OKAY I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW YUURI IS BREAKDANCING?
okay like, b-boying is a thing in japan, definitely. but it’s not really a sleepy vacation town thing. it’s mostly popular around tokyo. so what i’m thinking… is that yuuri probably learned how to breakdance while he was living in detroit.
(which means phichit probably also knows how to do this. i bet they learned together.)
idk i just thought that was neat, even if it’s not true. then HELLO? YUURI CAN B-BOY WITH THE BEST OF THEM? LOOK AT HIS BALANCE? HE’S DRUNK HOW IS HE DOING THIS? and on that marble tile floor too….
Last year LIAM PAYNE had a
conversation with Justin Bieber. He doesn’t usually do this sort of thing.
There’s a shop Liam frequents in Los Angeles. Whenever he sees one of Will Smith’s
kids or a Kardashian he feels too self-conscious to introduce himself.
“There’s still that little boy inside of me,” he says. With Bieber,
it was different.
Like each of the select bands
who go through their boy-to-man rite of passage in full public glare, Liam at
23 is a disarming mix of confidence, knowledge and conviviality wrapped up in a
frightened canary let out of its cage. Sometimes he’s the boy at the bus stop.
Sometimes drops in reflexive anecdotes about his dealings with Donald Trump. No
one understands Bieber’s experiences with quite the same clarity on quite the
same timeframe as Liam and his four One Direction buddies.
struggled a lot through the way the world looked upon him,” Liam says.
“I don’t feel sorry for him,” he continues, “he’s great guy,
inside there’s a really good heart. I said, look, the difference between me and
you is that I had four different boys going through the same thing to look to.
He didn’t have that.” Quite out of character, Liam Payne reached out a
hand to his peer. “I said to him, listen, take my number and any time you
want to have a chat, let me know because I’m here and I understand exactly what
you’re going through and I understand your world.”
It was a lovely thing to do.
“He needs somebody like that and in that position,” he qualifies,
placing himself deferentially into the third person. It’s sweet for other
reasons, too. In Bieber there is something of the idiosyncratic
otherworldliness of a Michael Jackson figure. Liam Payne, a pretty, straight
talking lad from Wolverhampton appears at first not to be that thing at all.
“There is that in all of us.” he avers, meaning not only Bieber but
his fellow One Direction alumnus Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and
Louis Tomlinson. “We all have this chaotic side to us. You know, they say
that anger breeds passion. I think that’s the same with a lot of us, that we
let things get chaotic very quickly. We’re used to chaos.”
Liam is sitting in a quiet
antechamber above the photo studio where today’s cover story has been shot. He
says he likes interviews and honours the assurance in a quietly riveting half hour
before he’s whisked magically away. It’s Friday evening. Liam has been working
out with millennial precision to make sure he’s at top physical condition should he
be required to lose his shirt during the shoot. He’s whippet slight flesh,
Six years ago, One Direction
came third on the national TV talent show, the X Factor. 1D was an
assembly-line operation pieced together audition stages. Boys that barely knew
one another, slotted seamlessly together in the kind of multi-demographic hit
their boss Simon CowelI so adept at plugging into the national grid each year.
That year, Liam and his bandmates Niall and Louis looked like they’d been
schooled at a premium boyband academy. Each sported variants of Bieber’s early
slideover haircut. It was easy to imagine any of them taking a stool in
Westlife or learning to breakdance for Take That, had they been born in another
time and place. Within the trio there was a safe place in which teenage girls
and boys could measure their sexuality, whilst tapping their toes. That wheel
still turned. Flanked at either edge of the three were genuinely new angles for
the British boyband model; Harry Styles, Cheshire’s own reality-age Mick Jagger
and Zayn Malik, a practising Muslim from Bradford and nonpareil physical work
of art to whom supermodels have since flocked. The five together hit enough
familiarity and newness to open up a global fame haul not touched since the
heady days of Duran Duran, Culture Club and Wham back in the 80s. During the
summer of their astronomical American takeover there was a plausible touch of
Beatle-mania. They felt like an England football team winning the World Cup. Their
records have sold in North Korea.
Liam and the boys were the
first band to taste that fame level in the age of social media, making their
story simultaneously that of the boys next door and untouchable messiahs. There
was something refreshingly undone about them. Their best songs, ‘What Makes You
Beautiful’, ‘Little Things’, ‘Steal My Girl’, even the precociously titled
‘Best Song Ever’ are undeniable additions to the Great British pop cannon. Liam
says the 1D song that he’d buy above all others is 'Once In A Lifetime’, the
little known track from their 2014 album, Four. “That’s my favourite song.
Very Coldplay-esque. I wanted it to be a single but they just wouldn’t have it.
It was very relaxed the way we chose our records and made things. It was really
simple.” Someone else did it.
When 1D lost their X Factor
trophy to semi-hot handyman Matt Cardie and were beaten to the silver medal
podium by classy Scouse songbird Rebecca Ferguson, Liam was 16. He had
auditioned for the show previously, at 14, as a kind of minipops Michael
Bublé, Wolverhampton’s hitherto unseen swing angle. On his first induction to
the X Factor factory, he was instructed by producers to go home and rethink his
shtick as the last 24 were whittled down on TV. He says it attuned him to the
hard knocks of rejection. Such was the omnipotence of the show back then Liam’s
audition storyline was enough to grant him a local working men’s club career
where he honed his skill and paid his dues.
“I did pubs and
clubs.” he says. “When I was a kid, I literally played old people’s
homes.” His one taste of what was to come arrived when the Wolverhampton
Wanderers FC invited Liam to sing before kick-off at the Manchester United
fixture to 34,000 fans in the terraces. In honour of his local team’s squad
colours he sang Sam Sparro’s 'Black and Gold’. “It’s funny that that’s
where we ended up, playing stadiums,” he says, with pleasing air of pride
and bemusement. “It was funny being stood in the middle again and thinking
back on that 16 year old boy stood in the middle of a football pitch. My dad
said to me, this is going to be the toughest gig you’re ever going to play.
Football fans do not want to hear little boy singing. They’re not interested.
You heard jeering from the crowd. But I got applause at the end. And my dad
said, that is the best thing you could’ve got out of today.”
Liam says he can’t remember
much of his time in the X Factor house second time around bar the tears. He was
recently delighted to see fellow housemate Page Richardson, the contestant
Louis Walsh immortalised as looking 'like a little Lenny Henry’ on account of
nothing but his colour, in a Harry Potter film (“the one where it’s
Dumbledore’s army. He’s actually in the army, which is amazing. I’m absolutely
obsessed with Harry Potter. Fucking love Harry Potter.”). He nods as I
mention some of the other names he shared his first home away from
Wolverhampton with. Katie Waissel, Diva Fever, Wagner. “There were a lot
of different strange characters and lovely people through that show. It was
very rushed and strange.”
On account of a childhood
kidney condition, he had not even been drunk by the time he left home, Dick
Whittington style, to live in a shared London house with a bunch of strangers
maniacally chasing their fame dream in real time. “The famous line my dad
said was. don’t come home until Christmas, meaning don’t get thrown off it
before the final. And after I said goodbye to him that day. I never really went
When 1D lost, Liam turned to
his dad with a “we made it this far” face. His fellow band-mates. he
says, were in pieces. He remembers first Harry, then Louis, Niall and Zayn
bursting into tears. “A cameraman came over and said 'can I get you boys
for an interview?’ and I looked at all the boys crying, in their mum’s arms and
I was like, 'look, I’ll do the interview’ because I was the only one who was
alright and so I went off to side and did the after-camera interview for us. I
just left them because I wanted them to have their moment and the cameras
didn’t need to see them like that. There was a real atmosphere. This followed
throughout our career a lot of the time.”
In Cowell’s dressing room
later than same evening, 1D were told that they would be signed to his label,
Syco regardless of their position on the show. “Simon took us up to his
dressing room to tell us he was to sign us and Harry literally burst into tears
he was so happy.” Emotions run high in boyband land. “He told us. I’m
going to sign you. That was the moment. That’s where it all began.” The
wheels of the juggernaut had begun to turn. “It was like a bomb went
off”, he notes.
There was a pearl of wisdom
shared by Cowell that stuck with Liam from that high-stakes evening. “The
first thing he said to us after signing us from X Factor was 'look, there are
no angels here.’ Which is so true.” What does Liam think Cowell meant by
that? “That we’re all people. We all people here.” He doesn’t think
it was an invocation of mistrust in music industry, the smoke and mirrors world
of real life fame? “No, no, no. It was a moment in a conversation. He said
'look, there are no angels here and I know that you’re all going to make
mistakes’. That’s what he was saying. Just get on with what the show is, do
your bit. do your business, go to work and be real. That’s what that comment
meant. Don’t stress about it, it’ll all turn out alright in the end.”
In that moment, it sounds
like Liam Payne made a pact with himself go for it regardless, at the top tier,
to claim his moment. “Everyone strives to be the person that they want to
be.” he says. “I try too much sometimes, I think. I overstep the mark
a little bit sometimes. That’s why I’m such a perfectionist. But sometimes I
think you have to believe that are no angels.” The first One Direction
single, 'What Makes You Beautiful’ was released in 2011, on September 11th.
The second half of 2016 was
an eventful time for Liam Payne, presaged by his signing a solo record deal
with Sinatra’s old imprint Capitol Records on July 21st.
While in 1D, he says all five
boys dabbled on their own material. Because boybands never break up anymore, 1D
are officially on sabbatical. Whether that translates as a bit of genial
respite or full scale hatred for one another is a matter that’s been carefully
blended into their tale with just enough leaks of a hint to either. Zayn, who
had already fled 1D’s nest a year earlier, missing their victory lap worldwide
stadium tour released his solo album Mind of Mine last spring, reinventing himself
as the Frank Ocean for Unilad readers. Niall played to his Irish card with a
forgettable busker-ish ballad for the Christmas market very much carved from
the mould of Ed Sheeran and seasonal John Lewis adverts. From the snippet of it
we heard. Liam’s song sounded like his ascent to manhood, touting him as a
moody, roustabout lover-man in something of Drake’s lineage, complete with
street lyrical touches (while writing, a picture appears on Liam’s Instagram
feed of him with the Canadian don though it’s not specified whether he’s
working or partying with his hero)
Whenever Liam talks about the
1D boys he has the exact same dad-ish air of concern, care, amazement and
slight separation from the operation that Daddy Barlow has with Take That. Oh,
that’s the other thing Liam had kicked off the year with a new belle, The X
Factor’s Queen of Our Hearts, Cheryl Tweedy.
Liam brings up Cheryl, of
course he does. The two live in Surrey, out of the city. When I make a joke
about him being Lord of the Manor, he says that his sister bought him a plaque
to denote his Lordship for his last birthday, a joke that doubled when it
turned out Cheryl had been bought a similar gift by Simon Cowell during her
tenure on X Factor. “So we’re Lord and Lady, which is hilarious.” To
British suburbia, this is of course precisely what they represent, a
self-selected aristocracy in which we’ve all played a part in the honours
He says things with Cheryl
are working out well, becoming temporarily misty-eyed. “This is the thing.
In a non-cliché way, it’s weird waking up every day and literally living out
your dream. You wake up in the most beautiful places. Obviously I have the most
beautiful girlfriend if the whole world and she’s absolutely amazing. She’s
been my drean girl since I was younger. She’s so ace.” They are used to
companionship. They have Liam’s dog, Watson, a Great Dane. “If I’m ever
having a problem or I ever get a bit angsty about something that’s happening in
life then I take the dog out for a walk and there’s just unconditional love
from him. Anyway, I don’t want to go too much into that. I’m not like a weird
is a wonderful, wonderful person and it’s amazing to have someone who can
relate to so much of things, someone who’s taken greater steps than me. Her
solo career was amazing. She’s been in the industry for fourteen years now. She
fully supports me. We’re super happy. I appreciate you didn’t ask about it.
It’s a very personal, precious time for us. I’m still learning. I’m only
Because he is the youngest of
three, Liam inherited the bed that his big sister’s had slept in at home in
Wolverhampton. He tried to paint a wall blue to put his own stamp on the room,
still shaded by bunny rabbit curtains into his teenage years, and ran out of
paint before finishing. “It was a total tip.” he says of the last
bedroom he lived in before fame. “That bed was so old. The last time I
went back and sat on it I couldn’t believe it was the bed I used to sleep on. I
often think about how I used to sit on the windowsill and just look at the
stars and wonder what this was all for. And I often used to think, there must
be more to life than this.”
I ask if his parents kept the
room the same as when he left. “Well,” he says, interrupting the
nostalgia with a little sharp reality, “I bought my parents a house so I
haven’t actually been back to that room in a long time. I’d like to.” The
experiences of 1D made five men very rich, very young.
Liam knows exactly his
financial worth. “I do,” he says, letting out a nervous laugh. I ask
if I would blush if I saw his bank account. 'Honestly, it is a very scary
thought.’ he says. “It is not something that we were given it’s something
we worked our asses off for. The way we went to work every day and the way we
travelled the world and the way we conducted our business, with great
management at the time and greater minds, it turned out great for everybody.
But it was a long five years.”
On the last night of the last
1D tour, management presented all four remaining members with a plaque
festooned with little badges for every single gig they’d played since their
first. “It was a sombre night.” says Payne, who has started becoming
more emotionally transparent in front of other people this last year. “To
see every show we’ve ever done on a plaque?” he says, raising eyes to the
“Again, everybody was in tears. And I’m quite good at holding it together
but I have got a lot worse of late. Adverts and things mate me cry. I think I’m
getting more emotional as time goes by, especially with everything that’s
happening in my life at the moment. It’s a very emotional time and time to
reflect on a lot of things and the person that I am to be. Do you know what I
mean? If that makes sense?” It makes perfect sense.
Beneath the extraordinary life
he has lived so far, outweighing every one of his personal, societal and
geographic expectations, there’s a deeply admirable humility and candour to
Liam Payne. On the subject of his forthcoming record: “l’ll tell you the
truth. The dream was to be able to get signed and release an album. That is
every musician who’s on Youtube’s dream today. I’ve got the opportunity to work
with a really great label, Capitol. The people I work with are absolutely
amazing and to get a record deal and be able to release the album that I want
to release is the most amazing thing ever.” He has no idea how it will
fare. “Even if this went tits up, sideways, it’d still be step one that I
Liam Payne never voted in a
general election. “I’ve never been able to vote,” he explains,
“because we’ve always been in different countries and I’ve never really
understood it. I still feel like a 16 year old boy when it comes down to things
like that and I wouldn’t know which way to go.” He steered clear of the EU
referendum (“I kind of knew that we were going to Brexit. It was just a
gambler’s feeling”) and doesn’t know how his parents voted in it.
Do you want to know his
Donald Trump tale? Of course you do. 'Oh. here’s a story,“ he says,
rubbing his hands. “Trump actually kicked us out of his hotel once.”
It gets better. “You wouldn’t believe it. It was about [meeting] his
daughter. He phoned up our manager and we were asleep. He said 'well, wake them
up’ and I was like 'no’ and then he wouldn’t let us use the underground garage.
Obviously in New York we can’t really go outside. New York is ruthless for us.
So he was like, 'OK. then I don’t want you in my hotel’. So we had to
He’s seen a lot of life, has
Liam. That he retains himself amid it’s spectacular credit to those around him
and the man himself. “Now he’s President,” he says, perhaps for a
moment reflecting on the opportunities life affords the most unusual
candidates. “I just hope he doesn’t kick me out the country.” He’s
laughing now. “I hope he lets me stay.”
now i’m imagining teenaged johnny in the bronx being a fucking shithead and like sneaking up close to a bunch of kids breakdancing to 80s hip-hop on a beat-up gym mat and just waiting for the perfect opportunity to jump out of the bushes and onto the mat and start twostepping furiously to the breakbeats and then running away cackling wildly before the hip hop kids can even fully register what just happened
Headcanon that Chloé is a prissy ballerina whom cannot stand any other type of dance style. She is constantly pissed at how often she hears whispers of this Underground breakdancer called Ladybug. Chloé is just absolutely sure nobody in the club can actually dance so she stomps down there to show them what she’s got and instead, when seeing Ladybug and Chat battling another duo together, developed this massive girl crush on ladybug and can’t help but feel a bit jealous of Chat. So she secretly tries learning to breakdance, but she can’t even maintain a handstand, instead deciding to go for Hip Hop. Either way, she tries talking to ladybug on various occasions, but Marinette, already having to deal with Chloé during Ballet lessons, wants the girl out of her club. After a quick argument where a pride-hurt Chloé ran off, she decides to train even harder than she ever has before in any kind of dance. When she finally masters a few moves and believes she’s good enough, she returns to the club as Antibug and challenges Ladybug. She is, very surprisingly, hard to beat and so, despite winning, Ladybug apologizes to her and states she can really dance. Chloé, although not being oh-so-welcome in the club by the others, decides to stick around anyway. She’s now hardworking and truly cares about breakdancing, feeling oddly alive and free when she dances, and she never got that from ballet. All in all, she’s a lot more accepting now and regrets judging everyone so harshly. Whenever a new member comes around, she hears whispers saying “That’s Chloé, avoid her. She’s the Antibug in this place.” and instead marches up to the newcomers saying “Ex-Antibug. New name’s Bee. Queen Bee.” She never quite becomes friends with Ladybug, but they’re on good terms, occasionally battling for fun and Chloé loves it when Ladybug gives her pointers on how to do a certain pose and things like that. She slowly works her way up in the ranks and proves to everyone she deserves to be there. She’s known for her sort of unique style, mixing her breakdancing with some classic ballet moves in such a way it just flows with the song.
It takes a fair amount of poking and prodding to get Yixing to wake up at 3 am, but you really can’t help it. Babies don’t understand the concept of time and your little one had been making you have cravings too early in the morning for anyone to be awake. You need his help just to get up out of bed, let alone fix grilled watermelon and goldfish crackers. There’s something oddly satisfying about the crunch and saltiness of the crackers with the juicy sweet watermelon. And no matter how many times you wake him up with a trembling lip and whine, he’d softly smile at you and help you down to the kitchen, moving around in his apron and bunny slippers to get out ingredients, all the while talking to you and to the baby, leaning down to kiss your round bump while waiting for the grill to warm up. “Daddy’s getting you just what you want to eat, so behave for your mommy, okay? My little dancer needs to learn when to stop breakdancing and let her mother sleep.”
When it comes to summer dressing, it can be hard to flex your personal style muscles without the help of layering…and accessories…and all the sartorial excesses that the colder months allow. For this reason, I’ve chosen to remix some summer basics in an effort to make more of a style statement. If you’re looking for something a little more edgy than your standard shorts & tee combo, try pairing a button down shirt with a some athletic shorts for that “athleisure” look. Here I did it with black and white since most combos tend to look best and more sophisticated in this color palette, and paired a novelty boxy cropped button down with some longer length quilted athletic shorts. The look is giving me 90s b-boy vibes which kinda works since I practically commited myself to learning how to breakdance in high school even though I never quite picked it up. And speaking of remixing classics, how about these Adidas Superstars? Shell toes were my jam back in the day and I’m pretty stoked that they’ve made a comeback this year with speical edition reissues and limited releases out the wazoo. If there was one shoe that was definitively b-boy and 80s/90s hip hop it was the Superstar, and I’m here for it once more. What are some ways you put a spin on the classics to showcase your unqique style? Leave it in the comments.
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