On his twentieth year, Gloc-9 is working on a new album, set for release by September 2017, his anniversary month. His first single on the album Rotonda is titled Ice Tubig, released by Universal Records Philippines. Ice Tubig features Mike Luis and will come out July 2017.
At the press briefing held in Universal Records Philippines, Gloc-9 recalls how his songwriting back then was, "talagang before, nakakatawa!"
He even explained that he probably offended many listeners, "Oo, offensive siguro before and even sa mga nakatrabaho ko."
"Mas may sense yung music ko now compared to 1997, 1998."
In hindsight, he shares why his music was like that back then, "Napakaself-centered nung writing, purist rapper ako, no Tagalog, tapos anything other than astig, wala."
He recalls what changed, "Nung nag-mature na ako, mas madami nakakarelate pag may substance."
Gloc-9 says that there is there more introspection, as expected, for a songwriter twenty years in.
"Definitely, yan lang pupuntahan ko as a writer, mas mature ako ngayon."
"Siguro sa tagal ko na din, alam ko na more or less what works and what does not work."
He says that he does have moments of doubt still, "Dumating na sa time, gusto ko ba pa gawin eto," he would ask himself.
But what he ends up with, is where he started in the first place, "It always boils down sa interest ko sa craft na eto."
He likens his love for music, for songwriting, to someone who loves in a relationship.
"Sobrang mahal ko ang trabaho na eto at marami akong pinapasalamat and I always come back."
He confesses, "Kahit napapagod ako, ayaw ko na, I still find myself humming melodies, writing lyrics."
Does he ever see himself not performing and just writing songs for others?
"Eventually, hindi pa ngayon."
ADVICE FOR MUSICIANS. PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) got to talk with Gloc-9 regarding his thoughts on creating content, especially for aspiring writers.
He says his advice is, "If by nature maawain ka, dapat na mag try ka magsulat."
"Empathy is the best trait na magamit sa pagsusulat. Natutunan ko rin paano mag relate sa ibang tao."
He says that the state of the nation and his mindset as he writes cannot be separated, "Matagal ng ganoon, if anything, mapoprove mo lang na yun description, lahat tayo, ayungin na isda."
What he means by this is, "Yung maliliit na fish sa palanggana, hindi tayo ang nagdedecide kung gaano ka dami, gaano ka konting tubig lalanguyin natin."
But even if we are like fish, "sa maliit na palanggana, may kakayahan kang lumangoy."
He has been giving regular talks on content creation, and for him, Takip Silim's rap part, "Yan ang ginagamit ko if I talk about content. My rap verse doon ay isa sa pinakamalinis, pinaka on point."
He explains that until now, the message of Takip Silim resonates, "Nararamdaman ko talaga yung maigsi lang buhay natin and we need to focus on more important things."
Gloc-9 shares of the time when screenwriter Ricky Lee used another song of his, Lando, as an example in a seminar on writing.
"Surprised ako, someone told me, 'ginamit niya yung kantang ginawa mo'. Sabi daw ni Ricky Lee 'if you want to be an effective writer, you need to be very visual.’
"Nakusap ko siya, 'salamat sir', sabi niya 'gagamitin ko sana yung Magda pero wala na akong oras!' I realized what I was doing is tama din."
Gloc-9 simply loves what he does as he didn't learn songwriting and composing formally, "ganoon na lang din respect and love ko sa trabaho na eto, everything comes out naturally."
He also recalls that over the course of his twenty years in the industry, he had some fears when it came to releasing a song.
"Yung Sirena, takot na takot ako before we released, wala kasi siyang in between. It's either gusto mo siya or magagalit ka. Nervous talaga ako."
Gloc-9 is also hesitant now to re-record his old songs, something that some artists do to celebrate a milestone year.
"Nasasayangan ako, I think ayoko galawin yung previous songs.
"Mahihirapan na ako to recreate kung ano yung character ng song na yun before."
He says he is happy being a songwriter, "Songwriter talaga ako, gusto ko sumulat ng sumulat."
In his twenty years, he also reveals a song he feels was undervalued.
"Yung, Atik Laham or baliktad ng Mahal Kita with Wency Cornejo."
"It's a story na nagsimula sa ending at natapos sa umpisa."
"It's a song na sayang, in an album na maraming tracks."
While there is something to be said about releasing a full-track album versus the 5-track release becoming more and more common now, in a bigger album, Gloc-9 feels, "Matatabunan. Minsan, hindi rin nila mapansin."