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Natasha Mulenga

Freelance journalist, Author of 100% Unofficial Lizzo, and host of A Soulful Storm podcast. I write on culture, entertainment news, fashion and music.

Music

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BTS Makes Triumphant Return to Seoul with Permission to Dance Concert

BTS has finally returned to their home stage. While it's only been three months since the septet performed at their sold-out shows at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California, it has been nearly two and half years since they performed in front of a live audience in Korea. On March 10, the band performed the first night of their three-show Permission to Dance On Stage concert series in Seoul, South Korea. However, BTS' reunion with their Korean fans comes with some strict guidelines.

The 10 Best K-pop Songs of 2021

At a time where the world was riddled with uncertainty, the music coming from the Korean music industry was a balm to many and the bright lights served as a beacon of hope from the darkness. Many K-pop soloists and groups continued to push the boundaries of sound and expectation; with BTS and Blackpink being a consistent presence on the Billboard Hot 100 and TWICE landing their entry with “The Feels.” The innovation of online concerts, and unexpected collaborations with juggernauts in global music, such as Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. We even witnessed a viral moment that ushered in the resurgence of Brave Girls after four years.

The Best K-Pop Songs of 2021

For Teen Vogue's second annual Best K-pop list, we decided to focus on the music we loved this year. In this often bleak, tumultuous time, the best K-pop songs of 2021 gave us a rare light: Energy! Chaos! New words! Meanwhile, the artists who created them continued to outdo themselves with one immaculate performance after another. Last year, we wrote about the complexity of calling K-pop a genre: "Can K-pop be considered a ‘genre’ in the traditional sense? Is it a way of pinning household name

BTS Permission To Dance In L.A: An Emotional Reunion

The air was crisp, there’s a slight fog and the grey in the sky would make one think that they’re in London and not Los Angeles, but the weather did not dampen the atmosphere of Day 3 of BTS’s Permission To Dance concert that a 50,000 strong ARMY were about to attend. Honouring BTS’s signature colour purple in the form of masks, clothing, braids, and BT21 merchandise, fans from across the globe united to hail BTS’s return to in-person concerts after two long years.

13 Best Moments From BTS's "Permission to Dance On Stage" Concert

Almost exactly a year ago, BTS held their Map of the Soul ON:E concerts. Originally intended to be both an online and offline concert, the two-day event was relegated to the virtual space to abide by government guidelines in light of the pandemic. We all hoped more in-person concerts would be safe a year later, but whether they’re performing to a stadium of cheering fans or a massive online audience, BTS still brings one of the most moving live experiences of any musician performing today. Their

10 Shining Moments From BTS’s SOWOOZOO Muster Concerts

At the end of BTS’s 2021 Muster SOWOOZOO concerts, fireworks flickered and crackled over Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium as the septet rode into the darkening sky. “We’re all shining / from one’s own room, from one’s own star,” the lyrics to “Mikrokosmos” read per Doolset Bangtan’s English translation. The annual celebration of BTS and ARMY — named this year for the Korean title of the Map of the Soul-era song — played with the fundamental spirit of what makes BTS, BTS.

EXO – ‘Don’t Fight The Feeling’ review: a seamless transition into the next phase of the boyband’s journey

A lot has happened in the 19 months since EXO last released an album. From enlisting into the South Korean military and starting families to joining other groups and embarking on successful solo activities, the group are living the full spectrum of life as grown men. However, they are back to remind people why they are considered juggernauts in K-pop’s ever-growing industry.

Wheein Is Not Leaving MAMAMOO Just Yet

Since the first quarter of 2021, there have been questions about the future of K-pop group MAMAMOO. K-pop music contracts typically last for seven years; speculations arose when oldest members Solar and Moonbyul renewed their contracts in January and Hwasa renewed in March, but the fourth member, Wheein, was still in negotiations. Today, June 11, it was officially confirmed that Wheein would not be renewing her contract with RBW.
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Interviews

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The Fearlessness of Hyolyn

Born and raised in South Korea, the musician grew up with her parents and sister and had an upbringing filled with family gatherings. Driven by her love of music and singing, Hyolyn, now 30, has spent over a decade making her mark in the music industry, first as a member of Sistar, who were known as the ‘Summer Queens’ in K-pop. After the group disbanded in 2017, Hyolyn would reintroduce herself to the public by setting up her own label, Bridge Entertainment, and releasing the sensual, jaw-dropping song single “Dally.”

Mark Tuan Is Figuring It All Out

Musician and performer Mark Tuan, best known for being one-seventh of the K-pop group GOT7, isn’t sure he still considers himself an idol. GOT7 is one of the most successful in 3rd generation K-pop, though the group left their parent company JYP Entertainment in January 2021. It has resulted in something like a hiatus, as the members embark on individual solo efforts and figure out who to be outside of the group. For Mark, it’s been a chance to stand at the crossroads of his musical identities,

For Lalisa, Music Is All About Confidence

In the music video for her new solo song “Lalisa,” Lisa Manobal of BLACKPINK sits perched on an ornate throne, adorned in gold jewelry and matching nails; the centerpiece is a traditional Thai headdress, tiered and anointed with white flowers. The throne room is her stage. The dancers, and viewers, are subjects. We look on as she ascends to the throne while alternately executing perfect, intricate choreography. “The jet black and pink crown belongs to we,” she raps, alluding to BLACKPINK.

Chloe Bailey Knows People Have to “Catch Up” to Her Confidence

Watch out world, Chloe Bailey is grown now. The 23-year-old actor and musician has long made waves as one half of the powerhouse duo Chloe x Halle, but over the past year, both sisters have come into their own as individuals. While Halle has been filming The Little Mermaid live action film, Chloe has explored her unique style and confidence in Instagram videos, Nina Simone covers, and music production — successfully weathering a tidal wave of internet commenters and any possible storm that coul

TWICE talk new mini-album ‘Taste Of Love’, its tough recording process and their favourite songs to perform

The origin story of TWICE is one born out of tenacity. The group’s nine members – comprised of Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung and Tzuyu – had initially competed against one another, as well as seven other JYP Entertainment trainees, in 2015 during their appearance on the Mnet reality TV competition Sixteen. But that was only just the beginning. The group made their debut in late-2015 with their moderately successful first mini-album ‘The Story Begins’, which featu

Meghan Markle has accused the British Royal Family of racism. Journalist and podcaster Natasha Mulenga gave her opinion.

I joined live from Essex in the United Kingdom and Natasha, who's a freelance journalist and podcaster Natasha. Thank you so much for joining me today here on a news. Thank you for having me pleasure. Could we start by I gotta stop asking what is your reaction to the the interview? That's that's been broadcast. I believe is now being broadcast in the UK. Yes, it has my reaction. Was one of There was elements of shock, extreme disappointment and then horror

Culture

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Kehlani Calls Viral Radio Interview “Invasive As F***”

Kehlani took to Instagram twice this past weekend to address a recent radio show interview, which has since gone viral, during which they were asked “invasive” questions and was “mocked.” On Saturday, May 7 the “Distraction” singer made an appearance on the Atlanta-based radio morning show The Morning Hustle to promote their new album Blue Water Road. As seen in video from the interview, the interactions between Kehlani and the show's hosts were… a bit awkward.

Our Favorite Couple Son Yejin & Hyun Bin Are Officially Married!

Crash Landing on You stars Son Yejin and Hyun Bin are officially married and K-drama fans across the world have let out a collective cheer! On March 31, both of the actors’ agencies, VAST Entertainment and MSTeam, shared two photos of the couple celebrating their marriage, including the first looks at the couple's wedding looks. The news comes after the announcement of their engagement back in February.

Jane Campion’s Oppression Olympics Are Peak White Feminism

In this op-ed, writer Natasha Mulenga explores the white feminist implications of director Jane Campion’s comments about the Williams sisters at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards. When Power of the Dog director Jane Campion accepted her 2022 Critics Choice Award for Best Director, she decided to use her precious seconds onstage — time that could have been spent sharing something inspiring to other women directors — to randomly undermine the accomplishments of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams...

Chlöe Bailey Had the Perfect Response to Pointless Criticism

Another Tuesday, another day that Chlöe Bailey has the internet talking. On Monday, January 24, Chlöe shared a video of herself singing a cover of “Lovin You,” Minnie Riperton’s 1974 classic on Instagram. Her version of the song has already drawn plenty of attention from people online, including high praise from JT of the City Girls, Kaz Kamwi from Love Island, and her own sister Halle Bailey. While many were impressed with her showmanship and vocal ability

There’s No Excuse for Jesy Nelson’s Blackfishing Music Video

In this op-ed, writer Natasha Mulenga reflects on former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson’s new music video, “Boyz.” As I watched former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson’s new music video for her debut solo single “Boyz,” I tried to figure out what made me so uncomfortable. Was it the white guys in poorly done cornrows? Was it the concept — the mostly white neighborhood of “Perfectville” being disrupted by people dressed as if there was a B2K reunion with a white woman from Dagenham, Essex,

Beyoncé Rings in Virgo Season With Baby Pics of Jungkook, Zendaya

Who better to declare that Virgo season is upon us than the Queen Virgo herself: Beyoncé Giselle Carter-Knowles? As well as being the queen of the music industry, Beyoncé is known for using her website to share album news, shout out her peers in the industry, and raise awareness for problems like police brutality. But Virgo season required a special celebration. On August 22, Beyoncé shared her Virgo Season Yearbook, with 34 childhood pictures of celebrities and public figures.

Don't Make Your Colorism & Fatphobia Lizzo's Problem

Work out your issues with fatphobia and racism on your own time, not Lizzo’s. Last week, Lizzo made a triumphant return to the spotlight with her new single “Rumors,” featuring Cardi B — her first release in two years. While many rejoiced at her return, others took it upon themselves to be spiteful, subjecting Lizzo to racist abuse, fatphobic comments, and even claims that Lizzo is an embodiment of the racist “mammy” stereotype.

Beyoncé Had the Most Virgo Response to Why She Sets Boundaries

“A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust,” Beyoncé, queen of setting boundaries, revealed in her new Harper’s Bazaar cover story. “Those who don’t know me and have never met me might interpret that as being closed off. Trust, the reason those folks don’t see certain things about me is because my Virgo ass does not want them to see it.… It’s not because it doesn’t exist!”

Lizzo Just Explained Twerking’s Origins in Black Culture

Along with being a three-time Grammy-winning singer and actress, Lizzo can now add TED Talk speaker to her impressive résumé. On August3, the “Truth Hurts” singer delivered a speech on the origins of twerking at TEDMonterey’s “The Case for Optimism” conference. The in-person conference took place from August 1 to August 4 in Monterey, California and also included speeches by Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John, along with comedian Pardis Parker.

Just So We’re Clear, All Black People Don’t Look Alike

On April 25 Daniel Kaluuya won his first Oscar for best supporting actor, honoring his portrayal of Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton in the biographical drama Judas and the Black Messiah. He’s the first Black British actor to win in an acting category in the Academy Awards’ 93-year history, which is momentous, though belated. But the accolade didn’t stop the press from subjecting him to a common micro-aggression: seemingly confusing Kaluuya for another Black actor.
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Fashion and Beauty

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Rihanna Was at the Met Gala After All... Just Not How We Imagined

Over the years, Rihanna has established herself as one of the musts of the Met Ball. Although she didn't attend the Met Gala 2022 and thus, we got no red carpet look from the star, you best believe Robyn Rihanna Fenty will always find a way to make her presence known — whether it is in the flesh or immortalized in marble. Since she's in the third trimester of her pregnancy, the 34-year-old singer and beauty mogul missed out on this year’s Gilded Glamour festivities.

BTS’s V Says The Group Might Get Matching Tattoos

What better way to celebrate long-lasting friendship than matching tattoos? Well, BTS seems inclined to think so. Aside from being famed for their artistry, philanthropy, and being one of the biggest pop acts in music history, BTS is also heralded for their friendship and genuine affection for one another. While interacting with fans on Weverse on April 6, V shared that the septet is considering getting matching ink.

I Never Knew I Needed '70s Tom Holland in My Life

Ever wondered what Tom Holland would look like if he lived in the 1970s? Well, you don't have to anymore because the actor was just spotted in a very '70s outfit. On March 31, Tom was seen working on location in New York alongside co-star Sasha Lane. The Spider-Man actor is in the midst of filming his upcoming anthology series The Crowded Room. The Apple TV+ production, which also stars Amanda Seyfried, will feature inspirational stories focusing on discussions of mental illness. Tom Holland’s

Rihanna Wore a Diamond Body Chain Over Her Baby Bump

Ever since she announced her pregnancy, Rihanna has taken every chance she's gotten to show off her maternity fashion. While most pregnant people choose outfits that won’t draw attention to their stomachs, the singer and beauty mogul has made her baby bump the main attraction these past months. Case in point: the star shining bright like a diamond during her latest event appearance. On Saturday, March 12, Rihanna attended an event to celebrate the launch of Fenty Beauty at ULTA in Los Angeles...

Megan Thee Stallion & Dua Lipa Serve Chic Horror with “Sweetest Pie”

After days of teasing fans with images of them together holding sweet treats, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa have dropped the music video for their long-awaited collab "Sweetest Pie" and, of course, it came with some memorable fashion and beauty moments. “Sweetest Pie” was officially released on March 11. The two juggernaut pop stars have been manifesting a union since 2020 when a fan-made edit of Megan rapping to “Levitating” started making the rounds on Twitter...

This Is Rihanna’s Go-To Beauty Product Now That She’s Pregnant

Rihanna has given the world a lot of things: music to dance to, fashion to emulate, and amazing makeup and skin-care goodies courtesy of Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin. The singer and beauty mogul has created hit after hit with her brands and, in case you've missed out on a release or two, the star recently shared her Fenty must-haves and the product she's been grabbing the most now that she's pregnant.

See All the Best Looks from The BRIT Awards

The BRIT Awards 2022 took place on February 9 at London's O2 Arena. Some of our favorite stars across the entertainment industry came together to celebrate music — and left us with many memorable fashion moments while doing so. The BRIT Awards, often referred to as simply the BRITS, are the biggest celebration of music in the United Kingdom. The Awards honor both British and international artists alike. Adele — who took home trophies for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and British Song

IVY PARK’s Valentine’s Day Campaign Is Finally Here

Prepare your hearts and your wallets because Beyoncé's adidas x IVY PARK is back! Today, January 28, the superstar unveiled a new campaign for her latest athleisure collection inspired by love, aptly named IVY Heart. Considering Beyoncé has gifted us some of the best love songs of all time (let's look at “Crazy In love”, “Love On Top”, “Halo,” and “All Night” — just to name a few!), it should come as no surprise that she'd create a collection just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Lili Reinhart Just Got a Major Hair Chop

What can you do when it's winter and you are stuck inside? Well, according to Lili Reinhart, something fresh and fun with your hair! As noted by a fan page, on January 25, Lili took to Instagram stories to show off her newest hairdo, courtesy of hair colorist Matt Rez and celebrity hairstylist Adam Campbell. "Chop chop," Lili wrote in her stories, tagging her team. Lili looked absolutely adorable with her bare face, navy blue Betty Boop t-shirt, and a fresh new cut in her stories.

Jordan Alexander Traded Her Signature Shaved Head for Green Cornrows

We have not been able to get enough of Jordan Alexander since the reboot of Gossip Girl hit our screens. Much like her character Julien Calloway (and the OG ladies of the Upper East Side), Jordan is known for her style and attitude but what sets her apart is her gorgeous, shaved head. However, she decided to take a break from her trademark look and pleasantly surprise us by sporting green cornrows.

BLACKPINK's Jisoo Has Found The Coziest Bucket Hat

The members of BLACKPINK never waste an opportunity to create a fashion moment. Whether it’s in their own music videos or at fashion weeks around the globe, we can never get enough of what the ladies of BLACKPINK wear. Case in point: Jisoo’s latest bucket hat. On January 17, the “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” singer – who is known as one of the faces of Dior alongside the likes of Yara Shahidi and Anya Taylor-Joy – took to Instagram to share some photos of herself looking like a winter fashion mood board. The
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Opinion Articles

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Jane Campion’s Oppression Olympics Are Peak White Feminism

In this op-ed, writer Natasha Mulenga explores the white feminist implications of director Jane Campion’s comments about the Williams sisters at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards. When Power of the Dog director Jane Campion accepted her 2022 Critics Choice Award for Best Director, she decided to use her precious seconds onstage — time that could have been spent sharing something inspiring to other women directors — to randomly undermine the accomplishments of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams...

There’s No Excuse for Jesy Nelson’s Blackfishing Music Video

In this op-ed, writer Natasha Mulenga reflects on former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson’s new music video, “Boyz.” As I watched former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson’s new music video for her debut solo single “Boyz,” I tried to figure out what made me so uncomfortable. Was it the white guys in poorly done cornrows? Was it the concept — the mostly white neighborhood of “Perfectville” being disrupted by people dressed as if there was a B2K reunion with a white woman from Dagenham, Essex,

T.V

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Simone Ashley Exits “Sex Ed”: “I’m a Bridgerton Girl Now”

Dearest Reader, we have some bittersweet news for Sex Education fans — Bridgerton star Simone Ashley has confirmed that she is not returning for Season 4 of the Netflix teen dramedy. On April 12, Simone appeared on U.K. network ITV’s This Morning. When asked about the future of her role in the sex-positive series, Simone revealed that she would be leaving the show. “I get asked that all the time,” said Simone. "No, I'm a Bridgerton girl now."

A New “Proud Family” Theme Song Is Here & We’re So Ready for the Reboot

Raise your hand if you can’t wait to hear the famous Proud Family words, "My name is Penny Proud, I’m cute and I’m loud, and I got it goin’ on!" More than 20 years after it first aired, The Proud Family is set to return to our television screens on February 23, and there's a new trailer to cue all your nostalgic feelings. The reboot will mix a little bit of old with a little bit of new. Case in point: rising R&B singer Joyce Wrice will be singing the theme song.

The Golden Globes Will Reportedly Have No Celebrities in Attendance

Golden Globes 2022: no red carpet, no television broadcast, and now, no celebrities in attendance. Amid ongoing criticism of the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a new report from Variety alleges that talent bookers were unable to get celebs to agree to give out the awards on Sunday, January 9. CNN also confirmed there will be no red carpet this year. The news comes after years of criticism around the lack of diversity among HFPA members and the stars and projects they

Film

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Halle Bailey and H.E.R. Join “The Color Purple” Movie Musical

There's just no stopping Halle Bailey’s rising star. The 21-year-old singer, who is part of the Grammy-nominated duo Chloe x Halle, is currently acting in the fourth season of Freeform's Grown-ish and is the star of the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid. Now, she's adding another credit to her acting résumé: The Color Purple. On February 3, Vanity Fair officially announced that the “Do It” singer would be joining an all-star cast in the musical film adaptation of Alice Walker’

The Golden Globes Will Reportedly Have No Celebrities in Attendance

Golden Globes 2022: no red carpet, no television broadcast, and now, no celebrities in attendance. Amid ongoing criticism of the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a new report from Variety alleges that talent bookers were unable to get celebs to agree to give out the awards on Sunday, January 9. CNN also confirmed there will be no red carpet this year. The news comes after years of criticism around the lack of diversity among HFPA members and the stars and projects they

“Itaewon Class” Star Park Seojoon Is Joining “Captain Marvel 2"

After months of speculation, it has finally been confirmed that Park Seojoon will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The South Korean star is making his Hollywood debut in Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels. Rumors of Park Seojoon’s involvement in the film started in June 2021 but had received “no comment” from his agency. On September 3, Awesome ENT announced that the 32-year-old had flown out of South Korea that day to film the sequel, which stars Brie Larson

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