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HBO’s New Horror Series “Folklore” Is So Close To Home, It’ll Chill Your Bones



Horror-philes rejoice! HBO Asia Originals is bringing you Folklore, a six-episode hour-long horror series based on six myths from six Asian countries: Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

In preparation for the series, we’ve compiled the superstitious myths highlighted in each episode.

Wewe Gombel

According to ancient folklore, Wewe Gombel is a woman whose husband stopped loving her because she’s unable to bear children. One day, she catches her husband cheating on her. His betrayal hurts her and in her anger, she kills him. The crime results in the villagers hating her and they chase her from the village. In despair, she commits suicide. After her death, her vengeful spirit becomes Wewe Gombel, who abducts children.

Catch this in: Episode 1: “A Mother’s Love”

A single mother and her young son save a group of abandoned children in the attic of a mansion. Unbeknownst to them, these children belong to Wewe Gombel and they must now beware of her vengeful wrath.

Tatami Room Ghost/Zashiki-Warashi

According to the mythology, Zashiki-warashi or the “sitting room child”, is known for inhabiting storerooms, sitting rooms or guest rooms of old Japanese houses. This ghost appears as a child between three to six years old with a bob-style haircut, red face and dressed in traditional clothing. They are mischievous pranksters that disturb the family or visitors staying in the house.

Catch this in: Episode 2: “Tatami”

A writer returns home to attend his father’s funeral. He discovers a unknown room in the house that hides a horrifying secret from his family’s past.


Pontianak is a female vampiric ghost said to be the spirit of women who died during childbirth. They are usually depicted as being pale skinned with long black hair and red eyes, wearing a white dress smeared in blood. Often blaming men for their suffering, the pontianak is able to appear as a beautiful woman to attract men before killing them. According to the myth, soft cries of a baby, a whining dog and a sweet smell indicate the presence of a pontianak.

Catch this in: Episode 3: “Nobody”

A foreman and construction worker attempt to bury the body of a dead girl instead of burning her. This awakens a pontianak and a series of unfortunate events begin to occur at the construction site.


Pob is a cannibalistic spirit that eats human guts. In Thai mythology, one can strike a deal with the pob. In exchange for honouring the living memory of a loved one, the pob will save someone’s life for you or give you the winning lottery numbers… but at a dangerous cost.

Catch this in: Episode 4: “Nobody”

A journalist meets pob, and pob confesses a murder to him and asks him to publish the story. The journalist declines and the two make a deal of a lifetime.


A toyol is a spirit summoned from a dead foetus using black magic, and appears as a small new born baby with a large head, blood-red eyes and sharp teeth. According to myth, toyols are often used for selfish but petty gains by its owner.

Catch this in: Episode 5: “Toyol”

A politician turns to a mysterious woman bomoh to help fix his problems and the two end up becoming lovers. However, the woman has a dark secret.

Mongdal Gwisin

Mongdal Gwisin is a ghost that died as a bachelor. The spirit can only find peace once it marries the spirit of a virgin girl.

Catch this in: Episode 6: “Mongdal”

A mother tries to appease the demands of her borderline psychopathic son. He falls in love with a new girl in town. Things take a tragic turn and the mother will not stop until her son is happy even if it means finding him a bride to join him in the afterlife.

Are you scared yet?

Everyone knows that Asian ghosts are waaaaay creepier than mat salleh ghosts (Poltergeists? Please). Folklore premieres on 7 October at 10pm on HBO (Astro channel 411/431 HD), so prepare to sit back and be scared, Asian style!

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Calum Scott Talks To Us About His Love For Char Kuey Teow, And Writing His Album, Only Human.




Last weekend, Calum Scott had his first showcase in Malaysia. Tickets to the showcase reportedly sold out in less than 10 hours. The showcase was an intimate performance of 4 songs in front of just about 100 people. The next day, we got to sit down with him and talk to him about his experience in Malaysia, his debut album, Only Human and his writing process.

SYOK: There’s was a big time gap between after you won British Got Talent and the launch of your first album. Was there a specific reason for the time gap?

Calum Scott: I’d had an overnight success with my audition on Britain’s Got Talent. Let’s not forget I was working in human resources so I was as normal as everybody else. I loved to sing but had no idea on how to make an album or how to write a record. Being signed to Capitol Records was a monumental moment for me in my career. But it meant that I really had to start working hard to be able to achieve where I’m at now. That meant starting from scratch with an album. So, I had to learn how to become a song writer, how to get my feelings down onto paper. And, ultimately to write a record that people are going to listen to for years to come. So, it took a little time to get that together and to get those skills working.

S: Did you write all the songs on the album?

CS: I did. I can’t take credit for “Dancing On My Own”. If I did I’d be legally sued (laughs). I did write the majority of the songs on there. Because song writing is incredibly important to me. And, being a part of the stories and telling it from my perspective is what I think gives the songs the edge. I think it also gives them humility. In terms of people relating to what I’ve been through because I’m not the only one who’s been through it. And I wont be the last.

S: What inspired you the most when you were writing the songs?

CS: I think being just a hopeless romantic. If you look at the album, there’s a story from each [song]. Because I was learning how to become a songwriter, as I was going through this crazy career. My songs sort of followed that pattern as well. So, I take my inspiration literally from living my life, one day to the next. And all the highs and lows of that. Missing home, falling out with people, making up again. Falling out with them again. Making up with them again (laughs).

S: Did you struggle to find the direction of your music?

CS: Yeah. To be signed to Capitol Records, in itself; being amongst the likes of The Beatles, and Katy Perry, and Sam Smith, and these incredible artists was such an overwhelming thing. [To] write an album full of songs that I’d written myself was just almost too daunting to start the project. So, I just thought to myself “I just need to write great songs”. I [went] on a journey of writing songs that didn’t have any real order or any real thought process. It was more getting into the studio, sitting with my co-writers, pouring my heart out, crying most of the time. And that’s when the songs started to take a real pattern and a real shape. I wrote 70 songs for the first album. So, I have many many demos. Not all of which are great (laughs). My mum hears my demos before anybody else. And so there were quite a number that were discarded before the label had them. Once I’d written the 70, out of those there were a few golden nuggets really that made the album what it is. And I just hope I write another 70 more [for the second album] (laughs).

S: Speaking of the second album, can you describe the genre of the songs?

CS: I’m conscious that I’ve amassed by fan base through what I’ve written already, so the last thing I wanna do is to change direction completely from album one. I kind of want to write more of the same. If I’ve got to be honest, I look to people like Adele, who has written three albums of complete heartbreak and we still buy them. And we still listen to them. And with her third album it was bigger than any of her previous. And it’s still heartbreaking and it’s still about emotion and it’s still that kind of yearning for the one. So, I think I’m gonna write more of the same. But, the most important thing for me is to take my audience on an adventure and into a story. And that has highs and lows. So, as such, so will the album.

S: How many songs have you written for album 2 so far?

CS: Album 2 is a relatively new venture. I started writing the album in February. I’ve come back now with 4 or 5 demos and I have a full writing trip planned for LA where I’m due to be in 20-25 sessions there. And when I come back its more or less head-on into London, for another 4 weeks. And then, I’ve been asked to go to Sweden, write some music, Germany. Maybe here in Malaysia, who knows?

S: On Instagram, you posted that you recently worked with DJ Naughty Boy, what was the experience like?

CS: Oh my goodness, so amazing! That actually comes out in the UK next week, Working with people has always been something I look forward to. When I started to sing I was very much singing covers of other people’s songs. I don’t know if you know, I was in a Maroon 5 tribute band because I just loved their music. His [DJ Naughty Boy] music and his sense of style is very different to what I do.  I’m there to make people cry, he’s there to make people dance, so it wasn’t a likely partnership. But the song is great. It’s still very much a songwriters song, but with his incredible production that does make you wanna move. So, you will not cry to this song, I guarantee! (laughs) The song is called Undo. There’s a couple of versions that are flying around. One is just [me] and Naughty Boy. There’s a version I believe they’re going to radio with, with a female Jamaican rapper called Shenseea. The thought of putting a Yorkshireman, ballad singer, with a Jamaican female rap artist was quite the concoction. But it works. And so I’m very excited for the world to hear it.

Naughty Boy feat. Calum Scott & Shenseea – Undo (Teaser 1)

It's coming.. Calum Scott Shenseea#Undo

Posted by Naughty Boy on Wednesday, 20 March 2019

S: Who’s an artist that you’d really like to collaborate with?

CS: I feel personally, that there is a real gap for a male duet. I think that a male-female duet is great. We’ve had our fair share of female-female duets. But, there’s not a lot of male and male duets. I always take myself back to David Bowie and Freddy Mercury, with “Under Pressure”. And I’ve watched the YouTube clip that they have on it. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s without the music and just their vocals. I sat there like that is just insane. It’s two very characteristic voices working with each other. So, in the same vein I’d like to do something with Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Adam Levine maybe, and just have a male duet. Being in the position that I am. I would love to do something with my sister on my second record. Jade is such a massive part of my life and without her, I wouldn’t be sat where I am. But then again, who knows. Maybe a BTS or Blackpink collaboration. Which would be insane. I don’t want to split fan groups up (laughs) but, maybe something like that would be really cool. When I sang in French it was cool enough, so. I’d love to do something like that.

S: Are you a K-Pop fan?

CS: Yeah, I really [am]. There’s so much energy in there and those guys are doing incredible things all over the world. So, to work with them would be an absolute privilege. 

S: Does music run in your family?

CS: I know for a fact that my mum didn’t bless us [Jade and him] with this voice. I mean I love my mum to bits but she can’t sing (laughs). And my dad didn’t sing and don’t think my grandparents did either, so we’re [him and Jade] just a rare breed I guess. 

S: Have you always been a fan of love songs?

CS: Always. In the car on the way to our swimming lessons, school, family things that we went to. My mum would always play her favourite songs and they would be by people like Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Queen, Elton John, Meat Loaf. Just massive, massive singers and I think that style and certainly the approach on songwriting really influenced me even before I had a voice. I’ve always loved a good ballad, I’m a sucker for a sad song, and they’ll be plenty more in album 2 for sure.

S: You used to work a desk job, now you’re an artist, what do you see yourself doing next?

CS: I’m teaming up with a couple of brands this year, one, in particular, is a watch brand, and they’ve asked me to design their first jewellery line. So maybe be in design? Anything that helps my creativity flow. I gotta have something to make that happen or I’ll go crazy and eat crisps all day.

S: Can you share a little bit about your experience in Malaysia so far?

CS: The thing I love about Malaysia specifically is the people. It’s taken such a long time for me to get here. And now that I am here, everybody’s been so kind. And so lovely. I finished my showcase yesterday and they [the audience] sang [and] finished the song for me. It was just the most emotional… I mean I was crying. Sometimes I’m on stage, and as I’m singing, I’ll take myself back, in my head, to being sat at that desk dreaming of [this]. It seems very surreal to jump forward, to be here and be living [it]. And to be in front of a crowd in a country I’ve never been in before and to get that respect is the most life-affirming thing I’ve ever had.

S: Did you get to try any of our food?

CS: Yes, I tried satay, nasi lemak and char kuey teow. I love char kuey teow! I love Malaysia and I’d love to come back. I don’t know if I can wait for album 2, so it might be sooner than you think.

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Lazada Is Throwing A Super Party Concert With Dua Lipa! Here’s How You Can Catch It!




Are you one of those people who love music but just can’t handle crowds? We totally get the attraction of watching our favourite artists performing live, but you also have to go through so much hassle… You know, there’s the driving, and the parking and the walking and all that standing.

If you can relate, you might be interested to hear that Lazada has a solution for you!

Lazada is throwing a “Super Party” music concert. What’s so special about that you ask? Well, you can stream the entire concert straight from the Lazada app on your phone – in real time!


The “Super Party” concert is in conjunction with Lazada’s 7th birthday and their lineup bukan beshe beshe. The headliner of the concert is actually none other than British popstar Dua Lipa.


Besides her, the other performers include Agnez Mo, Nadine Lustre and Sam Conception, and Dong Nhi! From Malaysia, our very own Anugerah Juara Lagu 2019 winner Hael Husaini and up-and-coming act, Ismail Izzani will also be performing. Besides that, rappers and pop acts such as Urboy TJ, Saykoji, THELIONCITYBOY, Angger Dimas, and Dipha Barus will also be firing up the stage.

FYI, the concert date is 26 March at 8pm. And if you’re actually one of those people who do love attending concerts though, it’s open to Lazada’s invited guests and fans and will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition.

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We Spoke To Asia’s Got Talent Contestants, NAMA On Their Standing Ovation And Future Plans




Nur Fazrina (28), Noor Syamimi (24), Norfazira (24) and Nur Farahida (24) make up Malaysian singing group, NAMA.

Formed in 2017, they met during their years studying at University Malaya (UM). Recently, they joined Asia’s Got Talent, contending as one of the two Malaysian participants.

The four women made Southeast Asian fame from their rendition of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance during their Asia’s Got Talent audition. The audience during the show gave them a standing ovation, while viewers back home were also impressed by their singing and harmonising ability.

We had the opportunity to sit down with them and speak to them about their sudden breakthrough fame. They also filled us in on what we can expect from them in the future.

NAMA On Their Standing Ovation And Future Plans

SYOK got to sit down with NAMA, the singing group from Malaysia who are competing in Asia's Got Talent.They talked about how it felt to receive a standing ovation during their performance and what we can expect from them in the future!

Posted by SYOK on Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Keep doing what you’re doing ladies! You’ll definitely be going places!

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Didier Drogba Playing ‘Lompat Getah’ With This 8yo Malaysian Girl Is The Cutest Thing Ever




Image via YouTube

Here’s one thing we don’t get to see very often, footballers reacting to children.

Astro Supersport sent an 8-year-old Malaysian girl called Lulu to interview former Chelsea star, Didier Drogba. During the interview, she challenges the enormous 6 foot 2 man to a game of ‘Lompat Getah‘.

Despite never playing the game in his life, the 40-year-old football retiree completely slays it, prompting these adorable gushes from Lulu! He then gives her a hug. Can this video get any freaking cuter?!

Little Lulu is interviewing Drogba as part of Stadium Astro’s ‘Astro Small World’ series.

If you can’t get enough of these two, you can catch the full episode tonight on the channel!

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Zamaera Is The Malaysian Rapper You Wanna Keep An Eye On




Image via Juice Online

Zamaera first exploded into the Malaysian music scene after she released her first single ‘Helly Kelly’. The 23-year-old from Subang Jaya was subsequently featured on MTV Asia’s MTV Rap Cypher reaching over a million views. She also performed at Good Vibes Festival in 2018 and became the first female hip-hop act to perform in Singapore’s Baybeats 2018.

She’s now expanding her name by dropping an EP. Titled ‘Z’, Zamaera’s first EP comes about from pairing with award-winning, 14-time Billboard charting producer and pianist Floyd ‘Timeless’ Thomas.

What resulted from the pairing are four full-length tracks showcasing Zamaera’s ability to tell an intricate story in a matter of minutes, while exploring the universal themes of change and love; confronting them with introspection, empathy and confidence in ‘Z vs Z’, ‘Truth’, ‘KMS’ and ‘Almost’.

Image via The Malay Mail

The first single, ‘Z vs Z’ was released internationally in August 2018 as a prelude to the EP. The track is a perfect introduction that highlights Zamaera’s impressive rapping ability, sick flow and slicker delivery.

On its release, ‘Z vs Z’ earned an exclusive premiere feature on HipHopDX. The single has also surpassed half a million streams and counting.

If you enjoyed Zamaera’s rapping on that track, wait until you hear her sing on the EP. This woman is dripping with talent and she does not hold back. Here’s a clip of her singing on ‘Truth’.

To promote her EP, Zamaera has also announced her plans for a nationwide tour in LFx. LFx is a new performance format where the artist performs their sets live in cinema-quality surround sound and visuals, and Zamaera will be the first artist in the world to tour in this format.

If you decide to catch her tour, you’ll get to watch Zamaera performing the four tracks from ‘Z’. Interspersed between the songs are mini-documentaries entitled The Chicago Sessions, which features behind-the-scenes footage of her and her team in the process of recording ‘Z’.

Image via The Sun Daily

As a local artist, Zamaera has definitely blown us away. She has a lot of potential and she’s serious about her craft. Heck, she brought a whole orchestra out. If that doesn’t say serious, we don’t know what does.

‘Z’ will make it’s worldwide debut on March 29th, with pre-orders available from March 15th. As for her nationwide tour, more details will be released as the dates draw closer, but for now, we know she’ll have shows at TGV Cinemas in Johor Bahru, Penang, and Miri, with the first concert taking place in Kuala Lumpur.

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After Harith Iskander Sued Laugh Factory, Now They’ve Saman-ed Him Back




Two weeks ago, Harith Iskander posted on Facebook confirming that he was indeed suing Laugh Factory and its founder Jamie Masada for allegedly not paying him the full amount of the prize money he was promised after winning the “Funniest Person In The World’ competition.

It has been a roller coaster ride since I entered (and won) the competition in Dec 2016. My main intention for…

Posted by Harith Iskander on Friday, 22 February 2019

Now it seems that Laugh Factory has decided to saman him back. The Laugh Factory has filed a USD10 million-plus lawsuit against Harith Iskander.

In their countersuit, they are denying any breach of obligation to Harith. Instead, they are claiming that Harith failed to meet the performance obligation of their contract and that he main tipu to win their competition!


Further info about the issue just sounds like a lot of saya kata dia kata. Ie. Harith said an agent approached him from the Laugh Factory, then Laugh Factory said Harith was the one who initiated contact with them.

The Laugh Factory also claimed that Harith contacted a Laugh Factory representative, inquiring about the competition and offering to open a Laugh Factory clubs in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta with his “silent partner”, Najib Razak.

They also alleged that Harith stole their intellectual property while pretending to prepare opening Laugh Factory comedy clubs in Southeast Asia.

Harith has denied the allegation that he claimed Najib was his silent partner, calling the allegation “laughable”.

Wow. This case has quickly escalated to a different level 😅After bringing a case against Laugh Factory to pay me…

Posted by Harith Iskander on Thursday, 7 March 2019

You can read the full countersuit below. FYI, it’s super long.

Iskander v Laugh Factory Co… by on Scribd

Who do you think is at fault here? Tell us in the comments!

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Watch This 15yo Malaysian Math Genius Blow Every One Away At Asia’s Got Talent!




Mathematics was definitely one of the least favourite subjects for most of us in school, but that’s not the case for this 15-year-old Malaysian!


Yaashwin Sarawanan just blew everyone’s mind after showing off his mathematics skillz on the stage of Asia’s Got Talent!

this 15yo malaysian math genius just blew everyone’s mind at asia’s got talent!

He called himself the ‘Human Calculator’ and went on to ask the judge, David Foster, to work out some math equations on a calculator while he merely calculated the same equations using just his mind!

this 15yo malaysian math genius just blew everyone’s mind at asia’s got talent!

The equations went from addition to multiplication to division where he even managed to get the answers correct right down to the decimal points!

this 15yo malaysian math genius just blew everyone’s mind at asia’s got talent!

Impressed netizens were praising him online for his genius math-solving skills!

this 15yo malaysian math genius just blew everyone’s mind at asia’s got talent!

On top of that, he’s also quite the joker! David was blown away by his talent and at one point said, “if I was a girl I’d date you right now” and Yaashwin responded with “luckily you’re not…”

this 15yo malaysian math genius just blew everyone’s mind at asia’s got talent!

Yaashwin managed to get all three ‘yes’s from the judges and he’s now moving on to the next stage of the show! Congratulations!


It’s certainly impressive to know that we have talents like this from Malaysia! Good luck with the competition, Yaashwin!

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Bruno Mars Reacts To His Music Being Banned In West Java




Image via MSN

So here we were, thinking it was only Malaysians that like to critic and ban music from other countries for being a “bad influence”.


Posted by Kelab Perkim UUM (Official) on Monday, 25 February 2019

According to an article by TIME, The West Java branch of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPID) has placed a ban on 17 English songs that authorities say contain adult and offensive content.

Airing of the popular tunes, including “Versace on the Floor”, “That’s What I Like”  by Bruno Mars, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder” are not allowed during daylight hours and instead are only allowed to play between 10pm and 3am.

The commission’s chairwoman, Dedeh Fardiah said the ban follows 86 findings and reports from the public in 2018 and early 2019. A circular was sent to 471 broadcasters in West Java citing a broadcasting law which states:

“Broadcasting programs containing songs and/or music videos that depict titles and/or lyrics with sexual or vulgar themes and/or implying sexual relations are prohibited”.

According to a report by The Guardian, Deputy Head of the commission, Rahmat Ariffin clarified that the lyrics are what have been banned, and not the songs per se.

“In this case, what is banned is not the songs, but the lyrics of the songs that contain pornography, pornographic association, and obscenity.”

After TIME tweeted their article on the ban, Bruno Mars responded in a series of humorous tweets.

The other songs on the banned list also include “Dusk Til Dawn” (Zayn Malik Feat. Sia), “Mr. Brightside” (The Killers), “Overdose” (Chris Brown feat. Agnez Mo), “Your Song” (Rita Ora) and “Wild Thoughts” (DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna).

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Marc Marquez Sings Drake’s In My Feelings With This Adorable 8 Year Old Malaysian Girl!




Image via YouTube

Astro Supersport interviewed Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer Marc Marquez recently. Only this interview wasn’t like any other.

This time, 8-year-old Malaysian girl, Alexandria had the opportunity to ask the Spaniard some questions. And at the end of the adorable interview, Alexandria managed to convince Marc Marquez to sing!

Who knew Marc was so good with kids!

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Netflix Has Bought The ‘Rise Ini Kalilah’ Movie!




Streaming giant, Netflix, has picked up local film, “Rise Ini Kalilah”, and it is already available to watch on their platform!

The film, released in local theaters and Singapore in September last year, tells six intertwined fictional tales that build up to last year’s historic general election in Malaysia.

The producer, Fred Chong (Nasi Lemak 2.0, Hantu Gangster) said that the film was to show the world how a small democracy like Malaysia managed to make a monumental political shift without violence and bloodshed.

“I told this story from the lens of six normal citizens, to demonstrate that the power of change comes from unity and determination of its people, not the elected politicians.”

So, if you haven’t watched the film yet, be sure to grab a pack of popcorn on your way home from work! Enjoy the movie, folks!

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