Solidarity in the time of COVID-19 -- MS Supplement
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Recording rush

While I think I could have done more had I known of this home quarantine coming, I still felt blessed I accomplished during that same stretch the recording of two of my song creations and a non-composition I record-produced for release. The first, called “Sandalan” and sung by The Voice Kids alumnus  Angel Andal, came out in digital stores last Feb. 21 and made the Spotify’s New Music Friday shortlist. Two full weeks later, the country plunged to the shock of coronavirus pandemic.

The Tagalog track is personally poignant considering I wrote it for my wife  Kaye. I was jamming with bandmates when both chorus tune and words popped off my head.

The Pub Forties in an outdoor shoot prior to social distancing. From left, the author, James Casas, Aries Espinosa, Manny Tocol, and Vince Borromeo. 
Normally a guy would sing a song I penned. But for “Sandalan,” a strong female voice was needed. Enter Angel whom I met for interview and appeared on this column many months back. When she joined  The Voice  and I saw her sing  Mon Del Rosario’s “Sino Ang Baliw,” I contacted her parents.

Forgiven Music Studio owner and mixing engineer  Mark Anthony Zoleta has efficiently handled the recent recordings I was involved in. Last quarter of 2019 we, with my group  The Pub Forties, canned the Cabalen jingle “Busog Sulit Ang Treat,” which I was commissioned to compose.

A few days into the New Year, we went back to start recording a song I dedicate for my son  Ryde  titled “Next Big Thing.” While that may sound like a big declaration by a father with a kid who’s into basketball; and the song does contain lines like “seize the moment when the ball arrives,” it was simply a direct nod to a phrase the book  The Love You Make  (by  Peter Brown and  Steven Gaines) often spelled in bold letters. That controversial book repeatedly noted that  John Lennon was always on to the NEXT BIG THING.

Belter Angel Andal released her debut single last month. A Facebook post of her and the master track has strongly generated views from netizens.  
Backed by the  Kean Cipriano and  Chynna Ortaleza-led OC Records, The Pub Forties single is released today which happens to be the birthday of our lead vocalist  Aries Espinosa whose voice, in my ears, is the sound of a kind of freedom in this lockdown.

By fate I chose to record songs I wrote for loved ones I am gladly with since the world stood still in the face of a vicious virus.  

Lastly, right before COVID-19 became full-blown scare, I was back at the studio with my niece  Kira Irish, recording her composition “Invisible To You” with guitarist Kean Harvey Sidon.

The author finished producing her niece Kira Irish’s debut single Invisible To You just a few days before Metro Manila went under community quarantine resulting from COVID-19 pandemic. 
Then I also got word that FILSCAP (Filipino composers’ group) transferred financial assistance to my account. It’s the association’s initiative to help boost the morale of its members in this difficult time.

Topics: The Pub Forties , Belter Angel Andal , Kira Irish , COVID-19 , FILSCAP , OC Records
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