Tag Archives: February

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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Book Quotes Review: Girl in Translation

>> About Book Quotes Review

>> At A Glance

* Title: Girl In Translation

* Author: Jean Kwok

* Genre: Cultural fiction, young adult, contemporary, coming of age

* The Edition I Read: Paperback (307 pages), published 3 May 2011 by Riverhead, ISBN 1594485151

>> Synopsis by Emma Hagestadt for the British online newspaper The Independent

“Kimberly Chang, the heroine of Jean Kwok’s debut novel, exchanges Hong Kong for New York in the early 1980s. While Kimberly’s mother earns two cents an hour in a sweatshop, her 11-year-old daughter faces the challenge of school: neither speaks English. Kimberly also has the even more difficult business of hiding her extreme poverty from her new friends.

Inspired by her own first hand experience of immigration, Kwok writes with quiet passion about the strange dichotomy of growing up surrounded by the glitz of New York, while being barely able to afford to eat.” (Source)

>> Quotes Review

* “We would be allowed to work and not cause any trouble for her, but she didn’t want us to be any more successful than she was.” – Ah-Kim/Kimberly

This is a description Ah-Kim/Kimberly used for her aunt, who owns the factory she and her mother worked at ever since they set foot in America. The quote stood out to me, because I realised that I’ve had a similar thought before, in that I was willing to help people so long as it doesn’t end up with them being in better positions than me.

As horrid as this sounds, there were a few points in life when this was my gut reaction, and although I eventually re-evaluated myself and adjusted my attitude towards helping out, it can sometimes be difficult to look past personal agendas and be genuine in a society built upon survival of the fittest. This is one of the themes illustrated throughout the plot and, whether it’s migrating to another country or simply moving to a new workplace/school, an idea worth recognising in our daily lives.

* “I never want to love someone like that, not even him, so much that there would be no room left for myself, so much that I wouldn’t be able to survive if he left me.” – Ah-Kim/Kimberly

I think this quote embodies one of the biggest takeaways people can get from the book. Love, particularly young love, can feel all-consuming and overpowering sometimes, up until the point where it’s difficult to distinguish our identities separate from the love we’re feeling or the people we’re loving at the time. Ah Kim/Kimberly’s attitude towards romantic love here is a great reminder that, although those we love can make us feel secure/whole and encourage us to become better people, we are still our own individuals fully capable of self love and fulfilment.

* “You may need to change your dreams […] sometimes our fate is different from the one we imagined for ourselves.” – Ma

Yet another important life lesson from the story! I decided to include this quote not only because its idea is constantly demonstrated throughout the book, but also because it’s simply eloquently worded. It’s often unpleasant at first when life doesn’t unfold the way we expected, but following up on the survival of the fittest concept referred to in the first quote, we can’t afford to fixate on dreams that need evolving. A harsh reality of life, but a reality nevertheless.

The question then becomes, how do we know when to change our dreams or to hold on just a little longer?

>> General Impressions

Overall, the book is an incredibly satisfying read and arguably an instant classic. I read it over a year ago in January 2016, just a couple of months after I moved away from Jakarta to London for university. Maybe this is why I was especially engrossed by the ups and downs of immigration captured through Ah-Kim/Kimberly’s story, but as the quotes I shared above hopefully show, Jean Kwok’s debut novel explores multiple elements of human nature that are supposedly relatable and applicable to everyone from all walks of life.

Book Quotes Review: Girl In Translation #2

I tweeted Jean Kwok (@JeanKwok) with my immediate thoughts on the book and was pleasantly surprised when she replied! || View the original tweet here.

>> Other Opinions

* On the author Janie Chang’s blog

* Various reviews on the book discussion sites LitLovers and Goodreads

Disclaimer For Reviews

Going On The Airwaves

A cheeky snapshot of us when we finished recording!

A cheeky snapshot of us when we finished recording!

About a week ago, Elaine, a friend of mine who runs a radio segment on UCL’s very own Rare FM, invited me to go on her show and chat about some of the language-related aspects that baffled me when I first moved to the UK. Just a quick background info, Elaine runs a segment called “Third Culture Kids”, and it’s basically where she talks about her experiences as a, well, third culture kid (TCK) – the good, the bad, the meh. From dealing with airports to exploring international cuisines, I would definitely recommend her show to fellow TCKs and, honestly, anyone who is interested in catching glimpses of what it may be like moving to a foreign country.

To listen to her broadcasts, you can simply go on Rare FM’s website and click “Tune in!” bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 9 to 10 AM GMT. If you can’t catch her live, then not to worry, she posts all her past broadcasts on the show’s Facebook page as well, so definitely spare some time to listen to it there.

Now that the paid endorsement is done – hahah, just kidding, she didn’t ask me to post about the show; she doesn’t even know that I have a blog! I’m sharing her show because I genuinely think that it can be useful to some people out there ☺️

Anyway, as I wrote earlier, I was in the segment’s fifth episode and I got to chat a little bit about the struggles I encountered with British English slangs. Whilst this was not my first time guest-speaking on radio (a story for another time, let me know if you want to hear it haha), it was the first time I’m interviewed in such an informal, relaxed manner, so big-up to Elaine for inviting me around!

Without further ado then, please enjoy a recording of the episode. If you want to get in touch with Elaine, shoot the radio show’s Facebook a message or tweet her at @ewongyeelan. Enjoy! – I feel like I’ve used way too many exclamation marks in one post… oh well! #rebel

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