CHATTERBOX: Hongza talks ‘Dream, Sleep, Eat’, Asian representation & online dating

British-Vietnamese musician Hongza returns with his sophomore single, ‘Dream Eat Sleep’. Having seen his influencer career takeoff since the start of lockdown, Hongza’s new EP taps into the highs and lows of maintaining an online persona during the digital age as well as the pressures faced by ‘Gen Z’ kids more generally. Today, the rising alternative, indie-pop star sits down with Purple Melon the day after the release of the unmissable, ‘Dream, Sleep, Eat’.

Hey Hongza, it’s great to have a chance to speak, how’re you feeling at this very moment?

Really good! It’s early the sun is out so spring is here, I’m super excited to go back to normality, go skating & see some friends (safely!) 

– For those who may not have heard of Hongza before, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your sound?

Hey people reading this my name is Hongza I am a North London artists. I would say my sound is shoegaze, dream pop & a little bit emo. I would describe my music as a coming of age movie for Gen Z’s

– Could you shed some light on the meaning of your latest song’s title, ‘Dream, Sleep, Eat‘?

Dream Sleep Eat’ is about the cycle of online dating. It’s about how you get this buzz from meeting someone, get to know them & fall out of interest with them and feel guilty for ending the relationship. Dating apps have this endless pool of people that could potentially ‘be the one’ and it’s so dishearting when you think you have found the one but you haven’t!

– Your new single, ‘Dream, Sleep, Eat‘ is a super relatable, sparkling, alt-pop offering inspired by the up’s & downs of modern dating, is your music being relatable to your listeners a motivating factor for you when writing songs?

I write a lot of my songs from personal experience so I probably wouldn’t say that I’m motivated by how reliable my tracks are. To be honest I write songs as my way of coping, I’m a Pisces so I am an EMOTIONAL man it’s quite a cathartic release for me. It blows my mind that people find my tracks relatable, I guess people are also going through their own coming of age movie 

– What’s been your funniest/craziest or most unusual dating app encounter/ message? Make us chuckle!

I’m probably less on the receiving side of funny or strange encounters/messages on dating apps. I’m sure I’ve said some pretty cringey things and have ended up on ‘Beam Me Up Softboi’ somehow LOL. Less terrible Beam Me Up Softboi memes and more this is really awks / funny. 

”I wrote this song at a point in my life where I was dating a lot & using dating apps a lot. At the time I
never made the jump into relationships because I had this app on my phone with an endless sea of
people I could meet with the potential of them ‘being the one’. I’d date, get to know someone, not find that
spark between us, feel guilty for upsetting them, get depressed from not finding the one & do it all over again.

I guess the song is about the cycle of online dating.”

– As well as being a musician, you also work in music offering you a far deeper insight into the industry than most people would, bearing this in mind, are there any major changes you’d like to see in the music industry?

I would like to see more representation for the Asian community in music. As an Asian being in music isn’t considered a ‘real job’, that we need to be a doctor or lawyer to be successful. We need more people in our industry championing people that look like me to allow the younger generation more freedom to express their talent to the world. 

– What do you think is your greatest musical strength (the thing you’re best at) and what skillset would you like to improve on?

I like to think that I’m good performer, the funny thing is I’ve not had the chance to play a full live show since I released under Hongza. Me and my my band are dying to get on stage it’s been 2 years since I started and we haven’t played a gig before. We’ll need to dust off those cobwebs though! I’d probably want to improve on my songwriting because we always need to improve on how creative we are

– Lastly, could you tell fans and readers what they can expect from your upcoming project, Gen Z?

Gen Z my baby, my debut EP & something I am so so proud to put out to the world. It is a coming of age Indie/ Alt Pop soundtrack that goes through the stages of growing up as a Gen Z. Toxic social media culture, online dating, finding yourself through friends, family, love & coming to grips with your identity. If you like dreamy guitars, shoegaze & want to be emo for 15 minute this is the EP for you

Listen to Hongza – Dream Sleep Eat


Follow Hongza on: Instagram

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