There’s an old catchphrase that says “love is sweeter the second time around,” and in the case of singer-songwriter and all around personality Maris Racal, it’s the love and passion for all things music that is making the year very, very exciting.
And with the release of her latest single “Ate Sandali” – a infectious power-pop ditty which can only be described as a radical departure from her early attempts in music, years prior – Racal revealed that the journey to get to the present has been a long, colorful one that stems from her formative years.
“I grew up pretty much surrounded by music, and my exposure comes from everywhere – from my parents listening to essential tunes varying from The Beatles to James Taylor, and my brother and sister, who would further influence my tastes and preference in more current music at the time,” she shares. “I remember how much I admired my brother – who was in a band at the time – as I’d watch him write original songs. It was very amazing to me,” she reveals.
Of course, her musical path did experience many twists and turns, as she did find herself on a slightly more different trajectory as an actress and online personality. Though the experience did ultimately afford her a preliminary exposure and first-attempt in music, it seemed that the proverbial stars were not quite aligned at-first… until she would find herself working with balcony Entertainment CEO Rico Blanco.
“After the first time we met and worked-together on a song, Maris asked me my opinion of her songs, so she literally got a guitar and sang me her songs on-the-spot, and I was surprised that there were a LOT,” reveals the acclaimed singer/songwriter producer. “So naturally, I wondered why she never had a proper music career – I was blown away at how she had an entire collection of songs she had written herself on both guitar and piano.”
Though her first foray of singles released via Balcony Entertainment was slowed-down a tad due to the pandemic, Racal’s excitement for music was still at an all-time high, fueled by absorbing newer, more current pop-sounding musical styles in the form of Lady Gaga, K-Pop and being exposed to friends’ tastes and online platforms like Tiktok and the like. It would have a great impact on how she viewed music, and on the newer batch of music she would be working on.
“There’s a natural curiosity songwriters have, as to what makes a song great – what makes people relate-to and enjoy a certain song and sound,” reveals Maris, when asked about her newfound penchant for catchy, upbeat pop as evident on her latest single, “Ate Sandali.” “It intrigued me to the point where I was challenged to create something in that musical style and vein – and it made total sense to release music like this now, since it would be really weird to release similar music when I’m older. Now is the perfect time to do so. And lyrically – it’s a song about empowering women in general – I literally wrote it during a time when both my sister and I were literally heartbroken, so it’s definitely one of those songs that I hope can also spread the message to all women out there.”
Produced by Blanco himself, the single’s electronic-pop sound is – in every sense of the phrase – infectious-as-hell. No stranger to hit singles and various styles of music (having re-invented himself through the years as an artist…), Blanco minces no words when it comes to praise for Maris.
“With Maris’ new single ‘Ate Sandali,’ it’s definitely her own take on current music but in a way that is respectful – especially to the foundation of all great pop music from the past [from classic artists],” he shares, and adds, “Pop music is an art, and there’s definitely a right way to do it, and we hear it with Maris’ songs. It’s very exciting for us.”
The first track off of an upcoming mini-album, “Ate Sandali,” was released on all digital streaming platforms last June 23.