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Rising stars

Pop-rock duo Paper Planes has become a household name with a series of hits

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Rising stars

Whether you are a fan of their music or not, it's almost impossible not to have heard of Paper Planes, the biggest pop-rock duo at the moment. In fact, nobody can really pinpoint exactly the phenomenon surrounding these two guys -- vocalist Tunwa "Hye" Ketsuwan and guitarist Nakarin "Zen" Khunpakdee, and the reason why their single Bad Boy, about a playboy suffering the sadness of unrequited love, has become a pop anthem among Grade 1 students and young children across the kingdom. They know the lyrics of the song by heart. Bad Boy went viral after its video was released in early October last year. The track has more than 54 million views, 430,000 likes and 11,000 comments on YouTube.

"Honestly, we don't know for sure how the popularity of this song came about. But ultimately, we're glad that the song was successful and became a favourite among listeners regardless of age," said Tunwa in an interview before their mini concert in front of Siam Discovery to support their new single Chad-Jane (Complicated). The latest single is still a song in the original Paper Planes format that revolves around love and relationships, but in different perspectives that are unique to both.

"This song is the 4th single off our album. It's a song in which we talk about certain aspects of a relationship that many people may have experienced before," Tunwa explained. "A type of relationship where you're unsure of where you stand. What exactly are we, a couple or just friends?

Nakarin 'Zen' Khunpakdee and Tunwa 'Hye' Ketsuwan. (Photo courtesy of Genie Records)

"I think relationships between two people today are more complicated than in the past. When we enter a relationship with someone, we may want to be in a relationship and commit. However, the other person might not be looking for the same kind of relationship as you," he said. "They may want to be with you in their own way, which isn't deeper than a friend, and we can't force feelings like this. You can also try having an open conversation with your loved one. But at the same time, you must also be prepared to listen to the other person's reasons with understanding."

As for the music, guitarist Nakarin describes their new song as pop-punk mixed with emo rock. "Complicated was actually the song we wrote long before Bad Boy. But we rearranged it to make it go well with other new songs on the new album. It's a kind of song with quite sad lyrics, but we added an aggressive rhythm to bring out the irony. We also rewrote the rap part of the track as the original had a lot of swearing. We made this decision to delete some of the lyrics pretty much because in the past few months, we have had more new fans who are underage."

Both of them agree that the band's success, especially being loved among young music fans, greatly affected their public presence.

"I don't think this affects our way of writing songs that much. We still make music like Paper Planes, just like in the old days. We have been working with Genie Records for a long time. We are delighted and thankful that the label trusts our skills and gives us full creative freedom to work on our own music," said Tunwa, who also writes and produces songs for other Thai artists on the label like Retrospect, Lomosonic, Sweet Mullet and Wonderframe.

"But in public, we may have to be more careful about how we act than before," Tunwa pointed out. "We can no longer have the image of an unruly child like before, because nowadays when we leave the house to go anywhere, most children and even their parents recognise us. It's almost like we run into our own relatives and families on the streets. So we can't just do the same nonsense any more." Tunwa and Nakarin also thanked the parents of their young fans for their support and for refraining from judging them by their appearance.

With the release of the single Complicated and its music video, Paper Planes also offered fans a special music video extension exhibition earlier this month that gathered memories and feelings. Under the concept of unclear relationships, the exhibition was conveyed through various works divided into three zones, according to the MV concept.

Paper Planes were chosen as presenters of Lactasoy soy milk. (Photo courtesy of Lactasoy)

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