This 2013, Pop rock princess Yeng Constantino is coming out with her fifth album titled Metamorphosis.
The MYX Music Awards 2012 Favorite Artist is very proud of her album that features 10 original tracks, all composed by her except for “Chinito,” which was composed by her friend Jed Dumawal.
With the carrier single “B.A.B.A.Y.,” Yeng describes this record as collaboration between her and three other musicians: Raimund Marasigan, Jesse Grinter, and Shinji Tanaka.
“Metamorphosis,” says Yeng, was the first word that popped out of her head when Star Records asked her what she wanted the title of her fifth album to be.
She pointed out that she believes no other word can aptly describe what she is going through in her life at the moment.
Yeng reveals the biggest challenge she had to face while doing this album.
She admitted, “Ano, challenge for me is, harapin yung reality na OPM music…I’m not saying it’s dead, it’s not.
“Pero nandun tayo sa point talaga na we have to fight for it. And sa trend nga ngayon na madami ngang nag-remakes, natutuwa ako…
“Actually, nung ginagawa yung album mas marami. Pero nung nag-cross yung 2013 mas marami na uling original songs. So parang, ‘Yes! Kaching!’
“Pero yung moment na yun, yun nga…yun lang yung thought na tatanggapin ba ng mga tao kung maghain ka sa kanila ng bagong kanta na hindi nila alam ulit?
“Or dapat ba ‘kong sumabay or tumayo na eto talaga, e. This is who I am: I’m a songwriter.”
Artists who write original music these days face tough competition against so-called singers who revive old, tried, and tested hit singles.
But Yeng stood her ground, “And yun yung naisip kong, hindi e, eto ‘ko, e.
“Kung siguro pipigilan ko yung sarili ko, baka pag dumating yung panahon, mag-look back ako, sabihin ko sayang naman.
“Yun yung pinakaayaw kong puntahan na place. Gusto ko pag nag-look back ako, ginawa ko yun, nag-take ako ng risk and naging masaya ‘ko.”
Recently, the K-Pop group Exo performed Yeng’s 2006 hit single “Hawak Kamay” as a treat for their Filipino fans.
While K-Pop groups are making waves in Southeast Asia, conversely, can Yeng do the same by spreading her music outside Philippine shores?
She confessed, “That’s one of my greatest dream for OPM to be crossed-over to Asia.
“Kaya alam mo yun, hindi ako naniniwala na problema yung K-Pop sa bansa natin, e. It just so happened na excellent sila.
“And inaadmire ko rin sila. Parang yung training pa lang, may mga nakikita kong videos sa YouTube na grabe yung sayaw nila, o, parang pang-twenty times na yun, a, sumasayaw pa rin.
“Grabe silang mag-rehearse. Kasi yung favorite kong K-Pop na ano, 2NE1, of course, nandun si Dara.”
Dara refers to Korean celebrity Sandara Park who became famous in the Philippines because she joined ABS-CBN's now defunct reality show Star Circle Quest. After emerging as a runnerup in the competition, Sandara went back to Korea and assumed the stage name of Dara, one of the members of the girl group 2NE1.
Yeng continues, “Nakita natin siya na nag-umpisa and her evolution also, parang wow, kung kaya niya 'yan, kaya natin yun.
“Nakita na natin siya nung sobrang raw pa lang, nung parang grabe yung mata niya, sobrang nakakatuwa yung innocence ng mata niya.
“Tapos ngayon pag makita mo siya sa music video, boom! Yung swag niya! O, nasan na siya? Ayan na siya, bagong siya.
“Kaya rin [natin] yun, naniniwala ako na yung mga hindi natin naiintindihan kanta kinakanta natin. Kantahan din nila yung hindi nila naiintindihan!” she quipped.
Yeng believes that the popularity of K-Pop groups in Philippines creates healthy competition that can drive our local artists to make better music.
She declares, “It’s a challenge for us OPM artists to produce music na excellent din. Yun nga, nakaka-challenge yun, e.
“Hindi lang siya something na gagawin mo lang na ay, ‘I like writing this.’ Pero alam mo yung parang gusto mo pang, gusto mong lumevel-up.
“Kasi ganun sila, e [K-Pop groups]. So yun. Happy ako na kinanta nila yung song.”
"ONE-TAKE" ALBUM. Yeng eagerly described the peculiar technique with which Metamorphosis was recorded.
Yeng enthused, “Eto yung mati-trivia ko about the album, nung nirecord namin yan, mostly nung mga kanta, bawat track, one take lang yung vocals.”
She explained that this was how her mentor, Raimund Marasigan, wanted them to record the songs.
Yeng wasn’t so optimistic about the idea at first. She says, “It’s not to impress you pero gusto kong sabihin sa inyo na sobrang nalulungkot ako pag ginagawa ni Kuya Raimund sa ‘kin yun.
“Hindi ko pa nararanasan yun buong buhay ko na mag-one take! Pano kung may sintunado?”
But the former Eraserheads member gave a very good explanation why he decided to do it that way.
Yeng recalled Raimund telling her, “‘Yung imperfections nun, yun yung nagpapaganda and yung rawness ng emotion mo, wag natin palitan.’
“Yun yung tinuro niya sa ‘kin which is parang narealize ko rin, oo nga no? Ang ganda pala.
“Kasi ginagawa ko, hindi, gusto ko pa i-take two. So take two na naman. Gagawin niya, palalabasin niya ko ng booth, paririnig niya sa ‘kin.
“Pag pinakinggan ko, oo nga, mas maganda yung take one nung wala ‘kong maysadong iniisip, nung kumakanta lang ako parang nasa shower mag-isa.
“Which is, oo nga, natutunan ko, oo nga, mas raw yung kanta, mas hindi polished, mas hindi edited, mas totoo yung emotion, mas maganda.”
Yeng's Metamorphosis album will be launched this Sunday, February 10, on ASAP 18.