The 1975 Give Fans Two Reasons To Smile And One Reason To Frown

Who’s better than the 1975? Although their forthcoming album, Notes On A Conditional Form, has been pushed back a couple of months, the Matt Healy-led band delivered double the good news to make up for the bad announcement: not only did they released a new tune, “Me & You Together Song,” they’ve also announced a new tour. What a way to build anticipation, am I right?

So, let’s start with the bad news. Notes On A Conditional Form was supposed to come out on February 21. That date is now out of the window. The new date for the LP’s release is April 24.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. The 1975 have also revealed North American tour dates. They head out on April 27 and perform their first show in Houston, TX. The Spring trek wraps right up before summer on June 12 in Manchester, TN. Supporting them on the tour are indie-rock musician Phoebe Bridgers and singer Beabadoobee.

Are you overwhelmed with giddiness yet? Just wait until you hear their new tune, “Me & You Together Song.” The cheery tune finds Healy trying to slide out of the friend zone into a prospective lover’s arms. Drums doing jumping jacks make the mood a festive, celebratory one. If this were the mid-2000s, Adam Sandler would be chasing a lover’s taxi to tell the woman inside that he loves her with this playing in the background.

Okay, we’re finally done with all of the news. The wait for Notes On A Conditional Form just got a bit longer but, with all of the news that’s come with this pushed back date, the world can manage. The 1975’s forthcoming LP will also feature “Frail State of Mind,” “People,” and their self-titled song that features climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

Check out the 1975’s upcoming tour dates below.

04/27 – Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

04/29 – Austin, TX @ Germania Insurance Amphitheater

05/02 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion

05/03 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center

05/05 – Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River Arena

05/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Forum ^

05/08 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre ^

05/11 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

05/13 – Omaha, NE @ Baxter Arena

05/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Enterprise Center

05/16 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center

05/18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum

05/19 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center

05/21 –  Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage

05/23 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem

05/26 – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden

05/29 – Hanover, MD @ The Hall at Live! Casino and Hotel

06/02 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center

06/03 – Cleveland, OH @ Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

06/05 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater

06/06 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center

06/08 – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place

06/09 – Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Amphitheater

06/11 – Atlanta, GA @ Infinite Energy Center #

06/12 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival # ^

# – without Phoebe Bridgers

^ – without Beabadoobee

Missy Elliott Is A Doo-Wop, Disco, And Punk Icon In Her ‘Why I Still Love You’ Video

2019 was a stellar year for Missy Elliott, who dropped her ICONOLOGY EP just before receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs and celebrating with a career-spanning performance. Now, Missy is bringing her icon status into the new decade with her latest top-notch visual, for the ICONOLOGY standout “Why I Still Love You.”

The clip — which Elliott directed along with Derek Blanks — opens on a wide-eyed, tracksuit-wearing girl wandering a museum of all things Missy. We’re then transported into three different eras of Elliott: first she leads a Shirelles-esque girl group in the ’60s, then she’s a disco queen in the ’70s, and finally, she rocks a mohawk and studs for her ’80s punk rock debut. There’s even a cute twist ending, some ace acting from Missy, and a cameo from Monica, who recites the legend of Missy and The Demeanors. Get schooled in the video below.

The “Why I Still Love You” video follows Thursday morning’s announcement that Elliott will headline the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York this summer. She’ll be hitting the stage alongside Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala, Solange, Miley Cyrus, and more.

With Thursday also marking what would have been Aaliyah’s 41st birthday, Missy took the opportunity to celebrate her late friend’s legacy. She tweeted, “#HappyBDayAaliyah you are still inspiring people! Your edgyness & smooth dancing SO EFFORTLESS your UNIQUENESS & STYLE unmatched. MUSICALLY your songs will 4EVER be NEXT LEVEL! RIP babygal 4Ever Loved.”

Carly Rae Jepsen, Miley Cyrus, Vampire Weekend — This Year’s Governor’s Ball Is Stacked

New Yorkers and out-of-towners, this summer, it’ll be time to descend to Randall’s Island Park again from June 5 to June 7. The Governor’s Ball music festival is back with an expansive, multi-genre behemoth of a lineup. Miley Cyrus, Carly Rae Jepsen, Vampire Weekend, are just three of its 60+ performers. Packed in this list of artists is just about everyone that you can think of.

When we say there’s something for everyone, we really mean it. If you’re looking for R & B music representative of today and yesterday, you’ll find artists like H.E.R., Solange, the legendary Missy Elliott, Summer Walker, and Swae Lee, depending on who you ask since he’s a rapper, but really loves to sing. If you’re looking for soft, psychedelic pop, you’ll find the Kevin Parker-led Tame Impala that’s as sonically huge as eight groups in one. Of course, if you’d like something a little smoother, warmer, and more heartfelt, there’s Alessia Cara, Ellie Goulding, and more.

This year’s Governor Ball also includes a lot for fans of rap music. Danny Brown, Dominic Fike, YBN Cordae, rising rap group 99 Neighbors, and more are all on the bill. Guitarist Steve Lacy, power-pop group Charly Bliss, and so many others like singers Sasha Sloan and Frankie Cosmos, will also appear. It’s best to do your Googles to figure out who you do and don’t know, that way you can familiarize yourself with all of these awesome acts.

This year, there’s a new age policy that requires attendees under 18 years of age to come with an adult who’s at least 21. Tickets go on sale on January 17 at 12 PM EST so prepare accordingly.

Take a look at the full lineup for The Governor’s Ball this year up above.

Conan Gray Feels Totally Lost In His New Video For ‘The Story’

It’s been several months now since Conan Gray stopped by the MTV News office for a brief, yet impressive three-song set, and life for 21-year-old singer-songwriter has changed a lot since then. Last Friday (January 10), Gray announced his debut LP, Kid Krow, and also dropped his broody new song, “The Story.” Now, less than a week later, he’s back with a thought-provoking and melancholy video to match.

The music video begins with Gray wandering aimlessly before hitching a ride on the back of a pickup truck. As he walks through a seemingly abandoned town (and later, a seemingly abandoned property), he sings of all the unfair things he’s seen in this world, from the effects of bullying and self-hatred to a fear of being your 100 percent authentic self. And though he seems despondent and like he’s lost hope as he roams lonely dirt roads, he knows that it’s “not the end of the story.”

With the end of the video comes a reminder that, while it might feel like it sometimes, we are never truly alone. As more people start to appear, it becomes clear that they, too, are trying to navigate the complexities of life. And just like Gray, they are simply trying to find who it is that they really are.

Much like the song and its video, Gray said in a statement that his upcoming album “is a study of how I perceive the world.” The LP will also give fans a more in-depth look at his personal life, from life on the road to learning to accept who he is.

“I talk a lot about my friends and people I’ve met touring over the past year,” Gray added. “It’s me. I’m not the coolest person, but the album is me accepting the fact I’m weird and I don’t need to be anybody else. It’s also a chance to encourage others to embrace who they are and be unapologetic about it.”

In an Instagram post announcing Kid Krow, Gray also said that he’s excited for his fans to learn things about him that he’s never revealed before. “I say more on this album than i’ve ever said in my life and I can’t wait to tell you all of my secrets,” he wrote. “Love y’all.”

If you love “The Story” and its corresponding visual as much as we do, fear not. There’s so much more coming our way. Kid Krow will be out on March 20, and until then, we’ll likely be watching this video on repeat.

Mariah Carey Will Be Inducted Into The Songwriters Hall Of Fame And We Are So Not Surprised

By now, we all know that Mariah Carey is unstoppable. The music icon has broken not one, not two, but several records over the last few months, and soon, she’ll be honored for her songwriting in a major, major way.

On Thursday (January 16), the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced which talent will be inducted into the class of 2020. And after recently scoring her 19th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” it should come as no surprise that Mimi’s made the cut.

The pop culture legend expressed her gratitude on Twitter. “I can’t believe it…” she wrote. “The SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME!!!!” Carey went on to call the forthcoming induction one of the “greatest honors” of her roughly 30-year-long career. “I’m so proud and humbled to be in the company of such legendary songwriters – both previously inducted as well as the incredible class of 2020!” she added.

She’s right, this year’s class is pretty impressive. Pharrell WilliamsEurythmicsAnnie Lennox and Dave Stewart, the Isley Brothers, Steve Miller, and several others will be inducted. But alas, it’s Carey’s devoted Lambs who are most excited over the enormous achievement. “A-MAZE-ing,” one fan tweeted. “It’s why I have been a fanatic since 1990. Your words. Your lyrics. Your songs. THANK YOU MC.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Hall of Fame chairman Nile Rogers said in a statement, “I am very proud that we are recognizing some of the culturally most important songwriters of all time and that the 2020 slate of inductees represents diversity and unity across genres, ethnicity and gender.” He also added that these particular artists “have enriched our lives” and “literally transformed music and helped make it what it is today.”

It’s also worth noting that in order to qualify for the Hall of Fame, a songwriter must have a catalogue spanning at least 20 years. Carey, having been in the business several decades, certainly fits the bill. And after making headlines recently for breaking just about every record under the sun — from becoming the only artist in history to have a No. 1 single across four separate decades to being the first artist ever to fall off the Hot 100 completely after spending the previous week at No. 1 — being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame seems like the only logical next step.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 11 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Lauv Talks Regrettable Tattoos, Bad Dancing, And His Vibrant New Video

Getting matching tattoos with your significant other: cute idea or surefire kiss of death? In the latest video from Lauv, for his aptly titled new single “Tattoos Together,” he makes a case for both.

“To me, it wasn’t a bad idea because it was such a special time in my life when we were really happy together,” Lauv told MTV News about the idea for the song — which, yep, came after he got matching ink with a now-ex-girlfriend. “I think everybody’s different. And it’s a really cute tattoo. It’s not, like, names or something. I think names is where I draw the line.”

On the upbeat hook, Lauv takes that no-regrets approach to life by proposing, “Let’s get / Tattoos together / Something to remember / If it’s way too soon / Fuck it, whatever.” That blissfully carefree sentiment comes to life in the accompanying visual, in which he dances around a colorful neighborhood block where flowers are sold like drugs and flash mobs are an everyday occurrence. He and director Declan Whitebloom scrapped an initial idea for Lauv to get a tattoo with a fan, and settled on a more visually interesting concept inspired by the Hall & Oates dance sequence from 500 Days of Summer. In that dreamlike scene, Lauv said, “everything kind of goes perfectly for the main character,” which mirrored his own headspace when he wrote “Tattoos Together” last year.

“At that time in my life, I was manic,” he said. “I was super, super, super, super unrealistically happy and impulsive because I had just gotten on my antidepressants and I was in a really big hole before that. I was super, super high and I didn’t realize it at the time. I wanted the video to feel like you’re so in love and it’s so perfect, and then had the idea to shatter it at the end with the cheating.”

Indeed, after dancing up a storm with his smiley neighbors, Lauv wanders back home, ready to propose to the girl of his dreams. But when he gets down on one knee, he sees her in bed with another guy — which sets off a hilarious outro and blooper reel wherein Lauv cusses up a storm and freaks out about their matching tats by screaming that he “can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery” anymore.

“That scene was funny to shoot because I totally improv’ed it,” he said. “We had to do it so many times and the first two times, I really felt in it. And then after you’re yelling, like, ten times, you kind of start to feel bad and weird. Especially because, the girl in the video, I think it was her first music video ever, so I felt super bad screaming at her.”

Impressively, the video was shot all in one take, though they ended up using the 15th run-through for the final version. Chalk that up to the choreography, which Lauv only learned the day before filming.

“I think it’s the most [dancing] I’ve done,” he said. “But I’m going to do a lot more in future videos. I’ve been learning how to dance, which is really fun.”

“Tattoos Together” is the latest taste of Lauv’s upcoming debut album, ~how i’m feeling~, and it’s not the only new song linked to a piece of his growing collection of body ink. He has 14 tattoos total (none he regrets), with the most recent being the phrase “Modern Loneliness” on his arm, in commemoration of one of his favorite tracks off the album.

“It’s this super, super meaningful song to me,” he said. “That one’s basically about… I feel like these days, I’m so used to never being alone but feeling so alone. It’s so easy to feel totally isolated even if there’s people around you. I just think it’s this condition that a lot of people in my generation feel.”

We’ll have to wait to hear that song until ~how i’m feeling~ arrives on March 6, after a long and steady rise for Lauv. It’s already been two years since he broke out with “I Like Me Better,” and he’s kept up a constant stream of singles ever since, including “I’m So Tired…,” “Fuck, I’m Lonely,” “Sims,” “Mean It,” and “Drugs & the Internet,” all of which appear on the upcoming album.

“It feels very long overdue,” he admitted about the project’s impending arrival. “I’m honestly nervous because there’s a lot of different vibes on the album and some of them I think are going to be way different than what people would expect. But they’re really important parts of me as an artist, and I think it’s the first time that I’m really exploring every aspect of who I am and the kind of music I want to make.”

And make no mistake: there’s plenty more music (and plans for more tattoos) on the way.

“I’m honestly already working on my next project,” Lauv said. “I’ve just been in such a creative flow, so I’m really happy.”

Demi Lovato Will Bring Her Powerhouse Vocals To This Year’s Super Bowl

Demi Lovato is kicking off the year, and decade, on a tear. She revealed this morning that she’ll be singing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV when it commences on February 2.

Doing so automatically enters Lovato into a special, selective club of performers that have had the opportunity. If you have no idea about how big a deal this is, here are a few others who have also opened the ceremony with the prestigious tune: Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Cher, the list goes on. It’s positioning Lovato to have an epic year that’s surely to build upon such an achievement.

But get this – Lovato’s National Anthem is the second performance that she’ll have this year already. Before then, on January 26, she’ll be at the 62nd Grammy Awards as a performer. Ariana Grande, the Jonas Brothers, Rosalía, and others will also join her. There’s no word of what Lovato will be performing, but we hope that it’s a taste of some new music. Her last album, Tell Me You Love Me, came out in 2017.

Lovato’s powerful return means the world, following her hospitalization in July of 2018 for a drug overdose. Since then, she’s been working towards returning for her long-awaited takeover. Last year, she got some new ink from celebrity tattoo artist Doctor Woo to commemorate her journey.

Check out Demi’s announcement up above.

Eric Nam Moved To Korea To Make Music — Now He’s Coming Home

Eric Nam doesn’t mind if you call him a K-pop artist, but he doesn’t want to be confined to that label either. Or any label, for that matter. Eventually, he says, it would be nice to be known simply as “Eric Nam.” But he’s also still in the process of figuring out exactly what that means. For years, he’s been a viable pop star in South Korea, steadily releasing and performing music since his solo debut in 2013. His genuine affability has also made him a favorite on Korean variety programs and a natural emcee. He’s comfortable — maybe even a tad complacent — in Seoul, which is why now is the right time for the 31-year-old Korean American to make major moves back home in the U.S. with his first English album Before We Begin.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Nam eventually moved to South Korea in pursuit of his pop star dreams, competing on Season 2 of the Korean singing competition Star Audition in 2011. It’s a common story for Korean-American K-pop artists; with few opportunities to succeed in the States, they seek out opportunities in Korea’s bustling music market. Or, as Nam puts it: “When Asian Americans aren’t represented [in the U.S.] and we don’t have the opportunity, but you still want to pursue the arts, what are you going to do? You’re going to go where you are accepted.”

But a lot has changed in the years since Nam got his big break on Korean television. For starters, thanks to the global visibility of artists like BTS — who have broken records and defied all expectations — K-pop is more mainstream than ever in the U.S. Korean artists are booking televised gigs, playing Coachella, and being personally invited to The Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon. But for all the momentum K-pop has shown globally, a solo artist has yet to break through in the States the same way the idol groups have. With Before We Begin and his forthcoming North American tour, Nam hopes he can help lead the charge.

Throughout his conversation with MTV News, Nam opens up about digging “deeper” on his first English release, finding acceptance as a Korean-American artist in the U.S. market, and how he pushed through personal and professional burnout to create his most honest work to date.

MTV News: You were born in the U.S., but you’ve been living and making music in South Korea for nearly a decade. But now you’re making a big push in the States with your new album, Before We Begin, and the tour. Why did you decide that now was the time?

Eric Nam: It’s now or never for me because I think I’ve really ticked off all the marks in Korea that I can do.

MTV News: Like what?

Nam: I’ve done TV, radio, reality shows, concerts, festivals… I’ve done at least one festival every month this year in Korea. I feel like I’ve made it and I can live comfortably — but I’m never about comfort. I’ve never been about being complacent. It’s always been about what’s next, how can we build, how can we do things differently and approach things from a different perspective. People always ask me, “Why did you go to Korea to pursue music?” I’m like, well, it’s not really about wanting to — it’s not having a choice. When Asian Americans aren’t represented here and we don’t have the opportunity, but you still want to pursue the arts, what are you going to do? You’re going to go where you are accepted.

MTV News: As an Asian-American artist, do you feel more accepted in the U.S. now?

Nam: When it comes to just the climate and where the culture is right now, you know with BTS being so big globally, Blackpink doing their thing, and over the past year or so you’ve had the prominence and rise of Rich Brian and Joji and 88rising. For me, the goal and the dream was always to be able to do stuff back home, back in the States. I’m born and raised here, I’m American. That’s what I consider home. It took a lot of time and reverse engineering to get to the point where I’m like, “OK, we can try it.” The discussion right now with K-pop is pretty hot, so why not.

MTV News: But you’re not the typical K-pop artist. For starters, you’re not part of a group. There’s no choreography. You’re a singer-songwriter. 

Nam: That was the thing: The momentum is there, the groups are there, but where are the solo artists? Even within K-pop, there should be more representation. It’s not just groups, and it’s not just incredibly produced, highly choreographed pieces. There are vocalists, there’s R&B, there’s hip-hop, there are other types of people and voices. There’s space for all of that to be shared and to be appreciated.

MTV News: Your song “Love Die Young” is pretty emo. One, who hurt you. Two, why was this the song that you wanted to showcase first in the Before We Begin era?

Nam: It’s titled Before We Begin because I didn’t want this album to define me as an artist. I didn’t want it to be, this is K-pop Eric. No. I want this to be Eric Nam’s U.S. debut. In an ideal world I would have a major U.S. label say, “We get behind this artist. We don’t see color. We just see this great music and we want to push it.” Until we get to that point, I just have to keep building. I didn’t want to define who I was before I even got started. That’s why we named it Before We Begin. Then the music on the album, it’s a little bit of a departure from what I’d been doing recently. A little deeper.

MTV News: Yeah, because a lot of your recent stuff has been very bright pop, a kind of a very bubbly ring to it.

Nam: Right. I wanted to come in from a more mature angle. So we wrote to that and did sessions to that narrative and to that feeling. “Love Die Young” came together because I think I had just gotten off tour, I did 12 shows in 18 days in Europe, and then I was just flying all over doing different things. But I had to put this out. It was like this looming album. I was like, “I have to put this together.” I got into the session in the studios, and they were like, “What do you want to do?” I was like, “Honestly I just want to write about being exhausted and burned out.” I’ve been in K-pop in Korea for eight years now and I feel like I haven’t taken a break. I haven’t stopped. It’s just been nonstop, not a day off. I wanted to write about feeling burned out, but how do you do that in a way that people can understand or relate to? So it turned into a really deep love song where you can feel burned out about a relationship. You can feel the end coming. You could see this looming breakup happening, but you don’t want it to happen. That’s I think kind of where the inspiration for that song came from.

MTV News: And then you have the single “Congratulations,” which is another breakup song but this one is more fun. A fun breakup song, if you will.

Nam: It’s a much brighter, happier breakup song and it features Marc E. Bassy, who I’m personally a big fan of for a long time. It’s a very diverse album. A lot of variety, a little bit more maturity and hopefully people love it.

MTV News: When you’re in Korea, what is your schedule like? 

Nam: It’s a lot. It’s a lot wherever I am. I travel so much, so that when I am in Korea, it’s playing catch up to everything. It’s like 10 days of work that I have to make up for when I’m back [in Seoul]. Almost every time I land, I land at 4 or 5 a.m., and I’ll have a full day until midnight.

MTV News: What does a full day entail?

Nam: Radio. TV. Podcast. I’m putting an album together. Photo shoots. I’m involved with every single piece of content.

MTV News: Do you want to be involved in everything, or is it more out of necessity? 

Nam: I don’t have the luxury of not being involved in everything. I would love to let go. It’s just, I can’t. There are a few people that I’ve selected to be on my team where they’re great and I can delegate things to them, but other points where I’m working with people who I don’t handpick and I’m just like, let me just do this myself. Little small details that for me are important, like capitalization or spacing, that they just don’t catch. I’m just like, you know what, I’ll just do it. That’s just the reality of how I work.

MTV News: I don’t think the average person understands how much content there is in the K-pop industry. K-pop delivers content in unfathomable ways.

Nam: It’s a lot, especially for one person. That’s when I’m jealous of teams because they can split it up. For me, I do a vlog, I do a podcast, I shoot my vlog, I write the subtitles for my vlog.

MTV News: You write the subtitles yourself?

Nam: Yes. That’s what I did this morning when I woke up, I was subtitling. I go through everything with a fine-tooth comb. It’s a lot.

MTV News: One thing that I’ve been learning in my 30s is that your time is valuable and that it’s OK to do things for yourself and only yourself sometimes.

Nam: Absolutely. That’s kind of been the dialogue of this discussion. A lot of interviews ask, “What advice do you have for people in their 20s?” I’m like, “Eh, well, you can do whatever you want in your 20s, but when you hit 30 you’re going to want to take time off. Take care of yourself.”

MTV News: How do you make time for yourself when your schedule is so crazy?

Nam: Honestly, I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can breathe. I told myself I’d take December off, but now they’re starting to book a bunch of gigs, and I’m just like, do I take the time or do I take the money? But it’s also about balance. I way I deal with stress is when I feel a certain way, I just do it. It’s like, I want a hamburger, so I’m just going to eat a hamburger. I don’t want to answer your phone call right now — I’m not going to answer your phone call. Just be able to say, “This is how I feel. This is the way it is, deal with it.” That’s the best way for me to deal with work and stress.

MTV News: When you start promoting more heavily in the U.S. and touring, is there an intention to move here to really like settle and lay down roots?

Nam: I’d like to. Realistically, over the next few years, it’ll be a lot of time spent half and half, going back and forth. I would like to be able to book more stuff here in the States regularly for me to justify that because it’s just a lot of flying, and it’s hard. But my parents would be much happier if I moved back.

Getty Images

MTV News: When it comes to Before We Begin, would you say that this is your most honest work? 

Nam: This album is probably the most honest, probably the most vulnerable album I’ve put together. Not to say other ones weren’t, but this one just feels a lot deeper in terms of where the inspiration came from for a lot of the songs. The opening lines of “Love Die Young” is, “What happens when it’s over, when we breathed our last breath.” It sounds like an existential crisis, and it gets people thinking in many different ways, right? It can be in relation to love. It can be in relation to life. It could be whatever.

MTV News: It sounds like something you would have found on my Tumblr in 2007.

Nam: Right! We’re like, “This is such a simple, almost cliche phrase, but it’s still so real and it will always be real and it’s universal.” It’s a lot deeper, a lot more mature, vulnerable, honest. And I think people will take it and apply to it whatever situation they’re in.

MTV News: How would you define your sound?

Nam: I don’t know if I have a sound yet. We live in a time and period for music where genres don’t matter. Everything is fluid. Everything moves in and out. I’m just whatever I feel like singing is pop, and that’s pretty much it. Right now, it’s just about the vibes that I get just living life. I don’t know where we’ll go from here. That’s why it’s called Before We Begin. It’s just things left out to the open.

MTV News: You’re also still making music in Korea. So you’re in two different markets. For example, Koreans love ballads, so you’ve released a lot of Korean ballads. Do you feel like since you’re now straddling both lines, it must be maybe a little confusing?

Nam: Yeah. Absolutely. Over the past few years I’ve had a realization. It was like, what the hell am I doing? Because I don’t particularly like doing Korean ballads. I don’t like Korean ballads in that way, because only Korean people can sing those songs. There’s this certain vibe that only Korean people have, and so to be able to relay that emotion is so hard. I don’t get it. The only person that I’ve seen that’s been able to, is Aliee, but that’s because she has a deep understanding of Korean. For other people it’s very, very difficult. I would be criticized, like, “You don’t talk Korean enough. You sound very American. You sound very white in your music.” And I’m like, “Whoa.”

Courtesy of DAC BIET

MTV News: That must be confusing for you to navigate. 

Nam: It’s very weird. It’s like, “I just don’t know what you want me to do.” So then, probably two years ago, I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to wherever the fuck I want.I’m going to write it the way I want. I want to sing the way I want, and if you like it, great. If you don’t, too bad.” And I’ve learned not to be apologetic for the way that you pronounce your words, or the way you sing your song and write your music. It’s supposed to be art and you can like it or you can hate it, but just take it for what it is.

MTV News: That’s very American of you.

Nam: Part of the reason that it’s hard to do it in Korea is because Koreans are very vocal on the internet — the netizens and the comments can be hyper critical. And so people can get very freaked out, like, “Can I do this? Am I allowed? What will happen? What about the backlash.” But I’m just like, “Let’s go.”

MTV News: You’ve had this label of “different” your entire life. First, as an Asian kid growing up in suburban Atlanta, and then as an American in the Korean music industry. Now, as an Asian-American in the Western pop market. But at the same time you don’t want the thing that makes you different — your identity — to define you and your music. How do you navigate that?

Nam: Right. It’s weird. To be very frank, even with Tiffany [Young] and Amber [Liu], none of us have really found our way to this level of success that we’ve had in Asia. And that’s the goal: to find acceptance and to be on the radio and to be on Jimmy Fallon or whatever, not as a K-pop boy band like BTS but as a local singer-songwriter from LA or Atlanta or New York. So it is a very fine line. But I was born and raised here. This is home. This is where my friends are. This is where my family is. But I have to go to Korea to try to make it as a singer so I could come back here and do music, which is mental, but that’s just the reality of it. You can be bitter. You can be upset that we have to do so much work to be accepted again, but I’m like, “That’s just the way it is.” You’ve just got to accept it. You’ve just got to believe that people will see and appreciate the value in the music and the artistry that we bring when they hear it.

MTV News: An entire movement rests on the shoulders of just a small handful of people.

Nam: I don’t know if it’ll work out, and if it doesn’t, that’s OK. We got to try. Maybe it will inspire the next generation to try even harder.

From ‘Futsal Shuffle’ To The Mop — These Dances Are Taking Over 2020 Already

What It Is: Fresh X Reckless are a quartet of New Orleans Louisiana rappers: Deelo, Mel, Tee, and T Daddie. You’ve seen them on your timeline wearing ridiculously bedazzled outfits and standing hairdos, rapping so fast that you can barely understand what they’re saying and leaning on each other like somehow both an early 2000s boy band and the Power Rangers. They do a lot of crazy moves, but perhaps the most well known is when they manage to sit on each other at the same time.

How To Do It: This one takes a lot of trust and comfort, so you may not be able to do this with three other random people; you might need to find friends who don’t mind looking silly for five minutes. Standing in a circle, each person needs to use one hand to grab another’s shoulder while placing the other hand in the middle of their back. Then, one person starts a spin that the other people then match, gradually getting into a position where each person’s back is extended and their legs are outstretched, with their knees perpendicular to the ground. If done right, each person can sit on the person beside them. And frankly, what better way to begin 2020?

The Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, And More Are 2020’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees

This year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2020 class is here and, it’s quite the doozy. It’s the class of rap, rock, and R&B, with just a sprinkle of electronic music. There’s enough excitement to go for everyone, as always. But, this time, it feels special. The Notorious B.I.G., widely believed to be one of the best rappers of all time, Nine Inch Nails, the legendary firehouse rockers led by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Whitney Houston, one of soul music’s most revered singers in history, lead the impressive, and varied, class.

The Rock Hall is also set to welcome fabled English electronic band Depeche Mode, the long-running rock group the Doobie Brothers that have been active for nearly five decades, and glam rock frontrunners T.Rex. Everyone’s set to be inducted at the ceremony on May 2 in Cleveland.

The Notorious B.I.G.’s induction comes after being nominated in his first year of eligibility. For Houston, the Doobie Brothers, and T.Rex, this class was the first that they were considered for. And for both Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, they’ve been nominated more than once.

Reznor of Nine Inch Nails expressed how happy he was in a statement“A sincere thank you goes out to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting body — it always feels great to be recognized for your artistic efforts and I am honored. Many congratulations to this year’s fellow inductees (DM finally!) — see you back in Cleveland where it all began for me!”

Guitarist Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers also expressed both shock and humility at the induction. “I was really happy about it,” he revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone“It’s something that we’ve been thinking about for a long time. That’s kind of one of the things you always hope will happen, especially with a band like ours that has been around this long.”

This year’s other nominees who didn’t get inducted this time were Motörhead, Dave Matthews Band, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, MC5, Thin Lizzy, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Pat Benatar, and Todd RundgrenAaliyah, Daft Punk, and Weezer were eligible but weren’t nominated.

Last year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class was made up of Janet Jackson, The Cure, Radiohead, Roxy Music, Def Leppard, The Zombies, and Stevie Nicks.