Chay Guan – “Underbaked”
Chay Guan – “Underbaked”

There comes a certain point when you start to doubt everything about yourself–your skills, your choices, and your life. Reality can hit you hard, and it’s not always easy to bounce back. What happens then?

Chay Guan – Underbaked single artwork. Photo by Victoria Chen.

That’s the underlying message of “Underbaked”, Los Angeles via Cincinatti musician Chay Guan (Carlo Tuason)’s debut single. As the first single off of his human error EP which will be released this summer, “Underbaked” encapsulates that feeling of millenial dread–that self-inflicted early 20s existentialism–in a carefully wrapped plucky R&B package.

Though Tuason himself comes from a classical musical background (14 years of violin!), “Underbaked” is streaked with modern, self-produced electronic sounds. It’s over those slinky beats that Guan comes in with his staccato, rap-like lowdown. “Watching my dreams going down the drain / Could I have given more? / I feel so underbaked, undercooked, underdone / Under the weight of all this shit,” Tuason confesses, relating an experience that many people at that point in their life can relate to. “Underbaked”, with all of its underused connotations, is the perfect word to describe it.

With Tuason’s delightfully alliterative, although somewhat repetitive hooks (“underbaked, undercooked, underdone,” and later “overthought, overwrought, overgrown”), “Underbaked” is more well done than he might think.

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Header photo by Matt Perez.

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