Spotify Spotlight: Lullaboy Is Happily Lost In The Labyrinth Of Love And Life
Bernard Dinata's story is that of a path less travelled. Growing up as an Indonesian-American based in Singapore, the singer-songwriter/producer grew up listening to both gospel and emo music.
This unique blend of cultures and experiences and has certainly taught him to be vulnerable and raw in his self-expression. Now going by the moniker Lullaboy, his blend of emotional pop and R&B has certainly resonated with listeners, and has made him become the first artist to represent Singapore on Asia Pacific’s largest, most coveted Spotify playlist, “It’s a Hit”.
Lullaboy's latest single "Gone Too Long" continues in the same vein, a heartfelt ode to a long-distance relationship. We caught up with the rising star on what the single means to him and his plans for an upcoming feature-length album.
Ok let's get it out of the way - please tell us about the moniker "Lullaboy". What's the story behind the name?
I’m always looking for the answers to love and life so in that sense, I’ll always be a boy, and if my wrinkles don’t agree, then at least I’ll stay young at heart! As for lullabies, I think they’re a comfort for both sunny days and lonely nights. I had been trying to find the perfect stage name for years but nothing ever felt right.
“Lullaboy” popped into my head one day and a spark was lit, but I kept brushing off the idea because I was just too scared. It took a bunch of people telling me not to do it, for me to realise that if I lived my life not going all out, I’d regret it forever. It was one of the most important decisions I ever made.
How did your experience as an Indonesian-American growing up in Singapore influence your outlook as well as creative expression?
To be honest I never actually felt like I fit in anywhere but I picked up a bit of each culture with me everywhere I went. So however you want to define me, I’ve learned to embrace my story. The correlation to music is that I’ve been blessed to appreciate so many genres and learned to blend my favourite parts, creating my own sound.
Who are your musical influences?
Lauv (above) to Zion.T, Hillsong to Mayday Parade. In other words, whoever isn’t afraid of being vulnerable.
What are some of the biggest lessons you learnt from your time at Berklee College of Music and interning at top South Korean talent agency YG Entertainment?
Studying music at Berklee trained me to be ready to face any challenges that the industry would throw at me. It took 3.5 years, but I finally believe in myself.
My biggest lesson from YG is giving your best whether you’re in or out of your comfort zone. Koreans work hard and I got a first-hand look at what it actually takes to create legacies.
Tell us more about your latest single "Gone Too Long". What is the inspiration behind this beautiful love song?
I’m one of the unfortunate souls going through a long-distance relationship but one of the lucky ones to have found something worth fighting for. I wrote this song for her as a promise that I’d find my way back home.
I’m also thankful for my Berklee buddy Nathaniel Clay who produced the song. He gave an acoustic love song that American urban grit I was looking for.
What is the best advice you can give someone going through a long-distance relationship?
"Growing, apart" means "growing apart" so keep each other close by filling each other in on your lives and not leaving the other behind. Grow together so that the distance becomes something that makes your relationship stronger.
What can fans expect from your upcoming full album?
12 songs, each touching on a different side of love. If you like stories, this is one of a boy finding his way through the twists and turns of life and I hope you can see yourself in him.
Wonderwall.sg on Spotify
Yes! We're on Spotify. Check out our "I M SGPN" playlist comprising all the cool local artists we fetaure in our Spotify Spotlight series: