This Thai-Australian Indie-Pop Musician is Crossing Borders

Listening Hub

THAILAND—Young Thai-Australian Music Engineering student Gabe Watkins is looking at becoming a potential favorite across Southeast Asia. The 19-year-old indie-influenced pop singer-songwriter was discovered by well-established Thai indie label What The Duck with the success of his two self-released singles: “One Summer” and “Blue Skies”, two songs that paint bleak pictures of heartbreak served on contrasting summer-flavored sonic palettes, with music videos each garnering over 200,000 views on YouTube.  

On the release of his single “Blue Skies”, Watkins narrates, “I wrote this song last year in my bedroom. I think when I had the idea, I wanted a song called ‘Blue Skies’ and I knew that I wanted it to be a play on the song. I wanted to make it sound like everything’s good, but it’s actually about a relationship that turns bad.”

“With my songs, I draw from my own experiences a lot and this specific one is something that I went through last year, a tough break-up. I think everyone goes through feeling like that in their life, so I think it’s a really relatable topic and I wanted to express that here. Got the song done in two days, then I sent it to Peerapon ‘Toon’ Iamjamrat from Three Man Down. He helps me on the production side. We had a finished version done by February of this 2021, and even then I was so dying to release it. It’s definitely one of the most favorite songs I’ve ever written.”

Photos courtesy of What The Duck

We filmed the video just a week before I flew for University, I knew I wanted something bright and colorful, and the director came to me with this idea to split it into three sections,” he adds.

“Essentially, each section would show a part of the relationship. The first one shows the honeymoon phase, where everything is super-great, super-colorful. The middle is, unfortunately, where relationships go, what was there from the start tends to die out. It’s sort of the middle ground, you could say. On the other side is pure chaos. It’s where the relationship turns to shit, really. You could see that in the video, with the fire and what follows it.” 

Proving to be a prolific singer-songwriter who gets to write a new song virtually everyday, Watkins is set to release an album by early this year. It’s not all sad songs though. “I’ve got some happier songs coming soon (laughs),” he shares.

Photos courtesy of What The Duck

“I think I can say I’m a sensitive person. I think you can tell that by my songwriting and lyricism. I think a lot of people relate to this kind of thing. You see somebody like Olivia Rodrigo who can write an album about this breakup. One of my biggest inspirations is LANY, and I think ‘Malibu Nights’ is still one of the greatest breakup albums of all time alongside ‘Ghost Stories’ by Coldplay. I think there’s potential to tap into those sensibilities, but I do have some happier songs coming up.”

“My next song is called ‘Feel That Rush’, and it’s the happiest song I’ve written,” Watkins states. “It’s about the initial euphoria you have when you meet someone new. It’s an idea that I wanted to get out. There’s still some sad ones in the horizon, but it’ll be more of a mixture in there.”

Watch the official music video for “Blue Skies” here:

Stream Gabe Watkins’ music on Spotify, Apple Music and all digital streaming platforms and follow him on his social media pages.