KEIKO Necesario has been busy since her 2020 album Ready, Let Go. took her career to greater heights, with UK-based producers Rusti Russouw and Tristan Charmichael (Chasing Fantasia) in tow. As we inch toward the end of the year, Keiko’s new single “Gabi” demonstrates the payoff of her musical growth through the years.
“Gabi” took two years to finish. Keiko started writing in Batanes in 2018, and finished it in Baguio in 2020. With years to perfect the message, “Gabi” became a polished track that unfolds into a celebration of emotional connections. “It honestly took me 2 years or more to finish this song because I just didn’t want to put random words just so I can get it over with but I truly meticulously wrote every word that meant a lot to me so I can really tell the story in the most accurate way possible,” Keiko said, talking more about the song. “I’ve been wanting to release this song for a long time now because it’s just so on point for me but just like every other thing in life, right timing will always come in place so I had to wait for the perfect season as well, and what better season can a love song be put out into world but in a time where I feel the most loved being married to the love of my life?” she added.
In “Gabi,”, the power of love is tangible. Guided mainly by her guitar, Keiko’s new single under Warner Music Philippines goes back to the sound that she got famous for, pensive and symphonic. There’s an undeniable thoughtfulness that envelops “Gabi,” with Keiko referencing her previous Batanes trip as her inspiration. “’Gabi’ was a song inspired by my Batanes trip, I was staring at the sunset in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, on a hill as it was starting to get dark, I remember wanting to capture that feeling of calm and excitement and nerves happening all at once because those were the emotions I felt just being there. Then I was playing this different tuning on the guitar and it felt like magic so I described all that I was feeling as like a moment of falling in love and that’s exactly what this song is about.”
A certain line from “Gabi” stands out for Keiko, possibly expressing the overwhelming state of love she’s in. When asked about the meaning of her favorite part, she shared, “I think I love the lines “Unti unti nang napapalapit, ika’y nariyan sa bawat pagpikit”. I swear when I thought of that line, I was just so proud of it because of how true the words are. How when someone begins to occupy your mind, it’s as if you see or imagine their face everywhere, and it’s even clearer when your eyes are closed. there’s just no escaping this person.”
Keiko explores a warmer side of love in her new single. She also revealed, “It’s different because it’s the very first raw sounding original I’ve ever had to put out as a single, meaning it’s just the guitar and my voice. And it’s pure Tagalog which I think the fans would also be happy about because it’s in our native language. and Filipino language will always be so beautiful to me. To us.,” sharing how “Gabi” is different from her past releases.
Keiko already established herself from the beginning of her career as a gifted singer-songwriter known for her “hugot” lyrics. But, as her artistic path flourishes with her unconfined self-expression, her purpose as a songwriter deepens. On the role of songwriters especially during this time, Keiko said, “I think songwriters have always been filling up a very important role in people’s lives, whether it’s in the middle of a global crisis or in the middle of a personal struggle or just our own stories in general. Being one of the songwriters and even as a listener as well, being in both end of the spectrum, I’ve always believed in the power of just making people feel understood and heard and seen through the words we write and the ones we hear. So yeah, during this pandemic, all of us definitely relied more on the things we can be within our own homes. not being able to see some of our families and friends, we really got closer to the songs we listen to, even with other forms of art as well. And I do think it’s such a blessing to experience art so intimately. even with all that’s going on in the world now.”
Being the ever-skillful storyteller, Keiko always captivates her listeners with each song she delivers. Taking bits and pieces from her own story, she manages to share a refreshing but relatable perspective regardless of the dialect. In “Gabi,” she shares its meaning remarkably well as it was written entirely in Filipino—proving that her words hold more power when sung in our more straight-from-the-heart language. On how she uses her craft to influence people, she shared, “In our fallen world, there will always be unpleasant things in our lives and so as an artist, it’s really a responsibility for me to write about what is honest and true. Sometimes it’s going to be about heartbreaks but I want to be able to still counter that with hope and the truth that real joy comes with the pain and I want to keep singing about all that with love and kindness.”
“Thank you for listening and hopefully, for falling in love with this song just as I am falling for it. I hope and pray you find the right love you’ve been looking for and relate to all the words of ‘Gabi.’” On her future plans, Keiko said, “As always, more music. And once again, a different season so they can hold onto the fact that the new stuff I’m going to put out next year will be different but still me.”
“Gabi” is now available on your digital music platforms, and you can watch the official lyric video on Youtube. For the latest updates on your favorite musicians, follow Warner Music Philippines on their social media pages.