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"Licence To Cry" is Dominic Chin's way of saying it's okay to feel vulnerable and to be true to yourself. Photo: I-zak Rugdee

Spotify Spotlight: Licence To Cry by Dominic Chin

Two years in the making, this album of groovy bedroom pop hides a plethora of emotions and comes with a message of strength and the courage to be true to oneself.

Its creator? Dominic Chin, a 24-year-old rising fast as a vocal and songwriting force to be reckoned with on the local music scene, and his is a pop talent to treasure. (You might have seen our earlier piece on his single, "Here", when it dropped in March this year.)

Since then, more gems have emerged, culminating in "Licence To Cry" that is head-bopping and heart-wrenching in equal measure - this is an album of songs that hurt so bad yet feel so good.

Set against down-tempo but nevertheless beat-happy tunes are stories about longing: a longing to be true to oneself, a longing to be with a loved one, a longing to be free from personal demons. 

Just take a glance at these lyrics from some of the songs:

"I shy away from the night, from the night / It hunts me for my life till I wake."—"Shy"
"They say I can't show emotions / I'm a man I gotta act a certain way."—"Cry"
"How I long to sing another song / For as long as you wish to hear."—"Here"
"Nobody told me of the fears that would follow / Promise me you'll still be here tomorrow."—"Alone"

Since "Licence To Cry" is drenched with emotion, we decided that the only logical thing to do was to speak to Dominic and have a conversation with him using emojis, of course!

What do you want to say with this album? What’s it's most important message?

It's okay if you wanna cry. It's something so natural that you do coming into this world and it should not be used against you for being "weak". in fact, true strength is when you dare to be vulnerable. 

Finally!! ⏰How long have you worked on this album?

2️⃣years! It didn't start out to be this way, but it has become the theme of my journey the past two years as I decided to be a bit more honest with how I feel, and coming to terms with some things in my life. 

Why is it so important to have a licence to cry, especially for guys?

in my own personal experiences, i found it more toxic ☠️for myself to pretend I am strong. Crying  in this album is symbolism for being vulnerable, for being your true self and not being afraid. So it really applies to anybody!

All the tracks are such a bop! But there’s a lot of  behind them too. Tell us about this disconnect between happy tunes and sad stories, and the healing therapy and power of music.

Because very simply: Music allows us to feel . Music gives us the permission to express our feelings beautifully with words and melodies. It allows us to communicate our feelings in the disguise of art . 

Speaking of art, what's the most rewarding part - emotionally, mentally - about finally releasing this work of art?

Other than the fact that I am finally realising my dream of making my own music , I am also finally able to tell my stories  on my conditions without actually having to have a conversation about it , 'cos sometimes it's harder to talk. You just want to say your peace and move on. And, in a way, it's nice to finally have so many listening ears .

Yeah! We saw on your Instagram that you have fans in Thailand How did that even happen?

hahaha IDK!!! ‍♂️It just did! I think "Better" got to them, then after that they've been interested, and then slowly they translated the songs one by one.

So you'll be having a listening party on Zoom entitled "Behind These Tears" on 23 Oct 2020 at 9pm. What can we expect? (Register here.)

A lot more stories , some BTS to what goes behind conceptualising the ideas , and music ! And perhaps a little video with regard to my recent single "Cry".

Click this image for more links to Dominic Chin's material.Photo: I-zak Rugdee on Spotify

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