TheReviewGeek Interviews: Vietnamese-Hawaiian Singer damnboy! Teases Heartbreaking EP
Are you ready for damnboy!? The rising star has made a name with the beloved single ‘How High?’ which not only topped in Hawaii but also entered several Billboard charts. Having collaborated and opened for the likes of MAX, Blackbear and Nelly, damnboy! is now focusing on himself and expanding his already impressive discography as seen with the heartbreaking pop ballad ‘She/Her/Hers’.
Following a successful year, damnboy! is back and ready to take 2023 by storm with his upcoming EP. He gave a glimpse of it with the pre-release single ‘She/Her/Hers’ on August 28th. Well, TheReviewGeek had a chance to ask the Vietnamese-Hawaiian artist about his new single, and the upcoming album. In an exclusive interview with TheReviewGeek, damnboy! spills on his creative process, showing a new side to him, his next project and more.
Congratulations on the pre-release ‘She/Her/Hers’! We are excited for your upcoming EP!
Can we get a spoiler for your new EP? You’ve already shared that it is about heartbreak like ‘She/Her/Hers’. But what else can fans expect?
Yes! The EP is getting finished! Fans can expect a very diverse range of genres. But also get a few songs with the same boom bap vibes just like ‘She/Her/Hers’. And a lot more ballads as well.
Was there a memorable incident while working on the single ‘She/Her/Hers’?
So, me and my friend, Chando produced and wrote ‘She/Her/Hers’ in one session. I had a vintage drum loop that I wanted to work around. And at the time I was listening to a lot of classical music and Wu Tang. And basically, the words and melody just came straight out. It was a very spiritual experience.
The chorus for ‘She/Her/Hers’ is so amazing. As a producer, how do you go about figuring out what completes your song?
I honestly feel what completes a song depends on where you’re at in life and the direction and aesthetic you’re going for. But it’s like a gut feeling, you’ll know when you know.
Is there anything new that you learned about yourself while making ‘She/Her/Hers’?
I kind of already knew this. But when I sing karaoke, I love to sing hard ballads like ‘Open Arms’ by Journey or ‘Talking To The Moon’ by Bruno Mars. So with ‘She/Her/Hers’ being a ballad, I’ve come to realize I’m great at singing and writing ballads.
What motivated or inspired you to venture into this deep subject of heartbreak and regret?
I love heartbreak, it’s what I usually gravitate towards. I low-key have separation anxiety and have been in so many toxic relationships that I have a whole bag of stories and experiences to pull from.
It has been a while since you released some new music. This single is the first of 2023 if we are not wrong. Was the making of your new EP a difficult one?
Yes, it’s been a while. I took some time to experience life and find new inspiration. The making of my EP has been a very long and satisfying journey. I really found myself and healed with this batch of songs.
On a lighter note, what do you like to do when you are on a break?
Honestly, when I have time for myself I like to watch anime and movies. I also watch a lot of food and information videos on YouTube, haha! Oh yeah, love to cook. I also want to start getting back into gaming.
Being an all-rounder from songwriting to producing must come with its own challenges. What do you do when you are stuck while making a song?
Honestly, if I ever get stuck on an idea, I just put it aside and live life til I come back to it. If it’s worthy, you will always come back to it. I also have the obsessive habit of listening to my demos on repeat. I am low-key my fave artist LOL. Which I think every artist should be.
You have already tried a variety of genres from R&B and hip-hop to pop and ballad. Is there a genre that you haven’t tried yet that you would like to?
So, my guilty pleasure is definitely more heavier rock. And I am a huge fan of shoegaze. I dream of one day having a shoegaze dream pop band. But I like to add little bits of what I love into damnboy!
For a person listening to damnboy! for the first time, which song would you recommend and why?
This one always gets me because every song is from a different period in my life. Like ‘How High?’ was my very first single and my biggest to date but also ‘Reggae’ and ‘Happy’, which is not where my sound is at the moment. But I guess now, it would be my current single ‘She/Her/Hers’. It’s where my next era in sound is and I’m so proud of it.
What is something new that you would like to show fans with your upcoming EP?
I am going to showcase my musical taste more and range in vocals. I’m really pushing my vocals to the limit. Although the EP has a theme of sound with classical music & boom bap. They will find hints of alternative in there as well.
As a global and fast-rising artist, what is your goal for the near future?
My goals are to make a great living creating and performing music. To tour all around the world. Have multiple Billboard #1s, Grammys and more. But a bigger goal is to touch people’s hearts, to heal and change people’s lives. I want people to feel safe and found. Like how I felt, growing up listening to my favorite artists.
Listen to ‘She/Her/Hers’ by damnboy! on Spotify.
Are you excited to see more of damnboy!? Did you like ‘She/Her/Hers’? What was your favorite part of the interview? Let us know in the comments below.