From Where I Stand: BRIT Awards 2018 Winner Predictions

The British Phonographic Industry‘s BRIT Awards (The BRITs) 2018 is just under three weeks away, and your girl’s got tickets to attend! Not only am I super excited to see which artists get awarded, but I’m also particularly pleased with this year’s performance line-up, which includes Justin Timberlake, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith, Stormzy, Rita Ora, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, and Jorja Smith – potentially amongst others yet to be announced. With Jack Whitehall scheduled to MC the ceremony on February 21st at the O2 Arena in London, I’m expecting The BRITs 2018 to be a night to remember!

Ahead of this exciting annual celebration, here are my awardee predictions:

British Male Solo Artist

It’s between Stormzy and Ed Sheeran for me. Stormzy has really spearheaded the steadily brewing grime movement in the UK, and some might even go as far as crediting him for grime’s international rise. I think Ed Sheeran released the better album, but Stormzy has been the more influential figure this past year.

Final Prediction: Stormzy

British Female Solo Artist

Potentially my own biases coming into play, but I’ve only really heard of Dua Lipa successfully making waves in the industry.

Final Prediction: Dua Lipa

 

 

British Group

Unfortunately, I’m not particularly invested in any of these groups, but based on news I’ve read over the past few months, it’s probably between London Grammar and The xx.

Final Prediction: The xx

 

British Breakthrough Act

Again, Dua Lipa is leagues above her contenders in this category. I believe she has charted the most singles, worked with bigger names, and performed more gigs out of everyone nominated. I would be very surprised if anyone else gets the win.

Final Prediction: Dua Lipa

 

British Single

Tons of deserving nominations for this category and it’s really difficult to choose! My personal top five preferences are Symphony, MamaStrip That DownNew Rules, and Shape of You, but to be honest I feel that it’s anyone’s game. Shape of You named as the most-streamed Spotify track ever might give the single a certain edge however [1].

Final Prediction: Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

 

British Artist Video of the Year

If this category is to be evaluated based on video concept and cinematography alone, I’d say it’s between Symphony and New Rules. Nevertheless, as this category is open for public voting, I reckon that Little Mix will bag a win here, purely because there’s been a lot of chatter about how its fanbase are disappointed that Little Mix wasn’t nominated for their album and as a group.

Final Prediction: Touch by Little Mix

 

Mastercard British Album of the Year

Honestly a difficult call between Dua Lipa and Divide. From Hotter Than Hell to Blow Your Mind (Mwah)Dua Lipa is a strong contender because it contains some singles that have charted long before the album is released. That being said, Divide is such a dynamic album that’ll be challenging to beat.

Final Prediction: Divide by Ed Sheeran

International Female Solo Artist

A category with very strong nominees. I personally enjoyed Taylor Swift‘s reputation most out of all the albums these artists have released in the past year, but apart from that, I have no reliable method of foreseeing who’s going home with the award.

Final Prediction: Taylor Swift

International Male Solo Artist

I think it’s between DJ Khaled, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Beck or Childish Gambino bags the win. DAMN. is my favourite record from the bunch, but again, not sure if I can generate a significantly stronger case than that for this prediction.

Final Prediction: Kendrick Lamar

International Group

Either Haim or Foo Fighters, but I’m tempted to say that it’s probably Foo Fighters, given that they’re the only group from this category scheduled to perform at the ceremony – at least thus far. I’m not familiar with any of these groups, so again, it’s another tough call to make.

Final Prediction: Foo Fighters

This is likely to be a big night for Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa, who are both this year’s most nominated male and female artist respectively. Nonetheless, at the end of the day, The BRITs 2018 is sure to be a festive, well-deserved celebration of talents that have helped mould yet another great year in music. How different are your predictions from mine? Feel free to share them in the comment section down below!

>> Citation
[1] https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/5/16737468/spotify-year-end-most-streamed-artists-songs-latin-hip-hop
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Moventum Pictures

Long time no post! The last year of my undergraduate degree is well underway, and with that comes the stress of writing dissertations, running lab experiments, applying for jobs, maintaining a social life, yadda yadda yadda. In short, it’s been hectic.

Nevertheless, I want to take sometime to introduce you to Moventum Pictures, a photography and videography collective I initiated last November! I’ve been wanting to jump into photography for ages now, but have always settled for phone photography. Recently, however, I managed to purchase a secondhand Canon 600D, and I wanted a platform to share some of my more serious photographs. This is where Moventum Pictures comes along.

Click to go to the Instagram account.

At the moment, Moventum Pictures is simply an Instagram account where I post my DSLR photos. Nonetheless, as I get better at taking photographs and as the account following grows, I’m hoping to feature or recruit other photo/videographers into the collective. Additionally, I plan on posting the photos I published on the Instagram account (@moventumpics) on the Bits & Pieces: Photographs section of this blog too, but it will take some time to get it up to speed. Until then, should you be interested in viewing my photos more regularly, then please feel free to follow the account.

That’s all I have for today, but more stuff coming soon. And oh, happy new year!

Strung Words: Hungover Heart

“Don’t worry, you will find someone else soon.”

Oh yes,

a someone else

will definitely come along.

But

how can I focus on a someone else

if every time I see you

the memories rush back

the feelings converge

the voices: “don’t crack”

the hopes re-emerge

– A whole different kind of hangover

 

>> Previous Post On This Category: One-Word Crusher

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Food & Dining Review: Kokoro Mazesoba Gandaria City

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: Kokoro Mazesoba

* Cuisine: Japanese

* Address: Gandaria City Mall (Upper Ground Floor), Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, RT 10/RW 6, Kebayoran Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan 12240

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00

* Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

 

>> Ratings

* Overall flavour: 5

Hands down, this place serves the best maze soba I’ve ever tasted in my life. Of course, I only had room to taste one of the soba variations they have on offer, but that alone has compelled me to write a review, so I guess that’s saying something. Kokoro’s flavour profile is truly delightful and will certainly leave you craving for more down the line. This in addition to fresh drinks makes Kokoro Mazesoba an ideal place for day/night-outs with both friends and family.

* Price for portion: 4

It’s a tad bit expensive, but can still pass as reasonable considering the typical pricing in mall restaurants. With no soba/don/zosui bowls over 100k IDR, I personally find that the main dishes are more sensibly priced than the drinks and side dishes (e.g. one small chicken katsu pao alone can set you back 23k IDR). That being said, the prices are not too extortionate to the point that the restaurant loses its competitive edge. Check out the full menu here

* Service: 4.5

Interior of the restaurant.

As the Gandaria City branch is relatively new (Kokoro has another branch in Grand Indonesia), the servers were very proactive in encouraging people to try the restaurant. They were knowledgeable about the menu and able to satisfyingly help customers figure out the best dishes to try depending on their interests. Furthermore, they were relatively alert in refilling ocha and offering additional rice. The only aspect that could be improved is possibly friendliness; a few more smiles here and there can go a long way in amplifying the comfortable atmosphere for customers.

* Venue / ambiance: 5

The place is well-decorated; it’s evident that the furnitures and their placements have been carefully thought out. Moreover, I love the elegant yet cozy Japanese street store feel created by the wooden textures.

* X factor: The perfect combination of tangy vinegar and well-made soba is likely to encourage return visits!

* Overall experience: 4.5

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Shio Mazesoba Chicken for 69k IDR: 5

Such an exciting, mild, and yummy dish! If spaghetti carbonara was to be done with a Japanese twist, then this would be it. The portion is generous and filling; there are adequate toppings and all the ingredients taste super fresh. The grilled chicken slices are tender, moist, and well seasoned, just outright delicious. You can add vinegar and chilli flakes to your liking, and I would certainly recommend adding vinegar because its tang complements the soba really well. The chilli flakes are great for adding a bit of spice, too.

Interestingly, all guests are welcome to free additional rice after they finish their soba to make the most out of the remaining sauce. This is the first time I’ve encountered this at a Japanese restaurant in Jakarta and it certainly creates a novelty effect, but I think many people (including me) would be to full to follow up the soba with rice. Overall, I believe Kokoro has successfully lived up to their slogan, “Not ramen, not udon, it’s a new taste!”.

* Yuzu Punch for 35k IDR: 4

A refreshing way to end a heavy noodle meal. This cold citrus punch topped with passion fruit is a great drink as well as light dessert; its fruitiness is a good change from the soba sauce. However, I’m sure customers would appreciate less ice and more punch, so that the ice doesn’t dilute the fresh flavour of the punch too much as it melts.

>> Other Opinions

* Various reviews on Zomato (in Indonesian and English)

* Various reviews on TripAdvisor (in Indonesian and English, on the Grand Indonesia branch)

* An article by the news outlet detikFood (in Indonesian)

>> Previous Post On This Category: King Mango Thai Neo Soho

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Kokoro Mazesoba? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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Six Returning US TV Shows To Look Forward To This Fall

>> Comedy

The Big Bang Theory Season 11

Arguably one of the most enjoyable yet controversial American sitcom for the past ten years, The Big Bang Theory is set to premiere its eleventh season on September 25th 2017. The series ended its tenth season on major cliffhangers with Sheldon’s proposal to Amy and the confiscation of the gang’s gyroscope by the Air Force. In addition to the resolution of these situations, I’m hoping to witness further character development, especially in the cases of Howard and Bernadette with Baby Halley as well as Raj with the lack of his family’s money. Excitingly, a spin-off prequel to The Big Bang Theory called Young Sheldon will also be premiering this fall on November 2nd 2017, following a special preview on the day of season 11’s premiere.

The Middle Season 9

After eight years, the loveable family comedy The Middle will be releasing its ninth and final season this coming October 3rd. The eighth season concluded heartwarmingly with The Hecks coming together to send off Axl on his three-month trip to Europe with Kenny. Picking up from this point, I’m looking forward to seeing how the writers will tie up loose ends in an effort to build up to a realistic yet touching farewell. Am I ready to let go of one of TV’s most relatable families? Certainly not! But the season ahead will hopefully provide some closure to fond viewers. Check out the season nine trailer here.

The Mindy Project Season 6

Yet another amazing comedy show coming to an end; The Mindy Project is scheduled to air its sixth and final season starting on September 12th 2017. From falling in love with the enemy (again) to contemplating marriage (again), season five had me questioning whether there will ever be a season as meaningful and bold as season four. Don’t get me wrong, the fifth season is still filled with episodes featuring an entertaining take on prevalent social issues, but it feels like the writers are stuck in a rut plot-wise. Additionally, although Mindy is the title character, I think it’d be more entertaining and useful for character/plot progression to have some episodes focusing on the other main characters.

>> Sci-Fi

The Flash Season 4

Following a mind-boggling third season, this DC-based series is set to air the first episode of its fourth season on October 10th 2017. A lot of questions are left lingering by the season three finale, including how Caitlin will control her Killer Frost urges, whether another Harrison Wells will be pulled from yet another Earth, and of course, what happens now that Barry/The Flash is occupying the speed force prison. The persisting challenge for The Flash writers is to satisfyingly resolve these questions without ignoring or overcomplicating the physics bound to be involved. Furthermore, fans at The Flash‘s panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International have also made it clear that they’re keen on seeing more crossovers within the Arrowverse, and with a show as logic-testing as The Flash, who’s to say that anything is impossible. Check out the season four trailer here.

>> Drama

How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWMSeason 4

As the characters fall deeper into their web of lies in season three, there’s no telling just to what extent they will continue to claim innocence in season four. Scheduled to premiere on September 28th 2017, the fourth season of HTGAWM has more options than ever for plot progression. With Denver’s burner phone, Annalise’s confrontation of Sylvia Mahoney, and Dominic’s phone call to Laurel’s father, it will be interesting to see how the mystery of Wes’ murder pans out, and subsequently, how each character comes to term with his death. The well-integrated prolepses and analepsis, along with the humanely flawed dynamics of the characters, are what attracted me to the show in the first place, and I hope the creators continue to find a way to put a fresh twist to these elements as they go into the new season.

Riverdale Season 2

Through its first season, Riverdale is already giving the long-standing teen drama/mystery series Pretty Little Liars a run for its money. Equal parts intense, sexy, and mysterious, high expectations are in place for the second season of this Archie-based show, which is set to debut this coming October 11th. Questions marks hang over the fate of most characters in the series: how will Archie deal with his father’s death? What’s left for Penelope and Cheryl? Will Jughead’s enrolment at Southside High take a toll on Bughead? Those are just a few questions out of many more. Moreover, the show’s creators have said that they plan on making a few minor characters in season one such as Reggie and Alice more involved in season two, and that they will be introducing new characters such as Hiram Lodge (Veronica’s dad) into the story. How will these changes affect the relationships between existing main characters? There’s only one way to find out. Check out the season two trailers here and here.

>> Previous Post On This Category: TV Show Episode Review: Shadowhunters S02E14

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Strung Words: One-Word Crusher

“Do you think a girl and a boy can stay really good friends if one of them confesses but the love is unrequited?”

“No.”

I didn’t know                                                                                                                  I didn’t know

my heart                                                                                                                        my intentions

was this                                                                                                                                  were this

fragile,                                                                                                                                           weak,

that all it takes is                                                                                                     that all it takes is

one                                                                                                                                                    one

word                                                                                                                                                word

to                                                                                                                                                           to

break                                                                                                                                                abort

it.                                                                                                                                                              it.

– One-word crusher

 

>> Previous Post On This Category: Another Sea

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