The Itchyworms to launch quarantine-themed album with a virtual event

The Itchyworms will be hosting a virtual album launch to celebrate the release of their highly anticipated fifth album, Waiting For The End To Start

A few hours before the 9-track album drops on digital platforms worldwide, the acclaimed pop-rock outfit is set to debut the songs for the very first time through an online listening and live commentary party, which will be streamed live via The Itchyworms’ official Facebook page on August 17, (Monday), from 7:30 pm onwards. 

Expect a night of fun and entertainment as The Itchyworms perform select cuts from their upcoming release, and promise music listeners to deliver a riveting music experience like no other. 

About the album

The Itchyworms’ upcoming studio album, Waiting For The End To Start was conceptualized and recorded with the members of the band confined in their respective homes during the nationwide lockdown. 

Thematically, the songs are written as a reflection of their individual and collective experiences during the quarantine period. It also inhabits a more adventurous and relentless approach in terms of production and songwriting, which produced captivating end results that music fans will surely love.

As Chino Singson, the band’s lead guitarist and back-up vocalist, shares in a statement, “Like any collection of music, it is a record of its time: A snapshot of the artist’s reaction to his or her circumstances. But it’s a concept album in that our aim was to create art in the midst of a pandemic, to capture our emotions in the music we record, even with the limited recording gear we have at home. So you’ll hear amp buzz and imperfect vocals, but for me that’s part of the spirit of true rock.”

The Itchyworms’ “Waiting For The End To Start” virtual album launch is presented by Sony Music Philippines, GNN Entertainment, and Linya-Linya.

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

Zack Tabudlo takes charge of his fear and soars in love with latest single, “Nangangamba”

“I wrote down some lyrics about the things I was going through at the time. I was in a situation where I felt like someone I liked was playing too hard to get, and the song pretty much circles around that idea: that sometimes when we play too hard to get, we lose people who really love us or people who [turn out to] feel the same way.”

Singer-songwriter and producer Zack Tabudlo finds renewed perspective on time’s delicate role in shaping your own destiny, setting an ultimatum on fear with his newest single, “Nangangamba,” out today on digital platforms worldwide.
On his first release under Island Records Philippines, Zack urges listeners to take ownership of their own feelings: that inaction may shield you from pain, yes, but ultimately it’ll get you nowhere. He brings love songs up a notch, infusing pop and R&B elements to his powerful vocals—a testament to his ever-evolving songwriting and production style. But moreover, it signals a shift on his creative choices in keeping his individual artistry as dynamic as his growth in the music industry. “With these new tracks, I’m sure people who have experienced these would relate so much more… [the latest single] is very different, music-wise and in terms of maturity,” he shares.

Part of this artistic growth is Zack’s experience of writing “Nangangamba,” a song he wrote a year ago. He cites an earlier failed romance as the inspiration behind the song. “I wrote down some lyrics about the things I was going through at the time. I was in a situation where I felt like someone I liked was playing too hard to get, and the song pretty much circles around that idea: that sometimes when we play too hard to get, we lose people who really love us or people who [turn out to] feel the same way.” The process of writing the actual song didn’t take long once the idea set in. “It all started with a melody that popped into my head while I was in class. Every time melodies or ideas pop in my head, I always grab my phone to record them just to make sure I won’t forget. But this time, I knew I needed at least a couple of chords on any instrument just to seal the idea. I recorded all the chords I needed using a ukulele. When I got home I went straight to my home studio and finished the production with my vocals and everything. Five to six hours later, ‘Nangangamba’ was born.”

Now finally set to be released, “Nangangamba” unintentionally—and fittingly—became a case of practicing what you preach, as he sings, “Ito na ang pagkakataon / Wala nang pipigil sa’yo / ‘Wag ka nang mahihiya / Sabihin na ang totoo.” In some ways, the lockdown allowed him to reprioritize. “I have a home studio and all the equipment I need. Having all the time in the world made me focus more and be motivated to write lots of songs compared to when I was also studying at the same time.”

Acquiring skills over time also made it possible to avoid tremendous adjustments to recording and producing the single despite limitations during the quarantine. “Just like in my old tracks, I’ve worked on them from top to bottom. I’m the producer, writer, singer, arranger, as well as the mixing and mastering engineer. It was really fun experimenting with different genres and I really like the vibe of each and every song I’ve been making lately. There are samples I’ve worked on from scratch with these tracks and I really can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

His latest career step as part of the brand-new Island Records roster excites the multi-disciplinary artist. “Everyone in MCA Music Philippines and Island Records Philippines are amazing… They’ve been very supportive and very creative when it comes to ideas or projects, and I know I have a very strong team behind me.”

About Zack Tabudlo

Zack Tabudlo is a singer-songwriter and producer from Manila, Philippines. He joined The Voice Kids in 2014 and went on to establish his solo career, writing and performing his own music. His first single, “Stay Here,” was released in 2018 and was featured on several Spotify playlists, including “Men of OPM,” “Philippines Viral 50,” and “OPM Says Chillax.” His subsequent single, “Mahal O Biro,” was again included in “Men of OPM” and “Pinoy Love Ballads” playlists. Zack premiered his first single of 2020, the chill-pop track “This Is Love,” in February.

He has also collaborated with several OPM artists, undertaking writer and producer roles. He’s most recently been credited in arranging and producing Carlo Aquino’s single “Balisong” and Sharlene San Pedro’s “Everything Will Be Alright” and “Pusong Naliligaw.”

Now on a fresh path in his career, Zack sets his sights to winning the hearts of his audience both locally and internationally as one of the bold new signees to Island Records Philippines.

Image and details provided by Island Records Philippines in a recent press release.

Ben&Ben launches BBTV in celebration of 1M subscribers on YouTube

After reaching more than a million subscribers on YouTube, multi-awarded nine-piece collective Ben&Ben have heeded the call of fans for more exclusive content in the coming days.

The acclaimed band has recently announced the launch of their upcoming weekly series, BBTV to celebrate this important milestone in their career. 

“We’ve been making vlogs that showed our life behind the scenes, but eventually the band and its team came up with the idea,” vocalist and guitarist Miguel Benjamin shares. “Its primary goal is to simply find more ways to connect to people through more varied content.”

Extensive range of content

Aside from themed music performances and collaborations, expect an intimate look at the band’s more personal and entertaining side as they share their journey of living together under one roof.  “We decided to live together to eliminate or at least greatly lessen the risks involved with working outside,” says Miguel. “We always had the idea of living together in the future to create content and write music, but with the situation now we realized that now was the best time to actually give it a shot.”

Ben&Ben also revealed about their plans to drop a “head bang” version of their smash single “Pagtingin,” as well as cover select K-Pop songs in the future. 

The online series, which airs every Wednesday, will also feature a more extensive range of content for people to connect to, including but not limited to games, competitions, challenges and other forms of entertainment. 

Sophomore Album 

Ben&Ben are currently working on the follow-up to their platinum-selling debut album, Limasawa Street, which produced generation-defining songs such as “Pagtingin,” “Fall,” “Araw-Araw,” “War,” and more. 

Paolo confirms in a statement that one of the reasons for moving in was to start writing for their second album to be released under Sony Music. “We wanted the process to be as organic and as involved as possible, and we’re so excited to see what we can come up with where distance and time isn’t a hindrance.”

New episodes of BBTV will drop every Wednesday of the week on the Ben&Ben YouTube Channel, starting August 5, 2020.

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

Exclusive: SB19 drops their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Get in the Zone’

SB19 pushes the envelope of pop music with the release of their debut full-length album, Get in the Zone, out now on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.  

Mashing together various music influences with top-tier production and global appeal, the nine-track release features six original compositions, along with the EDM version of “Love Goes” and two instrumental songs.

Thematically speaking, Get in the Zone maps their creative and personal journey. “It hasn’t been long since we released our debut single ‘Tilaluha,’ but prior to that, we have been training for years already,” says Sejun. “We wanted to incorporate all the things that we have experienced during trainee days into this album by putting all the emotions that we went through into our music. It was an emotional rollercoaster, but we pulled through and we hope that we get to inspire people with our story.”

SB19’s first album kicks off with the two-punch knockout of “Alab” and “Go Up”—both chart-topping singles that bask in electronic grooves, pulsating hip-hop rhythms, and technicolored beats. These songs not only exude outsized charisma, but it also showcases SB19’s potential as a phenomenal pop group capable of defying trends and trailblazing a new movement in the international music arena.  

Get in the Zone takes a more somber turn with “Tilaluha,” a stripped-down ballad that tackles one’s remorse over reciprocated romance. It’s a refreshing misnomer in a record filled with upbeat jams and shiny pop tunes, and one that blows the roof off, vocal performance-wise. 

The winsome streak continues with the R&B-infused “Love Goes,” a song that talks about one’s suffering over a lost loved one, and its sequel, “Hanggang Sa Huli,” which allows the broken person to heal and find comfort in a kind of love that lasts a lifetime. The sonically adventurous album also includes “Wag Mong Ikunot Ang Iyong Noo,” a Filipino adaptation of the Korean ‘90s smash “Sarangeun Ya YaYa,” as well as an EDM remix and two bonus tracks.

According to Sejun, what sets Get in the Zone apart from other contemporary releases is the collaborative synergy between K-pop producers and Filipino talents, resulting into an exciting yet compelling final product. “It’s a great thing to get all the good traits from Korean and Philippine music/culture, and put them together into one. If you’ll dive deep into it, you’ll find a whole new sound rich in both cultures.”

As for the creative process, SB19 members Justin, Sejun, Josh, Ken, and Stell are very hands on when it comes to writing songs and creating melodies. Justin shares, “In this album, we didn’t collaborate with any other artist. We also wrote the lyrics for all the songs ourselves, but we’ve worked with Korean Producers who have also worked with famous artists in Korea already. It was a different experience for each producer since they have different styles, but overall, everything was fun and exciting.”

The award-winning band dedicates their new album, Get in the Zone to every single one of their A’TIN fans who have relentlessly supported their music through thick and thin. “All our achievements to date would not have been possible without you,” says Josh. “So in return we will work harder and continue to uplift you with more music and content so that we can give back the love we’ve received from you.”

Check out SB19’s Get in the Zone here.

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

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.

 

Sponge Cola signs to Sony Music, releases new song “Lumipas Ang Tag-Araw”

Sponge Cola has officially signed to Sony Music—the record label that released their debut album, Palabas.

To mark this return, the award-winning band drops a new song entitled “Lumipas Ang Tag-araw,” out now on all digital platforms worldwide. 

Capturing the essence of a belated summer anthem in less than four minutes, Sponge Cola’s latest single soars into the fast lane with verses that turn romantic yearning into an inescapable sing-along, and a power pop surge that packs a ton of punch. 

Connection in separation

The captivating and relatable lyrics echo the collective frustration of not being with the people we deeply care about and love. But on the other side of the narrative, the song presents an opportunity to weather the insurmountable odds through perseverance and resilience to get through life—thanks to the support and kindness of friends and family. “It’s a story of connection in separation, and how we can be a source of comfort for each other during difficult times,” guitarist Armo Armovit adds.

Vocalist and guitarist Yael Yuzon fondly recalls the inspiration behind “Lumipas Ang Tag-araw” after driving his wife to work one morning under the new normal. He remembers becoming intensely emotional out of nowhere. “It was a strange feeling: a realization about everything that has or hasn’t happened since Covid-19, which yanked us away from our usual. And at that moment, this bright and happy melody just came to me, then some words and harmonies. When I got home, I fleshed everything out and recorded a demo within a few minutes. I guess I just needed to uplift myself, so I wrote something uplifting– something that doesn’t highlight the struggle everyone has been trying to deal with during the pandemic and the lockdown.” The creative and emotional surge led to writing the initial draft of “Lumipas Ang Tag-araw”—a love song that deals with the struggles of physical connection in the time of pandemic.

“Virtual” recording

The upbeat pop-rock tune is the first song that the band arranged and recorded in the comforts of their home, without being together in the same place. Armovit shares the challenging process that transpired during the preliminary stages of the recording. “We sent demos and voice memos to each other back and forth, tweaking parts, creating variations, until we all agreed on a final arrangement. Everyone then had to record their own parts at home and send it to a communal online drive for the producer, Angee Rozul, to bring everything together for the final track.”

Under normal circumstances, Sponge Cola would usually write the song, arrange it in a rehearsal space, and record it together in a studio. But due to the nationwide lockdown imposed in the previous months, the alternative rock quartet decided to use the time and resources available at their disposal to record individually at their own place. “There was a lot of self-editing because you’re not being policed by your bandmates or a producer constantly keeping tabs on possible mistakes or improvements, at least in person,” says Yael Yuzon. “It was all about laying in your parts when the song was passed on to you, and you had the responsibility to keep things right and easy for the next guy to add on to.”

Music video

According to Armovit, the lockdown-inspired music video of “Lumipas ang Tag-Araw” takes an intimate look into the fictional and real-life character’s personal worlds—their bedrooms, living spaces, confined homes—and the routine that they’re up to, in hopes of coping with the situation under quarantine. “It was also our first time working under special conditions, where we had to film all the scenes ourselves with our own phones and cameras. I’m very thankful for the help and guidance from King Palisoc, our director, and the creative ideas from his team.”

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

Juan Karlos inspires hope and strength amid the pandemic with their latest single, “BLESS Ü”

Manila, Philippines) OPM hit-making band Juan Karlos (stylized juan karlos) channels their inner strength with their newest single, “BLESS Ü,” out on all digital and streaming worldwide this July 24, 2020 (Friday) via Island Records Philippines. The pop-R&B track delves into our collective toughness of spirit during these challenging times and hopes to ease some of our worries and fears.

The song’s uplifting message was something juan karlos strives to bring forth to the public whenever we’re faced with adversity, but more so and critically, during a health crisis with seemingly no end in sight right now. “The song, or at least the idea of it, was already made prior to the lockdown. Basically, it was just on standby. But when the pandemic happened, all gigs were cancelled,” frontman JK Labajo shares. “We thought it’d be a good idea to record something different from the music people are already familiar with from us.” While the circumstances then and now are vastly different, their intentions remain the same: finding hope. “Just hold on tight / For in the end of every tunnel / baby there’s light,” he croons.

The songwriting and recording process for “BLESS Ü” had its fair share of unique, unprecedented challenges. Completing it during the lockdown meant adjusting to several limitations. “Not all of our members have their own home setup so [doing it separately] was just not feasible,” according to JK. “But when the lockdown was lifted, we were able to record it properly.” The band welcomed the experience, knowing that ultimately, the song is bigger than their own. JK hopes for listeners to trust in our ability to overcome and that together, we’ll get through. 

In just a few years that the band has been making music, they’re not one to shy away from shedding light on critical and necessary topics, often drawing from their own lived experience. “I’ve experienced depression and anxiety… and it’s really frustrating, the feeling of being down all the time,” JK describes. With “BLESS Ü,” they wanted to offer people going through the same mental health situation some comfort, to “help them feel somehow lighter,” he adds. 

In addition, the band pledged part of the revenue streams of “BLESS Ü” to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts, as well as hold a special online fundraising concert to support our countrymen and connect with fans virtually.

“BLESS Ü” also follows the release of the band’s debut album Diwa and the emotionally charged single” Sampaguita,” which emphasizes the hardships faced by OFWs. A lot has changed since the album’s release, but his fearless message on these topics remains embedded in his music. 

 Music has always been one of the most powerful forms of culture due to its ability to rally people’s spirits. Right now, what we need is a resounding feeling of hope and compassion more than ever. If you believe that this song has that very power, then honey, God BLESS Ü.

About Juan Karlos

Juan Karlos is a Filipino band and six-time Platinum awardee signed under MCA Music composed of JK Labajo on vocals and guitar, Jeriko Aguilar on guitar, Louise Bayas on bass, and Gian Hipolito on drums. Formed in 2018, the eponymous band went under several personnel changes and ultimately released their smash hit, “Buwan” in the same year. Frontman JK Labajo shared that his solo music career is currently inactive. Hailing from Cebu, he first gained recognition as a finalist on The Voice Kids Philippines and went on to pursue a career in music and acting. Following the release of his albums under MCA Music, JK (2015) and JKL (2017), he realized that he has to stop settling and commit to what he really wants: to write, produce, and perform his own songs the way he hears it in his head and heart and be part of a band. Juan Karlos aims to “dream big or go home” and to make a mark in OPM and globally. “I want to be able to make a change, a difference,” he said. I want to show people the importance and beauty of music. I’m in music for the art, to earn in order to fund my daily needs and dreams, and for recognition so I can have reach and to be heard.”

Details and image provided by Island Records Philippines in a recent press release.

the vowels they orbit explores emotional intricacies on debut EP

Filipino indie pop-rock outfit the vowels they orbit has finally released their highly anticipated EP, ang unang ikot via Sony Music Philippines.

With songs that find strength in vulnerability, the band’s major label debut expounds on the complexities of young love from the perspective of someone who has gone through several missteps and recoveries in life.  

On a thematic standpoint, the lyrics shine a light on certain issues that people tend to avoid in regular conversations: the melancholic “Pasa” recalls a harrowing story of abuse; the light-hearted ditty “Selos” struggles to conceal jealousy no matter how hard the person tries; and then there’s “Kiliti,” a song about finding that perfect someone in an imperfect situation. The 5-track release offers home to fragile beings caught in the throes of love, hoping that they’ll learn from their previous mistakes and come out as better individuals after. 

According to the band, “all tracks were written in the context of love, but like every other song out there, they all go beyond the intention.” Patch Javier adds, “the latest EP tackles what most relationship journeys look like during [their] firsts.” 

ang unang ikot, is written, arranged and performed by the vowels they orbit, except for “Selos,” which was penned by Darwin Hernandez—the hitmaker behind chart-topping singles “Torete” and “Sandalan.” The album is produced by Rye Sarmiento, the guitarist of 6cyclemind and Banda Ni Kleggy.

About The Band

Signed to Sony Music Philippines, the vowels they orbit makes captivating pop-rock anthems laced with discernible hooks and strong melodic instincts. This is evident on their debut single “Selos,” which peaked at No. 2 on Spotify Philippines’ Viral 50 charts and No. 1 on Love Radio 90.7 Top 10.

The band, composed of Nikka Melchor (Vocals), Jeremy Sayas (Drums), Hannah Dela Cruz (Keyboard), Gene Santiago (Guitars) and Patch Javier (Bass), is managed by Soupstar Music—the home to several established and promising music acts such as 6cyclemind, Teeth, Imago, Sandwich, Pedicab, Moonstar88, Ultra Combo, Gracenote, Banda ni Kleggy, Better Days, the vowels they orbit, and Kurei.

the vowels they orbit’s debut EP, ang unang ikot, is now available on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

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

Ben&Ben portrays family drama on “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” music video

Award-winning Filipino band Ben&Ben explores the complicated dynamics of a fictional family in the music video of “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin.” 

Revolving around a realistic depiction of a family on the verge of dysfunction, the narrative hits home with each member learning how to listen to each other, and speak their minds.

It also examines the flawed but beautiful relationships that we nurture within the family, and the decisions we make in extraordinary circumstances.

Helmed by “Pagtingin” music video director Jorel Lising, the intimate piece features ensemble acting performances by Agot Isidro, Bart Guingona, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Kelvin Miranda.

Lising’s compelling take on Ben&Ben’s massive hit has earned praises from various publications in the country. Renuel Fallore of MYX shares that the “cinematic music video couldn’t have come at a better time,” and reflects on its importance in today’s socio-political landscape. Bandwagon Asia, in its coverage of the song’s official tease a few months ago, took notice of the song’s evocative lyrics, which remind “people that COVID-19 remains to be the common enemy in this difficult time,” and therefore needs critical attention and vigilance.

As of July 14, Tuesday, the “Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” music video is currently trending on YouTube with more than 300,000 views in four days. 

On Spotify alone, Ben&Ben’s latest single has reached more than a million streams in its second week, making it one of the biggest releases of the month so far.  

“Nakikinig Ka Ba Sa Akin” is now out on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music.

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

We Got brims with tropical nostalgia on Raymund Marasigan-produced single “Ligaya”

Following the success of their debut single “Lihim Na Pagtingin,” eight-piece collective We Got returns with a follow-up that takes their reggae-infused sound to exciting new places.

Their second single “Ligaya,” a cover of The Eraserheads’ inescapable hit, captures the essence of the original, while redressing its vibe with fuller, brighter elements and a tropical makeover. 

Made more captivating with syncopated rhythms, groovy horns, and animated percussions, We Got’s version crests a euphoric wave of summer and nostalgia effortlessly without the need to go on an actual trip. 

“At first, we were just jamming it for fun but then, it turned out pretty good,” says vocalist and guitarist Mack de la Cruz. “So, we decided to be serious about covering the song—putting our signature We Got flavor. And there it is, a unique ‘Ligaya’ rendition. We’re very happy about how it turned out!”

After deciding to include the revamped version into their set list, the band decided to record their official version at Sunny Side Sound in Cubao, Quezon City, enlisting The Eraserheads drummer and Sandwich vocalist/guitarist Raymund Marasigan as the producer.

Marasigan has only positive words to describe his working relationship with We Got. “Working with them is like going to a family excursion at the beach especially when they bring delicious home cooked meals to pre-production and recording. And we worked on capturing that vibe.”

We Got’s “Ligaya” is now available on digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

Details and photo provided by Sony Music in a recent press release.