The simple act of writing down a song request on a tissue paper for a live band to play is a source of cute, sometimes absurd, anecdotes. Often the request comes with a peso or dollar bill of considerable worth.
A showband singer releasing her solo debut album once told me that someone spat on a tissue handed to her. She had to share her experience to emphasize what it meant for her to finally make it.
The story behind the creation of Moonstar88’s new single “Migration” is one falling in the category of hilarity. If you think the song has to do with their hit “Migraine,” you’re not far from the truth. It was actually inspired by a misspelled request of that track written on a paper napkin by a fan named Renz, very likely during one of the band’s pandemic-free gigs.
Fans found the handwritten spell check malfunction so funny they kept sharing on social media the captured image of the request. It gained enough traction that the band came up with a witty response — granting Renz’s request by making a new song using “Migration” as title.
The new track, recorded in collaboration with concept band BBS, was released last Oct. 23, along with the latter’s other song project in partnership with the group Gracenote.
BBS is acronym for Big Band Syndicate which is composed of 6cyclemind members Darwin Hernandez and Rye Sarmiento. The duo collaborates with various artists of their choice. Hernandez is also the head of Soupstar Entertainment that manages a number of popular Filipino bands. Both Moonstar88 and Gracenote are under Soupstar so, obviously, the ingredients for the double-release were right there on the same table.
“Migration” includes Migraine’s lyrics “Hanggang dito lang ako nangangarap na mapasayo” as it abruptly closes the song. In a way, the band poignantly acknowledged the fan request while the very image of it that went viral became the love song’s digital artwork.
On the other hand, the Gracenote-sung single, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay,” chose the pandemic blues for lyrical backdrop.
Frontwoman Eunice Jorge noted, “It’s a reminder to stop pretending that you’re okay and it’s normal to have struggles sometimes and admit that you need a hug.”
With its upbeat vibe, the song aims to lighten the mood of listeners through a modern soundscape, with Eunice’s bassist brother Jazz doing the main vocals. He related, “The thought of me representing the band as main vocalist scares me to the bone. But the song makes me feel brave. The words ‘kaya mo yan’ and ‘wag sumuko’ may sound cliché, but we all need to hear those words from time to time and this song does that.”
Both Soupstar Music releases embraced loose collaboration and amusingly new ideas. At least within its circle, BBS, which in 2018 released a song called “Reunion” featuring Medwin Marfil of True Faith, eventually began to mean “Basta Bago Siya.”
Renz apparently started a joke that who knows may make the whole world sing.