US singer Pink Sweat$ finds success in ‘super positive’ music

Nathalie M. Tomada - The Philippine Star
US singer Pink Sweat$ finds success in âsuper positiveâ music
Pink Sweat$ on music: It’s 80 percent struggle, but the 20 percent is so awesome it makes the whole 80 percent worth it.

MANILA, Philippines — It’s not every day you get serenaded during an interview. Pink Sweat$ did just that. He broke into his viral love song At Your Worst, which now has over 162 million views on YouTube, while answering questions about why he simply wants his music to put a smile on your face.

The American singer-songwriter, who has found his sweet spot in R&B and Soul-steeped, love-infused tracks (his other hits are Honesty, I Feel Good, 17), said in a virtual group chat ahead of his Sept. 27 Manila concert: “I try to be conscious with a lot of the music that I make. Sometimes, I’m just having fun. But most of the time, I want to put out a super positive, just happy message because it’s not every day that you hear a lot of happy, uplifting vibes, you know… I want the listener, after they listen to the music, to be feeling refreshed, like man, ‘That was beautiful.’ I like that.”

He’s intentional about his songs’ vibe and message, owing to his own experience with music when he went through challenges in life.

According to Billboard, Pink Sweat$ decided to become a singer after a “near-death experience” with a rare disorder called Achalasia that affected his esophagus.

“I always wanna write music that’s uplifting because when I was going through a lot of things in my life that I couldn’t control, like health things or whatever, it was so hard to find positive music,” said Pink Sweat$ in a response to a question from The STAR.

“It was so hard to find stuff that made me feel good about my day or make me feel hopeful about my relationship, about love, about family, about all these things.

“I’m like, man, how do I make a change? I have to be that change and start to put the energy out there for the next person who’s going through it. So many people have messaged me about Honesty, At My Worst, like ‘I was going through this harsh breakup, I was feeling really down, I don’t know if I ever gonna find love,’ and then they listen to these songs and they just spark something within them, you know, love will happen when it wants, I just can’t give up and someone will love me at my worst.

“It’s special to me because… you know what it’s like if you’re hungry? The best thing that you can do is feed somebody else. You’re being a giver so that the energy comes back around. You feed somebody and all of a sudden, somebody is coming and bringing a whole meal to you. It’s how the universe works.”

The Philadelphia-bred artist, whose real name is David Bowden, entered the music scene at 19 as a demo vocalist. Soon after, he found himself working at the famous Sigma Sounds Studios where he got his start as a songwriter. For seven years, he stayed behind the scenes before he was introduced as a solo act in 2018.

Nevertheless, he considers himself a songwriter/producer first, and over the past year, he has collaborated with the likes of Justin Bieber and John Legend, as well as K-pop artists like Seventeen, GOT7’s Bambam, Jeon Somi and most recently, P1Harmony. He’s big in Korea with his album, Pink Planet going 5x platinum there. On Spotify, he averages over nine million monthly listeners, with Quezon City as the Top 2 location of his audience.

When he reflected on his journey so far, Pink Sweat$ appeared to be still overwhelmed by where he’s at now.

He shared, “It is like 80 percent struggle and the 20 percent is all the stuff that you end up seeing. But the 20 percent is so awesome. It makes the whole 80-percent struggle worth it.

“It was a very tough journey trying to figure out where to go, where to be. Music is one of those things where you have to make the best quality that you can make and just kind of wait. It’s a waiting game. You’re just waiting for your shot, and just waiting for your turn and your opportunity.

“I’m super grateful that my opportunity came and I was prepared for it. It’s a little bit of luck. But everytime I think about it, I just feel so grateful. Now, I’m just in a happy place. Life is good. I pray every night that people experience and feel what I’m (having and) feeling right now.”

From his learnings in navigating the industry, his pieces of advice to those starting out are: “No. 1. Get to know yourself, get to know who makes you smile, whatever kind of music, whatever your thing is, whatever makes you smile, perfect it.

“No. 2. Never be afraid to say no. Sometimes, especially in entertainment, things come so fast and you say yes, yes, yes. But never be afraid to say no because no is more powerful than yes sometimes. I like to give people that because it’s easy to say yes, no is hard. Especially when you really want to do something, like, ‘man, I shouldn’t do this.’ Just say no.”

Amid the upward trajectory of his career, Pink Sweat$ said he never feels like he has already made it because “I don’t make music to make it. I make music because it’s something I really love.”

“When I put in my mind, oh I made it or I didn’t make it, it’s not really a good space to be in. Where I come from, as far as being a songwriter, it’s always been about the music for me, it’s not about how many people will know my name. All of those things are fun, but to me, I want to make music, and I can make a living, take care of our bills and our family and things. I’m living the life.

“Any creative really wants, at the core, to just do music and be free of like stress. We want to make an impact on people’s lives. But I appreciate the people who applaud but I really just do it because music gives me life. I don’t think I’ll be the same person if I’m not creating music.”


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