The Nissan X-Trail jams with Barbie Almalbis and Zsaris Mendioro

The pandemic may have forced us to stay cooped up in our homes, but that doesn't mean we can't make great music even when apart.

To prove this, two inventive musical artists got together online, even though apart to remix a hit song. Best of all, they did it with sounds you typically hear a car make.

Motivating this creative exercise was Nissan Philippines, wanting to lift spirits and promote creativity and innovation while Filipinos were isolated at home. Nissan tapped singer-songwriter Barbie Almalbis, and live looper, Zsaris Mendioro.

Just two band members? That's not a problem, percussion would be provided by the Nissan X-Trail, one of the first vehicles in the country to be fitted with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite of active and passive safety features.

How could a Nissan play purcussion? Through the use of looping. Looping, a musical craft that Zsaris is particularly skilled with, involves the recording and playback of a piece of music or sound effect in real-time using electronic devices or computers. Zsaris simply uses the recording of the sound effect to loop into the chosen song, using computer software to time it, repeat it, or loop it as often as needed.

Musical groups like Stomp have proven you can make a great song out of almost any sound. So why not the informative beeps, clicks, and thuds a Nissan X-Trail makes?

The duo decided to add a new twist to Almalbis's hit single, ‘Money For Food,’ looping in the X-Trail's various sound effects to enhance the song. The result is quite soothing to the ears, especially for gearheads.

Barbie and Zsaris used the sounds from a Nissan X-Trail, such as the car door, seats, and turn signals. They also used the sound activations of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility features such as the rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and moving object detection that showcase the different features of the vehicle that make it so popular, and even safe and easy to drive.

“This is definitely one of the most unique musical projects I’ve ever worked on,” said musical artist, Barbie Almalbis. “I never imagined that someone could make music with a vehicle, but by discovering more about the Nissan X-Trail and Nissan Intelligent Mobility, I realized that it is indeed possible. This project really showed me how versatile this vehicle could be – not only as a great ride, but also as a surprising musical instrument! This was a great way for Zsaris and I to explore our art, and we hope that this would inspire everyone to stay creative while staying safe at home.”

“This is the epitome of a creative challenge – when I first heard about this project, recreating such an iconic song using the sounds of the Nissan X-Trail and Nissan Intelligent Mobility features, I was stunned,” said Zsaris, a live looper. “But actually it forced me to think outside the box while being at home and was a new experience that gave me the opportunity to find creativity anywhere, at anytime, from anything! And also having the opportunity to work virtually with Barbie.”

Nissan in the Philippines continues to encourage individuals to stay at home to stay safe. But that doesn’t have to be boring if we all exercise a little creativity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all of us. But we must remember that even if we’re staying safe at home, we can still exercise our creativity. We are so happy to bring creativity to life at this time and collaborated with such talented artists like Barbie Almalbis and Zsaris, to recreate a famous Filipino song with the Nissan X-Trail,” said Atsushi Najima, Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director. “The nature of the Nissan X-Trail, and this creative endeavor, is a true example of how we at Nissan are able to create bold innovations even in tough situations.”

Start looping

Like what you hear? You don't need expensive equipment to start looping and making your own unique songs. There's various looping software available for PCs, Macs, IOS, and Android Devices. It goes without saying that you'll need at least a microphone.

For PCs, download Giada, an open source loop program. For Macs, you can do it with the bundled Garage Band software. For iOS, search the app store for One Loop. For Android Devices, search the Google Play store for Loop Stacker.