On the last day of the long weekend, Coke Studio PH premiered their fifth episode feautring electropop/rock band Gracenote and rapper Abra. It follows the same concept of the previously successful episodes with both artists doing covers and a collaborative original song.
Abra X Gracenote
Abra, real name Raymond Abracosa, realized his talent for rapping when he did a school performance. He decided to pursue the craft to see where it takes him and later on joined local hip hop group Lyrically Deranged Poets (LDP). The group won Best Urban Group at the 2010 and 2011 Urban Music Awards, and he began to dominate the Fliptop Battle League with his compelling and witty lyrical prowess all the while. He entered the mainstream scene with his song “Gayuma” in 2012 with the video becoming the most viewed OPM YouTube video of all time.
Gracenote’s creativity is hard to believe considering they’re only a three-piece band. Multi-instrumentalist Eunice Jorge holds lead vocalist duties and she met drummer/percussionist EJ Pichay in college. They joined a battle of the bands competition and got 6cyclemind as their mentor. Not long after, Eunice’s brother Jazz Jorge took over the bass guitar from Rico Cristobal. Their ability to successfully transform their sound is evident in their albums; their debut album “First Movement” started off as rock and their follow up “Transparent” turned electronic.
Hailing from their sophomore album, Abra chose the track “Pause”. Eunice drew inspiration from Marshall and Lily in TV series “How I Met Your Mother” (still absolutely despised the ending, btw) and about how they frequently fought due to jealousy. The couple have a “Pause Button” rule where they can halt the argument to take a breather and look at the situation objectively.
Abra’s producer Jim P. joined in to help the rapper write quality content. They slowed down the original and replaced the foundation with a hip hop beat, but retained Eunice’s original chorus.
Eunice, Jazz, and EJ opted for Abra and Arci Muñoz’s “Ilusyon”. The band took it as a challenge and they loved the meaning behind the track—young Abra wrote it as a social commentary about the government and system of the Philippines. He laid it on top of a commercial beat to ease the heaviness of his words and allow the general public to digest his thoughts without much difficulty.
Raymund and Buddy helped solved Gracenote’s problem: they slowed down the tempo and suggested the addition of a “hypeman” to finish the end of each lyric. They were able to turn the track into their own without losing its essence.
Gracenote’s musicality and Abra’s vocabulary technicalities fuse in their original collaboration “Stargazer”. Coming from the idea that Coke brings people together, they compare the multitude of people who enter their lives as a “billion stars”. The track speaks of the platonic love Philia, committed love Pragma, selfess love Agape, and family love Storge.
Coke Studio PH reminds us of to follow the local talent and to be proud of them. Filipinos, despite the state our country stands in right now, are a creative bunch. With collaborations, our arts and music scene will continue to flourish to become the best it can be.