Fresh from its well-received debut release semilucent, Paradise Rising returns with a new ensemble of artists on its second installment semilucent 2, which features fresh, homegrown artists and with diasporic identity and orientation.
Meet the Vancouver Canada-based duo Manila Grey; Philippine-native singer and instrumentalist Steven Peregrina; up-and-coming female R&B artist Daze based from Amsterdam; hip-hop powerhouse from New York CA Christian Alexander; seasoned rapper and songwriter Curtismith; and Filipino-American electronic producer standout Manila Killa with multi-talented global vocal artist Yuna.
How do they feel being part of semilucent 2?
Daze, Steven, CA Christian, and Curtismith feel blessed, honored, and grateful to be part of the new album. Daze, who is into R & B and soulful sound said that she was involved in the creative process, its vision, execution and the final touches. Daze is a singer-songwriter born in Pampanga and raised in Subic Bay.
As for Steven, whose music is R & B, and pop considers this opportunity a good take off in his career, and to showcase his musicality, and artistry. He is a true legacy of his own grandfather and OPM Legend, Eddie Peregrina.
CA Christian Alexander said he and Curtismith “are excited to be a part of the semilucent 2 EP because we have an opportunity to represent the Philippines on 88rising’s global platform and inspire the next generation of artists to continue to keep pushing Filipino music culture forward.” As CA Christian said, “It makes the moment sweeter . . .”
CA Christian Alexander is a rapper, singer, and songwriter from Staten Island, New York City now residing in Manila. Curtismith (Mito Fabie) is a Filipino lyricist, singer, and rapper. One of his recent accomplishments is rapping for the Philippine Department of Tourism’s video for its tourism campaign entitled, “Abakada” (released February 2020).
In this day of digital age and pandemic, how do they make their music more relatable?
“Music is always an outlet for self-expression,” shared Daze during an exclusive zoom interview, whose musical influences in the local music scene include Jaya and Bugoy Drilon. “To keep on pushing for our artistry, by being honest. And that they are not alone.”
Steven added that “It’s difficult to release happy music these days because we know that we are in a different state. I put feelings and passion into my songs, to have that escape and to chill.”
CA Christian had this to say, “I try to make music as a reflection of what I’m going through . . . I make music that I can relate to . . . it should be timeless.” The same goes with Curtismith, who expresses what he feels and translates it into his kind of music.
semilucent 2 is a five-track EP that provides genre-blending acoustics, memorable melodies and high-energy 808s. It draws inspiration from the darker mood that comes with the ending of summer, and a longing for memories past.
For Steven, his track “All Night” is “all about good vibes, good times, and partying,” a pre-pandemic scenario. He did the lyrics for this track.
For Manila Grey, “Island Baby (Maarte)” brings a new vibe to the compilation project. “In this song, we show love to all the beautiful women in our lives, women who represent the vibrancy and class of our culture, both in our home city Vancouver. Maarte is slang for high maintenance in Filipino, but it actually means artsy. We just wanted to flip that narrative into something fun, while showcasing the art and the grace,” the group noted.
According to daze, his song “Situation” is “about a relationship between two people who are in between love and friendship, or a situationship.”
Alexander shared that his collaboration with Curtismith, “Black Hearts” is “a trap RnB song about how cold relationships can be. Welcome to the dark side of Paradise.”
For “Reminisce,” Manila Killa shared that he “started the instrumental track during quarantine when I felt no pressure to create a specific type of music. It was during a time when I felt artistically free – there were no shows coming up and everything was at a standstill, so I took the opportunity to try some things out I haven’t before.”
He continued: “When I found out Yuna was interested in the track, I was so excited to work with her as I’ve been a longtime fan. She totally understood the mood I was going for with the track and turned it from this fun disco demo into something raw, emotional, and reminiscent of better times.” Manila Killa (Chris Gavino) is a producer born in the United States but was raised around the world.
Yuna, who features on the track, said: “When I heard Manila Killa’s instrumental track, I was at a place in my life where I had to start being creative in a new environment. I was at home with my family, it was so different from what I’m used to. But listening to ‘Reminisce’ just inspired me to write something emotional, about romanticizing the past or memory that lives in your head forever,” Yuna said.
88rising founder and CEO Sean Miyashiro took note of the “vibrancy in the way talented young artists are emerging, and such a massive audience in love with music.”
For more information, visit: https://paradiserising.lnk.to/semilucent2 (RUBY ASOY)