Following a similar formula to his debut track 'Kings', which featured vocals by fellow local artist Gentle Bones (real name Joel Tan), released last year, Singaporean DJ-producer MMXJ’s (real name Kuok Meng Jun) latest track 'Young Hearts' falls short of its lofty aspiration to “[inspire] you to achieve your dreams, whatever they may be”.
MJ Kuok had actually started off as a singer-songwriter before becoming enthralled by EDM, and had even made it to the top 13 contestants in Singapore Idol 2009 before dropping out to pursue his studies. As MMXJ, he released his debut album Into the Wild at the end of last year and has since played impressive sets at notable gigs like ZoukOut Boracay.
Snarky Puppy Live in Singapore 2016 helped made it possible for us to bring you this week's news. (What is this?)
'Young Hearts' was released on Kuok's own Oceana Label and features vocals by Singaporean soul artist Gareth Fernandez. Unfortunately, it is also about as generic as most sub-par EDM songs come.
Its sound is wanting in its desire to emulate existing dance anthems, and does little to get us on our feet and fist pump as most euphoric dance music ought to. Encouraging us to “be who we want to be” by chasing “lights” and “infinity”, rather than rallying the young’uns we assume this song is geared towards (with the lingering YOLO spirit), we find it hard not to cringe at such contrived lyrics.
As a serviceable EDM anthem, 'Young Hearts' just wasn't our cup of tea.
Listen to 'Young Hearts' by MMXJ ft. Gareth Fernandez here: