Erik Santos, Paolo Sandejas, and More Share Stories Behind Their New Songs | Wish Connect (June 29 to July 24)

Aug 7, 2020

“I am definitely thankful that music and art is what I am blessed to be able to do,” American singer-songwriter Brian McKnight Jr. — known for his breakout hit “Marry Your Daughter” — shares during his Wish Connect stint earlier this month. For him, writing songs is that one thing that keeps him motivated during these extraordinary times.

This very essence of music has been the unifying theme that ties the insights of the guests that have graced the Wish 107.5-hosted Facebook Live program. And over the past weeks, more acts ranging from pop singers, indie soloists to hip-hop artists have lent their time to talk about their releases and other quarantine-produced projects.

A treat for different musical tastes

While using this time to form a stronger bond with his family, the country’s Prince of Pop Erik Santos sees to it that he still offers something new to his fans. Created by the songwriting tandem of Moira Dela Torre and husband Jason Marvin, “Kung Maibabalik” is a song for those who want to rekindle their past relationships. 

Approaching heartbreak on a more resentful note, Mark Carpio says that his song “Di Bale Na” is a sequel of sorts to his signature hit, “Hiling.” The crooner, together with Dela Torre and Jason Marvin, will be joining Wish 107.5’s 6th anniversary digital concert on August 23.

Social media sensation-turned-record artist Benedict Cua meanwhile dabbles on the sunnier side of the pop spectrum. His debut single, the TJ Monterde-penned “Di Namalayan,” is an easy-listening song about falling for a girl and mustering “the courage to approach that person.”

Keiko Necesario’s latest song, “Right Next To You,” also bears an optimistic view on love and life. However, hers is injected with bouncy electronic beats — which mark a departure from her usually mellow sound. 

Speaking about her single, the singer-songwriter notes: “I wanted to write something about what it would be like or what it would feel like when the right person comes along in my life… And it’s crazy ‘cause it’s just this year that I found my God’s best.”

READ: ‘Right Next To You’ Shows Keiko Necesario’s Musical and Personal Growth

The “right person” that Necesario is referring to is fellow musician Jem Cubil, who also graced one of Wish Connect’s episodes in July. Also dedicating his newest release to his newfound love, he shares that “Midnight Streetlight” is a “metaphor for their relationship.” He further relays that it is through the “season of waiting” that the wonders of God’s perfect timing become more emphasized. 

A season for learning

As there are seasons for love, there are also seasons for music. And for Jensen Gomez, this quarantine period has stretched his knowledge about music-making and prompted him to “figure out a way to make something work.” 

“[In ‘Gemini Soul,’] I dived into sampling. Now that I am recording from home, there is this limitation of not having other musicians play other instruments,” he reveals, adding that the theme of his songwriting has also switched into a more introspective mood. 

Filipino rapper Kjah echoes the same mindset: “I follow what my parents are always saying: Everything happens for a reason.”

“Perhaps, something didn’t happen because you’re meant to turn your attention to some other thing. For instance, you can now use this time to study this particular skill, which you didn’t have time learning before,” he adds, relating this sentiment to his upcoming release — a rap remix of the Moonstar88 track, “Naantala.”

For hip-hop duo Juan and Kyle, the lockdown is actually a “blessing in disguise” as they recently became viral with the remake of their own song “Marikit.” 

“I feel delighted because we’re able to give entertainment to those who are bored at home,” Juan says.

Though songs like “Marikit” are there to serve as a pleasurable diversion, there’s still a continuous supply of tracks that make listeners reflect on weightier things. “Lost” by Paolo Sandejas, for example, is a groovy tune that carries a no-nonsense message about “finding peace in the chaos of life.” 

In “Tala,” pop/alt-rock band Unit 406 talks about one’s yearning to find the purpose of his existence. Denice Lao’s “Breathe,” on the other hand, is a reminder about not giving up. Longing for a brighter tomorrow, EJ De Perio shares that “Balang Araw” carries his hope of finally being able to smile after all these turbulent times come to an end. 

Tapped by the country’s Department of Tourism, Bea Lorenzo meanwhile released her version of the Eraserheads classic “With A Smile.” Stressing out the noble cause behind the project, she says: “All the royalties of the streams — thanks to Ely Buendia’s approval as well — all the proceeds will go to UP-NIH scientists… They were the team that first developed the first set of test kits for [Covid-19]…They are the ones who are very proactive in finding a solution for public health.” 

Breaking barriers and connecting through music

Amid the challenges of living in a time of a pandemic, modern technology has allowed artists from different locations to collaborate with each other and connect with foreign fans.

In “Pac-Man,” South African rapper Michael Bars teamed up with Michael Pacquiao — son of Senator Manny Pacquiao, whose bravado in boxing is celebrated in the viral track. For Bars, “from making music in their own rooms” to getting their song heard by many is already a satisfying feat. 

Speaking on Wish Connect, hip-hop artist Young JV meanwhile shared the grand goal behind his newly established label, “Not So Famous.”

“We wanted to come up with a platform [where] local Filipino artists [can be recognized] on a global stage. I know it’s good to be really popular in the country and make your waves here, but I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who would want to be on the international stage, like how 88rising is doing,” he says. 88rising is “a hybrid company” home to promising Asian talents like Rich Brian, Joji, and NIKI. 

Conversely, it is Tarsier Records’ intent to be “the international artists’ gateway to the Philippines.” The debut project under this endeavor is Brian McKnight Jr.’s new “electrosoul” spin to his acoustic hit “Marry Your Daughter.” According to the American artist, he holds his Filipino fans close to his heart because their patronage to his breakout song helped change his life. 

Never miss the latest from Wish Connect. Catch the online radio, hosted by DJ Ray Holiday, DJ Faye, DJ Alice, DJ Adam, and DJ Jenie, LIVE on our official Facebook page — Mondays through Fridays at 7 p.m. PHT. Stay tuned via our social media pages for updates.

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