Not too long ago we told you about a crooner from Singapore who has been making waves with his talent, locally, and abroad.
With the release of his new single, “Achilles”, we managed to chat up the 29-year-old to learn more about what makes him one to stand out in the music scene.
1. Congratulations on the launch of the new single, ‘Achilles’. It’s a great track for sure. What was the true inspiration behind the song? What was the thought process? Give us the inside scoop.
Thank you so much! Achilles was a really difficult song to write because it stems from my personal struggles with pride and the need for external validation.
My friend Lincey, who co-wrote this song, sat me down and said “Write about your pain, write about what hurts you and make it beautiful”. So that’s exactly what we did.
2. Are you all about the lovey-dovey stuff or do you write about everything that you see? Are there specific topics you try to tackle when writing? Is there a theme? Do you think about the performance when you write or do you just write from the heart?
I always try to write about things I’m familiar with, so my songs are from my own experiences or those of my closest friends. I will try to talk about topics that people can relate to but aren’t too cliche.
Achilles is about the competing odds of learning to be happy with oneself, but at the same time facing our flaws and striving to be better. Drowning is about the pain of long distance relationships in today’s world where we are digitally connected but still emotionally apart. In terms of the performance, I try my best to make sure I can sing it well live, so I will alter the melody and so on to make sure.
3. Are you the kind that writes lyrics first then music later or the other way round? Or are you the ‘it comes together at the same time’ kind? Who are the other artistes that inspire you?
I start with the hook. In this case it was “I want something I can touch, something I can feel, I learnt that my pride is my Achilles heel”. Thereafter I write the chorus around the hook, and the song around the chorus. Right now I’m really into Dean, Sam Smith and Daniel Caesar.
4. Can we expect a music video for ‘Achilles’? If yes, can you tell us how it’s going to look like? Is there a concept behind it?
Yes the music video will be out on Youtube Vevo on 13th June! I wanted the video to reflect the song, so we did a simple live-style music video that’s honest, and true to the song.
5. Why did you choose to go ‘gospel’ with this track? Was there a particular reason? It’s a little different from the previous tracks you’ve released.
All my songs are quite schizophrenic. My next song will be R&B-Reggaeton, followed by an EDM song. I’m trying to make the songs the best they can be regardless of the genre, and hopefully that isn’t too jarring for listeners!
6. I understand that you started out doing covers and now you’ve transitioned into original compositions. How’s the change like? What made you switch? Was it a lightbulb moment? How is writing original music different than covers?
I love singing covers, and that’s how I started out. I just felt that it was time to tell my own stories, because I found that I had something to say. I’m almost always writing, and am in a songwriting session right now! I want to make great art that resonates with people.
7. Tell us a little bit more about your music’s standing among other artistes in Singapore. Singapore has always had an extra edge to their creativity. How do you fair? Would you say you’ve created your own ‘lane’?
The Singapore music scene is small, but there are a lot of heavy hitters. There’s amazing music coming out everyday and it pushes me to be better. I want every subsequent song I put out to have better vocals, better arrangements, better everything. I would say that I’m a small part of a growing scene, and I hope that I can make my mark some day.
8. You were one of the featured artiste during Singapore’s National Day Parade in 2018. How was the experience like being on live TV? Was there a strict schedule for rehearsals? How was the entire experience like?
NDP2018 was awesome! I had a long segment which was all taken on one long continuous shot, which was inspired by the movie La La Land. I had so much fun throughout the 10 rehearsals that it didn’t feel like work. I also got to hang out with my artist friends like Charlie Lim, M1LDL1FE and Aisyah Aziz so that was a treat on its own.
9. What can we expect from you in the near future? New music? Tour?
New songs in August, October and a Christmas song in November 2019, and a few more next year. Watch out for them <3
10. For readers who have no clue what you are about, summarise Gareth Fernandez in 5 sentences starting with, ‘I am…’
I am a big nerd and Game of Thrones fan
I am aware that I sound like Sam Smith in some songs, and it’s always a compliment
I am in love with music, writing, recording and performing
I am a big gym rat
I am a gamer
‘Achilles’ is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.