Raised in Singapore, with roots in India and the UK, Dhruv is a 22-year old singer and songwriter. Inspired by the likes of Frank Ocean, The Beatles, and Amy Winehouse, Dhruv started composing melodies at an early age and had written hundreds of songs on his bedroom piano by the time he started posting them on the internet. After releasing a series of acoustic demos on Soundcloud and amassing a small following on the platform, he formally debuted in 2019 with“Double Take”, a song he wrote about “how dizzying falling in love with a friend can feel”. “Double Take” has amassed an audience of its own and inspired countless videos from all over the world. As of presstime the song has garnered over 103 million streams on Spotify. He followed “Double Take” up with the releases of “Moonlight” and “Vulnerable” in 2020, both of which went on to achieve comparable levels of success (collectively amassing over 22 million streams) and offered promising glimpses of what his first project might sound like. 2021 will see the release of his first body of work, one that uniquely combines his pop and R&B influences, and is set to cement his name on a global stage.
One Music PH recently had an exclusive interview with this new certified hitmaker courtesy of the folks at Amplified Entertainment.
One Music PH: As somebody who’s too old for Tiktok. I have to ask: What kind of tomfoolery do kids do with your song?
Dhruv: I think a bunch of things. First, there were edits, and then people started using it for covers. And there was a really short, but huge challenge where people were using it to – I don’t know how to explain it in the proper context – it’s like jump-around. Theyw ere using it on this challenge for this jumping and dodging activity. I’m sure they’re using it in different ways as well.
One Music PH: How often did you shuffle between the UK and Singapore?
Dhruv: It’s a bit confusing. I grew up in Singapore, I was born in the UK, so I have family here. And in the past few years I’ve relocated here, but I do try to come back to Singapore whenever I can, but it’s obviously been hard recently due to the pandemic. And on top of all that, I went to University in the US. I’ve taken time off from the University to work on music, you know, to finish my project and promote it. Ya, I’m a full-time musician (now).
One Music PH: Can you please bring us to that exact moment you realized that “Double Take” was going to be the unbelievable hit song it was going to be?
Dhruv: It was in…Earlier this year, I just remembered getting a bunch of viral charts and people were texting me. My producer just texted me I’m in the viral charts in Indonesia. That was the first time it registered that people were using my music on Tiktok. From then on, the song went in more viral charts than I could remember. So from there I was getting the sense that so many people were using it. Which was why I was little bit “What’s going on?!” especially because it came out two years ago. You usually expect success in the days or weeks or months after the song is released, not two years after the fact.
One Music PH: Congrats man! You do realize that a lot of people can try and try but can’t even make 20% of the success that you have…
Dhruv: Thank you! It feels very crazy to me. I know that too as well. I also have friends who make music. So it really feels like a very special moment that I, again, did not plan for or expected.
One Music PH: Obviously, this one changes a lot of your plans. Is that the case?
Dhruv: I’m fully focused on music. Obviously, my parents would insist that I have to finish my university, and…I do like school, so that’s definitely a conversation to be had over in a few months, but for the last month and a half I’ve pretty much done this full time than making a project and building…Ya, this has been a dream. All I ever wanted to do was be in music. I’m going in full force in this one and make this my lifelong career.
One Music PH: So what’s the inspiration behind the song?
Dhruv: The song is about falling in love with a friend. It’s about that confusing switch, when you see someone in one way, then you switch and you see him/her in a different way and you don’t really know what happened or why it’s happening. It can be quite scary at times. So that’s the inspiration of the song. I worked on it with my friend Frankie (Scoca, producer). When we did “Double Take”, it was the second time I worked with him. He was a great collaborator. I usually write all my music myself, the lyrics, the melody all by myself, and he really supports that and he built a world around the song.
One Music PH: I was going through your lyrics and – How would I put this? – they seem to be the kind of lyrics of somebody whose experience of romantic love when they writing these lyrics is mostly on what they see in romantic movies, is that the case?
Dhruv: My experience on romantic love was pretty much non-existent until I left Singapore. So I learned about romance from movies that I watched. I’ve also had friends who went through relationships. I think the theme of this project is a lot of, like, first moments in love and/or romance. I think you just learn a lot from yourself from those moments.
One Music PH: Are there any particular movies that inspired you?
Dhruv: A lot of Bollywood films. There are so many movies like The Notebook. I don’t even know, I’m not even thinking about them as references. To be honest I just watch a lot of these things and see how romance plays out and I’m just conditioned into wanting that and thinking that, “Oh my god!”, this is what I feel they deserve.
One Music PH: Can you please give us the lowdown on “Moonlight”?
Dhruv: “Moonlight” is a song that took me so long to finish. It’s weird, but after “Double Take”, at that time it was streaming, I didn’t know where it was, people were, like “Oh my god, when’s your next song?” I was really “I don’t know!” But I write all my melodies and stuff, I put them and record them all on my phone and I was listening back and I had the idea for “Moonlight”. “Moonlight” is exactly about what we talked about, about not having a relationship for a long time and feeling like your first one should be this incredible movie-like romance. It’s about this hypothetical situation where you ask your love “Can we go where nobody else goes? Can we have this intoxicating incredible relationship? I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”
One Music PH: What about your last release “Vulnerable”?
Dhruv: “Vulnerable” is about making a fool of yourself in front of someone you love. I wrote about one night out that I had, I was really drunk and I kept showing my feelings and they weren’t reciprocated.
One Music PH: Your last single was released last year, can we expect your next ones soon?
Dhruv: I have a project that’s coming out very, very soon. “Double Take” has been confusing because it’s a song that came out two years ago and then all this happened and it’s been the most amazing sideline away from that. I don’t want to be known for just that one song. I’ve been making music my whole life and I’m very conscious about marrying my old songs with some of the new stuff that’s coming out. There’s a new single coming out at the end of the month, and there’s more new music coming out at the end of the year.
One Music PH: Can you give us a primer on your eventual album? How will the new songs compare to your present ones?
Dhruv: It feels different but it has my signature on it. Like everything is me, I hope that people can hear that. I just love making pop music. It’s not an extremely experimental thing that people are not gonna get into but it’s definitely different. The themes of the album are about coming into yourself, learning about who you are not just through love, but also through different experiences. Especially in this pandemic, by being away from normal life. I think it’s not only about romantic love, but also about self-love. It is quite varied, it’s not just one tempo. There’s a ballad in there that I really love, it’s one of my favorite songs that I ever written.