Following the success of her single, ‘Some They Lie’, pop starlet Narelle Kheng is back in the biz as the face of Dior’s Stellar Addict Shine campaign, alongside her latest EP drop this April, ‘Outta My Head’. Otherwise known as a member of one of Singapore’s most successful local indie bands, The Sam Willows, the 25-year-old musician turned heads this April as she traded her cotton candy pink hairdo for a darker hue in line with her latest single.
So what about Narelle’s latest solo track that demands attention? Well, first of all, you may be familiar to the homegrown quartet’s synths and guitar beats, but this time ’round, Narelle has decidedly taken another approach to her latest track — think, electropop meets bass, awash in lush synths and guitar textures. The single, ‘Outta My Head’, reveals the toxicity of relationships and unhealthy relationship habits that have seeped into our culture. Surprisingly (or maybe not), it’s something common that many of us can relate to, especially in this time and sphere where we’re dizzying over irrational and romantic love.
We sat down in an interview Narelle recently, following the launch of Dior’s coveted Dior Stellar Addict Shine last April, as she tells us more about her new single, her upcoming plans and many more. Read on to get the full scoop.
HER INSPIRATION — ‘OUTTA MY HEAD’
“My life hahaha! ‘Outta My Head’ was based on personal experience, but I think it’s quite general because it’s about a toxic relationship, and basically in the song, I’m just glorifying this toxicity. What I realised about this journey in indulgence is actually the essence of self-nurturance. You know what I mean, like when you’re trying to run away from something but at the same time if you ignore it and pretend like it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t help either.”
PRODUCING ‘OUTTA MY HEAD’
“It was me and some other guys, I wrote it in L.A. actually. The writing itself took like a night, we actually did 2 songs that night. The second one was kind of rushed but I really liked this one.
So how it works is that you pick producers, so he came in with a prepared track. So he started playing, I just started crying. And somehow, that song, that track that he made really fit exactly how I felt and what I was going through. Like for example in the music video, it pulls in a lot of references to Bertha Mason from Wide Sargasso Sea. So she’s like in the attic and she starts going mad. So the more you lock someone up, the crazier they get, and I feel like that’s how I feel when I’m alone in my room. Like, “Ah, I’m going crazy!” So when he played the track, I was like “OMG this is how I feel when I’m in my room”. When I’m angry, I feel this surge of anger and power but at the same time, if you don’t control it goes wild and you hurt yourself. But if you know how to control it, it almost becomes an asset.”
HER DREAMS AS A SINGER
“I mean I always love singing, especially now I’m working on this project, working on the music, it made me realise that, before being a singer or performer, I’ve always wanted to be a musician first, so it’s been fun to explore this really extensively now. But I love it for sure.”
‘SOME THEY LIE’ VS ‘OUTTA MY HEAD’
“They’re actually quite similar. I do feel that “Some They Lie” and “Outta My Head” were trying to address the same topic. But I guess “Outta My Head” is a more mature version of it. “Some They Lie” was me trying to just figure out what it was, while “Outta My Head” is more retrospective.”
HER MUSICALITY AND HOW IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS
“Oh hell yes! For sure. I grew so much, I learnt so much. Actually, when I started out, it’s been a process and I felt that process but I also worked towards that process. I’ve always felt music emotionally, like to me, music tangifies emotions but being able to express exactly what you want to say, that’s the journey that I’m now learning how to take. It’s not so much about being the most technical player but to me, it’s about conveying, it’s about communication. So, following all the songs that are coming out, they’re like moods that I’ve felt, and I’m very happy to have it in the song, so I can go back and know “This is mine”, I can go and listen to it.”
“I mean it’s all going to come out through the year. I’m happy to get it out and I’m also happy to be working again.”
DIOR’S ADDICT STELLAR SHINE AMBASSADOR
“For one, this specifically, the Dior Addict Stellar Shine, I really love the brand name because I’m a brand kinda gal, and Cara Delevigne is great. And I also really love how they’re promoting the “be yourself, and be funky” which is totally in line with where I am in life. And besides, I also love pink because I used to have pink hair. But honestly, I think it’s amazing that they’re willing to work so closely with me over the past few months, because it’s quite unheard of — it’s a big project, there were quite a few things that went into it and it really helped me a lot and I’m really thankful for that. But yeah, it’s a fun brand.”
Following the release of her latest single, ‘Outta My Head’, Narelle also dropped her MV on the 5th of May! The video was directed by Mae Tan (famously known as ‘@marxmae’) and features the starlet in an abandoned building that checks everything off our boxes if we’re talking about a hauntingly beautiful aesthetic that stays true to the concept of the track. (Not to mention — if you look close enough, you’ll be able to spot Dior’s Addict Stellar Shine lipstick in the vid too!)
But okay, enough with the spoilers — check out the full video below to have a first look at Narelle’s highly anticipated ‘Outta My Head’ MV.
Dior’s Addict Stellar Shine Lipsticks ($52 each) are available in 24 shades at all Dior counters. For more updates on new releases, follow Dior on Instagram and Facebook. Also, don’t forget to check out Narelle Kheng’s Instagram to get more deets on her latest single.