Maris Racal has the honor of joining an extremely short list of people who sang a Filipino song used as the official anthem by Disney.
Throughout history, Filipinos being officially tapped to singing Disney songs was not an uncommon sight. Of course, there is the iconic participation of Lea Salonga as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine and Mulan in Aladdin and Mulan respectively. Her version of A Whole New World and Reflection remains as classics that have withstood the test of time. And then there are artists like Janella Salvador and Inigo Pascual who were chosen by Disney to do covers of songs from their films.
But never has it been that a Filipino artist got to sing a Filipino song for Disney, until this year. Back in March, KZ Tandingan made history as the first local artist to sing an original song in Filipino, Gabay, for a Disney film. Her inclusion in the soundtrack to Raya and the Last Dragon broke barriers. And KZ will now have company as she is joined by Maris Racal.
MARIS RACAL X DISNEY
Recently, Disney announced that they chose Maris Racal to sing Simulan. It will serve as the Filipino anthem for Disney’s Ultimate Princess Celebration, and the song is now finally out. The Princess Celebration was launched this April and is a year-long event that is “spotlighting the courage and kindness of Disney heroines who inspire fans around the world.” The celebration is meant to highlight Disney’s iconic princesses and what makes them role models for so many people. Simulan is the official Tagalog version of the song Starting Now by Brandy, which was released back in May. Brandy herself has connections with Disney as she played Cinderella in the groundbreaking 1997 TV film, Cinderella.
Simulan is an upbeat pop anthem that features an inspiring message. In line with the theme of the celebration,the track is about women’s empowerment. It tells its listeners, especially young girls, not to doubt themselves, and follow their dreams. Aside from the great message, Simulan is also a great showcase of Maris’ sweet voice and she even gave some powerful vocals.
It’s not every day that you get picked by Disney to sing an official song, much less in Tagalog, so it’s an incredible honor for Maris to be included in the campaign. Maris feels the same way as she wrote in her caption announcing the project “It’s not every day you’re asked to record a song for Disney. My heart is so full, I still can’t believe it.”
It’s also fitting that Maris Racal was chosen to sing the song. She is a young woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and live her life. Now the only thing we need now is for Maris to sing a song for a Disney film.