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Sep 07, 2022
Making something positive: dia maté launches “Kalimutan”

Making something positive: dia maté launches “Kalimutan”

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Creativity sometimes comes from meeting a challenge. Singer-songwriter dia maté was happy to do just that, taking on what her collaborator Quest suggested about writing something different for a change. The result is “Kalimutan,” a single is now released on all music streaming platforms under Island Records Philippines. dia’s new single is a result of a lock-in writing session she held with Quest. During that session, she says, she came face to face with something that she found difficult to do. “One thing that I always had trouble with was being able to write a happy song,” she says, “I’m so used to writing melancholic and sad songs, that writing happy songs wasn’t my norm.” Quest posed the challenge: what if she could take whatever she lived through and make it a source of gratitude rather than sadness? “Kalimutan” is a song about growth meant to be in an uplifting tone. “It is about accepting who you are, moving on from the past, and finally moving forward with positive emotion,” dia says, “The journey to acceptance can be a difficult experience but when you are finally there, life becomes a little bit brighter.” She says that she drew from what she experienced and saw how she grew because of those events.

“Kalimutan” also marks a departure of sorts for dia, whose songs have always been in the R&B and indie pop genres. She says that she “ventured out more into the pop realm” for this song, citing Doja Cat and Dua Lipa as artists she had in mind when writing the song. While this will be something new for people who have followed her since the beginning of her musical journey, this song offers something that is lifeaffirming and celebratory. In fact, dia says, “[‘Kalimutan’] is a song you can dance to. It’s also a song that you can scream at the top of your lungs when you need to forget about the past.” A healthy forgetting is perhaps what people need when moving forward is possible.

ABOUT DIA MATE dia maté wants you to feel the music

 

 

“Music is my therapy,” dia maté says. Her emotional experiences, especially sadness, find their place in her music. “When I’m sad, the best music comes out of me.” Much of her music to date comes from that place, and her first single, “Hearts Hate Me,” is one good example. The sound of this song, produced by CRWN, betrays those emotional currents. Over a gentle ¾ rhythm, the song paints a picture of love forsaken, and as the chorus builds to its climactic lyric: “my heart officially hates me,” there is the sense that she wants us to feel the pain with her. As it abruptly ends when we expect to hear a resolution, we feel the sense that the story is not quite over. dia started her musical journey thanks to the influence of her mother’s side of the family, who often performed music. At the age of seven, she persuaded her mother to enroll her in piano lessons. She was envious of her friends, who would often come up and play the classroom piano. She continued learning the piano up until high school. And when the ukulele craze came about, she began to learn that instrument. She then ended up learning the guitar after that. dia’s first public performance was at a mall recital, where she was asked to sing. The song was “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. She felt a great deal of stage fright on that occasion, but she eventually overcame her fear of performing. She realized that performing itself would help cure the fright. “I just need to go on the stage and sing,” she says, and the terror would go away. Two significant sets of influences drive this musical journey that dia is on. Her primary genre of choice is R&B, and she is very fond of the music of Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, UMI, SZA, H.E.R, and Ariana Grande. She also finds value in indie pop and rock thanks to her father, and two of the biggest names on her list is Dave Matthews (and his namesake band) and Norah Jones. dia says that she couldn’t sleep without Jones’ distinctive, soothing voice serenading her when she was very young.

It is the lyricism of R&B that has the strongest influence on her music, dia says. “You don’t really have to listen to the lyrics to feel the emotion in the song,” she says, “If you listen to the instrumentation, some of the words, the melodies, you know what they’re going for. And that’s what I really want to put out in my music as well.” However, like another young musician, Billie Eilish, she does not want to be pigeonholed into one genre or another. Her music aims to draw as many people as she could into the emotional palette she paints. “I just love making music that’s music,” she says, “as long as it sounds good.”

It is, therefore, not hard to find that common thread between dia’s music and the art and fashion in which she also has some interest. She became interested in fashion and art in her middle school years, where she started drawing and sketching. The reality TV fashion competition Project Runway was also a big deal for her, which whetted her interest. She met her best friend through a drawing class they took in a fashion school together. However, when she had to choose between art and music as she completed her International Baccalaureate diploma, she chose music.

Apart from fashion and music, sports and fitness are another passion dia has. She has pursued many sports over the years, including tennis, volleyball, figure skating, snowboarding, and most recently, surfing. She began, however, to consciously pursue fitness training through the popular fitness regimen CrossFit, and she says that she found the people she trained with at the Habitat Fitness gym supportive. “They really push you,” she says, “and you can’t slack.” Fitness is another shared interest she has with her father, to whom she is quite close.

Dia is on the verge of releasing “Hearts Hate Me” through Island Records Philippines, and she praises the label for letting her pursue her musical journey on her terms. “Island’s a very pro-artist label,” she says, “they really support the music that I want to make. They don’t force me to sound a specific way.” As local music’s next It Girl, dia says, “I just hope that…people will enjoy my music, and add it to their playlists, and just really connect. That’s important. I want them to connect with what I’m trying to put out. And for them to relate with me. Because I think of my music as raw, and relatable, and real.”

 

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Stream "Kalimutan" out now on all music platforms!