Darker mood, memorable melodies in 2nd mixtape of Paradise Rising
Paradise Rising, the music company 88rising’s localized sublabel that aims to promote Filipino talents and help them establish global presence, has recently released the second installment of its mixtape “semilucent,” which features a new set of artists and exudes a different musical vibe.
In contrast to the “dreamy and airy radiance” of the first, the five-track “semilucent 2” has been described as having a “darker mood” that seemingly reflect “the end of summer” and “a longing for memories of past.” It’s also marked by “genre-blending acoustics and memorable melodies.”
In the track “Island Baby (Maarte),” the Vancouver-based duo Manila Grey pays tribute to the “beautiful women” in their lives and redefine the term maarte into something positive.
“Maarte is slang for high maintenance in Filipino, but it actually means artsy. We wanted to flip that narrative into something fun to showcase art and grace. The strong women in our lives have high standards. And sometimes, you need that energy, you know? Like, go ahead, it’s all good, feel yourself,” the duo said in a statement.
Steven Peregrina, the singer-instrumentalist behind the party track “All Night,” said: “I’m super excited and ecstatic. I consider this song to be my takeoff … Asia, here I come!”
In the sultry slow jam “Situation,” the Amsterdam-based R&B artist sings about being stuck in that awkward, confusing place between friendship and love. “Neither really wants to admit how much they like each other, but the tension and passion keep building until they both can’t deny it any longer,” she said. “It’s a soulful song with layers of melodies that express desire, connection and taking a leap of faith.”
Rappers Curtismith and Christian Alexander team up on the atmospheric, trap-R&B song “Black Hearts,” which explores the “dark side of paradise.” “It’s about how cold relationships can be,” said Christian, who’s based in New York.
He added that being part of “semilucent 2” gives him an “opportunity to represent the Philippines on 88rising’s global platform and inspire the next generation of artists to keep pushing Filipino music culture forward.”
Meanwhile, the closing track, “Reminisce,” is a collaboration between Filipino American electronic musician Manila Killa and Malaysian star Yuna. Manila Killa wrote the song during quarantine without the pressure of following a specific style.
“It was during a time I felt artistically free. There were no shows coming up. Everything was at a standstill, so I took the chance to try out some things I haven’t before,” related the producer, who’s a longtime fan of Yuna. “When I found out she was interested in the track, I was so excited,” he added. “She totally understood the mood I was going for with the track and turned it from this fun disco demo into something raw, emotional and reminiscent of better times.”
Founded by Sean Miyashiro, 88rising is known for celebrating Asian artists like Joji, NIKI and Rich Brian, and creating a space for them on the hip-hop and R&B scenes. And with the sublabel Paradise Rising, Miyashiro hopes to do the same for “vibrant, emerging talents” from the Philippines. “We want to support their voices, help them be heard, and bring music from the Philippines to a global audience,” he said. INQ
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