It's true that relationships can be difficult and complex to navigate. People sometimes build walls around them to protect themselves from getting hurt or to cope from pain—but it can be frustrating for the other party, too. Thai-Italian singer Valentina Ploy’s newest track, Berlin, unapologetically tears down walls and points out the inevitable rocky patches in relationships.
Released last June 9, Berlin tackles the frustrations of dealing with people who build emotional barriers whenever things get complicated in relationships. In a virtual interview with PhilSTAR Life, the 28-year-old pop artist talked about healthy communication amid tough relationship obstacles, pointing out that life is too short to feel disconnected.
“Isn't that everything in life? Being connected to other people, opening up, having the courage to be vulnerable. Do what you love, love who you love, and then share this with the other person and share yourself and your feelings, ‘cause life is too short, really,” Valentina explained.
She also added how vital it is for her to “keep the relationship alive and happy and healthy” by communicating because without this, “things get stuck inside and it blocks everything.”
In Berlin’s official music video, the audience cruise through a relatable journey of an imperfect relationship between two lovers—starring Ploy herself and renowned Thai actor, Benjamin Joseph Varney.
Their lack of effective communication is portrayed by a towering wall fragile enough to be broken down by a mallet, as revealed in one scene. It is then accompanied with the outro lyrics, “I wanna make you part of my history, let go of the misery of pretending to be happier alone,” which Valentina revealed as the first words she wrote during lyric-making and is the most important part of her single.
With her natural knack for creative storytelling of personal experiences, the Bangkok-based songwriter, together with producer and co-writer Richard Cracker, transforms a lyrically-sad song into a positive message through the track’s uplifting tune.
“I meant for it to feel happy and upbeat, even though the lyrics were nostalgic and hit some low notes… I wanted it to represent a celebration also of the down times in a relationship,” the singer said during the interview. “Everything feels like a celebration and there’s some bitterness in it, but it’s also still happy,” added Valentina, who told PhilSTAR Life that her persona lies in the richness of her melodies and lyrics.
Adding to the happy melodies are Ploy’s quirky dance moves that encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zones and embrace every part of themselves.
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Money Heist influences
Ploy also noted that parts of the song and music video were also inspired by her favorite show and character.
“In the song, I say ‘Two tea cups, Money Heist’ and that’s where I come in with the Money Heist tracksuit. It’s because, generally [in] the relationship, sometimes, you feel better after a fight or whatever by sitting down, having a cup of tea, and watching Money Heist because I used to watch that a lot, my favorite series,” Valentina said.
She also shared that the character Berlin, portrayed by Spanish actor Pedro Alonso, is one of her favorite characters in the show. This influenced her to dress up in the iconic red jumpsuit worn by the main characters and to destroy walls similar to that in Money Heist.
Through Ploy’s charming expression of overcoming love’s challenges, she crafts a celebratory melody over unstable relationship moments and hopes that Berlin will serve as a reminder that people could start anew.
“I hope you can break them [walls] all down for the people you love, laugh about it, start fresh, keep learning and being better. To me the song is a reminder about all the positive that is hidden behind the low times. I hope it makes you dance through the rollercoaster,” Valentina said in a Facebook post.
Ploy was discovered by Thai independent record company What the Duck after her participation in X-Factor Italia, her appearance in The Voice Thailand last 2017, as well as her participation in the Miss Universe Thailand pageant in 2018.
Under the record label, she released her debut single See You in Life in 2019, and hit singles Wire and Let Go, which amassed millions of streams and views across music platforms.
In April, Warner Music Asia announced that it has formed a “strategic alliance” with What the Duck by signing Ploy, making her one of Warner’s prominent singers.