Barbie Almalbis honors Filipino optimism with “Umagang Kay Ganda” music video

Filipina rock icon Barbie Almalbis hopes to encourage and inspire listeners to rise above the extraordinary times.

With the official release of “Umagang Kay Ganda,” the third single of her upcoming new album under Sony Music Philippines, the Dahilan singer-songwriter uses her platform to pay tribute to the courage and optimism of the Filipino people.

“The current situation has made so many of us experience such a profound sense of loss, and it has also given us a rare chance to stop and reassess our lives and consider the things that we really value,” the acclaimed pop-rock artist shares. “I hope Umagang Kay Ganda will be a blessing especially to our frontliners. It is our little way to say thank you for the selflessness that they have continually shown and the sacrifices that they have made to help us get through this together.”

With the help of constant collaborators, Barbie and her bandmates put a creative stamp in reimagining “Umagang Kay Ganda,” while making sure that its empowering message shines through the intricate arrangement. “Karel and I initially jammed it and he wrote lines for the instrumental section, then we arranged the rest with Nikko on keyboard and Jonard on drums. We were able to record the rhythm section just a few weeks before the lockdown.” As a result, the new version conveys the timeless appeal of the original, while exuding a warmer approach in terms of production details.

Inspiring music video

The official release of Barbie Almalbis’ latest single comes with an accompanying music video that brings to light everyday stories of hope and love for the country amidst the global health crisis.

Interspersed with scenes of the new normal, the visuals for “Umagang Kay Ganda” also showcase the heroic deeds of our frontliners and several acts of compassion and resilience from ordinary Filipino folks.

Barbie adds, “Although some people consider music and visual arts as non-essentials these days, I’ve found that many are actually turning to the arts as a way of coping and feeling connected to others. We want to remind people of the real hope that we have and can hold on to, even as we confront the invisible enemy on a day to day basis. We’ll be able to stand above difficult situations and hurdle these atrocities with the gift of love and compassion.”

The music video is also part of Magnolia Dari Creme’s campaign reminding us that in extraordinary times as in the normal times, tomorrow always brings us new chances for a brighter day as long as we are with the ones we love.

Image and details provided by Sony Music Philippines in a recent press release.

 

Aia, Barbie and Kitchie to hold online concert for the benefit of music venue workers

Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis, and Kitchie Nadal are teaming up with GNN (formerly known as Gabi Na Naman Productions) and Smirnoff Mule for a special digital concert to raise funds for the employees and workers of live music venues in Metro Manila.

Happening on May 1, Friday at 8:00 pm, the Facebook show will serve as the third installment of their critically acclaimed, sold-out concert, Secrets and will be streamed live on the trio’s official Facebook page.

The initiative is part of the alternative rock icons’ ongoing efforts to help the music community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and a primer to GNN’s 5th anniversary celebration.

“Deprived of operating to serve people with live entertainment, music venues have temporarily shut down, and are struggling to manage their overhead expenses,” says Gabi Na Naman Productions’ Milley Habito, one of the executive producers of Secrets III: An Online Concert featuring Aia, Barbie and Kitchie. “Thanks to the girls, we’ll be given a chance to cover some of the funds needed to support employees and workers of independent music venues and bars. We cannot imagine a vibrant, bustling music scene without these people who have dedicated their lives in helping run the gigs. The waiters, cooks, kitchen helpers, cashiers, parking attendants, food servers, tech guys, security personnel and other employees deserve our help too.”

Some of the confirmed beneficiaries include independent music venues such as Route 196, Mow’s, Saguijo Café & Bar, Jess and Pat’s, ‘70s Bistro, 123 Block, Social House and more to be announced.

The star-studded fundraiser and concert will also feature never-before-heard collaborations among the three award-winning singer-songwriters, as well as individual performances featuring their Greatest Hits and rarities.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

Barbie Almalbis drops inspirational single “Iyong-iyo”

Following the dreamy single “Comment,” which debuted early this January 2020, Barbie Almalbis continues to perfect her signature, swoony alt-pop sound with incisive introspection on her second single.

“Iyong-iyo,” the latest track off her upcoming fourth studio album, tackles a story of strength, perseverance, and faith amidst insurmountable odds. The melodic pop tune is inspired by how the Tabing Ilog hitmaker’s cook found peace from surrendering everything to God during a very difficult time to bouncing back with another chance at life.

Almalbis recounts:

“This song is about Esperanza ‘Bing-Bing’ Maaño, our cook, who’s been in our family for a long time and even married our driver, Dandy. She suddenly fell very ill last year due to a diabetes complication and her medicines were not working. Needless to say, it was such a troubling time for her and everyone who loved her as her future seemed uncertain. She was brought to the hospital and had to undergo amputation surgery, and she shared that it was during this time that her faith in God became more real. While being wheeled into the operating room, she had many fears but suddenly felt peace as she surrendered everything to God. Thankfully, she had a successful surgery and recovered well, and after months of rehabilitation, she learned to walk again with a prosthetic leg.”

Barbie Almalbis co-wrote “Iyong-iyo” with her partner Martin Honasan, who also shares songwriting credits on previous singles “Comment” and “Tigre.” Bing-Bing’s determination and humility inspired the husband-and-wife tandem to write and produce the song.

Recording of the track was done by sound engineer Magic Montano at Yellow Room Studios, formerly known as Tracks Studios in San Antonio Village, where most of the Barbie’s Cradle albums are made. “We had Nikko Rivera on keyboard, Jonard Bolor on drums, and Rommel dela Cruz on bass,” shares Almalbis about the musicians who contributed significantly in the recording process. “The main rhythm section was recorded live, and we did overdubs for vocals and guitars. I also recorded backing vocals at my home studio.”

Barbie Almalbis’s “Iyong-iyo” is now out on various streaming and digital platforms worldwide via 12 Stone Records. It’s the second single off her as-yet-untitled album to be released this year.

Details and image provided in a recent press release.