South Korean singer BoA: Six songs that inspired me

South Korean singer BoA (Kwon Bo-ah) is one of dozens of K-pop stars set to perform in Dubai. (Photo supplied)
Updated 04 April 2018
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South Korean singer BoA: Six songs that inspired me

South Korean singer BoA (Kwon Bo-ah) is one of dozens of K-pop stars performing as part of the SM Town World Tour in Dubai on Friday. Here, BoA talks us through six pop tracks she loves.

Michael Jackson
‘Billie Jean’
I started dreaming of becoming a singer after seeing Michael Jackson in the “Billie Jean” video. The mix of fantastic choreography and amazing music made such a huge impact on the music industry. I believe this song inspired a lot of artists, all around the world, to dream of being a singer.

Janet Jackson
‘Rhythm Nation’
She’s truly such a fascinating female artist — the way she dominates the stage. And her shows are so well put together, with the design and the dancers. What I loved most about “Rhythm Nation” were the uniforms and the perfect group choreography.

Madonna
‘4 Minutes’
I’m sure Madonna has been a huge influence for many female artists. Her live shows always make a massive impact; the sets are amazing, and she’s always trying new things on stage. This song impressed me with its power and addictive beat. She’s collaborated with many amazing artists — it’s something I dream of: to have a fantastic collaboration with someone like her.

Britney Spears
‘…Baby One More Time’
I was preparing my debut when this track came out, and it was such a refreshing hit. Her energetic performance and amazing stage presence taught me a lot about what it takes to be a successful singer.

Justin Bieber
‘Boyfriend’
He was so young when he started out, but he made music, like “Boyfriend,” with his own unique color and style, which is amazing. His songs are always on-trend, but show off his personality and thoughts. I always look forward to Justin Bieber’s new music.

Bruno Mars
‘Finesse’
When the trend was to make futuristic music, this throwback to the ‘80s’ and ‘90s’ new-jack-swing style sounded very fresh to me. Personally, this style of music was what I used to listen to so much, and I was so happy to hear it again.


Lebanese star Myriam Fares faces blackface backlash

Updated 15 December 2018
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Lebanese star Myriam Fares faces blackface backlash

DUBAI: Lebanese singer Myriam Fares has come under fire on social media after a scene in her latest music video appears to show the star in blackface.
Fares released the video for her new track, “Goumi” (Get up), on Wednesday and the jungle-themed video sees the pop star performing in African-themed costumes. In one scene, she is painted a significantly darker shade and is seen wearing a neck ring.

A still from the video. (YouTube)


“Are we not going to talk about @myriamfares blackface in her new video? And all that cultural appropriation is (going to) slide?” one user commented on Twitter, while another tweeted: “Myriam Fares is the perfect example (of) Arab ignorance. Is it really difficult educating yourself on what is right and wrong? Blackface? In 2018? What is more disgusting is the fact that the comments are all praising the video and no one sees her actions as wrong.”
Some users, however, see no issue with the video, with one Twitter user praising it for presenting a “wonderful mixture between Arabic culture and African culture.”