Hello! I want to thank you for taking the time to visit this website. I am in the process of recording new music for you to listen to. This is technically the fourth time I'm releasing an album, but deep deep down, its really just a project I want to share with all of you. Every single month I will release a free song as part of the Mantis Project. You can download it, keep it, do what you want with it. All I ask is that you share it if you end up liking it! Thank you for listening.
After writing my first album, Overwait, I wanted to immediately work on my second album. I wanted to call the album Nightmares. The approach for that album was going to be different. Instead of a physical album, I would put all 9 songs on a website and would be free to download. I messaged Carlos Castaño, a good friend of mine, and asked for his help to produce the album. He asked me if I had anything that I could already record, and I told him, I'd be starting from scratch.
On the first day of meeting him in his studio, we just had a laptop, a mic, and an acoustic guitar. We started fiddling around with chords and we came up with the progression for what would become "Crazy." When we came up with this song, it was back in 2012. There were so many ideas that we wanted to put in it, like an up right bass, horns, crazy riffs. At the time I wanted the Nightmares album to be folk and clean. 8 years later, after deciding to re-record Crazy, I wanted to make it dirtier and louder.
Mike and I decided to call some of our friends to get on this track to make it alive. We got Choi Padilla to play keys on it. Rizza came back and did her thing with the back ups. Gogo played bass, and even did the solo for this one and killed it.
There is a lesson I learned while contemplating the release of this song. I have met some music producers during my stay in LA. And I've made them hear some of my songs. They all say that they love the music but there's a lot I can change to make it more "relevant." And it was bugging me when it came to releasing this song. Things like "make the songs shorter, drums sound too complicated, use this certain sound for the drums, lose the solos...etc." I even told Mike that we will try to make a different mix for the streaming services to try and compromise. Then last minute. I said. Fuck it. I wrote this particular song with my best friends. Recorded it with my favorite musicians. There's a magic in that that you can't get from a drum machine and producers who already made hit songs. Music isn't just about how much money you make from the release. It's about the passion of playing with other people. Creating something together. So this might not fly with the mainstream audience. But at least you'll all hear what a good time sounds like with other musicians.
On December 2012, I was working on my second album, Nightmares. I took a different approach to producing this project. I was going to write the songs the same days as I was in the studio recording. At the end of the month, my band and I had finished 8 songs. The deadline to post the album online was the next two days, so we felt like we were pretty much finished with the album. I was not feeling confident about the last song at the time. I felt like we could have ended the album a bit stronger.
I remember being in my mom's house (I was living there at the time) with my good friend, Joseph Wu. He didn't know that I wasn't ok with the last song. We were just working on fixing notes, mixing songs, last minute things before we post the album the next day. it was about 2 AM and we started to get hungry. I think I asked him to go out and get a burger or a pizza. But really I just needed to be alone for a good hour. After he left, I picked up the guitar and started to play. What you need to know about me, is that I take forever to write lyrics to a song. It normally takes me a month or two. But when it came to Rain, it poured out instantly. The whole purpose for writing Nightmares was to come up with songs about hope. The 8 songs prior to Rain felt like they were little ideas. But that night I felt like I needed to write those 8 songs (Crazy, and Stay Strong included.) to produce Rain.
After about an hour, Joseph came back with the food. I had already recorded the guitar. I told him that I wrote one more song while he was away. We recorded the vocal parts together early in the morning. We ended everything at 7 AM. That night I went to the Peninsula with Rizza Cabrera and we launched the album (also at around 5 AM) at their Coffee shop.
The first single I am releasing after deciding to rename myself.
Tonight was never supposed to be released. Before I started working on the album "Dare" I was having the longest writer's block. The last time I wrote an idea for a song was Rain, which was late December of 2012. For about 4 years, I could not write a song. I was getting bored of how I sang. I felt like the way I played guitar was getting stale. Being inspired isn't the correct thing to say. There was just something I had to get over before I could write new music, I guess. But after years of trying to come up with something, I decided to think out of the box (for my standards) and try something new. Tonight was my guinea pig. I added instruments that I normally wouldn't use. I used a chord progression that was more practical and simple than what I was used to on "Overwait" and "Nightmares." But I knew that this song was just for me to open my mind. Eventually I put words to the music and it became Tonight. It was just a filler track on Dare, but now that I'm redoing old tracks, I wanted Tonight to be a single. It just shows that there are no "bad ideas," and that it is ok to try new things.
Michael Jackson's They Don't Really Care About Us
All rights go to Epic Records and Michael Jackson. This is NOT a single I am trying to sell or make money from. This is just "Creative Vent" from the last few weeks. Everything happening in the USA and in my home country, the Philippines, made me want to sing this song. If you feel the same way, feel free to express yourself too.
They Don't Really Care About Us © Written and Produced by: Michael Jackson Released: April 16, 1996 Label: Epic