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Hello Asia! New Music Video Review: BIGBANG (GD & T.O.P) "ZUTTER" (South Korea, 2015)

K-Pop royalty duo, G-Dragon and T.O.P, is back after successful release of HIGH HIGH in 2010. The two most renown Korean rappers of BIGBANG are known for their originality as well as stimulating and trend-setting nature. The group once again proves their significance and worth worldwide by keeping it real and promising an epic good time with their latest release, "ZUTTER".

Hello Asia! Live Review: BTS Live Trilogy Ep2: The Red Bullet - The Plenary, Melbourne (12.07.15)

Outside it was blistering brisk; a high wind, an ominously dark sky, and a constant drizzle of rain, Melbourne was experiencing one of the coldest winter days of the year. However, for thousands of Hallyu fans descending upon The Plenary on Sunday evening, they were about to experience one of the hottest Korean Pop productions in Australia thus far. BTS (Bangtan Boys) had finally arrived Down Under, ready to perform live for their adoring Aussie ARMY.

Hello Asia! Single Review: Lim Kim - "Love Game" (South Korea, 2015)

My love for Lim Kim started when I heard Alright for the first time. Her delicate, yet husky voice, was a pleasant departure from her contemporaries and - coupled with this track being her first single - I was super impressed. Fast-forward two years and she's caught my attention once again with Love Game.

Hello Asia! Live Review: BTS Live Trilogy Ep2: The Red Bullet “Second Half” – The Roundhouse, Sydney (10.07.15)

The cold and rain couldn’t stop the Sydney ARMYs from lining up from 7am on Friday morning in preparation for BTS (Bangtan Boys)) hitting the stage 7:30pm that evening. And it was well worth the wait, for the boys of BTS proved they are indeed the talented bulletproof live performers we all know them to be!

Hello Asia! New Music Video Review: Tiger JK - "I Know" (South Korea, 2015)

As a pioneering hip-hop artist, Tiger JK has long defied conventional approaches and expressions in his music - building his very own hip-hop brand, and contributing to the growth of Korean hip-hop industry. Hence known as the godfather of Korean hip-hop, he lives up to his reputation once again with his latest music video release for I Know.

Hello Asia! Album Review: BABYMETAL - "BABYMETAL" (Japan, 2014 LP)

As a fan of metal music, I have always been intrigued by one of Japan’s hottest acts, BABYMETAL. The combination of the light, cute J-pop sounds of the young trio and the heavy metal music works so much better than one could ever expect. After releasing a self-titled full length album last year, BABYMETAL have been travelling all over the world, performing in their first array of global concerts in USA, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. However, performing for a large audience is not a new thing for BABYMETAL, since they have been performing in various metal festivals since 2012, performing alongside metal’s biggest names, such as Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, and Avenged Sevenfold. The fact that the members of BABYMETAL are still 16 and 18 years old still baffles me sometimes. Yes, the members, Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal are quite possibly the youngest female performers in the metal scene, debuting at the age of 10 and 12 years old.

Hello Asia! Film Review: Diary ng Panget (Philippines, 2014)

If you’re a fan of romantic comedy or teenage drama flicks, you'll want to check out 2014 Filipino film Diary ng Panget. Based on the bestselling novels of the same name, Diary ng Panget’s premise is simple enough - a poor, ugly orphan girl called Eya Rodriguez (Nadine Lustre) is admitted to a prestigious school on a scholarship and winds up working as a personal maid to the most handsome, popular and self-centred boy in school, the “monstrous” Cross Sandford (James Reid). It’s not an unfamiliar storyline, but with a few twists on the cliches, it is executed with humour and warmth.

Hello Asia! IFF 2015 Review: 7/24 (Indonesia, 2014)

Inspired by Actor Lukman Sardi’s real life experience, Director Fajar Nugros presents the life of middle class society in Jakarta and targets the young couples through his most recent work 7/24.

Hello Asia! IFF 2015 Review: Tes Nyali (Indonesia, 2015)

Through the meeting with the Producer and Director, Vijei Al Fajr at the Indonesian Film Festival, Hello Asia writer Lya Susanto heard about their visions and aspirations for Indonesian's horror films in the long run. Both of them aspire to revive the fallen horror genre without inducing any sexual elements, and hope to introduce and perhaps combine the genre with the fundamentals of other genres such as thriller and actions to Indonesian market. Find out how Fajr's Tes Nyali (Test of Fear) went.

Hello Asia! Single Review: Straightener - "The Place Has No Name" (Japan, 2015)

As a newly-converted fan of Japanese rockers Straightener, I was pretty excited at the prospect of new music from them in April - and they didn't disappoint with their latest offering "The Place Has No Name".

Hello Asia! Album Review: Straightener - "Behind the Scene" (Japan, 2014 LP)

Despite being a fan of Japanese music, I’d never heard of Tokyo four-piece Straightener until recently. It’s surprising - they’ve been around since 1998, toured all over Asia, had songs featured the theme to Japanese TV shows and released a best-of collection. I obviously have some catching up to do. Their latest full-length album Behind the Scene was released in October 2014, and it is a record of charging rock beats, fuzzed out Fender guitars and melodic vocal hooks - right up my alley. It sent me aurally back in time to the mid-2000s, when rock bands from the UK dominated my CD player - Franz Ferdinand, Ash and Idlewild.

Hello Asia! Live Review: SODAGREEN 2015 World Tour - The Star Event Centre, Sydney (29.05.15)

SODAGREEN! SODAGREEN! The crowd chants into the large Event Centre of Sydney’s The Star. They have already affixed their supplied stickers over their phone’s flashlight, and there is a sea of green lights glimmering into the semi-darkness. All of a sudden the lights flash completely out and the screen comes to life with image and text, before the silhouettes of four figures are revealed and a fifth with an incredible voice loudly breaks into the silence.

Japanese Pop-Rock act moumoon help close The Great Escape Festival 2015 in Brighton, England

Japanese pop-rock duo moumoon helped bring iconic British festival The Great Escape - held annually in Brighton and now in its tenth year - to an end yesterday, performing their second and final performance at the event in the intimate Brighton Museum.

Hello Asia! Live Review: BABYMETAL - House Of Blues, Chicago (14.05.15)

Nobody really knows what to expect from a BABYMETAL show. After finally having witnessed the frantic craziness of one, I’m still left wondering what was faster; the trio of black and red-clad idols dashing around the stage with limitless energy, or the assaulting banging of double kick drums hitting so hard you feel like your insides are being pummeled. In the end it doesn’t really matter as strangely enough the mix of the two seem to work together so well, and it’s clearly what makes the “kawaii metal” act so successful.

Hello Asia! Film Review - Salut D'Amour (장수상회) (South Korea 2015)

Salut D'Amour (translated as Love's Greeting) might conjure up Edward Elgar's beautiful composition to some but it's also the name of one of South Korea's latest films, based on 2008's "Lovely Still". The story begins in a peaceful country town as a teen boy waits for his crush to get off her school bus. He follows her with a bouquet of flowers but she admonishes him for not even asking to share their names first.