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Why I Wrote This: Inside the Minds Behind the Lyrics

  • Alvar Santos

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From juvenile love and romance, to soothing weary souls, songs have both specific and universally relatable meanings. We delve deeper into the minds of your favorite local artists as they break down the meanings and inspirations behind their latest releases.

Peaceful Gemini’s “Warrior Princess”

Peaceful Gemini’s Warrior Princess talks about empowerment, self-acceptance, and harmony. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel all light and free. Her flow and rhythm perfectly embody the entity that she writes of: strong, powerful, and beautiful. Warrior Princess tells us to embrace our flaws, the duality of life, and accept our authentic being. The funky basslines of Warrior Princess are reminiscent of the 80s, yet somehow feels familiar even to younger folks like me.

“Watering the roots below
Waiting ‘til the fruits have grown
Unlearn all the things we’ve known
I’m honored in the midst of the beautiful soul”

Peaceful Gemini dedicates Warrior Princess to all women who deserve to be treated like the goddesses that they truly are. Embrace life, and let your beautiful and divine feminine aura shine. With each bar and rhyme Peaceful Gemini invites us to be one with life and enjoy every minute of it.

Listen to the song here.

AG.J’s “Nakawala” (produced by Yung Bawal)

AG.J’s Nakawala tells us his story—from his early years struggling to be independent, to finally finding and realizing his worth as an artist and individual. AG.J’s familiar and relatable flow blends all too well with the classic and soulful beats of Yung Bawal. AG.J’s lyrical work goes hard like how he faced life from the get-go. Nakawala proudly talks about how hardships are vital to one’s growth, be it for the better or for the worse. Life will always test us physically and emotionally. And, like AG.J, nobody’s exempted from this.

The smooth flow and chill vibe of Nakawala disguises the seriousness in its lyrics and narrative. AG.J effortlessly raps through Yung Bawal’s beats as he tells us how he got to where he is right now: blood, sweat, and tears.

“Buti may kuya na sasandalan,
kasama sa tama at tamang daan,
na kahit san man mapadpad ay hindi maligaw
dahil meron akong pinagkatandaan”

“Nagkaroon ako ng mga tunay na kaibigan, nalayo ako sa bisyo, nalayo ako sa away,” explains AG.J, “Napunta ako sa lugar na kung saan nakikita yung halaga ko.”

“Maagang minulat maging katuwang,
sa hanap ng buhay kailangan muwang”

Nothing in life comes easy. AG.J knows this all too well. Nakawala is AG.J’s life story, and it’s only just the beginning. Ikaw, kailan ka nakawala?

Flow through the lyrics by listening to the song here.

Ena Mori’s “FALL IN LOVE!”

Love, pride, ego, and everything in between—Ena Mori’s FALL IN LOVE! brings all these to the table and more. Teen pride, validation, and all that jazz inspired her to write this song full of ‘80s synths and nostalgia. “What’s interesting is that even when we’re older, we still seek validation,” Ena Mori shares. Each verse builds up to the chorus and catchy melody perfectly, showing that what could have ended in bitterness can instead be started over. And if all that familiar reverb and danceable tunes won’t get you anywhere, wait ‘til you listen to her lyrics.

"And I know what you expect from me is so low
your progress might be so slow
But I’m trying to go nowhere"

FALL IN LOVE! explores the deeper aspects of relationships and forgiveness. Ena Mori creates the perfect blend of an unmistakable pop song talking about the seriousness of love and maturity. While it does sound fun and cheerful, Ena Mori’s FALL IN LOVE! digs into each one of us and how we think about love. The idea of love in FALL IN LOVE! is honest and not one-sided. Every relationship has its own pace, and it's up to our partners and us to find that sweet spot of love and growth.

Fall in-love with the song here.

One Click Straight’s “S.S.H.”

While it’s disguised as a feel good song about lazy days, One Click Straight’s S.S.H. tackles the frustration behind facing constant uncertainty, isolation, and anxiety. This quarantine-spurred song talks about the everyday struggles we face in the current reality, the new normal. “S.S.H. was a representation or expression of what we were going through as a band and as individuals,” One Click Straight says. “The song is about breaking free from the vicious cycle of quarantine life.” The start of the song feels like how everyone of us starts their day, doing mundane tasks and just wondering when this boring and repetitive living would end.

“Ang gusto ko lang ay sumaya, sumigaw at huminga!”

This line started it all for S.S.H. It just screams freedom from all the negativity and frustration of living almost the same day over and over. “You start to get numb and hopeless,” the band says, “S.S.H. is about wanting to get out of that.” S.S.H. is our much needed anthem of how quarantine life sucks. If only we all had our own cliffs that we can go to and shout our lungs out, S.S.H. is the perfect tune to play on our way there.

Dance to the song here.

Zack Tabuldo’s “Nangangamba”

Sadbois unite as Zack Tabuldo’s Nangangamba was inspired by a failed romance. It talks about the uncertainties and doubts behind falling in-love. Play hard-to-get too much and it might leave you more hurt. Nangangamba is a cautionary tale for people who are too scared of commitment and heartache. “Sometimes we play too hard-to-get that we lose people who have interest in us,” Zack shares. Second guess someone who’s already so sure of what they feel towards you and you might just end up losing them.

"Kung ‘di pa aminin ang gusto
baka kasi mawala na ako”

“That one line in the chorus really shows you the whole idea of the song,” Zack adds. “That if you play with a person's feelings or make someone wait for too long, we lose them.” This line perfectly captures the clichéd idea of “the one that got away.” And yet, no matter how much clichéd it is, most of us fall for it as much as we care to admit. So take that leap of faith in love before you regret it.

Nangangamba is that much needed confidence boost when taking that leap of faith in love. Instead of thinking “what if this hurts,” Zack Tabuldo pushes us to say otherwise and think “what if it doesn’t?” Shoot your shot before it’s too late. Umamin ka na kasi!

Let this song give you courage by listening to it here.

Nathan and Mercury’s “Fake Love”

Fake Love talks about the hope of finding real love. The song is an ode to “Fools,” Nathan and Mercury’s earlier song about rushing fake love. Fake Love brings us to the certainty that real love exists and that we just have to wait to find it. The gospel-style intro adds that hopeful and uplifting vibe to the song, while Nathan and Mercury’s loud vocals brings everything to life. Listening to it for the first time is like going to a church full of love and hope.

“I was aching, but I’m better now
Don’t you worry, the sun is above the clouds”

“We wanted people to know that despite the clouds that hover over us with rain and gloominess, the sun will always be above that,” shares Nathan and Mercury optimistically. “We just have to remember that there is a light that shines down on us.” Nathan and Mercury also tells us that we shouldn’t give up on real love just yet. It’s just around the corner, waiting to be discovered. If you want real love so much, Fake Love tells us not to rush it. The song takes us a step back to see what real love should feel like.

Real love is something we can look up and hold on to, even if it’s not there yet. Fake Love is one of those songs that you just can’t help but close your eyes, raise your hands, and sing along to. Everyone wants that real love!

Hold on and listen to the song here.

Clara Benin’s “Araw’t Gabi”

Araw’t Gabi is another song about the intense romantic feelings we all felt when we first experienced young love. Clara Benin originally wrote Araw’t Gabi for Jay Abello’s 2014 Cinemalaya film RED. Araw’t Gabi is Clara’s first Tagalog song. Produced by Fran ‘The Ringmaster’ Lorenzo, Clara’s first Tagalog ballad tells us of the stark contrast between the start and end of young love.

“Araw at gabi ikaw ang ninanais ng
Puso kong ngayon lang nagising”

“This line talks about falling in-love for the first time,” Clara says. “And you can't stop thinking about that person day in and day out.” We’ve all been there, dumbfounded by love and loss. Araw’t Gabi perfectly captures the young, romantic notion we had of love back then. The intense feelings of juvenile love is greatly contrasted with Clara’s subdued but mesmerizing voice. And yet somehow, no matter how inspiring the start of the song was, we all know how most young love stories end. Clara’s soulful vocals and lyrics share our sentiments and hit home.

Share in our hugot and listen to the song here.