Filipina-Singaporean R&B star Gail Belmonte channels personal heartbreak on new single “Restart”

“Restart” is the most personal of Gail’s releases so far, and takes a slower pace, music-wise.

Filipina-Singaporean singer-songwriter Gail Belmonte has finally dropped “Restart,” her last release for 2020. The electro-R&B ballad caps off a trio of singles that mark her debut as a solo artist signed under Umami Records. 

“Restart” immerses listeners into a harrowing tale of breakup and romantic dissolution. Written by Belmonte based on personal experience, the poignant track dissects a kind of love that the singer-songwriter thought was the only thing that she’ll ever get to have. “It was deeply upsetting at the time but I learnt so much, including the fact that there will be new beginnings, even if it seems like it won’t be happening anytime soon or in the ways we want,” reveals Belmonte.

“Restart” is the most personal of Gail’s releases so far, and takes a slower pace, music-wise. A steady 808 kick plays throughout the song, while the mood flows with a more sober approach. “I wanted this to be like the sound of a heartbeat, grounding the song musically from start to finish,” shares Gail. 

“Please, don’t forget one thing – it’s to remember me. I’ll love you for eternity”, Gail sings at the end of the bridge, and reflects, “those words seem to stop time for me for a little while. They really highlight the weight that love and heartbreak hold.”

Gail is currently working on her self-titled debut EP scheduled for release in 2021, as well as an upcoming collaboration with R&B singer Angelo Martinez on an acoustic EP.

Listen to Restart via Umami Records

About Gail Belmonte

R&B/soul singer-songwriter Gail Belmonte makes music full of heart, with a voice that radiates beauty and effortless delivery.

Born and raised in Singapore, of Filipino descent, Gail Belmonte loved singing and performing from an early age and has been practising professionally from the age of 18. Gail was champion in the vocal solo category of Singapore talent competition Impresario 2016, a finalist of China Super Vocal 2016, a finalist in Mediacorp Singapore’s The Final 1 (2013), and also appeared in Season 4 of ABS-CBN’s Pilipinas Got Talent (2016). Gail made her theatre debut in Pangdemonium’s staging of the Tony award-winning musical, Fun Home, in 2017.

Gail Belmonte has featured on tracks by artists like fulses, thecolorfractal, Fingerfunk and Tim De Cotta, and is finally ready to put out her own music with 3 singles planned for release in 2020 via indie label Umami Records, in which she explores the effects of love, heartache, falling apart and putting yourself back together again.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster includes releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

Image and details provided by Umami Records in a recent press release

Alex Bruce drops infectious new jam “Yakap”

It’s been a very challenging year for the music industry in general, but not for Filipina rapper Alex Bruce, who continues to enjoy commercial and critical plaudits—thanks to her slickly produced, empowering anthems.

Her Wish 107.5 Bus performances of “Mind As A Weapon” and “Pull It Off” have garnered more than a million hits respectively, while the latter earned the young prodigy a record for the youngest female artist to have scored a top 3 on Wave 89.1’s weekly chart. To top it off, the 13-year-old rapper/songwriter has recently teamed up with global hitmaker August Rigo, whose songwriting and production credits include BTS’ “Black Swan” and Justin Bieber’s multi-platinum album, My World 2.0, for the trap banger “Go Crazy.”

With barely two months left for 2020, the feisty newcomer isn’t showing any signs of slowing down with the release of “Yakap,” an endearing love song in hip-hop/R&B form.

Intricately laced with dreamy atmospherics and infectious beats, “Yakap” finds Alex Bruce dealing with her first-hand experience on puppy love and infatuation. Her latest single plays out like a simp-worthy jam: thematically appropriate for Alex Bruce’s age, but charismatic enough to sweep listeners off their feet.

“Yakap is all about my crush,” the bubbly newcomer fondly shares the inspiration behind the urban jam. “Well, if you guys didn’t know, I’m 13 turning 14 this Christmas, and like a normal teenager, I started to experience weird things like puppy love. So for me to express my feelings, I wrote a song about this person.”

The song was a three-way collaboration with Alex Bruce, her dad, who is currently in Australia, and music producer Cursebox. The songwriting, recording, and production were done in a span of two weeks, with the involved heads brainstorming and working together though Zoom meetings to discuss matters related to the new track. Alex adds, “Sometimes it’s hard because I have online class and it’s still very different from homeschooling that I’m used to. I’m still adapting to this kind of set up, all of us are.”

For what it’s worth, “Yakap” truly has the makings of another game-changing hit. It’s another testament to Alex Bruce’s incredibly compelling talent as a rapper, singer, and lyricist—a triple-threat that will surely go to places in the many years to come. 

Yakap” is now available on all digital platforms worldwide via Sony Music Philippines.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

Filipina-Singaporean singer-songwriter Gail Belmonte reclaims her happiness on new single “You Don’t”

A song about knowing one’s worth

Following her well-received debut single ‘Tonight’ in July, Filipina-Singaporean singer-songwriter Gail Belmonte chronicles her struggles of reclaiming happiness on her new single “You Don’t”– released today on all digital platforms worldwide via indie label Umami Records.

“You Don’t” tackles the importance of not taking anything for granted, but at the same time knowing one’s worth. “In the relationships I got involved in, romantic or platonic, I always gave so much of myself,” the R&B artist says. “Sometimes I would give so much of myself that when these relationships break down, I would feel so lost, like I lost a part of myself. I looked for happiness in other people and it was not until I wrote this song, that I decided to reclaim that happiness by finding it within myself.”

A rallying cry for self-discovery, “You Don’t” endears listeners with its compelling, soulful delivery and radio-ready pop hooks. It’s the second of a trio of singles Gail Belmonte is debuting in late 2020. The last of the series, ‘Restart’, is scheduled for release on 13 November.

About Gail Belmonte

R&B/soul singer-songwriter Gail Belmonte makes music full of heart, with a voice that radiates beauty and effortless delivery.

Born and raised in Singapore, of Filipino descent, Gail Belmonte loved singing and performing from an early age and has been practising professionally from the age of 18. Gail was champion in the vocal solo category of Singapore talent competition Impresario 2016, a finalist of China Super Vocal 2016, a finalist in Mediacorp Singapore’s The Final 1 (2013), and also appeared in Season 4 of ABS-CBN’s Pilipinas Got Talent (2016). Gail made her theatre debut in Pangdemonium’s staging of the Tony award-winning musical, Fun Home, in 2017.

Gail Belmonte has featured on tracks by artists like fulses, thecolorfractal, Fingerfunk and Tim De Cotta, and is finally ready to put out her own music with 3 singles planned for release in 2020 via indie label Umami Records, in which she explores the effects of love, heartache, falling apart and putting yourself back together again.

About Umami Records

Umami Records is a Singapore-based indie record label founded in 2013. Much like the “5th taste” reputation of its namesake, the label strongly believes in discovering new, interesting sounds that run underground and away from the mainstream. The label’s tight-knit, curated roster includes releases from Linying, The Steve McQueens, brb., Evanturetime, CampFire, Martin Baltser, Phoria, Oriental Cravings, and more.

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

Sabby Sousa takes the spotlight with new single “Emerald”

Toronto-based artist Sabby Sousa taps into something nostalgic and exhilarating on her new single “Emerald”—out today on all digital platforms worldwide.

Despite its openness to tackle a romantic relationship gone astray, the smooth R&B song inhabits an optimistic headspace that values emotional maturity over impulsive demeanor.

With her syrupy vocals complementing the track’s atmospheric sonic backdrop, Sabby remembers her past relationship fondly, setting aside bitterness for a peace of mind. “I had gone through a breakup and didn’t want to write anything sad or angry,” the teen-pop sensation shares. “I wanted to remember what it felt like in those moments and hold them close. It reminded me that not all relationships are meant to last forever. What lasts forever is the memories you make. So live life to the fullest.”

Unlike her viral bop “Cream n’ Frosting,” which hit more than two million streams on all music platforms and landed on Spotify Viral 50 charts in the Philippines and Malaysia, Sabby’s smoky new track establishes her more introspective side as both a singer-songwriter and a vocalist.

This time, she mines a wistful narrative straight from a journal entry: confessional in form and function, but also hopeful in the way it was written and delivered.

“There’s a lot of electric guitar and synths that make the song so dreamy,” Sabby Sousa adds. “I would definitely say, it’s a lot different to previous songs as it marks the beginning of a new sound for me.”

“Emerald” is produced by House of Wolf, a rising French-Canadian electronic duo who has worked with the likes of Cheat Codes and Carlie Henson.

Recorded in August last year, the infectious jam sounds like a star turn from a young artist who is now ready to take the spotlight and make a lightning strike, one more time.

Image and details provided in a recent press release.

John Legend’s new album, Bigger Love celebrates Black Culture and Pride

Multi-platinum artist John Legend is slated to drop his sixth studio album, Bigger Love on June 19 (Friday) via Columbia Records.

On a lengthy Instagram post, the Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, and Tony (EGOT) winner reveals that Bigger Love was written and produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter protests happening around the world. According to him, the upcoming album is a “celebration of love, joy, sensuality, hope, and resilience” and an important showcase of what makes black culture so influential and empowering.

“It’s important for us to continue to show the world the fullness of what it is to be black and human,” John Legend takes pride. “Through our art, we are able to do that. I’m under no illusion that music can save the world or solve the world’s problems, but I’ve always turned to music to help me through tough times and I know many of you have done the same.”

His new album, Bigger Love features 16 soulful, R&B-laden, and pop-influenced tracks, and includes guest spots and collaborations with Gary Clark Jr., Jhene Aiko, Koffee, Rapsody, and Camper. It is executive produced by Raphael Saadiq—the award-winning neo-soul artist who co-produced two of the most critically acclaimed albums of the last two decades: Solange’s A Seat At The Table and D’Angelo’s Voodoo.

The All Of Me singer-songwriter dedicates his upcoming record to his wife, his family, and “the rich tradition of black music that has made me the artist I am.”

The album’s focus single is “U Move, I Move,” a duet featuring Jhene Aiko. With its velvety harmonies, lush arrangements, and an inescapable chorus, the R&B slow jam embraces the emotional range and vulnerability of both artists, taking listeners to a place of romantic high with just the right amount of warmth. Upon hearing the track, Legend’s wife, multimedia star Chrissy Teigen tweeted, “One of my favorite ones is one with @JheneAiko. Why don’t u guys just get fuckin married.” The tweet has racked up more than 40,000 likes and a thousand retweets.

For more information about the album, please visit: www.johnlegend.com.

About John Legend

Critically acclaimed and best-selling artist John Legend has garnered eleven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award, making Legend the first African-American man to earn an EGOT.

He has released six celebrated albums including, Get Lifted (2004), Once Again (2006), Evolver (2008), Love in the Future (2013), Darkness and Light (2016), and A Legendary Christmas (2018). Legend starred in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” in 2018, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special and nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor (Limited Series). Legend joined “The Voice” for Season 16 (2019), winning with his mentee Maelyn Jarmon and is currently a judge on Season 18.

John is a partner in Get Lifted Film Co., serving as an Executive Producer for “Southern Rites,” “United Skates,” WGN America’s “Underground,” and films “Southside with You” and “La La Land.” As a philanthropist, Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015 to change the national conversation surrounding the misguided criminal justice policies in the US and to end mass incarceration.