By Natalia Ningthoujam
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) American singer Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees is not sure about a movie on the Grammy-nominated vocal harmonising group, but he feels that if it is ever made then it will be "very fun".
Be it fiction or documentation of their meteoric rise and personal lives, pop groups like the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and One Direction have at least one movie each.
But the 98 Degrees, which was formed back in the 90s with Timmons, Justin Jeffre and brothers Nick and Drew Lachey, is yet to get one.
"I don't know whether there would be a 98 Degrees movie or not, although that would be very fun. I do think there will be another movie where all the bands' members participate like the 'Dead 7' film. Just a blast," Timmons told IANS in an email interview.
"Dead 7", a 2016 American post-apocalyptic zombie horror western film, was written by the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter, who also acted in the project along with his bandmates A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough.
They had joined forces with Timmons, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC and Erik-Michael Estrada from O-Town.
"I had the time of my life making that movie with those guys. We're planning on another movie. Maybe we'll do another song then," he said.
Millions of 98 Degrees fans continue to swoon over their hit songs like "Give me just one night (una noche), "Invisible man" and "Because of you". They are performing again as a quartet but there was a time when they took a break. After announcing their hiatus in 2003, they focussed on solo careers.
Timmons released first solo album "Whisper That Way" in 2004. He followed it up with "Emotional High".
"Being an artiste in a group or solo is very difficult, but the love of the music and entertainment business makes it all worth it. I've been living a dream, so none of it is hard in comparison to the rewards," said the artiste, now in his 40s.
He was also in Mumbai for a solo show earlier this week.
"98 Degrees never had the opportunity to tour India or perform there. Each time India was on the agenda, our parent label Universal was in transition, either being sold or undergoing a major staff overhaul," he said.
"It's always been a dream of mine to come to India, so when I was offered the opportunity to perform there, I had to take it. I didn't have high expectations because I'm considered a new artiste to most people there," he added.
But he was "overwhelmed with joy" to see the excitement and acceptance by the audience when he finally performed in the Indian city.
During his stay in India, he visited a few different styles of clubs and nightlife atmospheres.
"Each had different flavours of music the crowd was partying to. Main primary goal of visiting was to take in as much music as I could, and study the vibe of the scene. There is only so much you can learn by searching Google and YouTube. I got to witness what the DJs were doing with their sets, and how they infused cultural sounds into familiar pop, EDM, and dance hits.
"I also ate a lot. I gained at least five kgs in just a couple of days. Loved every second," said the singer, who often shows off his well maintained body on stage.
Before his arrival in India, he had produced three or four tracks for collaboration. But the moment he started listening to music on the radio, he knew they were not a fit.
"I knew (Indian rapper) Badshah and his music before I came, and I am a huge fan. I was in a car ride when his song came on the radio. I figured I'd tweet him to let him know how much I respect him and his music, and that everyone in India just loves him.
"He responded that he is a fan of 98 Degrees, which is extremely flattering and humbling. I hope it's the start of something that will actually happen. I was so inspired, that I started programming something on the plane ride home. I also became a fan of Yo Yo Honey Singh, Jenny Johal, and Diljit Dosanjh, to name a few. I would be honoured to work with any of those great talents. The pop music scene is incredible in India."
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Hauled up second time by the government on its failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform amid growing lynching episodes, the Facebook-owned platform on Friday said it is launching a test to limit message forwarding to five chats that will apply to its users in India.
In its second notice on Thursday, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) took a tough stand, asking WhatsApp to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news.
"It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response," MeitY said in the notice.
WhatsApp reacted: "In India, where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world, we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once.
"We will also remove the quick forward button next to media messages," WhatsApp said in a statement.
The test, once comes to practice, will curtail WhatsApp's services for over 200 million users in India. Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).
WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app".
"We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we'll continue to improve our app with features like this one," it added.
In its first reply to the IT Ministry, WhatsApp said the company is "horrified" by terrible acts of violence.
The IT Ministry had asked WhatsApp to ensure that the platform is not used for malafide activities over the growing instances of lynching of innocent people owing to large number of irresponsible messages filled with rumours being circulated on its platform.
The mobile messiging service listed several measures -- including labelling Forwarding messages -- in its first reply to control the spread of misinformation and abuse on its platform but failed to meet the requirements from the IT Ministry.
Several people have lost their lives in the past one year by lynch mobs after rumours of child lifting triggered via messages on WhatsApp.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the first time admitted in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that fake news on social media has resulted in many mob lynching incidents in the country, saying the government has asked service providers to put a check on rumour mongering on social media.
Expressing concern over the misuse of social media, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu also asked the government to evolve a national policy after discussing with all stakeholders including political parties to combat the menace.
The Supreme Court also issued 22 guidelines this week for the central and state governments to put an end to "horrendous acts" of vigilantism, lynching and mobocracy and directed them to work in tandem to take "preventive, remedial and punitive measures".