Photo provided by lullaboy

Foreword by Jocelle Koh
Playlist Description by lullaboy

Indonesian-American singer songwriter lullaboy aka Bernard Dinata is the poster boy for soulful, sensitive bops. Marrying emotive pop with fresh R&B influences in his music, Dinata describes the ups and downs of love in tracks that have a vulnerable, heart-opening perspective. lullaboy’s works are best characterised by personal, almost sappy lyrics that reveal the romantic at heart he is.

Processing infatuation, heartbreak and distance in his music, his latest single ‘gone too long’ sees him penning a thoughtful ode to long distance relationships. The track manages to be both uplifting and hopeful while tugging on those heartstrings. They incorporate a mesmerising mix of R&B, Pop and electronic elements to create an earworm one will not soon forget.

lullaboy has created an LDR playlist especially for Asian Pop Weekly, sharing the songs that have helped him as he battles distance in the face of love. In his words, these are: “songs that get me through my long-distance relationship. Songs that remind me to always put love first.”

Track 01: The Maine – Into your arms
You know when you really like a band for how wild and cool they are and then they release a song so heartwarming, vulnerable and shower-singable that it becomes one of your favorite songs forever? For me that’s this song.

Track 02: Bruno Major  – Nothing
The artist who inspired me to release one song a month, Bruno is a hidden gem that inspires indie artists everywhere. My friends came back from a concert of his and told me that he had an unreleased song he played live and it was the best thing they ever heard. When the song finally dropped, I heard the most beautiful marriage of melody, harmony and lyrics of any song. You can’t forget the tag, “there’s nothing like doing nothing with you.”  

Track 03: Mokita  – London
During a class at Berklee, we were told to introduce each other to songs that stood out to us. A friend of mine brought in this song and ever since that day 2 years ago, I’ve listened to it maybe 100 times. I love when songs place me into other people’s stories letting me feel what they feel and finding relatability my own stories. This is a story of a guy who promised to visit London with his girlfriend. Although their relationship didn’t work out, he ends up going to London alone, and he can’t help but feel guilty about experiencing all the things he knows she would love.

Track 04: Mayday Parade  – Miserable At Best
One time on a bus when I was 14, my then girlfriend was sitting with her new boyfriend (who was my best friend) one seat in front of me. I listened to this song and cried my face off like I was in some sappy Nicholas Sparks film. I’ll always be an emo kid at heart, and Mayday Parade will always be one of my favorite bands of all time.

Track 05: Conor Matthews  – Take all night
My most played track of 2020, this perfect song is about a singer’s struggle with making the mistake of cheating on someone he loved very much. He knows it isn’t something he can take back and so all there is left for him to say is, “if you gotta leave then take all night.”

Track 06: Ben Platt  – Grow As We Go
If you want to experience a masterpiece while boarding the feels train, this is the song for you.

Track 07: NIKI – la la lost you (Acoustic)
The song that inspired my most popular song, “someone like u”, I am always an advocate for Asian representation and you’ll know why she deserves the world when you hear this.

Track 08: Gryffin ft. Katie Pearlman  – Nobody Compares To You
My favorite song from my favorite DJ, I’ve never heard more vulnerable banger in my life. Check out this EDM hit with one of the deepest love stories there are, oh but with a twist.

Track 09: Sabrina Claudio  – I don’t
I am a sucker for wordplay in lyric writing as a way to emphasize imagery and making a listener go “ooh that’s good”. This is the song that does that best for me and it is about a girl in a toxic relationship, unable to stop giving him chances, even though she knows what the right thing to do is. You can’t help but empathize with her. Real life. Real stories. This song inspired me to produce my song, “time”.

Track 10: lullaboy– gone too long
I hope that after you’ve listened to the songs that have influenced me and my perception of love, you’ll understand why gone too long was created. I’m a lovesick hopeless romantic, and the only way to express my heart is through writing my stories. This song is for anyone who knows the struggle of loving through distance, something I am going through right now. I hope like me, you know that love is the most important thing in the world and you stay strong, friend.