TikTok-star-turned-singer Haven discusses her new single ‘Future Somebody’.
19-year-old local indie singer-songwriter Haven has started the year off with a bang, releasing a spunky, sultry, moody new single titled ‘Future Somebody’. The song marks an evolution of her sound, taking on a more confident, independent and rebellious sound akin to Dove Cameron and Billie Eilish.
The single follows her previous single, ‘Easy Girl Easy Boy’, released in 2021, which earned her legions of new fans. Since then, there has been much excited anticipation amongst her fans and followers over her new music and the direction she’s taking her music this year.
Since then, Haven has busied herself with promotional projects, stunning photoshoots, and a number of remarkable collaborations with well-known brands, such as Gentle Monster and Armani Exchange. She even became good friends with Sorn, the Thai K-pop singer of former girl group CLC, and now a fellow label-mate under WILD. They even made quite a few TikToks together, which garnered hundreds of thousands of views collectively. She has recently also collaborated with Torasho Ramen to release her own unique limited edition black tonkotsu ramen, named after her new song, ‘Future Somebody’. Talk about getting a literal drool-worthy collaboration.
Haven first rose to fame on TikTok, where her breathtakingly soulful covers of songs like ‘Love Nwantiti’ and ‘IDK You Yet’ gained traction and caught the attention of many. Apart from her musical covers, she posts a wide variety of videos, from vlogs to dances to fashion-related content, all of which channel the quintessential Gen Z it-girl aesthetic and vibe. Most importantly, these TikTok videos allow her followers to gain insight into her everyday activities, allowing them to form a deeper connection with the artist herself.
With her edgy fashion sense yet chirpy, enthusiastic personality, Haven has paved the way for a new generation of music in the local music scene. An aspiring and talented singer, her own unique flair adds a modern twist to songs that promise to leave a lasting impression on listeners. ZYRUPMAG spoke with her over a sit-down interview, discussing her writing process for the song, about possible fan interactions, and future aspirations.
ZYRUPMAG: First of all, we would like to congratulate you on your new single, ‘Future Somebody’! Can you tell us the inspiration behind the song?
Haven: Well, it’s about love. Honestly, it’s a lot of shade. A lot of shade. It’s a very shady song, but when I wrote this, it was actually a year ago. Over time, it evolved into something very empowering for me, because when I wrote this, I was single. I was just like, “I really want to find my “future somebody”, why can’t anyone come?”. But, over time, making this song, I realised, “Actually, I don’t really need a future somebody, y’know?” I want to be that person, I want to be that future somebody. That’s what this song is about.
This song is about independence and female empowerment. Were there singers who sang about the same issues that you got inspired by?
I’ve been a huge fan of Billie Eilish, I know she came to Singapore recently. She’s so empowering, she’s really girlboss, she’s killing it. She also writes a lot about love, but I love how she brings in a lot of societal things like expectations and her life journey. She just puts those in her album and it’s so genuine, so truthful. That’s where my inspiration comes from.
Billie Eilish writes her own songs, and you write your own songs too! Can you tell us a bit more about the creative process behind this song?
I love this part. I have this friend Zie, who’s actually a member of brb. He’s my producer for this song, so shout out to Zie, I love him so much. I went into the studio and I was like, “I have this song. We wrote it a year ago.” It was supposed to be disco-pop, but we were like, “I’m not feeling it right now.” I came back to him after a few months, and I was like, “Let’s write a song. I don’t know what direction we’re gonna be looking at, but let’s just make something that we feel.” We brainstormed for a month. I was sitting in the studio, we’d just talk. By the end of it, it was just like an art that was continuously being added and created.
When you write your own songs, are there specific themes that you guys want to cover, or are you more willing to go with the flow or more spontaneous?
At three in the morning, when I can’t sleep, I’ll pull out my guitar, and it’s like, “Ok, let’s write something!”. I never really know what I’m gonna write about. It’s more of if I’m feeling sad or if I’m feeling happy, or overwhelmed. I just sit down, play a few chords, and then anything that comes to mind, comes to mind. Afterwards I’ll listen back and I’m like, “Hey, I actually really like this part, hey I really like this part.”. I’ll build on that and be like, “Ok, what’s going on in my life?”. It’s also like a little diary, like a journal. So then, you’re just like, “Reflection time!” and you sit down, you’re with your pen and notebook, and you’re like, “Hmm, what’s really going on in my life right now?”.
This song is actually slightly different from your other songs. What inspired you to explore this genre?
I’ve been listening to Dove Cameron. She came up with this bad girl era, girlboss era, and I was just like, “I love that so much for her!”. I feel the maturity and I just love it so much. When I wrote songs in the past, that was before I turned 18, y’know? Ever since, I haven’t come up with any songs. This is actually my first song that came out after turning 18, and I want to show people this other side to me, like: “Hey, this is me now.” I’m trying to make a big splash. I felt like that genre itself, no one’s gonna expect it. It’s very bad… girl. I can’t say the word, but you feel me? That kind of vibe. So I was like, “I’m gonna go for that”.
With your song, what do you want the listeners to take away from this new single?
When you listen to this song, I want people to take away that everyone deserves love and they will find that, eventually. But I would rather you chase for yourself and your growth, and your self-worth because that love, no one’s ever going to give you. I want to be that somebody first before going out and meeting that person.
Let’s talk about how you promote yourself and your music using TikTok. How do you think you’re able to engage your fans with the content that you put up on TikTok?
I would say relatability. One thing about TikTok that I feel is so amazing is that there’s a community for everyone. It doesn’t feel like you’re separated. Obviously, someone’s not going to like it, but there will be people who’re like, “Hey, I relate to that as well, I feel that too.” I feel when I was starting out on TikTok, it was a place where I could showcase myself, and be myself. TikTok is a place where you can just go stupid crazy, and then you get a bunch of likes, and then you’ll be like, “Yo, I feel that too, oh my god”, y’know? I feel how I’m trying to promote with TikTok is that people get to know me as an artist even way more than they already know. Because they can listen to my songs, they can love the song, but I also want them to get to know me, and I want to get to know them as well.
Other than TikTok, what are some ways that you want to connect with your fans?
I want to meet them. Honestly, I just want to meet them because I wanna have a sit-down chit-chat with food and we’re just like, “How’s life? How are you doing?”. Because outside of just being an artist, these people, the supporters, have been so loving and caring throughout this whole thing. I feel it’s more than just they’re my listeners, they’re my fans, I do want to be friends with them. I think they’re so cool when they support my stuff, it means they have the same interests as I do. And that’s where friendship starts.
Can you give us any advice for those aspiring artists in Singapore who would like to build their career in music, especially in Southeast Asia?
I would definitely say put yourself out there. When I first started out, I was so shy, I was so nervous, but I promise you will get through it, as long as you don’t give up. That’s something super, super crucial. Because you’re gonna feel like, “Oh man, I don’t know where to start”. Push it in people’s faces like, “Hey! I’m here! Hey! I’m making music!”. Make friends, go out, meet more people with the same interests as you do – people who love music as well. And then, you can build that community. I feel especially what people don’t know is that the music industry is actually really supportive, and if you need help, there’ll be somebody out there who wants to grow with you. So just put yourself out there. Find the right people.
You mentioned building a community. What about in the future, if you get to perform and have your own tour, where would you want to go to perform?
I would love to do Southeast Asia first. Of course, my hometown, you got to stay around the region first. But it would be a dream of mine to tour in America. That’s a dream. Actually no, not a dream! Manifesting things here.
Can you share any upcoming projects you have in the year 2023?
You guys are not ready. I have so much stuff that I want to just put out there and release, so it’s really just a matter of time. I might release something next month, next two months, tomorrow, who knows? I’m really excited.
Stream Haven’s ‘Future Somebody’ on Spotify here.
This interview has been edited for brevity. Original interview by Afikah Azlan. Article written by Ku Jia Yi.