American-born, Singaporean-raised, and of Indonesian-Chinese origin, singer-songwriter Bernard Dinata or lullaboy takes the title of “Mr. Worldwide” to a whole new level. From posting covers on YouTube to becoming the first Indonesian-Singaporean intern at YG Entertainment to now being one of the biggest independent artists in Singapore, the 26-year-old has a lot going on for him.
His previous single “Shortcut To Heaven” was a huge success with over 2 million views on YouTube. We had the opportunity to chat with the singer to talk about his new single “van gogh”, his possible future collab with K-pop idols, and what he fears most about fame.
1. You previously mentioned that “van gogh” went through 10 revisions over 2 years. Could you walk us through the process of making the song until it ultimately became something you’re proud of?
I worked on this song with my best friend from college Nacho Larraza. Me being from Asia and him coming from Spain, the world always had a way of keeping us apart, but whenever we would meet up, no matter where in the world, we’d work on “van gogh” a little bit. Over time we both changed so much that the previous versions of the song just didn’t feel right. The song needed to grow with us and I’m glad it did. The last few revisions were done completely remotely, with me recording brand new vocals at the lovely home ground studios in Singapore. The whole thing was a journey, but I couldn’t be more proud.
2. From our understanding, that song is your attempt in wooing someone. How prepared were you if the love was unrequited?
Well, I’ll give you guys the “songwriter’s cut”… mission accomplished.
3. How did you come up with the concept for the music video?
I’m a big fan of a movie called “Midnight in Paris”. Somehow every time I listen to “van gogh”, scenes from the movie would pop into my head. I knew I wanted to create my own version of it, taking the audience back in time to a new world. All props to the team we shot with, from the crew to the actors, everyone was incredible.
4. What were some of the challenges in coming up with the idea for the music video or even during filming?
The big question is ‘how do we tell an impactful story in such a short amount of time?’. We had enough footage for a whole movie so I think putting the pieces together was the fun and challenging part. I must say though, this was the wettest video shoot I had ever done. Watch the video and you’ll know what I mean haha.
5. Since the song is about unrequited love, any advice for fans who are going through their first heartbreaks right now?
My first heartbreak was the reason I started writing songs in the first place so I have to admit that it shaped who I grew into. I know it might not seem like it now, but everything happens for a reason, and experiencing life with the wrong person is going to make it so much easier for you to know who the right one is. You got this.
6. Could you share with us any details about your new album or any future projects?
This year is all about exploring range while still maintaining who I am. I want the fans to really feel like there is a lullaboy song for any kind of day they may be having. That being said, I don’t think anyone is going to expect what is coming next.
7. After being in the music industry for several years now, what are some of the lessons you’ve learned?
That staying true to yourself and the people you keep around you are the most important things.
8. You’ve previously mentioned that there are few K-pop collabs in the works. If you could collab with any K-pop artist, who would it be and why?
I can’t tell you that because it would be a spoiler haha. I started off as a fan, and then got to work closely with and learn from some incredible artists/producers from Korea. The collabs are always in the works and I’m waiting for the right time to share them with the world.
9. You once mentioned in an interview that fame is just a byproduct of what you do as a musician. What is one thing you fear about fame that you hope will never happen to you?
Lately, with the extent of social media, I’ve been seeing so many cases of online bullying that it shocks me. Celebrities big and small, no one seems to be safe anymore. I even see really young aspiring artists go for their dreams but face backlash and hate from the masses. I just hope this never happens to me or anyone I love.
10. Let’s start with some fun questions. Who or what is inspiring you right now?
I’ve been learning to love myself more and make more time for people who would make time for me. I’m not so cooped up in my studio as I once was because I’m out experiencing life in all its wonder. It’s helped me to write so many new songs, so life… that is my biggest inspiration right now.
11. Most memorable moment on stage?
Not knowing there were going to be fireworks all around the stage and almost burning my face off during a long sustained high note haha.
Check out lullaboy’s music video for “van gogh” below: