With the release of his latest album, New Views, Kyle Echarri shows off a new sound, style, direction, and perspective.
These days Kyle Echarri is known as one of the hottest actors of his generation. After appearing in the phenomenon Kadenang Ginto playing Kristoff “Tope” Tejada, he, along with the rest of The Gold Squad rocketed to the mainstream. As one half of the love team KyCine, he and Francine Diaz regularly top the Twitter trends list by simply just appearing together.
It’s safe to say that the rising star that Kyle Echarri is on the up and up. But did you know that he originally started in the industry as a singer? For fans who have been following Kyle since the beginning, this is nothing new. He first appeared on The Voice Kids Season 2 at just 11 years old. Singing Night Changes by One Direction, he wowed Bamboo and Sarah Geronimo before choosing to be part of team Sarah where he made it all the way to Top 6. Ever since then, Kyle has continued to make music, releasing multiple singles, and two albums.
Just in time for his 18th birthday, he released his third album and latest project, New Views, an album that not only shows a new side of him sonically, but visually as well. The release of the album coincided with his entry into young adulthood with a more grown-up and mature sound. NYLON Manila spoke with the Kyle Echarri to talk about his new album, what it’s like working with Seth Fedelin and Andrea Brillantes on the album, and what he hopes fans could take away from the album.
THE NEW SOUND OF KYLE ECHARRI
According to Kyle, New Views isn’t just his third studio record, it’s his way for him to show his growth. “I called the album New Views because I just wanted to show everyone now that I’m older now. I wanted to show them that I have new views on life and new views on love life, like a new perspective of Kyle Echarri.” This new image may have taken some people aback, but Kyle says he always had this side to him, and only now could he share it with the rest of the world. “I’ve always been listening to older things and I guess you could say more mature things but I just wanted to show them who I really can be as an artist and a different side of Kyle.”
He continues, “They never really got to see the Kyle that I wanna show, because I was a lot younger before, but now that I’m 18, I’m happy that I’m able to really express myself and express myself in ways that I really want to.”
Kyle revealed that New Views has actually been in the works since his 17th birthday. But he couldn’t finish the album because he was too busy with his other projects. When the pandemic hit, it gave him the time to put all the pieces together. “I was able to focus on making the album. I’m also very happy that it came out during the time that I became 18 because I guess it just allows me to do a lot more as an artist now that I’m able to express myself a lot more.” Kyle releasing New Views near his 18th birthday seems more of a coincidence then, but on another end, it was the universe’s plan all along.
As Kyle set out to work on the album, he didn’t approach the project with a certain theme or vibe in mind. Instead, he wanted this album to show his versatility, as seen with a diverse slate of songs on the album, from the more R&B-focused Panaginip to the Latin-inspired Fuego. “I honestly really love different kinds of music and I just wanted to show that in each and every one of the songs. So whatever worked for me I was happy. Like whatever the people liked, I could do more of that but I could also still do other genres on the side ‘cause I really like a lot of different kinds of music.”
While Kyle was tight-lipped about the specifics of who or what inspired the songs on New Views, he did say that the songs come from different reasons. “It’s from past relationships and sometimes fantasizing relationships depends on the song.” He’s also aware of fans who try to guess who the songs are about. But one thing is for certain, what motivated Kyle to finally finish the album was because he wanted something to be proud of. “I was going through a rough patch in 2020 and 2021. I would have been happy but there’s just something that’s been on my mind so I just wanted to do something that I can really be proud of myself for and that’s one thing that really pushed me to finish all these songs.”
WORKING ON THE ALBUM
Aside from a few collaborators, Kyle wrote every single song on New Views, a 7-track album with a mix of English and Filipino songs. But despite the fact that he has released numerous songs and two albums, writing for New Views was not easy for him. “There are bad days. May mga araw talaga na mahihripan ka talaga and I realized that because I had some days where it was just not the best writing day. I just had the hardest time.”
When Kyle would have writer’s block, he would step back from his work and come back to it when he was ready. As he explains “What I would usually do is just wait until 3 AM, because for some reason at midnight is when your creative juices come out of your body that’s what happens to me. So, I usually wrote all my songs at midnight or when I’m at the beach or all that kind of stuff.”
So how then does Kyle Echarri know a good lyric from a bad lyric? According to him, he doesn’t really determine whether a line is good or bad. It depends on the person and who’s writing the lyric, and for Kyle what he usually likes to do is “just write the song and then I go back to the song every week, every other week ‘cause I like to take a while per song. I don’t have a single song that’s like written in five minutes.”
An album is like a movie, it has a beginning, middle section, and end. It’s meant to be enjoyed from beginning to end and offer a full experience. When it was time for Kyle to put the album together, he made the tracklist in that order to show off the different genres and sounds as well as what he thought felt good to him.
New Views starts off with I’m Serious, a song he previously released in 2020 and the first song from the album to be released publicly. The R&B track sees Kyle sing to someone saying that he’s serious about pursuing a relationship. He decided to make that the opening track, and make the song in the first place to combat the perception people had of him at the time. “It was the time of my career where everyone was really just calling me a chick boy, an F-boy. I was just very annoyed. It got to the point where like, I couldn’t have any friend that was a girl because they would say that I’m an F boy because of it. It was just the worst feeling. I really hated it. Really, really hated it.”
Kyle’s annoyance led him to make the song. Even though half the album was completed by that time, he decided to release it to the public. “I thought, ‘you know what, out of all the songs, [I’m Serious] was just the most significant at the moment so I’m gonna put I’m Serious out first.’ And I loved the song. I’m very happy with the song.”
LILIWAGAN NA KITA AND WORKING WITH SETH AND BLYTHE
Also included in the album is the standout track and his latest single, Liliwagan Na Kita (the music video of which if it surpasses one million views, the Dyosa MV will be unlocked). It is a collaboration with his fellow Gold Squad member Seth Fedelin that talks about courtship and the willingness to put in the effort to win the heart of their special someone. If it sounds like Kyle and Seth are having fun on the songs, that’s because they did as Kyle shares the story of how Liliwagan Na Kita came to be.
“Working with [Seth] on the song, it was a fun and funny experience. We wrote it on set of Wag Kang Mangamba. We were looking for different inspirations online about sa panliligaw and stuff like that. Seth was, you know, the natural Seth. He was the one who wrote the verse that goes, “Problemahin muna natin ang magulang mo. Nang may paglalagyan ako.” And after he said that line, we were laughing. We were all laughing in the room. It was the funniest.”
Kyle continues, “We were just throwing lines at each other. So, we finished the first verse, chorus, bridge, and final chorus, And we just couldn’t finish the second verse so before recording, I finished it up. I’m the one who wrote the whole second verse for Seth and me. I think the whole experience did not feel like work. It’s one of those songs that just comes naturally and you really just enjoy each other’s company while making it.”
Andrea Brillantes is also credited to the song and for Kyle, her help proved to be invaluable not only due to her being a girl, but also the fact that he didn’t know Andrea was that good at songwriting.
“I never really thought she had the songwriting in her. But like, there were lines in the whole song that she really had good input on. Like even if it’s just a small line it helps the song so much more than what I wrote. So she would always help me and Seth with like the small words and also some lines, and the chorus. And she’s very helpful in the whole process and it’s good to have a girl in this kind of song. Like what would she want to be said to her in this kind of song. That’s why I liked it ‘cause she would be able to help me and Seth on our roadblocks. She’d really be the one that comes up with something creative.”
Once the song was ready, the three of them went to the recording booth to do the song which Kyle described as a funny experience a video of which he has saved on his phone.
HOW FUEGO CAME TO BE AND WHAT IT ORIGINALLY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
New Views’ final track is Fuego, a song co-written with his close friend Darren Espanto that talks about the willingness to risk it all just to have a special someone. Out of all the songs on the album, Fuego stands out the most because it’s the most unique song on the album with its Latin and trap-heavy inspired sound. “I ended the album with Fuego because it’s the most unexpected song that would come from me.” For Kyle, as you listen through the album and goes through all these love songs and emotions, you then end with a song like Fuego and have this feeling that you didn’t think a song like this would be on the album. As he says, he wanted to give a little “oomph” at the end.
The track was one of the first songs he finished with Darren, and it was originally intended to be a trio, with the other singer being PBB alumni and Now United member, Bailey May. “Bailey was supposed to be on the bridge but he has problems with his management, so we can’t really put him in.” The song then shifted to being a duet with Darren, but that didn’t push through for reasons. But Kyle is hoping to release a remix featuring Darren in the future.
There were however able to perform their version of the song during Kyle’s birthday concert which is something he is happy about. “I’m super happy with the outcome of Fuego…I’m happy that Darren was able to write this with me even though he was in Canada pulling all-nighters just for us to finish this song. It’s a blessing to have friends like that.”
It’s clear that Kyle has a special connection with Fuego because he considers that song to be his favorite on the entire album. “My favorites are all the songs but if I were really to choose, I’d have to choose Fuego because of how much work we had to put in to make that song. Like so many things happened to that song and I’m so happy. At least it was able to get into the album.” He also says that if New Views will be the first time someone will hear music from Kyle Echarri, he would want people to listen to Fuego first. “It’s the most unique and open I’ve been with my wordings.”
Though Kyle still loves all the songs and New Views and says that he can’t wait to perform all the album’s songs live, especially with an audience. “Imagine if the people were there. It’s a dream for a songwriter, while you’re performing the song, for them to sing it back to you. That’s just the dream.”
NOT FEELING THE PRESSURE AND NEW IMAGE
It’s been nearly three years since Kyle released an album. Since then, his career has exploded and reached new heights and a bigger fanbase. But he didn’t let the hype get to him nor did the increased pressure make him nervous. “I didn’t make it like the number one goal in this album. I didn’t feel the pressure of having to get like a million streams or a million views on a song. There wasn’t pressure to do that. No one was pressuring me to do that, which I’m very blessed. But I’m just happy with being able to express myself. That’s my biggest goal in this album, was just really to express myself.”
He shared how in his last album release in 2018, he didn’t write the songs on the album, nor did he produce any on the tracks. So when it came time to do New Views, he wanted a more hands-on approach. “My plan really was, ‘I’m gonna produce and write this whole album to show everyone who Kyle Echarri is and who Kyle Echarri can really be.”
The only thing Kyle wants to achieve with New Views is for his fans to see Kyle Echarri as a young adult, that he’s no longer “that little kid on The Voice.”
At the end of the day, this new era brings the arrival of a more mature and grown-up Kyle, one who wants to be treated seriously in the music industry and is ready for that challenge. “I wanna be respected as a singer/songwriter now. It’s not gonna be easy but I will make more music and I know that to myself who I am as an artist and I’m ready for that. I’m ready for the challenge of the people. I’m ready for the challenge of them denying that I’m a singer/songwriter and all that. I am ready to accept defeat if I have to and I’m just ready for whatever the world has to give me now.”