Many years ago while watching My Chemical Romance perform in Manila, my good friend and colleague Mario Dumaual approached me and asked if I am an “emo.”
I had to say I belong to the teens of alternative rock ‘90s, and then admit I was really enjoying the show of a band largely identified with millennials. I was anticipating the moment when they would play their signature hit “Helena.”
Honestly, it took a long while before I got to dig into what was labeled as emo. By the time I was regularly listening to a number of emo songs, new genres were already emerging. But I expect that the emo thing will reappear in new forms as long as music fans or future generations of youth remain, well, emotional.
True enough, more than a decade later I heard about something called emo trap. It is a genre showcasing beats of rap and hip-hop music, with more lyricism and requiring extra vulnerability from the singer so as to really connect.
I encountered this four-piece emo trap group called Soultary. Their new song “Blocked” perfectly provides what the genre offers.
This new digital single is released January 13. Its timing, on the second Friday of the new year, and a month before Valentine’s Day, appears to be perfect. The listening public is looking for new tracks to groove along with. With the pandemic tapering off and the concert scene back, genres to give new flavors are welcome.
Driven by fast beats and slow, catchy melodies complimenting each other, “Blocked” is poised to push emo trap to new heights in this part of the music sphere.
Soultary’s latest single vividly depicts the frustration and feelings that come with blocking someone or being blocked on social media. Thanks to its simple but strong hook, and singable rap lines. It possesses quick, relatable, and heartfelt verses on the nature of romantic relationships.
Soultary was formed via social media. This collective force of aspiring musicians is composed of Mirikle, Keyaru, L Frost, and Liens – all seeing each other’s passion for making music. The more they got closer, the further they discovered how their interests truly align.
Penned by all four, “Blocked” is released under Bandido Rekords, a division of Widescope Entertainment. The recording definitely benefited from the talented troika of executive producer Vic de Vera, supervising producer Neil Gregorio, and producer Paulo Golding.
Golding is known in the biz by his stage name King Promdi. As A&R executive, he has collaborated with the label’s top honchos to help enhance the popularity of emo trap.
“Blocked” justifies cutting someone off while also sympathizing with the unsolved feelings lingering after getting blocked.
In February 2022, the four new friends decided to venture out into the music scene under the name Soultary. Their love for nostalgia and natural sentimentality have weaved through their music, right from their debut hit song “Ayusin.” Their audiences are admiring them both for their lyricism and bold beats that sustain and hit right home.
While all four Soultary members grew up in separate areas in the Philippines, their bond emphasizes that music does bring people closer together. It is a bond founded on respect and similar taste in music.
Since the new year is a time for new songs to get ahead of the pack, “Blocked” promises to be a strong candidate for the next viral tune, and more significantly, a key track in empowering a fast-rising genre in the current local music scene.