoting as a duo since 2011 and continue to top the charts in Korea and Japan. They have a hugely loyal fanbase, Cassiopeias, around the world and in the MENA region.

NorahSaharJumanah and Norah are the four Saudi Arabian girls, ranging from 24 to 26 year-olds, handling a dedicated TVXQ! Arab fan account @TVXQArabFans on Twitter. The majority of their followers are Saudi Arabian females in their late tens to early thirties.

“The reason behind us deciding to create this account and build a support platform 4 years ago is to contribute in helping TVXQ’s art reach as many Arabs as possible and to introduce the duo to their Arabic fanbase,” they add. “Thus, we have allocated a certain amount of time to translate the duo’s song lyrics, interviews, and other activities on a daily basis.”

What about TVXQ first caught your attention?

Uniqueness. We have all grown up with all types of arts and entertainment surrounding us but the kind TVXQ are providing is different. They put their own magic into simple songs turning them into master pieces. Adding to that the attractiveness of their polite and funny personalities.

What has been your favorite memory of TVXQ throughout their career?

Stumbling upon TVXQ for the first time has always been a favourite and precious memory. However, a new favorite memory shall be created once we actually meet them for the first time in SMTown Concert in Dubai.

“They are so passionate and determined about singing, performing, touching people’s heart with music, and spreading hope and happiness.”

What do you like most about the K-pop duo?

Their passion; they are so passionate and determined about singing, performing, touching people’s heart with music, and spreading hope and happiness. They have never given up on their musical dreams no matter how many times they were turned down and pushed back to the starting point.

What songs would you recommend for those who are new to TVXQ?

With the kind of art TVXQ create, it’s really hard to choose a few songs, but if we have to do so then we would recommend:

– Catch Me
– Spellbound
– Something
– I Swear
– Before you Go
– Off-road
– She
– Rising Sun
– Why ~ Keep Your Head Down

Please keep in mind that this list might change once TVXQ make their most annticipated comeback in the 28th of March with their 9th full-length album.

Is there anything in particular that you would like people to know about them?

We would like people to get to know their personalities. They have two opposite personalities that complement each other so well. Therefore, we recommend watching their interviews on different variety shows.

“They have never given up on their musical dreams no matter how many times they were turned down and pushed back to the starting point.”

Any projects (posters, banners, fan chants etc…) you’ll be working on for the SM Town concert in Dubai that you can share with us?

Yes, our project consists of all the examples you have mentioned; banners, fanchants, balloons, and lightsticks. We are also planning to send the duo a special welcoming gift from thier Arab fans.

What are you looking forward to mostly from their performance?

Their way of dominating the stage with their singing, dancing, and interaction with the fans. We are also looking forward to TVXQ talk-segment to see if they have learned any Arabic words/phrases to communicate with us more intimately.

Do you collaborate with other TVXQ accounts around the world on projects such as send gifts, create banners, display posters outdoors etc…?

Yes, we have done several projects for TVXQ before with the help and collaboration of different fans from all around the globe. For example, we are part of a world-wide project for TVXQ upcomimg record-breaking performance on Nissan Stadium.

If you had a chance to sit down with them, what would you like to ask them or tell them?

We would tell them about how much they are loved and looked up to by the Middle Eastern fans and they are the reason behind the happiness many of us are feeling.

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?

Not really. Thank you for your time. We really appreciate you reaching out to us and providing us this opportunity to voice out our opinion about and emotions toward TVXQ.

K-Pop Group EXO in Dubai

It was a big day for Arab EXO-Ls and all K-pop fans in Dubai. Not only was it EXO‘s first visit to the Emirates but also they’re the first K-pop group to have their upbeat Korean-hit song Power to be played for the first time at the world’s largest choreographed fountain, The Dubai Fountain.

Hundreds of fans of all ages and cultures gathered at venue, eagerly waited till 5:30pm and armed with the group’s official lightsticks and banners along with mobile phones to capture the historic moment and to celebrate EXO’s achievement.

The video consists of interviews with EXO-L’s and some footage from EXO’s private press conference.

Read the related article on Gulf News’s tabloid! here.

BTS Take Over Anghami

BTS has done it again! The global K-pop sensation has surpassed 10 million plays on Anghami.

The seven-piece boy band is the first and only K-pop group to achieve this on MENA’s largest music streaming service.

Fans never fail to show support of their favorite artists. Their loyal fans, ARMY, which stands for Adorable Representative M.C for Youth, in particular Arab ARMYS took to Twitter, hashtagging #ArabArmyWithBTS and #BTS_10_Million_Arab_listeners in celebration of BTS’s achievement.

Arab ARMYs across the MENA region have also created Twitter accounts dedicated to everything BTS with their followers, from sharing the band’s latest news to organizing fan projects.

The Emirates is no stranger to the record-breaking group. BTS’s songs, especially DNA and Mic Drop have been played on Dubai-based radio stations such as Virgin Radio Dubai and Radio 1 UAE.

BTS may have made their breakthrough presence in the American music market but it’s seems they have attracted fans locally and around the MENA region.

2018 may be a big year for K-pop in the Middle East.

Image source: BTS’s official Facebook account. 

Interview with …. EXOinUAE

There’s a whole lot of excitement happening lately among K-pop fans in the Emirates. Why you might ask? Well it might be because one of South Korea’s hottest boy bands, who go by EXO, is coming down tomorrow to watch their song Power being played for the first time at the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, The Dubai Fountain.

EXO might be super talented and breaking records as they go, but the superstars have a loyal support of fans, who go by EXO-L or or EXO-LOVE, all over the world and their first to Dubai proves that the UAE is no exception.

I had the pleasure to interview Hend Jumah Al Ali, Fatima Omar Al Bannay and Sara Ahmed Ahmed, the head admins of @EXOinUAE, UAE’s first official EXO fanbase on Twitter, and discuss in-depth their love for EXO, why they created a fan account in the UAE, their song Power being played at The Dubai Fountain and much more.

 

Hi there, can you tell me more about yourself and the @EXOinUAE Twitter account?

Hend J.: Hello, @EXOinUAE is the first UAE Fanbase for the K-pop boy group “EXO”. Our account focuses on fan projects and EXO important updates.

 

Why did you decide to create an EXO fan account in the UAE? Who are the admins?

Hend J.: Almost all EXO’s Arabic fanbases accounts are dedicated to all Arab countries in general. Most of the international fanbases try to prove their selves as a fandom in that specific country to get more recognition as a fanbase. Therefore, we decided to open this account to gather all UAE EXO fans to do fan projects, supports, share updates and fangirl over EXO together.

This way UAE EXOL (EXOL is EXO’s fandom name) will get recognized by our favorite group and they will know more about the country and the fandom.

After opening this account and starting our own projects we received many messages saying that they are so happy about the UAE fanbase account and they never knew that there are this many EXO fans in the UAE-Dubai since no one ever talked about it before. We admins would like to thank all of those who supported us and kept on sending us sweet and encouraging messages it really means us a lot.

 

“The statistics of our account followers shows that there is a great number of fans in the UAE. In addition to those who do not use social media accounts but yet they are part of the fandom”- Sara A.

 

Who are your followers? (Nationality, gender, age groups etc…)

Hend J.: Our account Data shows that the TOP 3 nationalities of our followers are Emiratis, Saudis and Filipinos who are currently living in the UAE.

Most UAE followers comes from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah & Ras Al-Khaimah. In addition to the followers from the other emirates.

93% of the followers are females while 7% are males, The age range of the followers is between 18 to 26 years old.

 

What made you become interested in the K-pop group?

Fatima O.Prior to the debut of the group, I was interested in Korean culture, dramas and songs. In 2012, I saw EXO’s first stage with the song MAMA in a music show, I loved their song so I decided to listen to their album and watch other shows they guested on. I started liking their personalities and loving their talents. I searched more about them and got to know their names and position in the group. I was admiring all of the member’s talent and personalties even though I was trying to choose one favourite member (which is pretty common in K-pop).

 

Is there a big EXO fanbase in the UAE? 

Sara A.As far as we know yes, there is a large number of EXO fans in the UAE. The statistics of our account followers shows that there is a great number of fans in the UAE. In addition to those who do not use social media accounts but yet they are part of the fandom.

 

It’s been announced that EXO’s song ‘Power’ has been chosen as the first K-pop song to ever be played at The Dubai Fountain. How did you feel when the news came out? Were you expecting this?

Sara A.: Actually, a few months ago (during EXO’s 5th Anniversary) the admins had an idea of playing one of EXO’s song in The Dubai Fountain and we started contacting several companies and people who are responsible of the music played at the fountain. In 16-11-2017 we woke up in the morning with the news of Power being the first Korean song to be played at The Dubai Fountain! We were shocked and happy at the same time because finally our dream that we have been working on for months is coming true.

Additional comment: Many fans have misunderstood that we were the reason the song is featuring the dubai fountain. The actual thing is we were trying so hard and we were contacting everyone to feature one of their song at the fountain for their 5th anniversary! However, we didn’t have the pleasure of getting the approval!

 

How was the response of the public afterward? 

Sara A.: Most of the people around us who knew that we are EXO fans started congratulating us whether it was in university, work or on twitter. EXOL from all around the world were talking about the news in their social media accounts and they were admiring the beauty of The Dubai Fountain and loving the idea of EXO’s Power being the first Korean song to be played there. In addition to the Korean fans who were going crazy and wishing to visit Dubai just to witness the event.

 

Do you think it’s a major accomplishment for EXO and for K-pop in general, especially in Dubai and in the Emirates? How so?

Sara A.Considering a country that is not widely introduced to the Korean culture and art, it is surely a major accomplishment to play a Korean song in one of the most visited sites in Dubai. It is also considered as one of the major achievements in EXO’s career considering them being one of the most popular groups in Korea nowadays. This event might open a door to the Korean culture to fully introduce itself to the UAE and Arabs in general and many major events might follow this step.

 

Were you satisfied with the choice of song? If not, any other recommendations?

Sara A.: Absolutely, Power is the most recent EXO song from their latest album “The War: Power of music” which sold more than 1M copies in a very short time. Power is an existing EDM song that can suit everyone’s taste. The song talks about how we can become stronger and happier through music. However, EXO has so many songs with a slower tempo that suits the atmosphere of The Dubai Fountain and the Downtown area more such as Don’t  Go, lucky, First Snow (A song that suits the Christmas season) and walk on memories.

 

Have you managed to play any EXO songs on Dubai-based radio or work on any previous EXO-related projects in the UAE that we might have missed?

Hend J.: Actually, we have so many ideas on mind that we would like to do. However, we have been trying to do different projects but we could not get enough help and support from the companies here in the UAE. Nevertheless, we as the first EXO fanbase were doing group orders for EXO’s albums and official goods for the EXO-L living in the UAE. In addition to some successful projects in Korea and we are planning for more.

 

“I love the fact that they’re talented boys who work hard for their fans and never complained about it in front of us fans” – Hend J.

 

What makes EXO stand out from the rest of other K-pop groups/artists?

Sara A. and Fatima O.: First, EXO debuted with a unique concept which was not used before and they continued in developing their concept through the years with their new music and MVs and made it look like a series of fictional novel. It became a tradition for the fans to write theories using EXO’s videos and music. Even though the EXO story is connected, EXO’s music is always different than their previous album. EXO have tried and showed so many different genres of music to the fans starting from electronics, R&B, EDM, Reggae to ballads and more.

Second, EXO is the first K-pop group of this generation that have sold over one million copies with each album they made since 2013 until now, making EXO the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. There are over four million members registered in the official EXO fan club website “EXOL”. Also, EXO have won over 100 music program awards, received 21 Daesang awards, which known as an Asian grand prize award, best concert award in 2017, in addition to many different awards from different countries. EXO has entered the Guinness World Records 2018 for being the most Daesang winning artist at the MNET Asian Music Awards.

Lastly, EXO is known for their continues donations. They have collaborated with SPAO and donated some of their profits ($25,000) they made from shirts to UNICEF. Donated profits of their albums “For Life, Sing For You, EX’ACT, Dancing King” to charity. EXO member Lay has started a scholarship fund to assist students in achieving their dreams and he participates in the  ‘2016 Bazaar Star Charity Night’ by donating more than 10 emergency trucks. Also, EXO Member Chen designed the fourth concert goods and he donates all of its profits.

 

As an EXO-L, what do you like most about the K-pop group?

Hend J.: I love the fact that they’re talented boys who work hard for their fans and never complained about it in front of us fans, they can sing, dance and make their own music, they even prepare their own solo stages for their concert and some of the members went to the acting proficient and succeeded on it.We can always see their passion for music and dancing, I have been their fan since their debut in 2012 and i can totally see how much they worked hard to improve their skills.

The most thing that i like about EXO is “Their Love for EXO-L” I’ve been a fan of the Korean entertainment since 2008 and I’ve never seen a group who sincerely love their fans like EXO do. The relationship between EXO and their fans is on another level. There are many articles mentioning the special treatment EXOL’s get. Not saying that other groups don’t love their fans but I’m just saying that the way EXO treat their fans is so different from others in a good way. I also love that even though EXO are now one of the most successful groups they are still as kind and humble as they were before fame or even more. I totally respect these boys.

 

Any upcoming projects you’ll be working on that you can share? Any hopes of them coming down to Dubai for a concert?

Fatima O. Sara A.: We are in the stage of planning for so many project that we will do in the near future. We’re always looking for new and original projects to do. After the success of our previous projects such as sending cake for EXO members Chen and Xiumin in a Radio show, sending refreshments truck to the venue of EXO’s third concert in Korea which made us the first fanbase to support their fellow Korean fans which made the Korean fans so happy and surprised to the point that they wrote an article in their top search engine  “Naver” about the project “Arab Fans Generously Gift Concert Audience”. This year, we celebrated EXO’s 5th anniversary, so we prepared a gift video that was displayed in the biggest LED SCREEN in Gangnam-Korea. A few days ago, we sent a flower wreath to congratulate EXO on their 4th concert that just started.

EXO have talked about The Dubai Fountain in their recent press conference, and they are aware of the number of fans in the UAE so we are hoping and always trying our best to make UAE EXOL wish come true and be able to see their favorite group holding a concert in the UAE.

 

Have you been to any of their fan signings or concerts? If you had the chance to meet EXO, what would you say? 

Hend J.: I’ve been to EXO’s concert in February 2017 and it was the BEST experience in my whole life.

If i had the chance to Meet EXO in person I don’t think i would be able to say anything because I’m really bad at expressing my feelings. But i hope that they would know how much they’re important to me as they are my source of Happiness.

Fatima O.: I will always keep on loving and supporting you regardless of the distance separating us, EXO Let’s Love.

Sara A.: Thank you for being born.

 

Do you think K-pop is becoming known in the UAE compared to last year? Is the public noticing the music genre more?

Fatima O.: Of course, K-pop nowadays is more popular and recognized here in UAE. After the major Korean event (KCON) that was held in Abu Dhabi happened, we noticed that so many people were introduced to K-POP and started enjoying the music. Al-Arabiya news new segment that features different Korean entertainment fields also helped in rising the number of people interested in the culture. EXO was the first group to be interviewed in this section and the rating of the episode increased by 80%.

 

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?

Nothing more Ms. Samar but we would like to thank you for choosing us for this interview and for giving us the opportunity to express our feelings. It’s a great pleasure to be part of spreading the K-POP culture in the UAE.

For more updates and upcoming projects, you can follow them on Twitter @EXOinUAE and on their website exo-uae.com

EXO Fan Art You Need to See Pt.2

Only four days till the arrival of K-pop boy band EXO! Here are some EXO fan art I happen to stumble on on Instagram:

 

 

A post shared by ☆ Melissa ☆ (@smallish.kae) on

Note: All above images are from the users’s respective Instagram accounts.

EXO Fan Art You Need to See Pt.1

It’s official! The K-pop mega-group EXO will be coming down to Dubai Tuesday, January 16th for the premiere of their hit song Power, which will be played at the world’s largest choreographed fountain, The Dubai Fountain.

EXO are the first Korean artists to be featured at Dubai’s famous fountain show. In honor of them coming down to the Emirates, I’ve put together a list of the best EXO fan arts on Instagram:

Happy Holidays from the kims and sehun ❣

A post shared by ANA / 아나 💙 (@anardzart) on

#exofanart #chen #oilpainting #drawing #exo #kpopfanart

A post shared by fuka (@fu_ullmoon) on

Want your work to be featured? Send me an email here.

Note: All above images are from the users’s respective Instagram accounts.

Top things you need to know about BTS now

Bangtan Boys’ latest album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart

Find out how this ARTIST is dominating international charts (and fans’ hearts)


At a glance, South Korean boy band Bangtan Boys (BTS) are the complete K-Pop package – they are multi-talented young men with good looks. The seven-member group has recently been conquering music charts, not only in Korea but also in the U.S. Their newly released album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart, making it the highest-ranked album by a Korean artist. They also became the highest-charting K-Pop group to land on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with their title track, DNA.

But, why are they so popular? Well, here’s what makes them stand out from others in the K-Pop industry:

  • They compose and produce socially-conscious music

BTS, who debuted under agency Big Hit Entertainment in 2013, decided to take on a non-traditional path in music.

“BTS ultimately stands out in K-Pop for their emphasis on singing about relatable and realistic topics,” says Jeff Benjamin, Billboard.com’s K-pop columnist.

The Korean artist tackles personal and controversial subjects – politics, loneliness, mental health, adolescence, even women’s empowerment – that resonated with fans all over the world.

“Listeners are not only finding a group that is entertaining and skilled, but someone who represents their voices in topics they aren’t seeing discussed in the media,” he adds.

Writer Taylor Glasby, a freelance K-Pop writer based in the U.K. who has tracked closely the group’s releases, says: “They’ve become excitingly diverse with their sound, bringing in everything from trap to rock to EDM, and as idols who help write and produce their own work, they know best how to use their talents for each track.”

  • They are K-Pop’s social media kings

BTS has a huge fan following and lively presence on social media, which made them the most retweeted artist last year. They were also named one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017 by TIME magazine. After their win at the Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist, previously won by pop sensation Justin Bieber six years in a row, BTS proved themselves as this year’s kings of social media in the fan-voted category.

The K-pop group regularly connect with fans through live broadcasts and web videos that feature behind-the-scenes clips of the group while travelling, rehearsing, performing and more.

“I like the way they’re always giving back to the fans and constantly interact with them in more ways than an ordinary artist-fan relationship,” says Admin Ren from BTS UAE, one of the biggest BTS fan Twitter accounts in the country.

  • They’ve got an ARMY of fans

BTS has legion of fans, known as A.R.M.Y. – Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth, and their Billboard win was due to devoted fans, who tweeted #BTSBBMAS more than 300 million times.

BTS UAE on Twitter created a mass request project with the help of A.R.M.Y.s in the UAE and others around the world by tweeting and requesting various UAE radio stations to play BTS’ title track, DNA. The song successfully aired on Virgin Radio Dubai and Radio 1 UAE, while Tag 91.1 played it as part of their reaction segment.

BTS’ new album was soon spotted on the UAE iTunes store after fans conducted a joint project with other international fanbases to make it available to listeners in the Middle East.

“After the news spread, DNA became the #1 track and their new album Love Yourself: Her topped the UAE iTunes charts,” says Admin Kim, the head admin of BTS UAE.

This piece was originally written by the owner of this site and posted on Khaleej Times online and in print.

Samar Breitem

‘Samar Breitem’ is a name everyone should know. She’s bilingual, talented, gorgeous…. oh did I forget to mention she modeled for high-end fashion brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. Should I go on?! Samar tells The Samar Project about her road to discuss, the inside scoop of the fashion and presenting industry, her thoughts on the Oscar mixup and much more. If you’re an aspiring model, MC and/or presenter, this interview is for you! Prepare to be entertained…

Can you tell me more about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Dubai, and I am half-Armenian, half-Palestinian. I did my university degree in McGill, Montreal, and spent a little time in the US before coming back to Dubai.

How did you get into the presenting and modeling business? Is it tough as many people think?

When I was in high school, I had a friend who asked me if I’d be interested in hosting a kid’s game show around shopping malls in Dubai, for the first ever Dubai Summer Surprises. At the time, it seemed like a fun thing to do, so I did it. Then I went off to Canada to do my degree, worked full-time for a while, and then was spotted by the founder of a modelling agency in Dubai, who asked me if I’d ever considered modelling. Again, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do, so I went for it!

One time, I was booked by Cartier for what I thought was a regular modelling job, and when I turned up at the venue, I was asked if I’d host the evening, which was attended by entrepreneurs from all over the world. After the initial hesitation, I decided I was up to the task and did it, and found the challenge exciting and enjoyable. So I asked the agency to book more events for me to host… and here we are!

Modelling can be tough. You need to put yourself in a position where people are judging your appearance, and while you will get compliments, you will also get negative comments (I once had an audition where the lady wrote on my card that my walk was great but my face wasn’t “top”), so you need to be able to brush those off and keep going. The hours can also be long and tiring. It’s not all glamorous.

What well-known brands have you worked for as an MC and model? How was the experience?

From the modelling perspective, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with the most amazing designers and jewelry brands, including Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent, Piaget, Chaumet and many more. The experience was incredible. I can say I’ve worn the most exquisite necklaces worth millions of dollars, with the most gorgeous settings. I’ve played characters in dresses that would make any woman feel incredible, and seen the hours of work that go into making a dress a masterpiece. Fashion is truly a work of art that you wear.

As a presenter, my clients range from fashion (Grazia magazine, Ahlan! Middle East, Mouawad Jewelry, Dior for Sephora) to corporate (Jumeirah Group, BMW, Porsche) to governmental (DP World, Etisalat, Jebel Ali Free Zone). I love presenting: the challenges it throws up, the mental stimulation, the feeling of accomplishment when a show goes well and when the audience is engaged and the client is happy!

What does it take to become a great presenter and model?    

Professionalism: It’s simple, but I would say professionalism has taken me much further than my looks ever did. I was always on time (meaning 15 minutes early), polite, and I followed instructions. A good attitude also helps. This applies to both presenting and modelling. Also, you need to be comfortable on a stage or in front of the camera. In person, I’m quite shy, but once the makeup is on, hair is done and the fabulous dress and high heels are on, I’m ready to get out there.

Where it diverges is where modelling emphasizes appearance (height, clear skin, slim physique), presenting requires brain. On a stage as a presenter, I’m usually the first face the audience will see, and the first representative of the brand they will hear, sometimes in two languages. I need to have some knowledge of the industry, whether it’s technology, cars, makeup, or government. I research as much as I can before meeting a client to find out more so I am more informed, even though a lot of events are scripted. It’s always better to know more than less.

What are the hard bits and what are the fun, easy bits on the job? 

The hard bits are when things are a little rushed, or even last-minute. When something goes wrong on stage, people will assume, naturally, that it’s your mistake, when it could be technology letting you down, or something not in your control.

The fun bits are the excitement of standing backstage, when the lights dim and the music starts, and you’re raring to go! And when the audience laughs at a joke, or claps enthusiastically, and when the event ends with a great audience and a client that is super-happy. Dressing up is also always fun for me!

With that whole envelope mix up at this year’s Oscars with La La Land being mistakenly awarded Best Picture, what would you have done if you were in Jimmy Kimmel’s position as a presenter? Would you have done the same?

Interestingly enough, as a presenter, in one aspect, you’re running the show, but in another, the show is running you, because you are one cog in a big wheel full of other cogs. So yes, he kept it going in the best way he could given the circumstances.

Of course everyone makes mistakes. We’re all humans after all. Has this somewhat similar occurrence happened where you’ve made an error? How would you try to smooth out the awkwardness and/or the mess up?

I have found myself in some sticky situations, where sometimes, as mentioned previously, technology fails you. I’ve had a microphone die on me at an event at the World Trade Centre ballroom. So I did the intro by speaking louder and projecting my voice as best as I could, then was informed that the issue had been sorted out, only to go back on stage to find out that it hadn’t and that the mic still wasn’t working, so I did the rest of the presentation by voice only!

Twice, on two other occasions, the autocue (those screens we read off at some events), froze, or died completely. These happened at awards shows, where I was listing nominees for each category and then announcing the winners, so it wasn’t something I could’ve just made up on the spot. So I apologized to the audience, explained that there was a minor issue, and got the problem solved, in one case by signaling to the autocue person, who thankfully understood me and sorted it out, and in another by finding the hard copy and using that.

As with most work, sometimes the event will not go smoothly, even when you’ve rehearsed. You just deal with it as with most things: you keep going till you get to the end, and you try to do it with calmness and grace, and all will be well.

What was the most memorable experience you had during your career?

Oh, so many great memories! I’ve introduced Saad Lamjarrad to a VVIP fashion and celebrity film crowd, only to have them all get on their feet, go nuts and start dancing on chairs and tables. I’ve launched a car to an audience that was watching the show from a fleet of yachts on some balmy nights in Abu Dhabi, while I was standing on a platform built over the water. I have presented in front of royalty: the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman, and the princess of Belgium.

People everyday are always auditioning for roles, whether it’s as an MC or model, what does it take to reach that desired level?

A great attitude, enthusiasm, and professionalism. For many clients, whether it’s a fashion show or an event, it’s the culmination of months of work they’ve put in, and it’s lovely for them to see you invested in their vision and creation as much as they are. We used to do so many shows, sometimes several in a day, and yes it was tiring, but to give it 100% every time means a lot to a fashion designer/ event organiser.

What tips or advice do you have for those starting out in the industry, something you wish someone would have told you?

Dita von Teese said it really well: You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be somebody who hates peaches. You can’t please everyone all the time, and to attempt to do so is futile. Just be confident in what you are bringing to the table, realise its value, and you’ll go far.

Who do you consider as your role model? Why?

I admire the eloquent speakers: Hanan Ashrawi used to fascinate me when I was younger, Barack Obama, Tony Blair. Politics aside, they are incredibly well-spoken, articulate people.

How do you stay in shape? 

I’ve always been on the slim side, but with time, I realized that slim doesn’t equate with healthy. I do a lot of weightlifting (and no, it doesn’t make you bulky!) and recently discovered a love for running (I did the 10k Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon 2017).

How can we achieve that model pose that us non – models fail to perfect?

Thanks to the wonders of Instagram, most people now seem to get it right. The only slight adjustment I would make is to elongate the neck. A lot of people nail the one leg out and slightly bent with one hand on the hip, but forget to push the shoulders back and stretch the neck out to achieve that beautiful, graceful long line. Although my common mistake is to smile too wide. My agent is always telling me not to smile too much!

What’s next for you?

I have a bit of travel planned for this year, but I’m hoping to work on some collaborations for some corporate clients on different platforms.

I am also working on some interviews with people from the fashion industry, but I can’t say too much. All I can say is: Stay tuned!

Thank you for taking part in this interview! Is there anything you’d like to add or share with our readers that we haven’t covered?

Thank you for reading! (I have a huge smile on my face typing this… yes, the one my agent tells me not to do!)

You can follow Samar Breitem on Instagram @samarbreitem

note: all answers are original and unaltered