More than streaming success, R&B artist Arthur Nery concerned about people’s feedback
Arthur Nery, one of today’s most promising R&B artists, has been steadily gaining traction in the past few years for his smooth jams and slinky beats—the kind of music one would put on to cap off an eventful night.
“What I want to do is make the listeners feel calm and chill. There is a lot of upbeat, high-energy stuff happening in the scene. I want people to listen to my songs when the party is over and they’re on their way home,” he told the Inquirer in a recent virtual interview for his latest single, “Take All the Love” (Viva Records).
The singer-songwriter’s soul and jazz-inflected R&B material can be sensuous and longing, wistful and haunting, or all these at once. And at the center of it all are his vocals—the velvety crooning, the sweet, smoky falsettos, the come-hither tone that’s also oddly comforting.
His new song unravels in the same vein. “I don’t know … I don’t intentionally go for sexy, but I guess that’s just what comes out. And as much as I try to be more upbeat, I end up doing chill or sultry,” said Arthur, whose songwriting is a mixture of personal experiences and plain storytelling.
“Take All the Love” is something personal. It’s about love—’yung atras-abante where one side is willing to give everything; but the other side isn’t,” he added. “It’s weird because I want the people to feel chill, but, at the same time, the lyrics are painful.”
But as good as he is what he currently produces, the 24-year-old musician doesn’t want to get boxed in one category. “I want to keep growing. I work with producers like Yuuki (Tacastacas) and Axel (Fernandez) who are also keen on exploring and who are open to new ideas,” he said.
Arthur’s elegantly produced debut album, “Letters Never Sent” (2019) has pulled in big numbers on streaming platforms: His most played tracks on Spotify are “Higa” with 29.9 million streams and “Binhi,” 13.5 million. “Take All the Love,” meanwhile, already has over 900,000.
But that’s not the metric that matters most to him. “I release songs I feel strongly about something from my heart. I don’t have a formula,” he said. “I’m not updated with the numbers; It’s not what I focus on … I write, genuinely, just to express myself.”
The thing he’s most concerned about is the peoples’ feedback. “I feel nervous before and after I release a track,” he said, adding that he tends to be his own critic. “Whenever I put out something in public, I will realize that there are parts that I don’t really like and take note of the ones that I can keep.”
“I learn every day. Some things make me cringe when I listen to my own songs, but there are things I love. There are genres that I want to explore,” said Arthur, whose singer father made him perform at family gatherings, and introduced him to such artists as Michael Jackson and Al Jarreau.
“I don’t want to be just stagnant. I want to keep moving forward,” he said. INQ
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