Fade Away is a coming together of two Filipino-blooded rap stars as they share a touching track primed for the global stage.
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It’s been made clear over the years that OPM does deserve a spot in the global music scene. Many local acts have been able to expand their following and music around the world. And that also includes those in the Pinoy rap scene. Quite a few local rappers have performed in global stages, saw their music go viral in other countries, or had their tracks be featured in major Hollywood productions. Pinoy rap just hits different with tracks that can land on ears even those outside the country. And recently, two rappers with Filipino roots came together to do just that. Rising R&B and rap star Jerald Mallari, or more commonly known by his stage name JRLDM, and Beirut, Lebanon-based rapper and producer Chyno With a Why? combined their music prowess for their collaboration entitled Fade Away.
Released under the GLOPM (Global Pinoy Music) initiative Warner Music Philippines, which aims to partner Pinoy talents with international acts to help spread OPM to a bigger stage, the track is an infectious and catchy ditty that melds the elements of modern hip hop and R&B with a distinctly Pinoy flavor. The song also stands out for how it gets real and honest about the struggles the youth go through. Not only does Fade Away serve as a career milestone for JRLDM, but also because it’s another showcase of Pinoy rap and hip-hop going above and beyond its humble roots. NYLON Manila got the opportunity to chat with both artists as they talked about their collab, what it was like to work with each other, and much more.
A MEETING OF TWO WORLDS
Fade Away marks the first time artists from Warner Music Philippines and Middle East worked together on a song. It then feels fitting then that it was through two rap stars with a Pinoy heritage (Chyno is part Filipino). But as they share with NYLON Manila, either artist did not know each other prior to their collab. After they researched on each other though, they realized it was going to be a great pairing. “I really liked what he did. You know, I didn’t know there was that vibe in the Philippines. I told the guys from Warner Middle East and Warner PH I’m like, yo, that’s the guy I want to work with,” shares Chyno.
JRLDM did have his apprehensions when he learned that he was working with an international artist. “‘Yung language barrier parang hindi ko makausap si Chyno,” he reveals. But that very much flew out of the window when he realized that Chyno can speak Tagalog. Any awkwardness that they thought they might have did not manifest. “When we met for the video clip, we were just chilling. When we were working on the music, it was like, you know, he sends his beat, I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna do this in the back. It like really professional,’” says Chyno.
WHERE THERE IS STRUGGLE, THERE IS HOPE
When you listen to Fade Away, you get a track that’s filled with lyrics about everyday trials, the hope of overcoming them, and heading into better days. But when they worked on the track, they didn’t really have a concrete concept in mind. They didn’t make the song with the explicit intention of being what it is, it was a collaborative effort that organically became what it was.
“Coming from, like, a place of struggle, you always need to have hope in them,” expresses Chyno. “You always have to have hope. So, we did the song with the vibe of like, we’re in this world. But the hope because you’re a person who’s struggled and did really hard work like Jerald, like me coming up and living in the Middle East and trying to make music. That hope comes along with the struggle.”
Together, JRLDM and Chyno made a song that’s both easy to listen to and one that speaks truth to power and connects on a deeper level. Both artists share that they were happy to see the song finally be available to listeners, especially since they worked on the track over a year ago. “Sobrang natutuwa ako kasi magkaibang bansa nagsama sa isang kanta,” expresses the Bataan-based rapper. “Tingan mo Mama o, hindi na Pilipino ang kasama ko sa kanta.” Chyno was also ecstatic for the song’s reception, as well as heaped praise on JRLDM, “I’m psyched because I worked with like a Filipino artist that has a catalog and Tagalog and Filipino and really understanding the vibe that’s over there.”
IT’S OKAY TO BE LOST
With Fade Away now out there, many signs are pointing to how this collab was a success. And as they enthusiastically share, the duo are very much ready to work with each other again, whether it be a new song or holding an event in the Philippines where they can perform the song together.
At the end of the day though, what the duo want from this international collab is for the listener to take to heart the real story of the song. “Gusto ko maintindihan nila ‘yung struggle sa isang bata. Ito ‘yung nararanasan ng mga kabataan ngayon,” says JRLDM. At its heart, the track is a story about the youth. As Chyno puts it, “You know, sometimes, when we’re young, we feel boxed in. I just want people to understand, especially these young kids, that it’s not an unusual feeling when you’re young. We all get to this phase where we’re really lost. But you’re not alone. We all feel lost, and there’s always a way out.”
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