Hong Kong R&B artist Gareth.T is soon to make a dent in the international music scene with the release of his debut single under Singapore based indie label, Umami Records. The soulful “Best Me I Can” is a great introduction to his music: a contemporary pop tune filled with ‘80s/’90 R&B influences, lush harmonies, and infectious grooves.
Currently based in Boston while studying at Berklee College of Music, Gareth.T recently spoke with Inquirer Pop about his upcoming single, the story behind the creative process, and his future plans to expand his music reach, particularly in the Asian region.
How did you start making music?
I started off playing classical music (violin and piano) when I was in primary school, this fasication slowly turned to making beats, and as the beats started to pile up, I decided I would start writing over them. After a couple years of doing this in high school, I got in Berklee, and now here we are, more beats and more songs
Who are your strongest musical influences?
I think I sound a lot like Bazzi and Zion.T, even one does hip hop, pop and the other does Korean R&B, I think my end goal is to blend the two sounds together and create something that I can call my own.
What’s the story behind ‘best me i can’?
I wrote this song earlier this year in February, after my grandma passed away. Even though we weren’t that close and it didn’t emotionally affect me too much, it really got me thinking about how short and fragile life is, and that time doesn’t really stop for anyone. So in the song I kinda reflect on my 20 years of life, and I’ve come to a conclusion, that I’m going to try to be the best me I can, everyday. With that being said, I think the punchline “best me i can” would be the most important thing in the song and the part I like the most , as it’s a really simple concept to get, but with some lush harmonies and the soulful groove, the cheesiness of the line is taken away.
What kind of sound were you going for with this track?
I think this song is strongly influenced by 80s/90s R&B, from artists like D’Angelo and ?uestlove. However, it also has modern elements in the drums and 808s, making it a blend between the old and the new.
What makes this song special?
I think the most interesting part of making this song, and I guess that would be for me as an artist too, is the fact that I do everything in the song. From writing the guitar parts and the lyrics, to producing, then recording myself, I stick through the whole process. With that being said, I think my style can really be shown through my songs, as I have creative freedom on all aspects.
Tell us about your creative process?
I usually start off by making the beats, after refining the beat, I start writing lyrics over them, and after the lyrics I would record my vocals and start the mixing process.
Why is Asia your target audience?
I think in the asian market, even though R&B is a really popular genre, there’s not a lot of soul R&B songs with modern production, and that’s what I’m trying to bring to the market. Not only that, as the song promotes positivity and has a simple message, I think it would resonate with the audience.
One last thing you want to say to your fans?
I guess I would say do the best they can, and live everyday like it’s your last, cause time goes by way too quickly.