Hong Kong Boyfriend Has Us Hooked on “Sharlene”


Photo: Aamir Khuller

It's unsurprising. It's unsurprising how obsessed I am with Hong Kong Boyfriend's latest single, "Sharlene." I still love and listen to his previous singles, "Cold Waters" and "Tiramisu," religiously. Hong Kong Boyfriend's melodic voice and sultry vibe are infectious, and his latest effort "Sharlene" offers an unprecedented access to his R&B side. It's a bop. 

Born in Japan and raised in northern California, Hong Kong Boyfriend makes music with the hopes of bringing representation to the Asian American community. Simultaneously, he fuses his classical violin training with his love for R&B and folk. He's been successful thus far, having been the cover of Spotify's Fresh Finds and catching the attention of Coup de Main, Lyrical Lemonade, Earmilk, and more.

To listen to "Sharlene" to its fullest enjoyment, I recommend you grab a beer and your buddies. After all, the song is about keeping the people you love close, with Hong Kong Boyfriend sharing, "I think I could die happy if everyone I cared about knew that I loved them. Somethings you don't get to say to people, so I wrote a song." 

One particular standout moment arrives in the song's pre-chorus, during which Hong Kong Boyfriend opts for an interesting and somewhat unexpected chord choice and sings about having no "time for small talk and good manners".

Hong Kong Boyfriend is an extremely talented musician. It's safe to say I'm already hooked and can't wait to see what else lies in store.

Listen to "Sharlene" below: