Landing on a fresh sound in the mosaic world of pop is no easy task, but Evanturetime’s proclivity towards collaborating with other artists keeps bearing fruit. From last summer’s sleeper hit “Vultures” (with Linying and Charlie Lim) to his own take on The Weeknd’s “Starboy” with Jasmine Sokko, listeners have invariably -positively- responded to the producer’s ability to make music that moves people.
On “Sober”, this approach has not changed – only the end product. Combining the pop sensibilities from all three songwriters, the result is a outrageously catchy pop piece that still bears Evanturetime’s signature restraint in production. “I wanted to marry Ben (Benjamin Kheng) and JX’s pop songwriting approach with Nathan’s jazz crooner tendencies. I thought it might be fun to get them together and blend all that pop songwriting goodness with some quirky sounds and beat choices that they wouldn’t normally try in their typical pop setting,” Evan notes.
With Benjamin Kheng and JX coming off the back of The Sam Willows’ recent hits (“Save Myself,” “Keep Me Jealous”), and Nathan Hartono’s Sing! China success not far behind in memory (where he was handpicked by mentor Jay Chou, no less), getting the four boys into the same mental environment was not going to be easy; they managed it with the (unexpected) help of a childhood game. “We spent a lot of time playing Street Fighter before I managed to get everyone in the same headspace but it was really fun overall and I think the music definitely reflects that,” Evan said, recalling their brainstorming process.
Though the song title may recall alcohol-imbibed heady nights, the songwriting was approached with anything but. Each artist brought his own tangent to the lyrics, but all of them found common ground in the idea that reaching for real honesty in love was a difficult endeavour. “Love is inherently a selfish endeavor, and much of it is a do-si-do of taking from your lover. We’re not painting a very glossy picture of a modern relationship; sometimes you’ve got to demand pieces of that person, and all this talk is very hard to be done when sober,” Benjamin Kheng said.