- The Taiwan-based Singaporean Mando-pop star teamed up with the British singer-songwriter on the duet for his first English EP
- The duo talks to ‘Young Post’ about the mental health benefits of crying, writing music over Zoom, and self-healing during Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a time of loss for all of us - lost opportunities, lost time with loved ones - and you might have found yourself crying in your bedroom at least once over the past year. And you know what? That’s just fine.
“Everyone is crying over their own brokenness, including myself,” said Singaporean Mando-pop star JJ Lin.
“The whole world is sharing a certain kind of sadness, but because everyone is in the picture, it’s quite warm at the same time.”
Lin recently teamed up with British singer-songwriter Anne-Marie on Bedroom, an emotional song that sees two exes reflecting on the end of their relationship.
“This duet is really unique for me because it’s my first male/female duet in English, and the only one on my English EP,” Lin said. The song is a hidden track on his EP L ike You Do, his first English-language project.
“It’s also my first time working with Anne-Marie, and the song itself is magic.”
“I love doing collabs, and to be able to collaborate with someone who isn’t in London or LA is really special,” said Anne-Marie. The two worked on the song virtually; Anne-Marie from London and Lin from his home in Taipei.
“Listening to Bedroom for the first time was such a unique experience, hearing Anne-Marie’s voice and the strength and vigour in her singing,” Lin said. “I heard that cry to be loved, heard and understood. When it was my turn to come in, I needed to give consolation. I had to keep that gentleness.”
“I felt a lot of pressure, because she’s such a beautiful singer, and I wanted to make sure I could throw it back,” he added. “I spent a lot of time thinking, feeling, and flowing with the song, but I had no idea how it would turn out until I recorded the track.”
His efforts more than paid off. “It’s rare that you hear a male singer sing so high and well, and I was in shock that he was able to do that,” Anne-Marie said. “I listened to it five times in a row because I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I’m still in awe of JJ’s voice.”
The song is based on Anne-Marie’s personal experience, a common source of inspiration in her writing - she said listening to her music is like reading her diary.
“When I first wrote the song, I was in a place where I had finally let someone go who was not very appreciative or nice,” Anne-Marie said.
Since her lyrics are so personal, listening to Anne-Marie's music is like reading her diary. Photo: Warner Music Hong Kong
“When I let them go, they realised what they had lost. I was sad about it, but I also felt strong, and it was very important for me to put that in a song - that element of being a strong person coming out of a sad situation.”
You might get a bit emotional listening to Bedroom - and that’s exactly what Anne-Marie wants.
“I love to make music that makes people feel, whether that’s happy or sad,” Anne-Marie said. “This is a sad song, and when you’re sad, you have to cry. It helps let the emotions out.”
“I always want to tell people it’s OK to cry,” she added. “I’ve cried in my bedroom so many times because of relationships, a TV show, or a book I’m reading. I can remember certain situations better because of the emotions I was feeling. Whether it was bad or good, I can remember it because I had a massive cry.”
Lin agreed with his collaborator, adding, “crying is a crucial and important step of discovering and rediscovering your own heart”.
JJ Lin said he felt a lot of pressure adding his vocals to
“This song is about how we need time to let go of things and self-heal. I really hope that listeners will get in tune with their inner self,” he said.
And hey, when you’re feeling down, there might be some comfort in knowing that the whole world, including JJ Lin and Anne-Marie, is crying right along with you.