Exiting the year in the utmost style, London’s HONGZA (Sam Hong) releases a moody, alt-indie reimagining of ex One Direction frontman Harry Styles’ hit single, ‘Cherry’. Slower in tempo and more melancholy in feeling, HONGZA’s ‘Cherry’ is a sweet slice of lo-fi, bedroom pop and what appears to be the last since too. ‘Cherry’ is the third release of HONGZA’s this year and the grand finale to his current bedroom production sound, as he begins a new phase with a full band in 2021, following his singing to Killing Moon Records.
Drenched in honest, unbridled emotion and tinged in sadness, HONGZA’s ‘Cherry’ substitutes the electronic guitars and cheerful chimes used by Harry Styles in the beginning of the track for drawn-out, repeating synth lines and reverb-heavy vocals, resulting in a warm but dreary atmosphere, like a grey skies on a summer’s day. The chorus in HONGZA’s version also has more of an indie-rock influence compared to the almost folk-y sounds of Harry’s, who relies on acoustic guitars and unaffected vocals for that light-hearted and melodic feel the track is revered for.
It’s difficult to reimagine an already popular and still relatively new song but HONGZA took the challenge perfectly in his stride, masterfully reworking Harry’s ‘Cherry’ into a bit of blissful bedroom pop that wouldn’t be amiss in a playlist alongside acts like Steve Lacy, Beabadoobee and Arlo Parks. ‘Cherry’ is a very strong final project for the year for HONGZA and a promising new start for 2021.
“Harry Styles holds a deer place in my heart, he is my fashion & musical icon. I wanted to do his track justice by creating a coming of age movie dream-pop ballad to cry to. I love that he defies gender norms by wearing what the average ‘man’ wouldn’t. I chose ‘Cherry’ out of all tracks because I remember first time listening to it and thinking that it’s so emo!”– Hongza.
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