By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Known for his ability to combine falsetto vocals, smooth R&B melodies and sleek lo-fi production, BINNY has been on a tear and 2021 has proven no different, as he released perhaps his most infectious single to date, “Feedback,” which almost sounds like what you’d get if Harry Styles covered a Ciara song and Timbaland produced it.
Born into a Maryland family of musicians, Brian Lim chose the name BINNY from the Vietnamese name “Tri Binh,” which translates to “peace” and learned the piano from age six before he played guitar self-taught and wrote his own songs. His heritage also pushed him, as he sought to represent Asian-Americans in both pop culture and mainstream music.
With song subjects that range from fighting feelings for a toxic lover (“Retrograde”), self-confidence (“Prime) and actually falling for said toxic lover and enjoying it (“Deep End”), the fashion enthusiast/artist is someone shooting to be on your radar.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with BINNY – who has cited Ariana Grande, Drake and Justin Timberlake as influences – about what he has been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – What directly inspired your single “Feedback”?
BINNY – I was listening to a lot of dance-pop and hyperpop at the time and wanted to try my hand at creating that sound. It’s a different vibe for me, so it was fun to get to experiment with the production and my style of singing.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about being an Asian-American?
BINNY – I’m proud of the culture and traditions that I can introduce to people who may not be familiar. I think it’s important to embrace each other’s differences and learn about one another, so I’m happy I can bring my lens on being an Asian-American to the table. I’m also proud to represent Asian-Americans in music, because you don’t see many pursuing it.
Music Bugle – What has been your proudest accomplishment?
BINNY – Being featured in Wonderland Magazine was exciting for me, because I’m such a fan and I would read about my favorite artists there.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
BINNY – My music is a full representation of me. I produce and write my own music, so everything I put out is authentic to who I am. I don’t have to compromise my sound for others, because I’m in full control. It’s genuinely exciting for me to freely create music that I genuinely love and listen to.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Maryland to someone who has never been there before?
BINNY – Maryland is a very diverse state. It really is a melting pot of different races and cultures, which I love. There are urban areas, suburban areas and rural areas all within the state. I personally think it is one of the best states on the East Coast, but I am biased.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
BINNY – “Feedback” was actually pretty challenging to write, because I wanted it to be simple lyrically, but also really catchy, whereas my other songs, I just poured my emotion into writing it and wasn’t really trying to create a melody that would get stuck in people’s minds.
Music Bugle – What is your favorite outfit to wear?
BINNY – A form-fitting tee and jeans with some chunky sneakers.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
BINNY – Like everyone, COVID-19 has shifted all of my work to be at home. Luckily, I am a homebody and have the tools to continue creating music from home, so it wasn’t a huge adjustment for me. It was challenging to find inspiration at times, since the world paused and we weren’t able to go out.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
BINNY – Currently love Slayyyter’s new album. Also have been listening to AUDREY NUNA and Alina Baraz.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
BINNY – “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land on stars” reminds me that everything I do is a stepping stone to where I eventually want to be. I always try to approach things with a spirit of gratitude and put trust into timing.