It’s seventh heaven for singer-songwriter Adjeng who releases today, Nov. 12, a new record called “Hinga,” her seventh single this year. Yes, you read that right. She has been putting out songs practically every month since she debuted last summer as a solo act on a digital music platform.
As if being able to churn out that many finely recorded tracks isn’t enough, this lady singer with significant experience in the acoustic show band scene makes sure that she delivers something different each time. Thus, for this one, it’s a piano ballad with Tagalog lyrics and sung in the classic way of interpreting songs. That is, building up emotions from plaintive to intensely expressive by the time it reaches the final chorus run.
“If you have been following my releases, you would probably notice that I have singles that are worlds away from each other. One is a Mid-tempo, 80’s nostalgia pop ditty. There is a ballad in English, a gospel-inspired tune, a sentimental pop melody, one that is rock, and now a piano ballad in Filipino,” noted Adjeng who’s also the lead singer of Wink which returned to recording this year after a long hiatus.
She expressed, “‘Hinga’ is a ballad that I feel will echo greatly with the sentiments of Filipino listeners who love classic heartbreak songs. But it first resonated with me, because I make sure to release songs that affect me first, that pierce and move me before anyone else.”
Interestingly, “Hinga” is the first of her singles with lyrics not written by her nor arranged by her songwriting partner Nino Regalado. This one’s by acclaimed guy-with-guitar Toto Sorioso who is actually his former bandmate as she and Toto were the original vocalists, back in 2004, of the seven-piece band Sipol. In fact she once demoed this song years ago upon the request of Toto who has remained in touch with her, especially in this time of pandemic when artist-friends cling to each other for strengths — may it be emotional or creative.
Adjeng is both emotional and creative, and it’s natural that she ends up properly interpreting the song in the way she knows how.
“It was by perfect timing that I was nursing a broken heart when I recorded that demo, and I would listen to it every now and then when I wanted to purge my heartbroken emotions,” she revealed. “Toto was able to use that demo for other singers who wanted to record the composition.”
The chorus rings bittersweet with these words: “Nag-iisa, nawawala/ Hinahanap ka sa luha/ Nasasaktan, nagdaramdam/ Habang buhay magdurusa/ Alaala mo’y aking sumpa sa bawat paghinga.”
Sorioso won the Filscap Songwriting Competition grand prize 11 years ago and released his debut album as a signed artist of MCA Music. He shared his thoughts about the composition he happily let Adjeng sing: “We breathe to exist. But what if every breath we take doesn’t ease all the hurt and the pain? ‘Hinga’ is a song about the struggle of not letting go of past heartaches.’”
Think that Adjeng may have run out of beautiful compositions to comply with her self-imposed once-a-month recording spree. But no, it’s just a case of a friend’s brilliant piece that she couldn’t pass up. “There’s nothing like a good, classic Tagalog original to make you pause, make you feel broken enough to prepare you for the next step…which is healing,” she explained.
Adjeng just co-wrote and recorded a Christmas song with vocal coach Kitchy Molina called “In Awe”, collaborated with topnotch songwriter Soc Villanueva for a track titled “That’s Okay (To Not Be Okay)”, and is in the works for at least two new songs with Regalado, “Quicksand” and “Time Traveling.”
She certainly values effective collaboration because her pretty cover art for “Hinga” is likewise done by painter/artist Cha Salido who also did the one for her previous single “Please.”
There’s really no stopping Adjeng who vowed to put out as many records as her creative mind and singing heart can do, which in other words, a lot of good new songs.