Gemma Chan, Henry Golding and more join #StopAsianHate UK campaign

Gemma Chan, Henry Golding, Rina Sawayama and more stars have helped launch a #StopAsianHate campaign in the UK.

Hate crimes against Asian people in London in March 2020 rose by 179 per cent compared to March 2019, according to campaign group Besea.n. Data for the rest of the UK is less accurate but also points to similar increases.

A new campaign has now launched on GoFundMe to create the East and South East Asian (ESEA) Community Fund, which aims to “help uplift and protect” the ESEA community in the UK. Chan, Golding and Sawayama are joined in supporting it by the likes of The Matrix 4 star Jessica Henwick, Marvel actor Benedict Wong, musician Sinead Harnett, model, presenter and fashion designer Alexa Chung and more.

The fund will provide grants to grassroots community organisations, like Besea.n, End The Virus Of Racism, COVID Anti Racism Group and Kanlungan UK.

Speaking to the Observer, Chan said she was “deeply concerned and disturbed” by the rising rates of attacks on Asian people in London alone since the start of the pandemic. “Like many others, I worry for family members every time they leave the house or use public transport,” she said.

“My mum has worked for the NHS for most of her life. She and my dad have been followed and subjected to a number of verbal assaults since the beginning of the pandemic.”

On Instagram, Golding wrote: “Asian hate has been seeping into all parts of the world, not just America. In the UK especially we’ve seen the South and South East Asian communities being affected. Every donation you guys help raise will fund grassroots organisations creating real social change.

“Don’t be a bystander, we are more powerful in numbers. If you see an injustice being committed, do what you can to help the victim. So many times we see these attacks and people of all races turn a blind eye. You may as well side with the ignorant. Love and support each other, that’s the only way we are going to beat this.”

Like the US, the UK has seen a number of violent attacks on Asian people since the pandemic began last year. University lecturer Peng Wang was beaten while out jogging in Southampton and left needing treatment to his face and elbows, while a 26-year-old woman was the victim of another attack in Edinburgh last month, among many other incidents.

You can find more information about the UK #StopAsianHate campaign and donate to the ESEA Community Fund here. 

In March, Beabadoobee spoke about her experiences of racism as an Asian woman and the “terrifying” reality of the increase in hate crimes against Asian people in the UK in the last year.

“I am a woman and I am also Asian,” she said. “I could go out and get assaulted and also get beaten up because of my race. That’s a terrifying thought, but it’s the reality we’re living in right now. People need to be educated in what’s going on and on how to support the Asian community.”

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The ‘Play Jaja Ding Dong’ guy to read out Iceland’s scores at Eurovision

Olaf Yohansson, known as the ‘Play Jaja Ding Dong’ guy and unlikely star of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga, will read out Iceland’s results at 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest.

In Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams’ 2020 Netflix film, the pair performed the original song ‘Jaja Ding Dong’, and were consistently hounded to do so by Yohansson, a character played by Hannes Óli Ágústsson.

As revealed by Icelandic broadcaster RUV, Ágústsson will appear in character as Yohansson to read out Iceland’s scores for other countries during the ceremony.

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See Ferrell and McAdams play ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga below:

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Following the cancellation of last year’s show due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Eurovision 2020 will take place in Rotterdam, where it was due to be hosted in 2020.

Graham Norton will be returning to present the competition live on BBC One for the Grand Final on May 22.

Norton will be joined by Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, who will act as Eurovision spokesperson in order to deliver the results decided by the UK professional jury vote.

The Eurovision semi-finals will be held on May 18 and 20, and are set to air on BBC Four. The shows will be hosted by Chelcee Grimes, Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills who will be encouraging viewers to vote.

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Eurovision organisers confirmed last month that all 41 competing artists will perform live and in-person this year. Executive supervisior Martin Österdahl said travel to Rotterdam was “necessary”, adding: “This isn’t a holiday trip, this is actually a job that needs to be done.”

3,500 fans will also be in attendance for the contest as part of the Dutch government’s trial for the safe resumption of live events.

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Listen to Devonté Hynes’ score for Gia Coppola’s film ‘Mainstream’

Devonté Hynes – AKA Blood Orange – has released the original soundtrack he produced for Gia Coppola’s latest film Mainstream.

Mainstream landed in US cinemas on Friday (May 7), starring Spiderman‘s Andrew Garfield and Stranger Things‘ Maya Hawke. It follows Hawke’s character on her quest for internet stardom, enlisting a charismatic stranger (Garfield) to help her make videos.

Hynes’ 17-track score for the film was one he composed, performed, mixed and produced himself, marking his first body of work since Blood Orange’s 2019 mixtape ‘Angel’s Pulse’.

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Listen to the Mainstream soundtrack below.

It’s his second time working with Coppola, having produced the soundtrack for her 2013 film Palo Alto, which starred James Franco and Emma Roberts.

“I love everything Dev makes,” Coppola said in a statement, as per Pitchfork.

“For Mainstream, I felt he really tapped into the many emotions you weave through when trying to coexist in this new digital world, yet still keeping it classic.”

Hynes also scored Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino’s HBO series We Are Who We Are last year, as well as Grammy Award-winning director Melina Matsouka’s debut 2019 film Queen & Slim.

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Hynes as Blood Orange released his last album in 2018, titled ‘Negro Swan’.

More recently, he has remixed Tame Impala‘s ‘Borderline’, featured on The Avalanches‘ track ‘We Will Always Love You’ and put his own spin on Paul McCartney‘s ‘Deep Down’, for the recent ‘McCartney III – Imagined’ compilation album.

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New ‘Cinderella’ film starring Camila Cabello set for Amazon Prime Video

The new live-action Cinderella film starring Camila Cabello has found a home at Amazon Prime Video.

The previously announced film, which will be the singer’s film debut, is set to skip a traditional cinema release and come straight to the streaming service.

As reported by Deadline, Cinderella comes from Sony Pictures and will debut on Amazon later this year.

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Cabello, in a starring role, will be joined by a supporting cast including Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Nick Galitzine, Minnie Driver, Pierce Brosnan and James Corden, the latter of whom will also produce the film.

The report adds that Cabello had a big say in the music of the film, which will feature both original music of hers alongside contemporary pop songs.

Of the film’s plot, the report adds: “The film is a musically-driven new take on the traditional story. Cinderella is an ambitious young woman whose dreams are bigger than the world will allow. With the help of her Fab G (Billy Porter) she musters the courage to make her dreams come true.”

The film is the second Cinderella-related film to be announced for release this year, with Bridesmaids creators Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo recently announced to create a new film for Disney about Cinderella’s stepsisters.

Elsewhere, Cabello this year launched the Healing Justice Project, a fund to provide mental health support for frontline workers and activists.

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The singer has partnered with the Movement Voter Fund to provide funding to ten organisations for resources to help with their workers’ mental wellbeing. Cabello provided the seed money for the venture, and the first round of ten grants will total nearly $250,000 (£180,000).

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Watch exclusive clip from ‘Suede: Coming Up’ classic albums documentary

A clip from Sky Arts’ Suede: Coming Up documentary is available to watch exclusively on NME.

In footage from the Classic Albums docuseries, which airs tomorrow (May 7), we see members of the band discuss the energy of Simon Gilbert’s drumming on what would become the band’s international breakthrough album.

“Simon’s always been, I think, really underrated in the Suede sound. Simon injected a kind of post-punk gnarliness to the tracks,” frontman Brett Anderson says amid archive footage of the band recording the 1996 album.

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Elsewhere, the band praise Richard Oakes, who joined the group as guitarist for the album after Bernard Butler’s departure in 1994, and remarks on the record’s guitar style.

Suede - 'The Asphalt World'
Brett Anderson. Credit: PA

“Coming Up has got a definite sound with the guitars and that’s the sound that Ed [Buller – producer] spent a lot of time getting, you know – he wanted to create a sonic trademark for that album,” Oakes says in a clip.

Suede: Coming Up features exclusive interviews with the band, their producer, publicist, art director and manager at the time.

In press material supporting its release, Anderson says: “It was a strange mixture of self-doubt and insane almost religious self-belief.

“Let’s make an album full of singles and have loads of top 10 hits…and that self-belief just manifested itself”.

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Five of the band’s Top 10 hits, including ‘Beautiful Ones‘ and ‘Filmstar’, came from their third album, which remains their biggest selling record to date.

Meanwhile, the band have rescheduled the 25th anniversary tour of ‘Coming Up’ to November due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

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‘Batman’ composer Danny Elfman “terribly unhappy” with how score turned out

Composer Danny Elfman has said he was “terribly unhappy” with the dub of his score on Tim Burton’s 1989 movie Batman.

Addressing rumours regarding his displeasure with the score on the Premier Guitar podcast, Elfman explained the recording “didn’t have any care put into it.”

“I was terribly unhappy with the dub in Batman,” Elfman explained. “They did it in the old-school way where you do the score and turn it into the ‘professionals’ who turn the nobs and dub it in. And dubbing had gotten really wonky in those years.

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“We recorded [multi-channel recording on] three channels — right, centre, left,  — and basically, they took the centre channel out of the music completely.”

He continued: “It didn’t have any care put into it. I’ve had many scores play in big action scenes that really propelled the scene. And at the end of the [Batman] dub, I realized I could have had the orchestra play anything.

“I could have scored the film with some percussion, a harmonica and a banjo because all you hear are some percussion hits in big moments, but you can’t really hear what the orchestra is doing.”

The composer shared his disappointment with “so-called professionals” who used his score “in a very non-committal way”, in which they “plunk it off to the side and just get the dialogue.”

Meanwhile, Danny Elfman shared his first new solo music in 36 years last October with ‘Happy’. 

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He described it as “an absurd anti-pop song, designed to begin as a very simple pop tune that degrades into something more subversive.”

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Selena Gomez is starring in Petra Collins’ new thriller ‘Spiral’

Selena Gomez is set to star in Petra Collins’ new psychological thriller Spiral, about a former influencer with a social media addiction.

It will see the pair working together again for Collins’ feature-length directorial debut, after she directed Gomez’s recent video for ‘Fetish’.

Drake is also on board to executive produce the film alongside Future the Prince, who works with the Toronto rapper on HBO’s Euphoria.

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As Deadline report, the film follows “a former influencer whose addiction to social media is causing her body to literally fall apart”.

In terms of her music career, Gomez recently hinted that she may be retiring as a singer. Back in March, she told Vogue: “It’s hard to keep doing music when people don’t necessarily take you seriously. I’ve had moments where I’ve been like, ‘What’s the point? Why do I keep doing this?’

“I think the next time I do an album it’ll be different. I want to give it one last try before I maybe retire music.”

Ahead of the retirement talk, Gomez released her first Spanish-language album, titled ‘Revelación’, back in March.

Reviewing the EPNME wrote: “When ‘Revelación’ was first announced, Gomez teased fans about its release, sharing a decade-old Tweet that read, ‘Can’t wait for y’all to hear the Spanish record… it’s sounding so cool,’ with the added caption: ‘I think it will be worth the wait.’ With ‘Revelación’, you can’t help but agree with her.”

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Elton John on disappointing Oscars: “It’s like a Starbucks”

Elton John has shared his thoughts on this year’s Oscars ceremony, saying it “looks like it’s coming from a Starbucks somewhere”.

The musician commented on the telecast during his annual viewing party, alongside his co-host Neil Patrick Harris.

“The Oscar ceremony looks like it’s coming from a Starbucks somewhere,” John said, before adding that his disappointment was pandemic-related.

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“I wish we could be there. It’s more fun,” he went on. “This is the only way we could do it.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger also shared his disappointment, calling the telecast “so boring”.

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“The reason I only watched one-third is because it was so boring,” Schwarzenegger said on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week (April 27).

“I basically just turned it off. I couldn’t watch it anymore because there was so much talent there on the stage but it was so boring. How could they with all this talent make it so boring?”

Nielsen figures saw the TV ratings for this year’s Oscars telecast drop by 58 per cent, with 9.85million viewers in total tuning in.

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Last year, the Academy Awards were watched by 23.6million viewers and earned a 5.3 rating, versus this year’s 1.9 rating.

However, those figures are in line with ratings for live TV viewership broadly, which has been steadily decreasing for some time.

The Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Grammys and Emmys all saw a substantial ratings decrease from 2020 to 2021.

See the full list of winners from the 93rd Academy Awards here.

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Watch Daniel Kaluuya celebrate his Oscars win with Dave

Daniel Kaluuya has celebrated his Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar win for Judas And The Black Messiah with rapper Dave.

The actor was filmed holding up his Academy Award trophy with friends, as shown in a video posted on Dave’s Twitter account today (April 26). In the clip Kaluuya holds up the gong and says, “Estate living, you feel me?”, referencing his journey from growing up on a London estate to becoming one of Hollywood’s awarded stars.

Dave is seen standing with his hands over his face, seemingly overwhelmed by his friend’s success at last night’s (April 25) Academy Awards.

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Kaluuya beat his Judas And The Black Messiah co-star Lakeith Stanfield to pick up the win, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial Of The Chicago 7), Leslie Odom, Jr (One Night In Miami) and Paul Raci (Sound Of Metal).

During his acceptance speech for the film based on the Black Panthers, Kaluuya reminded Hollywood that there is still “work to do” in the journey to racial equality, both within the industry and society at large.

Kaluuya held up chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, whom he portrays in the film, as an example of how to help others. “What a man,” he said as he collected the trophy. “How blessed are we that we live in a lifetime where he existed? Thank you for your light.”

Daniel Kaluuya Oscars 2021
Daniel Kaluuya accepts the Oscar® for Best Actor in a Supporting Role during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021. CREDIT: Getty Images

He concluded: “Thank you so much for showing me myself. There’s so much work to do, guys – and that’s on everyone in this room. This ain’t no single man job. I look to every single one of you – we’ve got work to do.”

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In other Oscars news, Anthony Hopkins paid tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman during his Best Actor acceptance speech, and Harrison Ford used his announcement speech to air old gripes about Blade Runner.

See the full list of winners here.

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Watch H.E.R. perform ‘Fight For You’ at Oscars 2021

H.E.R. performed her Oscar-winning song ‘Fight For You’ for the Oscars 2021 tonight (April 26) – scroll down the page to watch it now.

The song featured on the soundtrack for Judas And The Black Messiah and collected the award for Best Original Song at the Los Angeles ceremony.

H.E.R. performed the track in a pre-recorded segment that aired in a pre-show broadcast ahead of the main event. The performance saw the musician begin by singing from behind the drum kit before moving to the front of the rooftop stage she was filming on.

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Watch the performance below now.

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During her acceptance speech for the Best Original Song award, the star called upon the entertainment world to use their work for good. “Musicians and filmmakers, I believe we have the opportunity to tell the truth and write the history the way it was,” she said.

“Knowledge is power, music is power and as long as I’m standing, I’m going to fight for us.”

The Best Original Song trophy was one of two awards Judas And The Black Messiah won. The other went to Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. During his acceptance speech, the actor thanked Black Panther Fred Hampton – who he portrayed in the movie – and reminded Hollywood there is still “so much work to do” on the journey to racial equality.

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Meanwhile, Nomadland dominated the night with three wins. You can catch up with all of the winners from the Oscars 2021 here.

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Beach House soundtrack new short film, ‘Marin’s Dreams’

Beach House have soundtracked a new short film, Marin’s Dreams – you can watch it below.

The film has been produced in collaboration with arts collective Meow Wolf for a psychedelic new exhibition in Las Vegas.

Speaking about the collaboration, the group’s keyboarddist Alex Scally told Rolling Stone: “It was kind of a no-brainer for us. Anything immersive fits with us. We’re interested in fully delving into the realm of feeling.”

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You can watch Marin’s Dreams here:

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Singer and keyboardist Victoria Legrand added: “It was such a cool idea, and for us, it’s a fun break from the normal way we make music. We’re so used to working just the two of us that it’s really fun to collaborate.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the group were asked about a follow up to their last album ‘7’, but it doesn’t look like a new album will be coming soon.

“We feel slightly controlled and confined by the song-album-tour cookie-cutter thing that is being a professional musician. Not complaining at all, but it was a relief to spend some time working outside of that,” Scally said, referring to their work on the short-film project. “If anything, it made us want to do that more in the future.”

On making a new album, Scally added: “We’d like to get there. But you never want to say you’re there if you’re not there. Our goal is to make more music.”

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Meanwhile, Beach House’s latest album ‘7’ arrived in 2018 following the release of lead singles ‘Lemon Glow’ and ‘Dive‘.

Reviewing the former, NME said: “It’s packed full of synthesizers, and may well be Beach House’s most danceable track to date.”

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Kelsey Grammer plays an ageing rockstar in Rivers Cuomo-scored ‘The Space Between’

Kelsey Grammer has been cast as an ageing ’70s rock star in new film The Space Between, scored by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo – you can watch the trailer below.

In the film, Grammer’s character Mickey Adams is trying to find his place in the ’90s Los Angeles music scene when his label decides to drop him after he decides to start making more experimental albums.

The Space Between was directed by Rachel Winter, and also stars Julia Goldani Telles, Andrew Daly, Paris Jackson and Jackson White.

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Watch the trailer here:

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Rivers Cuomo recently revealed he’s also working on a film musical called Buddha Superstar, as well as progressing on Weezer’s upcoming “four-album” project.

“[The albums are] called ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Fall’ and ‘Winter’,” Cuomo told The Forty-Five, and said that Buddha Superstar is being helmed by a Broadway producer attached to Green Day’s American Idiot show.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long,” Cuomo said. “I think I just needed somebody else to come along and really encourage me.”

Reviewing Weezer’s latest album ‘OK Human’NME wrote: “Weezer have delivered an album that’s intimate, thoughtful and resolutely human.

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Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer finally confirmed the long-awaited Frasier revival earlier this year, which will air on Paramount+. There is no word yet on casting or release date.

Paramount will release The Space Between in cinemas in the US on April 23, and on digital and demand on June 15.

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