Reader Advisory

Some articles posted in The SlickMaster's Files may contain themes, languages, and content which may neither appropriate nor appealing to certain readers. READER DISCRETION is advised.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Nicole Asensio shares the 'drunken tales' behind upcoming single Poblacion

10/12/2020 01:12:43 AM

Poblacion may be a name of a notable red-light district or just a new song made by singer-songwriter Nicole Asensio, but just like anything else, there's a backstory on each song, and for her part, it was a couple of wishful drunken tales on making the entire project come true, from dream collaborator to music video.  

The Scitzoprano star bared her accounts on how Poblacion became her home during the most colorful years of her life and made a song out of it. It all started in 2007 for the singer-songwriter, who just moved out of her parents' roof after graduating from college and took a series of jobs as a teacher, part-time medical equipment salesperson, staff in a restaurant, and singing for a hard rock band. 

“Back then, I was a leather boot wearing, ripped jeans rockin’ tangled hair wailing little woman. I never got tired. I never got sick of the noise I could sleep through the flashes of neon lights from neighboring bars,” Asensio said of her time at Poblacion. “ That was then, I can’t say the same for today.”

It was that one random hangout with her friend Norris Lopez that ignited the songwriting part of Poblacion, from one lyric to forming the narrative depicting a series of drunken unfortunate events at the famous red-light district in Makati City. 

Asensio recalls:
“One rainy evening, My friend Norris Lopez came over, I poured him a gin tonic, and myself a whiskey, neat. He couldn’t stop singing the words 'Naglalakad ako nung isang gabi, nang madapa ako sa isang tabi…' I asked him 'What are you singing?' Norris replied, 'Gusto ko magsulat ng kanta na parang story ng isang lalaki… na…' then he grabbed paper scraps and continued singing to himself, pen in hand.” 

But it was a process that went lost somehow – just like how some of us would've to get drunken wasted.

“We exchanged papers and started laughing because the story was starting to make sense. But then again, there was whiskey and gin on the table. Norris left before midnight and I misplaced the pieces of ink-stained tissue and scratch paper we wrote those lyrics on, misplaced for months,” continued Asensio. “I don't remember how our characters ended up. and I bet if they were real, they wouldn’t have remembered either anyways.”

She added, “Months later, a classmate of mine from the Elements songwriting camp (Miru) came over and started strumming on a guitar. He asked if I had anything I was working on. “Poblacion” instantly returned to mind nearly word for word as I heard the sound of whiskey hit his glass.”  

Aside from Lopez, Ramiru Villacorte turned out to be one of the key people in completing the song lyrics.

“Miru was the missing ingredient to finishing these song lyrics. We shook our heads while laughing at these characters, and as we toasted the last glass of the evening, We even decided to make them trade what they were drinking in the lyrics, that it would be the girl drinking the gin and tonic, and the guy drinking whiskey…. Or worse absynthe!”

Not only that, her bandmate uttered one name in the middle of their conversation and that paved the way to Poblacion the way they wanted it. 

“Miru asked me, 'Come on, if you could have anyone on this track, anyone at all, suntok sa buwan… who would it be?' Ira Cruz, who had just arrived from a gig to join our little jam, entered the door, guitar still on his back, and just blurted out 'Chito (Miranda)!'”

Although reluctant at first, she approached the Parokya Ni Edgar frontman and got an instant nod.

“I poured myself another neat and messaged Chito, not expecting a reply, it was past midnight after all and We hadn’t spoken in months,” said Asensio. “Not more than 5 minutes later my phone started ringing. I gave him a brief summary, not expecting him to like it at all. At this point, the whiskey would have softened the fall anyways, and he replied “Ok, (random expletives) galing…. Astig! sendan mo ako ng demo.” and I told Miru and Ira, 'We get a demo to send.'”

And later at 4 in the morning, Nicole and her crew sent a demo with all the driest bottles and the widest smiles on their faces.

Aside from Miranda, the former General Luna frontwoman also wanted to have an era-specific, whimsical, big band sound, and that led to her go-to guy on sax and musical arrangement Michael Guevarra, and other members of AMP in Jun Austria (drums), Simon Tan (upright bass), Joey Quirino (piano), Janno Queyquep (guitar), Lester Sorilla (trumpet) and Isla Antinero (trombone). Also, joining on this already-ensemble cast are Asensio's mom Iwi Laurel and cousin Gino Lopez for backup vocals. 

While everything was recorded in Wildgrass Studio, Nicole shared how cool Chito was as a person and claimed his versatility on doing vocal chores. 

“Grabe ang galing ni Chito. Kahit anong genre, kayang kaya,” claimed Asensio. 

Now the entire tape was sent to Angee Rozul for mixing, and Abbey Road for mastering, Miru bared one question to Nicole: “Now it’s time to make a music video. Who’s on your Wishlist now?”

After initially reaching out to her spoken word and rapper friends, she found the one who she actually looking for – the legendary actress Cherie Gil, and it came through another blurry conversation. 

“A week later, I was at my grandma’s birthday party when in the very back of the room, shrouded in her signature mystique and radiant beauty was the legendary Ms. Cherie Gil,” said Asensio. “Would she possibly be game to do an indie produced a music video for a song that started out as a joke? Go big or go home they said.”

She elaborated further, “There was no whiskey at this party, so I had to ask her without the help of liquid courage. [I greeted,] 'Hi Tita.' [and she replied,] 'Oh yes, you are allowed to call me “Tita.”' [And I asked,] 'Would you be game to…' the conversation was a blur, [and] all I recall was her voice saying, “so tell me how these music videos work.” And next thing I knew I was in and out of meetings and gigs fixing a catering rider and setting up ingress with the talented team of GWARD INC films at 5am after flying in from Singapore.”

As the entire music video and single is set for official release later in the month, Asensio reflects on how is Poblacion today, at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown, and the closure of some businesses as its initial reactions.

“Poblacion is quiet today. My ripped jeans are tucked away, not a boot print left in sight,” she quipped.  

But she still managed to see the light after all the dark phase of today, similar to what she had done in her previous single, Silong. “And that’s alright… we’re just resting…. Even the colorful lights need to be unplugged so we can appreciate what the stars look like at night.”

Poblacion, the single by Nicole Asensio and Chito Miranda, and its music video will be out on 16 October 2020 under Warner Music Philippines.

Author: slickmaster | © 2020 The SlickMaster's Files

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to make a comment as long as it is within the bounds of the issue, and as long as you do it with decency. Thanks!