Born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, Takeout Boyfriend – real name Mikhail Hanafi – took to music to sing about the indecisiveness of modern romance in ‘Back 2 U’. At four minutes, the pop-r’n’b single doubles as a sequel to the bedroom producer’s first single ‘Come Around’, with this one explicitly addressing the familiar process of returning to an ex out of loneliness and selfishness.
“Talking to three to four people at once, not wanting to pick one and ‘be exclusive’ yet, while still going back to an ex because it’s comfortable and you also don’t want to give that up yet. It’s selfish, but a lot of us still go through the cycle,” Hanafi tells us.
The curly-haired singer is a fresh face in the music scene (beginning only in May of 2017), but he’s already performing for Soundstruck: Live at The Bee, Jaya One and Millennial Music at Morningwood Café. ‘Back 2 U’ is more r’n’b heavy than pop, with Hanafi sneakily incorporating millennial-ish sound effects like an iPhone texting tone into the song. Highly influenced by modern r’n’b the likes of Frank Ocean, Khalid, and Kevin Abstract, Hanafi shares similar undertones of public and open male vulnerability, following the steps of current male artistes that aren’t afraid to feel, think, and cry (sadboi aesthetic, anyone?).
On the subject of emotions, Hanafi explains: “I think I want to show a more vulnerable, more ambiguous masculinity in my music? At least that’s what I tried to do with the POVs in ‘Come Around’ and ‘Back 2 U’.”
Listen to ‘Back 2 U’ below: