Listening to “Night In,” Jason Dhakal’s EP, feels like melancholic pillow talk, the night pulling into another hungover morning in which the one you wish would stay, cannot stay. It’s this kind of mood, you could say, that characterizes Jason’s music — an easygoing kind of R&B which, though subtle, is tinged by his biggest influence, Amy Winehouse. “Always loved her songwriting, her melody is something I aspire to create,” he says.
Lately his name’s been cropping up more, steady gigging with the more groove-inspired contingent of the local music scene. We spoke with Jason over email to talk about how he got into music and the creative process behind “Night In.”
YOUNG STAR: You were born in Oman then moved to the Philippines. What was the experience like, moving from one country and culture to another, and how did you find yourself in the local music scene?
Jason Dhakal: Surreal. It felt like I was in some sort of dream. Everything felt new and fresh and I was happily learning so much things and meeting new people.
Can you tell us what the creative process was like when you were making “Night In”? Who were you listening to, and how did you approach writing the songs for the EP?
“Night In” took about seven months to make. I didn’t really look for inspirations when making it, the music I was listening to was eccentric, from trap to jazz to whatever I wanted to listen to at the time.
You approach themes like love, desire, and intimacy in your music. What do you make of these themes and ideas, and how do these realities figure personally in your life?
Love and desire for me is so intimate that I can never talk about it, but singing about it never held me back. Music is my way of talking about things I have trouble talking about.
You model on the side, but you’ve made it clear in other features that you’d rather make music than model. What do you get from music that you don’t get from modelling?
Music is just number one to me, I obsess over it. Modelling is more of a “job” even though I don’t think of it as one for me. It’s just something I do for friends who need favors.
What’s the biggest struggle you experience as a musician?
Big brands and companies living off of indie artists without pay or with incredibly small pay.
Any plans for the future?
More music and music videos.
You can listen to Jason Dhakal on Spotify.