According to Kyla T (centre), "Pretty Boys" are "definitions of playboys/girls who utilise love for their own personal gains in a selfish way, and end up hurting the other party." | Photo: Kyla T & Buvan
Having a crush on someone seems to be part of the human condition. It's a feeling that simultaneously puts you at the top of the world, and leaves you feeling like it's the end of it - kind of like those exuberant yet horrified people being filmed screaming and fainting on Slingshot rides.
The lyric in this song by Kyla T says it all: "You think I won't know 'cause I'm stupid and head over heels. Baby you're heartless and, oh, you don't care how it feels."
We're throwing the spotlight on the Funk Redux version of this new single, not only cuz we can totally relate and groove to it, but also because of the sheer talent behind this bop - we're talking about 26-year-old singer-songwriter Kyla T (her real name is Tiffany Tan but she chose the moniker "Kyla" cuz it means "cool" in Swedish), and 24-year-old Buvan (the Executive Music Producer of Shabir Music - yes, the very same homegrown Kollywood star Shabir).
We talk to the pair - who met while pursuing a Diploma in Music & Audio Technology at Singapore Polytechnic - about the collaboration, before embarking on a game of "Would You Rather" (crush edition).
What's the story behind the song?
Kyla T: "Pretty Boys" was written for my best friend, who liked our classmate but he didn’t reciprocate. But it was also written during a point in time when I was kinda tired of matching with the same types of guys on dating apps and not getting fulfilling or wholesome experiences from such matches.
Like, the conversations would usually be the same, and most guys that state that they’re on such apps to date are really just looking for sex, but they’re too shy to say it, but I’d rather they be upfront about it than hide behind a veneer. Haha.
Buvan, how come it took 2 years to produce this! And why is it the right time to release this now?
Buvan: I recall Tif hitting me up on WhatsApp, asking me if i was keen to do a remix of "Pretty Boys" then. I remember hearing the track and being immediately inspired to do a funk revamp on it especially after hearing the horn shouts in her song. At that point in time, I was listening to a lot of funk, particularly Earth, Wind and Fire, and Lettuce.
My goal was to simply bring old-school funk with a more contemporary/modern touch to it. The bassline during the hook took a while for it to feel right. It just needed the room to bounce as the song was playing. After the demo was done, I sent it to Tif and we both vibed hard to it.
After we re-recorded certain vocal parts, Tif mentioned that she was not going to release this as she was then trying to recalibrate her music style and image and what genre she was going for. Basically she didn't want to release something without an artistic direction.
To be honest, these are the kind of things I appreciate and look out for with my collaborators. So without and hesitation, I told her to take all the time she needed and two years later, here we are. 😃
Who are “Pretty Boys” to you?
Kyla T: Even though the song is about Pretty Boys, I always mention before performing the song that it is dedicated to everyone who has been played by a Pretty Boy/Girl. They’re basically definitions of playboys/girls who utilise love for their own personal gains or needs in a selfish way, and end up hurting the other party.
Buvan: I recall asking Tif what the impetus of the song was about and it hit me that most of us would have a “pretty boy or girl” who would have played us out. These are the people who would have used you under the pretence of love and milked everything that you can offer and then saying “bye bye”. So, two outcomes: either you spend the next couple of months wallowing in self-pity or you write a song about it like Tif did hahahahhaha
Since "Pretty Boys" is about the follies of love, let's play "Would You Rather"! Let's start simple: Would you rather get a Good Morning text or a Goodnight text?
Kyla T: Good Morning text! Hahah, I think after work when you’re really tired, sometimes you forget to check your phone and just fall asleep. So it’s nice to look forward to waking up in the morning and getting a reply from your crush. 🙂It reassures you that they’re thinking about you and want to continue the conversation.
Buvan: Good Morning text, for sure! When someone wakes up and one of the first things they do is text you “Good Morning”, it goes to show that you are one of the first things they think about when they are up - that thought itself is honestly endearing for some reason. Best part is when you are at the receiving end of the message, you feel good and it naturally puts a smile on your “I just woke up” face. Sometimes this also means that the other party is possibly interested in you and wants to carry on the conversation for the day. 😜
Buvan (left) with Shabir, his mentor and partner at Shabir Music.
Would you rather date a confident person or a shy one?
Kyla T: I'd rather date someone in between these two 😂haha, I think confidence is sexy, especially with charisma, but shy boys are cute too! But they can’t be on the extreme ends of confidence and shyness, I think it would be hard for me to get to know them as people if they are as such.
Buvan: I don’t actually have a concrete answer for this as i’ve been attracted to both confident and shy women. Confidence is super attractive but I feel that a little bit of shyness is endearing as well? Maybe someone with a concoction of both!
Would you rather IG Live all your arguments with bae, or never use the Internet again?
Kyla T: Wah. This is a tough one. Haha I think i would IG Live all my arguments with bae and hope that no one watches them. Because to give up the internet would mean no Wi-Fi, no WhatsApp, no weird YouTube Video watching and no Anime. I’d have to pack my bags and live in the mountains and farm my own food to survive. 🤣
Buvan: I will choose to never use the Internet again. When it comes to personal matters I've never sought the Internet as a medium to voice out my feelings. There was a phase when I tried to, but it never gave me a solution. Now, I'm someone who will confront all feelings there and then. I just feel that it makes things a lot easier for both parties.
Would you rather know what it’s like to be in love, but it’s always unrequited or never know true love?
Kyla T: haha wow your questions are real tough! But fun. Hmmm, I’d rather know what it’s like to be in love, but it’s always unrequited. Maybe I’ll be able to write really good heartbreak songs and be famous like Taylor Swift. Haha!
Buvan: I would rather know what it's like to be in love and it being unrequited. I think the art of loving in itself is beautiful and that unrequited or not it should stop you from loving someone.
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