Rico Blanco, Moira, and More Talk New Releases, Coping While in Quarantine | Wish Connect (May 11 to 29)

Jun 3, 2020

As the Covid-19 prompted the shifting of the world’s music ecosystem — in almost its entirety — to the digital space, Wish 107.5 recently launched its own online radio called Wish Connect. The show, which is hosted by the station’s jocks, airs weeknights on the Wish 107.5 Facebook page.

In the pilot feature of our “Wish Connect Roundup” series, we’re summing up the latest from some of the music acts we got to speak with, since the program’s premiere on May 11 through the end of the month.

New Music Releases

If there’s one common theme new OPM offerings have these days, it is the concept of hope. Borrowing words from singer-songwriter Moira Dela Torre, “music has this power of… getting you the right mindset, comforting you, and reminding you that there’s hope.”

Through her latest release “May Pag-asa,” she and her husband and fellow musician Jason Marvin encapsulated this optimistic feeling while giving gratitude to front-liners.

Anchored on the same theme of shining positivity, OPM icon Rico Blanco also dropped a new single “This Too Shall Pass” — his first in four years. However, speaking on Wish Connect, he revealed that “this has been one of the most difficult songs for me to produce because my mind really wasn’t there.”

“I was really focused on just getting by day-to-day… But I guess one day, it just all swelled up from inside me: I hadn’t been able to give a message to the front-liners and the essential workers,” he further stated. 

READ: 7 New OPM Songs To Bid Quarantine Blues Goodbye

Labelmate and P-pop boyband SB19, who graced the show’s May 29 episode, also shared words about their song “Ikako” — a pop tune about braving through and surviving the pandemic together.

“Whenever you’re lonely or there’s something that bothers you, you can listen to our song if you want to feel uplifted,” Justin said about the track. 

While rosy releases run aplenty in these tough times, there are also acts that aim to shed light on important social issues that became even more punctuated during the pandemic. 

For instance, Munimuni’s “Nawa” ponders on the significance of empathy for the less fortunate. Sharing the message of the poignant tune, vocalist Adj Jiao said: “For is privileged, our only crisis is the pandemic. But for many, there’s also this crisis of poverty — which has been there even before the pandemic happened… I want people to contemplate this.”

Besides local acts promoting their newest offerings, Wish Connect also featured international musicians — from Latin boyband CNCO, Mark Read of the ‘90s pop outfit A1, to American singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker.

Making Time Productive

To some degree, the stay-at-home order still has advantages for creatives like musicians. SUD, for example, has been busy with a special  “quarantine project.” This project involves giving original SUD songs at-home versions, which are released once a week. 

Rising bands like Better Days and Magnus Haven also use this time to remotely collaborate on new songs and impart musical skills online. Singer-actress Glaiza De Castro, on the other hand, makes quarantine time musically productive “[by playing] around with [her] music [and looking for] music to explore and experiment with.”

For artists whose schedules have been packed pre-pandemic, including Julie Anne San Jose and Darren Espanto, this period is used to spend more time with their families and loved ones. Both have also celebrated their birthdays last month quarantined. 

Pop stars Sam Mangubat and Morissette, on the other hand, make the most of the quarantine by uploading more content on their social media channels. 

“Even through this way [of uploading song performances], it really gets the creative juices flowing… We would [also] just want to help out in giving entertainment and hopefully put a smile on [people’s] faces,” the Asia’s Phoenix stated during her Wish Connect guesting.

On Coping Through Music and Doing Online Shows

On her Wish Connect stint, singer-songwriter Chlara mused about how music provides comfort during these hard times. 

“It’s a way that they can relate to an emotion that possibly the songwriter or the artist is trying to portray in the song. So, I feel like through that, people can find calm and peace knowing that they’re not alone… knowing that someone is going through the same thing as them, or who has been through the same thing and is continuing to keep on going,” she enthused.

As a word of advice, international urban pop artist Inigo Pascual also relayed that even quarantined at home, people still “need to nurture [themselves] with positive thoughts.”

And for artists like them, one way of keeping their listeners company is doing online gigs.

Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista — who joined a Wish Connect episode to promote his “Bukas Wala Nang Ulan” collaboration with songstress Janine Teñoso — noted that though the live music scene is temporarily at a standstill, we should be thankful for having different streaming platforms.

Weighing on the music scene’s shift to the virtual world, Wilbros Live President and CEO Winston Llamas also shared his thoughts through the digital radio program. 

“Actually, it’s really good because, especially, most of the artists now are doing fund-raisers to gain money and to give to our less-fortunate brothers and sisters or people that don’t have work as of the moment. But it’s still a different feeling having an online concert and a live concert,” he stated, emphasizing the value added by the stage and light design, as well as the energy of the crowd.

This same sentiment is also echoed by acoustic star TJ Monterde during his guesting.

But as indie rock act Lola Amour sums it up, all that we can do is hope for better days — for the music industry and beyond: “Everyone knows that the music industry was hit hard… It’s gonna be hard to get through this, and maybe even harder to bounce back. But, together, I hope we can get through this time and be better than where we were before.”

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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