The beginning of Zack Tabudlo’s Island Records journey saw the young singer-songwriter going full speed ahead. His song ‘Sigurado’ hit the Top Viral PH charts and stayed there for four weeks, following its feature in the online series Your Home.
There’s also ‘Cruel,’ whose music video was released earlier this year and sports over 20,000 views on YouTube. Zack’s most recent single, the first one under Island Records Philippines, is the sultry ‘Nangangamba,’ whose play count on Spotify clocks in at over a million listens.
Iyong-Iyo: a tender ballad about love and yearning
And Zack shows no signs of slowing down, as evidenced by his latest single ‘Iyong Iyo.’ Loosely based on the K-drama Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight, in which an exorcist falls in love with a wandering spirit, ‘Iyong Iyo’ sees Zack putting it all on the line and giving everything—literal possession. “Kahit pa basakabilangbuhay, ‘di maglalaho,” he croons in the glimmering chorus, showcasing his lyrical penchant for themes like romance and longing. Gentle harmonies and mellow instrumentation make you feel like you’re floating, and allow Zack to flex the upper register of his vocal range, his high notes triumphant and sincere.
“I was really in touch with making the album art of the song as well, having a Halloween-like ghost costume in it which shows a person under a white cloth with holes in it, but has this heart glowing from his chest,” says Zack. “He wants to be like the ghost to really feel the same connection, with his heart glowing, symbolizing how much love he feels for the ghost.”
Elizabeth: An ‘80s-inspired bop for the romantically swept
Another track that Zack is set to release in two weeks is ‘Elizabeth’—a bright, ‘80s pop-inspired anthem about a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who hints at being romantically interested, but is afraid of any commitment. Inspired by the original Thai song for the hit comedy, Let’s Fight Ghost, ‘Elizabeth’ has a very charming and vibrant feel to it production-wise.
Zack shares that his new song is heavily indebted to the new wave hits of the ‘80s.“It’s my first time releasing a song with this style and it’s been fun,” the young producer and singer-songwriter said. “I wanted to go for something mellow having the foundation from the original one but has a ‘slow dance’ feel to it instead of going full ballad.”
But despite being aesthetically conscious about the song’s overall production by using a lot of personal modified samples for the drum tracks and a lot of 80s synths and effects, Zack emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the message of the song first: the very soul and fiber of why it exists in the first place.
“I wanted them to feel what the Thai series’ story is all about, based on the message of the show and the lyrics this song has: the love a person feels emotionally and pure heart alone without the physical aspect of it,” Zack shares in a statement.
According to Zack, ‘Elizabeth’ is also loosely based on his admiration for actress “Elizabeth Hope Soberano” a.k.a. Liza Soberano. He confesses, “she is actually the reason why I got into songwriting when I was very young. She’s such an inspiration to a lot of people including me, who got started with a craft I love to do.”
Zack Tabudlo’s ‘Iyong-Iyo’ is out today on all digital platforms worldwide via MCA Music Inc. His other single ‘Elizabeth’ will be released on Friday, Feb. 26.
Zack Tabudlo is an alt-pop RnB artist from Manila, Philippines. He hit the ground running when he began his music career, becoming a finalist for reality talent show TalentadongPinoy at the age of 10. He was a contestant for the voice kids season 1, and had a stint as a member of youth singing group GRAVITY, and one half of teen pop duo Zack and Fritz.
When it comes to music production, Zack has certainly earned his stripes. Under the mentorship of Venn Saturno and Chris Anthony Vinzons of Sonic States Studio, Zack continued to hone his techniques and sensibilities.
Among his influences are contemporary pop chart-toppers Shawn Mendes, Harry Styles, and Island Records label mate Charlie Puth. But Zack approaches the genre of pop with his own distinct approach. His artistry can be characterized as a tasteful blend of R&B, soft rock, funk and vocally driven pop.
With a slew of catchy singles under his belt, all leading up to what’s looking to be a promising full-length in the future, the young musician is gaining momentum. His hustle may have been riding below the radar, but one can expect 2021 to be Zack’s year.