Gabe Watkins: Fresh music on the horizon

Published December 3, 2021, 1:29 PM

by Manila Bulletin Entertainment

Gabe Watkins

In the modern digital age, the possibility of spreading your music to neighboring countries is relatively more of a possibility now than before. 19-year-old Thai-Australian Music Engineering student Gabe Watkins is a potential favorite across Southeast Asia.

The indie-influenced pop singer-songwriter was discovered by well-established Thai indie label What The Duck on the strength of his two self-released singles: “One Summer” and “Blue Skies”, two songs that paint bleak pictures of heartbreak on contrasting summer-flavored sonic palettes. Both corresponding music video singles have each garnered over 200,000 views on YouTube.

When asked about his most recent single, “Blue Skies”, he narrates: “I wrote this song last year in my bedroom. I think when I had the idea, I wanted a song called ‘Blue Skies’ and I knew that I wanted it to be a play on the song. I wanted to make it sound like everything’s good, but it’s actually about a relationship that turns bad. With my songs I draw from my own experiences a lot, and this specific one is something that I went through last year, a tough break-up. I think everyone goes through feeling like that in their life, so I think it’s a really relatable topic and I wanted to express that here. Got the song done in two days, then I sent it to Peerapon ‘Toon’ Iamjamrat from Three Man Down. He helps me on the production side. We had a finished version done by February of this year, and even then I was so dying to release it. It’s definitely one of the most favorite songs I’ve ever written.”

“We filmed the video just a week before I flew for University, I knew I wanted something bright and colorful, and the director came to me with this idea to split it into three sections,” Gabe continued. “Essentially, each section would show a part of the relationship. The first one shows the honeymoon phase, where everything is super-great, super-colorful. The middle is, unfortunately, where relationships go, what was there from the start tends to die out. It’s sort of the middle ground, you could say. On the other side is pure chaos. It’s where the relationship turns to shit, really. You could see that in the video, with the fire and what follows it.”

Gabe Watkins is a prolific singer-songwriter who gets to write a new song virtually everyday. He is set to release an album by early next year.

It’s not all sad songs, though. “I’ve got some happier songs coming soon (laughs),” Gabe shares. “I think I can say I’m a sensitive person. I think you can tell that by my songwriting and lyricism. I think a lot of people relate to this kind of thing. You see somebody like Olivia Rodrigo who can write an album about this breakup. One of my biggest inspirations is LANY, and I think Malibu Nights is still one of the greatest breakup albums of all time alongside Ghost Stories by Coldplay. I think there’s potential to tap into those sensibilities, but I do have some happier songs coming up.”

“My next song is called ‘Feel That Rush’, and it’s the happiest song I’ve written,” Gabe elaborates. “It’s about the initial euphoria you have when you meet someone new. It’s an idea that I wanted to get out. There’s still some sad ones in the horizon, but it’ll be more of a mixture in there.”

And he’s excited to share his music to Filipino listeners. “I’ve seen that people in the Philippines love to listen to Western music, and to all kinds of music, really,” Gabe notes. “So I hope that everyone likes my songs and I hope that I can go there and play some songs one day, that would be really, really cool.”

Stream Gabe Watkins’ music on Spotify, Apple Music and all digital streaming platforms and follow him on his social media pages.