Sounds x
Jeff Bernat

He will have you reminiscing about your first love in every song.

Born in the Philippines but raised in Reno, Nevada, Jeff Bernat made his first debut in Korean drama with his first album, “The Gentleman Approach.” However, “unbeknownst to him, Bernat’s  jazzy and soulful vocals, coupled with his velvety tone, struck a chord with the Korean public,” and therefore exposed him to everybody on the internet.

Bernat’s fame eventually rose to a point where he was given the opportunity to share his music worldwide, except Bernat, being the charming and admirable individual that he is, declined the offer. Since his soft voice allows listeners to feel intimate with his music, if he were to perform in a stadium, the intimacy would be lost.

When I listen to him sing with his velvety vocals, I feel as if I am a budding flower about to bloom (get your mind out of the gutter). Bernat is one of the few artists whose songs have a striking resemblance to the feelings of first love. You feel as if you’re special because his lyrics are directed at you. His songs simply make me feel beautiful about myself. I, like many other women and men out there, struggle with self-love, but Bernat takes those insecurities away.

Here are some songs by Bernat I strongly recommend listening to and why.

“Pillow Talk”

This song was released in 2013 on the album “Modern Renaissance.” In the beginning of the song, soft acoustics mix with an Italian vibe. Imagine walking down a cobblestone road, sun beaming, the smell of a sweet perfume that lingers slightly in the air and one of those hipster bikes you see on your campus.

Now, pair this image with a simple piano chord progression and Bernat’s soft and sexy tone. The melody of the song makes you sway side to side, and it further complements the lyrics of the piece. “Pillow Talk” is one of Bernat’s more upbeat and classy songs that I believe do not fall in the realm of R&B, but still retain a sexy appeal that makes you wish you were in someone’s arms. If you do not believe me, watch for yourself to see what I mean.

“What Cha’ Need”  

“What Cha’ Need” is another one of Bernat’s upbeat songs that again retains its sex appeal. Released in 2016 on the album “In the Meantime,” “What cha’need,” starts off as a single electronic dance beat, which then crescendos into a full blown club mix. I particularly am drawn to the lyrics of the track because it reminds me of the guys that I’ve encountered in my past that tried to be smooth. And their methods worked.

Bernat’s intimidating and suggestive vocals make him a smooth singer. Put simply, he could take me out to dinner anytime. His seduction is not because of his looks, but merely because his lyrics are lustful, and when they are paired with passionate vocals that were made to make both women and men swoon, well, you might as well be entranced.

“Queen”  

This song is a personal favorite of mine because of the nostalgic harmony. Bernat creates this early 2000s R&B piece with a coffeehouse vibe. His goal seems to be to embody the R&B/soul of early 2000s Usher. I know this only because my mother practically raised me on Usher’s music.

Furthermore, this song has a vibe that makes it excellent to listen to while driving at night, which, believe me, is worth the try. When I went on a long drive, and this track came on, I basically experienced the nostalgia of all my “first love” bittersweet encounters. I also believe this song is great for setting the mood with your significant other.

One of the main reasons why I admire Bernat is because he encapsulates love to the highest degree. There’s an unbelievable amount of intimacy that warms the body, mind and soul. Speaking of intimacy, the next song symbolizes next level romance.

“For You”

“For You” is the epitome of Bernat’s soul and R&B music and is also the origin of his style. “For You” is the perfect song to listen to while lying in bed with your other half or getting ready for a girls/guys night out. Pure enjoyment. That is what this track represents.

For Bernat, this song is about his motivation to take over LA, which he shows through his lyrics. His use of different lo-fi and electronic dance music with a touch of dubstep culminates into this mood of “yeah, I’m going to take on the world with my talent.”

Though the piece is short, Bernat does a splendid job in showing his passion through his lyrics. Also, his album, “In the Meantime,” which the songs “What Cha’ Need,” “Queen,” “For You” and “Cruel” are on, show Bernat’s experimentation with melodies and harmonies. As you might already tell, there is a distinct pattern to Bernat’s music: Soft velvety vocals plus lusty lyrics equals romance and a good time. This equation leaves listeners feeling special, as if Bernat was singing solely to them.

Despite Bernat’s experimentation in different uses of sound, he maintains the certain level of romance invoked in his singing but delivers that “special” feeling in different ways. If that variation is not real talent, then I am not sure what can be considered talent anymore.

“Cruel”

Finally, the last song was released five months ago. “Cruel” can be considered the new Jeff Bernat in the sense that this track has a ‘60s blues vibe with somber lyrics. That’s right. No love or special feeling, but a sad song. I can’t help but feel for the guy. “Cruel” might be Bernat’s subtle statement that his music is making a transition.

Instead of romantic feelings, Bernat’s music style is now bluesy. He produces songs that are about betrayal, heartbreak, false hope, etc. R&B artists tend to start off with sexy vibes and then somewhere along the line experience hardship, which then is transposed into their music. This experience of hardship, while I’m sure is difficult for the singers, is also what makes them so good. Though it is cruel to say (pun not intended), I look forward to seeing what Bernat will show his audience. I want to see his pain sung through his music. I hope when you read this, you experience the journey and emotions I felt when listening to Jeff Bernat’s unique soul.

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