Nathan Hartono grapples with confusion on new ’80s-inspired single ‘I’m Fine’

The new track arrives ahead of a new EP due in late 2021

Nathan Hartono has dropped ‘I’m Fine’, a new single inspired by ’80s synth wave.

The Singaporean artist’s new track, which dropped on major streaming services on Friday (February 19), arrives ahead of an upcoming EP due in late 2021.

The latest single is a departure from his ballad ‘Dig Deep’, which dropped in August last year. It was produced by Singaporean DJ/producer MYRNE, and heavily inspired by ’80s synth wave.

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On the track, Hartono sings about grappling with emotional confusion – ultimately deciding to smoothing over his turbulent mental state with the simple phrase “I’m fine”. He sings, “Is my heart just overused / I’m not sure, so I’ll just say / I’m fine / No need to worry / Don’t even waste your time.”

Listen to ‘I’m Fine’ below.

‘I’m Fine’, Hartono said in a statement, is his default response to the complicated question “how are you?”

“In my head, every time someone asks me this question, I want this song to play for them instead. Because I think it’s such a loaded question, that requires so much context and understanding that just cannot be achieved in a short social exchange,” he said in a press release.

“And I think we got this question a lot in 2020. So, we just say ‘I’m Fine’ when there’s always so much more to that story.”

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As for the song’s retro stylings, Hartono said, “Something about the sounds and beats from that era brings me an indescribable comfort. I just missed the ‘80s but my ‘90s childhood was littered with its remnants.

“It reminds me of a much simpler time, when I could actually tell someone ‘I’m Fine’ and probably mean it.”

Hartono released his highly anticipated debut Mandarin EP, ‘Do Nothing Day’, in September. It is arguably his Mandarin-language material that has helped fuel his rise to fame, as he gained international prominence in 2016 as a grand finalist in China’s biggest singing competition Sing! China.

Hartono is also due to perform for a livestream celebrating the launch of Disney+ in Singapore on February 24, as well as two sold-out shows with the Ding Yi Music Company at the Happy Chinese New Year Concert 2021 on February 27.

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