Barbie Almalbis optimistic music making to flourish despite current crisis | Inquirer Entertainment

Barbie Almalbis optimistic music making to flourish despite current crisis

By: - Reporter
/ 12:40 AM August 07, 2020

Barbie Almalbis

There’s still little to no solid indication that live shows and concerts will be back in the foreseeable future. But if there’s one thing Barbie Almalbis can be sure of, it’s this: Music will keep on playing and artists will keep on creating with whatever means available.

“I think music making will continue, as art and music are some of the basic things people enjoy,” the singer-songwriter told the Inquirer in a recent email interview. “We do need to find creative ways to adapt to the changes—like how everything happens online nowadays.”

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She noted that “the digitization of music” used to be “such a struggle for the industry.” But if anything, the COVID-19 pandemic only highlighted the indispensability of online platforms as tools for musicians and creators in this age. “But now, it has helped music to reach more people,” she said.

“Doing online gigs is also a lot of fun for me, and it gives me a way to connect with others,” added Barbie, who considers such activity as one of her ways of coping with the crisis. “We’re all going through so many challenges and staying connected gives us a way to encourage one another and to be available for each other.”

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“Although some people consider music and visual arts as nonessentials these days, I have found that many are actually turning to the arts as a way of coping and feeling connected to others,” she added.

Organizing online concerts has also proven to be a viable means of raising money for those affected by the pandemic. Last May, Barbie, together with fellow pop-rock artists Aia de Leon and Kitchie Nadal, turned the third installment of their “Secrets” concert series into a fund drive for staff members of closed bars and music venue workers.

“The live music scene is one of the most affected by the current crisis,” she said, “and we really need to work together to help all the different displaced workers in the industry.”

To offer a bit of a cheer and in hopes of encouraging listeners to “rise above these extraordinary times,” Barbie recently released a cover of the classic hit “Umagang Kay Ganda,” which will be part of her upcoming album with Sony Music Philippines.

“The current situation has made so many of us experience such a profound sense of loss, and it has also given us a rare chance to stop and reassess our lives and consider the things that we really value,” she said.

She dedicates the song to the country’s front-line workers. “It’s our little way to say thank you for the selflessness that they have continuously shown, and the sacrifices that they have made to help us get through this together,” said Barbie, who used to front the pop-alternative bands Hungry Young Poets and Barbie’s Cradle.

Her take on “Umagang Kay Ganda,” which has also been used as a theme for Magnolia Dari Creme’s recent campaign, also comes with an accompanying music video that highlights the heroic deeds of front-liners and acts of resilience and compassion of everyday Filipinos.

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“We want to remind people of the real hope we can hold on to, as we confront the invisible enemy on a day to day basis. We will be able to stand above difficult situations and hurdle these atrocities with the gift of love and compassion,” she said.

Personally, life as a musician was like a “roller coaster” ride in the early stages of quarantine. There was also a moment of panic. “On Some days I was hyper productive. On other days it was hard to get anything done,” she admitted.

Baking and exercising, she related, have been some of her biggest stress-relievers.

“I have also been staying fit; I have been swimming and playing basketball,” she said.

But more than anything else, it’s in her relationship with God that she finds a deeper reason to have hope. “Spending time with God daily has helped me focus and remember His faithfulness even through the difficult times in life,” she said.

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