What’s your favorite part about watching movies from the Disney Princess lineup?
It’s the songs for me—the ones in the movies and the extra tracks accompanying the films. “True to Your Heart,” the closing credits song to “Mulan” performed by Stevie Wonder and 98 Degrees, has no reason to be as much of a bop as it is and I think about that a lot.
To celebrate the first Southeast Asian Disney princess (and warrior) from the upcoming movie “Raya and the Last Dragon,” KZ Tandingan was picked to perform the first-ever Filipino Disney track. Called “Gabay,” the song will drop on Spotify on Mar. 5 with its music video coming soon after.
“I am very grateful and I feel very proud to be singing in my language, and show off its beauty to the rest of the world. I am proud to be part of history,” says Tandingan. “I grew up watching Disney movies. Finally, there is a Disney princess who I can feel a very strong connection to.”
“We found it fitting to launch ‘Gabay’ as a way for us to celebrate the film and connect with our Filipino fans,” says Disney Philippines studio marketing head Allie Benedicto. “‘Gabay,’ the first-ever Disney track sung in Filipino, demonstrates our commitment to work with local creative talents to tell our stories in a locally relevant manner.”
Are you excited for “Raya and the Last Dragon”? There’s been a lot of discourse surrounding the upcoming movie, with some necessary discussion on the perils of lumping all of Southeast Asia together, but whatever the case, it’s still noteworthy for being the first animated Disney film that showcases Southeast Asian culture. While we might be wary of how this representation is going to play out, it’s still important that this representation is happening at all.