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115 views Aug 28, 2020
Nicole Asensio shares details about her new single “Silong”


Award-winning singer-songwriter and former General Luna frontwoman Nicole Asensio is back home with Warner Music Philippines. Nicole has devoted fans and a successful career, with General Luna hits under her belt, a solo album, songwriting awards, and unreleased tracks waiting to see the light of day. And this year feels like the perfect time for the "schizoprano"'s return to form with her new single, “Silong”.


“’Silong’ is a song I gave up on many times because it wouldn’t lend me an ending. It is also the only original song in my upcoming album that I did not predominantly write the lyrics for, instead I focused on the melody and being involved in instrumentation ideas with my bandmates. Nicole’s new material, initially written in English and had five rewrites, is a delicate topic as it took a while until it was finished. “One early summer afternoon, I was cleaning up my old hard drive and found 49 unfinished songs and poems. This happened to be on top of the list so I decided to give it another shot. But I wouldn’t take the lead on the lyrics for this one. I sent the melody to Itchie Montilla, an ex-member of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and he sent back a draft of his lyrics. I edited them a bit and then called my trusted band barkada to come over.”


Nicole Asensio got Michael Alba on drums, Karel Honasan on bass, Ira Cruz on Guitar, Nikko Rivera on keys, Michael Guevarra on saxophone, Lester Sorilla on trumpet and a few more friends. “The arrangement was a group effort. Michael A. And Michael G., being the intelligent musical tricksters, did some interesting arithmetic in the bridge and only then was the melody adjusted. We had the arrangement, and quickly set a schedule to record. No plans to release, just record for fun. We booked in Wildgrass studio, and because my musical family keeps growing, we added more elements, adding Isla Antinero on trombone, Ted Amper on Cello and Jobri Cimafranca on violin, with strings arrangement done by JC Magsalin who did a few of my orchestra arrangements for the first solo album and for live events.”


In the middle of “Silong”’s production, Nicole admitted that she started doubting herself even more. As the group worked on “Silong”’s arrangement, Nicole also took this time to regain her self-confidence. “I asked seasoned producer and performer Moy Ortiz to help me out with my singing, because truthfully, I was at a point where I lost all confidence, and he stuck it out with me ‘til the nth take.” For back vocals, she only had a few friends in mind. “The Honasan’s are a respected musical family and again, this song is like a family recipe with my friends in music, it was only right to ask Yosha Honasan (Karel’s wife). She along with amazing alto Pauline Lauron, and my mom, Iwi Laurel (I’m so lucky to have her on this), took the backup spots towards the end of the song, just to give it the filling in we were looking for. And that was it. Recording was done. And from that day I began writing again, incessantly, recording again, two more singles recorded and three more music videos shot just a couple weeks after. I felt some sort of motivation again.”


“Everything was set for January 2020. Then Covid happened.” To pass the time, Nicole wrote more songs, shot quarantine music videos for online releases, collaborated with other artists, and did fundraiser shows to keep herself sane. Upon returning to Warner Music Philippines (WMP) as a solo artist, she began writing, producing and recording her second album set for release this year. WMP was her ex-band General Luna’s label which released their self-titled debut record back in 2010. “Sometimes we can’t just play God and call out what’s meant to be and what isn’t because our plans have worldly limitations, and who knows, there may be a better plan that awaits if we choose to faith over fear. Let’s see how this goes as I dig through my hard drive of 48 more unfinished pieces. 2020 isn’t over yet.”


“Silong” comes out on August 28, 2020 under Warner Music Philippines. You can follow Nicole Asensio’s social media pages for more updates.