Now that Rico Blanco is back in the recording scene, he promises a totally different sound in his new album Galactik Fiestamatik.
RICO BLANCO CONQUERS iTUNES. Rico recently launched his 9-track album on GMA-7’s Sunday variety show Party Pilipinas.
After his performance, Warner Music Philippines’ general manager Flerry de Leon and sales and marketing manager Nico Bacani handed him a citation recognizing Rico as the first OPM artist to have an album at #1 (for 9 consecutive days) on iTunes Philippines. He was also presented with an award for his first solo album Your Universe turning five times platinum, with over 80,000 units sold.
NEW ALBUM, NEW SOUND. Last September 5, the singer-songwriter performed tracks from his Galactik Fiestamatik album during the launch held at Teatrino Greenhills.
This year marks the return of Rico to the recording scene after the 2008 release of his solo album Your Universe.
The year 2012 is also memorable for Rico since he was able to fulfill his dream of having a home studio.
“I’ve wanted my own studio since I was a kid, and now I have it in my attic. So it’s like me again in third year high school, when my classmate lent me his double cassette player and keyboard, and I could record stuff at home!”
For this album, Rico takes the sounds he grew up with—the thundering ethnic beats of Ati-Atihan, analog synths of New Wave, and even the catchy groove of contemporary pop—and mixes it up all in his head in a tribal punk rave.
Rico Blanco’s 9-track album offers a festive vibe that is uniquely his.
The madcap journey begins with “Amats,” the creepy yet intriguing carrier single that has been described by fans as a “stalker anthem.”
Rico says about this song, “I wanted it to be in your face, like a stalker you want to get rid of.”
He continues, “It’s always the first song that I create [for an album] that takes me where I want to go; that’s what happened with 'Yugto,' I just took bits and pieces of it and turned them into other songs. This time, it was “Amats.””
Other songs include “Burado” (With lyrics that go: Wala na sa USB / wala sa phone book / inbox at sent items) and the folksy “Lipat-Bahay,” which captures the nostalgia of moving house and letting go. These songs were performed on the piano and accompanied by snare drum for a more earnest, acoustic sound.
During the album launch, Rico narrated the story behind the song “Lipat Bahay.”
“My family’s from Laguna, so to be closer to work, I live in the city. I had been condo living for the last ten years, but last year, I moved to a new place so I could have a dog, an affectionate Dutch Shepherd named Bowie.
“Sometime during the songwriting period, I bumped into Dong Abay. I told him I was writing a new album, tambay tayo. He asked, ‘Saan ka ba?’ And I said, ‘Kakalipat ko lang, hassle nga, nasa mga balikbayan box lahat ng mga gamit ko,’ and he said, ‘O ayan, isulat mo!’
“The minute he said that, I was so inspired, I was already writing the song in my head while pretending to listen to him—sorry Dong! I’m thankful for [advice from] friends I respect; they have no idea how much confidence I get from the little things they say.
As the night continued, Rico also recalled how he came up with the song “When the Wheels Turn.”
“The Warner A&R dropped by and wanted to see my progress, but with this song, I only had the music 'cause I junked the previous lyrics and was about to ditch the song entirely. But I told him I’d give it another shot, and the minute he left, I pressed the record button and just made up the first line as I was singing into the mic. ‘I’m waiting in the corner of the sun.’
“I didn’t know where the song was gonna go, but I did the same thing for the second line, then the third line, the chorus, and then the rest of the verses. This is the first time I’ve ever had the exact moments of lyric and melody creation actually recorded.
“It was as stream of consciousness as I could get, and I love it now, because it felt like someone [else] wrote it, and I’m trying to figure out what he said, because I wasn't that person that day!
“But now I realize, it’s about fate, it’s about things falling apart, it’s about trauma, but also about hope,” he said.