All-purpose queen Maris Racal is back with a new single. She’s switching it up by trading the acoustic ballad sound with something more upbeat for the fun P-pop track “Ate Sandali.” We caught up with her to celebrate the drop of her music video today.
Maris spills that while the electronic-pop direction was partly inspired by Lady Gaga and K-pop girl groups, the lyrics of “Ate Sandali” were written in the past and simply revisited. “At the time, brokenhearted kami ng ate ko. Hindi ata siya aware sa story na ’to but she was one of my inspirations. Sunud-sunod rin talaga ‘yung bad decisions,” she reveals.
“[The song is] sort of empowering. Masasabi kong [about] women empowerment siya—friendly advice sa lahat ng girls who are in a relationship na medyo toxic,” Maris explains. “It’s not about hating men. Reminder lang siya sa mga babae na they’re beautiful and they can end a relationship. Para ’to sa mga girls na marurupok. At the time, ‘yun talaga ‘yung description ko sa akin at sa ate ko. Pinapalakas ko ‘yung loob nila sa song na ’to.”
It’s the first track leading up to the debut of her upcoming album in August, her first to be released under Rico Blanco’s Balcony Entertainment. Fans may be wondering, “Will her sound this era be comparable to that of other P-pop artists like BINI?”
“Masasabi ko na this is my take on what’s trending now. There’s a little similarity kasi ‘yung song [ng BINI] ngayon is also empowering. Ganun din ‘yung music ko,” the actress says. “But sa akin kasi, hindi lang ’to pure Tagalog. I also inserted a lot of Bisaya words because I come from Davao. That’s what’s interesting.”
Maris, who’s also signed with Sony Music Philippines, expressed that one of her dream future collabs is with labelmate SB19. She shared a cute story of asking them backstage if the group also wrote its songs, secretly hoping to talk about working together.
With a diaristic and hugot-heavy style similar to Taylor Swift’s, does Maris worry about her music being defined by her relationships? “Wala akong ganoong kind of worries sa music ko kasi whenever I’m writing, I always make sure that ‘yun ‘yung truth ko at the moment. ‘Yung music ko kasi ‘yung way ko to show my emotions,” says the singer-songwriter. “Swiftie ako eh. I grew up with Taylor Swift’s music. Alam ko ‘yung heartbreak niya. Alam ko kung sino ‘yung guys sa songs niya. Siguro ’yung type of release niya ng songs nakuha ko rin subconsciously.”
Since it’s Pride month and her sizable fanbase includes a number of LGBTQIA+ supporters, we had to ask whether “Ate Sandali” will also be for the gays™. “As I mentioned kanina, may humor ‘yung song. I can imagine my gay friends singing it sa style nila. I hope they will like my music kasi they’re kind of a tough crowd [to please],” she said with a big smile.
Photo courtesy of Amplified Entertainment and Balcony Entertainment