Benjamin Kheng dropped his debut album, Gloomy Boogie Vol.1

Christian Melanie Lee
Benjamin Kheng, the multi-talented artiste and singer-songwriter, is dropping the first part of his eagerly-awaited debut album, titled GLOOMY BOOGIE Vol 1. The release includes the previously released single, ‘Rock Bottom Blues (feat. James Reid)’, and also the follow-up single, ‘Break From The Party’.

The second single off of GLOOMY BOOGIE Vol 1 is the track ‘Break From The Party,’ a number penned by Kheng himself. The track exudes his signature style, blending poignant and sobering lyrics (I hate it here/my space is invaded/Everyone’s faded/They’re shiny and jaded) against a slick production and arrangement produced by Los Angeles-based rising producer Rence (Jonny Orlando, Sarah Barrios, Alex Porat). “‘Break From The Party’ was, hilariously, written entirely in a bathroom stall at a social event where I simply couldn’t human anymore,” Benjamin recounts. “I wrote about 5 verses worth of feelings and had to really cull it down.”

“It was as honest as a journal entry or therapy session, and really easy to write to. I thought of the struggle of fighting for a genuine connection in a room of people all fighting their own insecurities. Also, the atmosphere of a party is so intriguing – the same night could be euphoric for one person and a nightmare for the next person. It was therapeutic to give voice to that,” he continues.

Directed by Barnabas Chua of Murk & Marrow Films, the accompanying music video for ‘Break From The Party’ takes an intriguing and slightly twisted approach, presenting the song as a 10-step guide on how to step away from the revelry, with the first step being to “hit rock bottom”. Kheng’s acting chops are on full display here, setting the emotional tone of the song. Barnabas' creative direction seamlessly blends Benjamin Kheng's performance with the narrative laid out in the lyrics, immersing viewers in Barnabas’ artistic exploration of the song's themes.

GLOOMY BOOGIE Vol 1 comprises four tracks that weave together a thematic narrative of introspection, vulnerability, and growth. On top of ‘Rock Bottom Blues (feat. James Reid)’ and ‘Break From The Party’, there are also the lullaby-esque sentimental little slow-burner ‘Little Spoon’ and the unapologetic and defiant ‘Too Far Gone’. ‘Little Spoon’ was worked on with producer Charlie Kurata and musician LEW, while ‘Too Far Gone’ emerged as a creative offspring sparked by Benjamin's personal struggle to seek assistance during moments of crisis, alongside co-writer Zev Troxler (“We wanted to go for something confronting and stubborn, but still groovy”). Together, the songs provide a glimpse into the spectrum of emotions that Kheng explores fearlessly in the record.

“Before writing any of the tracks, I had a good think about the past decade of my career, and was surprised at how many moments I was dishonest with myself and didn’t dare honour my feelings of hurt, loneliness and general fatigue,” shares Kheng on the album. “This album felt like that awful hike your friends asked you to go for; you knew it would suck in the middle, be awesome at the top, and you knew you’d have to do it.”

The project was a labour of love that spanned years. Kheng embarked on a journey of self-discovery and introspection, collaborating with friends and fellow artists who shared his vision. Many of the tracks were co-written, a departure from his previous work, as Benjamin sought to bring together individuals who had walked similar paths of emotional turmoil. The writing process spanned a writing camp in Los Angeles in January 2022, as well as virtual sessions that commenced in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. The album was a culmination of emotions, with Benjamin's home studio serving as the backdrop for recording late into the night.

“GLOOMIE BOOGIE Vol 2 is still in the oven, but Vol 1 is ready and has some moments I’ll still bump for no reason other than to feel things again. It’s taken me a long time to be truly proud of my work but I’m finally close; I hope you guys love it as much as I do.”


GLOOMY BOOGIE Vol 1 featuring new single ‘Break From The Party ’ is available on all digital streaming platforms.

Photos courtesy by Sony Music Singapore


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