Celebrity Chow with YouTube stars, Swedish pop duo JA

You know the old cliche that kids say the darndest things?

Well, teenagers are pretty much the same.

They're straightforward, unpretentious and brutally honest.

And that is precisely why they're utterly charming.

Last Friday morning, M had a blast over breakfast with YouTube stars JA, made up of 16-year-olds Anton Hagman and Jonas Peker.

The acoustic-pop Swedish duo recently released To Be Announced, their debut EP of originals and covers.

They were in town for Youth Sensation Global Tour 2014, an ensemble concert that also featured local musicians Nathan Hartono and Gavin Teo.

At Slappy Cakes at Resorts World Sentosa, we laughed at their attempts at making their own pancakes (the adorably goofy Jonas tried to do one with a smiley face), their healthy appetites (they wolfed down scrambled eggs, chicken breast and potatoes), and of course, their shoot-from-the-hip replies.

"Sweden is pretty boring when it comes to food," said Anton when asked what Swedish food they would recommend to Singaporeans.

"The most popular food are pizzas and hamburgers."

Added Jonas: "Caviar is from Sweden, but we don't eat that."

"I hate it," quipped Anton.

When asked what their mothers would usually whip up in the kitchen, Anton, who bears a striking resemblance to Justin Bieber, said candidly: "Oh, my mum actually sucks at cooking. She's only good at doing easy stuff like meatballs and pasta."

Jonas pondered for a while: "My mum cooks different dishes. Well, I guess she is good..."

Anton chipped in: "I've tried her cooking. She's better (than my mum)."


This is your first time in Singapore. Did you meet your local fans? How are you liking Singapore food?

Anton: We saw quite a number of our fans at the hotel lobby.

They were very nice, they gave us gifts.

Jonas: We received Skittles (candy). (Laughs) Our fans are mostly teenagers. We had chilli crab, it's very spicy and different from Swedish food.

Anton: We also tried fish-head soup. In Sweden, food like fish head would sound totally weird if it's on the menu.

Some people might freak out.

Any food that puts you off?

Jonas: Smelly beans (referring to petai). I accidentally tried them at an Indonesian restaurant yesterday. It's bad.

Anton: Yeah, I think smelly beans are the worst. When you eat them, the first couple of seconds are okay, but after that, they just 'blow up' in your mouth.

Are your parents strict about what you eat?

Jonas: Not really, because we live alone. Anton and I grew up in different Swedish cities (Anton in Vasteras, Jonas in Skovde) but we both live in Stockholm now, away from our parents.

Anton: It's pretty great living on my own as I get to eat all kinds of bad food.

(Laughs) I've picked up (some) cooking skills too. Last time, I could only do bacon. Now, I know how to make hamburgers.

Jonas: I remember the first three weeks of living alone, I ate nothing but frozen, microwaveable meatballs and pasta. I bought ready-to-eat meals from the grocery store.

Any memorable overseas food encounters?

Anton: My family has a summer house in Hua Hin, a seaside resort in Thailand.

We went to a seafood restaurant, Moon Terrace, which served really big lobsters. We had them with butter sauce. Delicious!

Jonas: I enjoyed the food in Turkey the most. I love meat and the food in Turkey is so meaty. You can find different kinds of meat dishes there.

As singers, do you cut out any dishes or drinks from your diet before a gig or recording?

Jonas: Yeah, chips. We can't eat chips before a show as they're bad for our throats.

Anton: And we try to have a lot of hot tea. But at home, when we do not have performances, we love soft drinks. We drink them all the time.

This article was first published on December 10, 2014.
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