With Ate Sandali, Maris Racal Is Showing A More P-Pop Side Of Herself

Ate Sandali goes out to all the girls in a toxic relationship.

Maris Racal opened up about her newest single, how K-Pop, Lady Gaga, and Ariana Grande inspired her new sound, and on a possible collaboration with SB19.

Related: Maris Racal’s New Single Features Her Rapping In A Pre-Colonial Inspired Outfit, Trans and Queer Artists, And Going Blonde

For most, if not all, of Maris Racal’s music career, the songs she has released lean more on the acoustic side. Most of the songs are mainly piano-, guitar-, or band-driven. That is mainly driven by the fact that Maris has a preference for more classical, acoustic-leaning songs and that she was raised listening to bands like The Beetles.

So, when Maris dropped her latest single, Ate Sandali, to say that is a departure from her previous sound is an understatement. The pop-driven track, which was co-produced by Rico Blanco, is nothing like Maris Racal has done before. In her press conference for the single, she talked about the story of the song and why she felt now was the time to release this new sound.

Ate Sandali

Ate Sandali sounds like a song that’s made for today, which was something Maris was aiming for, but the song’s journey from inception to release was years in the making. When Maris first wrote Ate Sandali, she took inspiration from not only her own situation, but from her sisters as well. “At the time, broken-hearted kami ng ate ko, sunod-sunod talaga yung bad decisions.” She continues, “’Yung Ate Sandali, ‘yung mismong song, matagal ko na siyang sinulat, as in tagal na.” She went on to explain that she wrote the song when she was around 19-years-old but didn’t want to release it because she didn’t feel that it was her type of song as she was more into classic, piano-driven, acoustic songs.

The song remained in her notebook until last year when the pandemic happened. “One of the few things that saved me was K-pop, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, so parang whenever I watch their music videos, nadadala ako sa ibang mundo.” In December 2020, Maris thought that she could also release a song of that type and felt that she had it in her to do it. Maris Racal also felt a bit of pressure in the fact that the song has a kind of sound that may not sound good on her when she’s older, so she felt like releasing the song now would be better.

Para Sa Marurupok

For her, she feels that the song is “para sa mga girls na marurupok.” She explains, “women empowermen,t but like more on a friendly advice sa lahat ng girls na nasa relationship na medyo toxic na paulit-ulit na cycle na hindi maganda.” She clarifies though that Ate Sandali is not hating on men, but just a reminder that women can end their toxic relationship if they want to and she just wants to brighten their spirits. Since the song was inspired by a past relationship, it might invite speculation as to who Ate Sandali is about, but for Maris, she isn’t bothered when people try to define her music through her relationships. “Wala akong worry ng ganyan, whenever I’m writing, ‘yung truth ko, ‘yung hugot ko at the moment, ‘yung music ko kasi ‘yung way ko to show my emotions.”

New Sound

When Maris Racal decided to release Ate Sandali as a single, the song went through quite a few changes from its original incarnation. “There were a lot of words na binago.” She also decided to add a bit of humor to the song, which she thinks her gay fans and friends would appreciate, as well as speak a few lines in Bisaya to represent her heritage. She also decided to give herself a challenge and do something she’s never done before, rap. “I had to challenge myself to write rap just to heighten the music and to add another element. Habang nagsusulat ako ’nun, nape-pressure ako, kasi nasa utak ko si Shanti Dope o si Gloc-9 na mapapakinggan ’yung music ko. I had to write it over and over again.”

Life Under Balcony Entertainment

This is Maris Racal’s first single under Rico Blanco’s Balcony Entertainment. To hear it from her, aside from the fact that she’s working with her boyfriend, being in an independent company has made her a better musician. According to her, growth as a musician was something to wants to experiences, and believes that Rico and Balcony can help her in that. Already, she says that she has matured as an artist, especially when it comes to songwriting. “Kasi dati, medyo reckless ako magsulat, nung naka-work with Balcony sobrang nag-iba talaga,” the singer-songwriter explains. For Maris, not only does Ate Sandali show a more P-Pop side of her, but it also shows a maturity in her, maturity as a songwriter.

What’s Next For Maris Racal

While we and her fans enjoy her new song and colorful music video, which she’s her in modern Filipiniana, dance with trans queen, and go blonde, we also are excited for what Maris Racal has up next which is something she touched upon. First, she has a new mini-album coming out around August. While she was tight-lipped about certain details like how many songs would be in the album, she did say that it would feature different sounds and variations and deal more with her emotions when she was younger. “Gusto ko lang i-express ‘yung emotions or hugot ko dati nung bata pa ako sa album na ‘to.”

As she is label mates with SB19, she also didn’t rule out a future collaboration with the boy group. “Alam mo, number 1 sila sa listahan ko. I really want a collaboration with them.” She then shared a story when she first met them backstage at an event and she asked them if they wrote their own songs and found them so cool. “Dream ko sila, but it’s not impossible.”. Finally, Maris hopes that she could do a virtual concert around her birthday in September for her fans, but that’s dependent on whether or not the country opens up more so it will be easier to plan.

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