Davao-based Paul Pablo is an artist of many talents. Known for his “hugotronic” sound, The Pride of Pinoy Pop has released four tracks so far: “Bangin”, “Bai”, “Kalawakan”, and “Gulo”, but his new single “Kaya” feels like an announcement that he has OFFICIALLY arrived.
Coinciding with the March graduation ceremonies—when fresh grads reflect on growing up and facing adult responsibilities—the new single couldn’t have come at a better time. At the stroke of midnight March 18th, Paul Pablo released “Kaya” which features energetic melodies paired with his signature vocal stylings. “Kailan ba lahat naging paligsahan? May bukas pa, kung di ngayon, ‘wag lang mawalan ng gana.” In two lines, Paul Pablo was able to instill his message of growth and self-preservation into the song. Talking about “Kaya”, he explained, “Growth is something that all of us can relate to and we all have our own unique way of coping with it. In my song, I finally had the chance to discuss how I cope with my struggles in adulting and get to share my insights about the pressure we feel whenever we feel like we are growing old. I got inspired to tell my listeners that when there is too much on their plate, they need not to feel bad about letting go of some that they can’t complete and prioritize what they can do.”
Throughout the track, Paul Pablo goes on about knowing when to stop and just taking on life one day at a time. A lucid portrait of crippling “adulting” built around constant grinding and questioning one’s abilities, “Kaya” should feel like everything is crumbling down. But, in Paul Pablo’s reassuring hands, the song doesn’t glorify our hardships but pushes its listeners to be optimistic, with Paul Pablo suggesting, “Kung ‘di na kaya’wag ipilit. Ah’di mo kailangang pasanin lahat. Hindi naman ito paligsahan.” It’s a touching verse that will make the listener feel like they’re taking advice from a dearest friend.
“Kaya” is made even more notable with the guidance of Filipino-Dutch international producer Xerxes Bakker and Davao producer protégé Jhay Ehidio who also co-wrote the track with Paul Ramirez. Renowned saxophonist Alvin Cornista also lent his skills to nail that ’80-inspired sound. Chicago-based Jorel Corpus and The Bakery LA’s Jett Galindo were enlisted as well, taking charge of mixing and mastering. “‘Kaya’ was an unexpected song, and we never expected it to be something this brilliant. It wasn’t even on our line up songs for this year, but before 2021 ended, I sent them my demo vocals for the instrumental of “Kaya” that Xerxes gave me, and they were blown away. The rest of the magic was done by them, I’m glad that they loved the meaning and the sound as well,” Paul Pablo said on how the song came together. “I’ve always set my mind to explore new things and create something new out of my expectations. This song, I never expected that I’ll create something like this. It wasn’t something that I’d foreseen coming but I did fall in love with it. Now, the song grows within me, and it heals me whenever I’m down. I hope this feeling goes with the listeners and my dear Fablos (Paul Pablo’s fans and friends) as well,” he added.
“I guess that it is really important that the people you work with let you express your ideas and creativity with freedom,” Paul Pablo said, talking about the changes in his life and how he manages to stay true to his craft. “This helped me to stay true to my musical and artistic identity, and people from The Sound House, Warner Music Ph, and BigseedX helped me to embrace my uniqueness and let it take over my songs. In order for me to achieve that, I also need to speak the truth about my life and experiences through my songs, and “Kaya” is one example. Since I’ve had a lot of realizations about adulting lately. and some of it is scary or painful, I’d like to turn that pain into something beautiful that would fuel me in times of struggles. I hope this song will help people struggling with tasks and adulting to feel better.”
Paul Pablo launched his career during the height of the pandemic when live shows were temporarily put on hold. Regardless of the situation, his music managed to find its way onto playlists, with “Bangin” hitting 1.2M streams, his other songs played over a million times collectively on Spotify, and garnering thousands of Youtube views. He is also named Spotify Radar artist and is currently releasing “Kaya” exclusively in Apple Music Spatial Audio. On how the current landscape helped him create his own identity, he shared, “I’m happy that this generation is very much open and welcoming to new and fresh approaches to music. This mindset of people helped me to hone my personality and identity as an artist. I may not be perfect or the preference of other people but what matters is I get to love myself and just share love to other people. That is satisfying for me.”
“Everything that happened, and all the big changes, I embrace it. I’m still in the stage of trial and error, but what I am sure of is in every move we make I give my best in it. So even if I experience downfall or getting ignored by people there is still this feeling of satisfaction and hope. I can say that the best moment I had was not an event, but a realization that I am here now, and I am more mature to be in this industry. I am ready to do more and stay long,” he said, sharing more about his journey and some of his career highlights so far.
Paul Pablo has kept his career going with a consistent release of tracks and performance videos, all of which have attracted more and more listeners. On what he wants to achieve this year, he said, “I badly want to connect with my fans, who I call “Fablos”, my term for Fabulous People. I think that they are there, but we still haven’t connected yet. This year I want to make sure that we’ll slowly connect and form our chemistry and maybe grow as big as we can. I also want to just share and share songs that would drive people with crazy eargasm. I want to explore more about what I can do without thinking about the streams or numbers yet. I just want to be good enough at what I do and get to inspire a lot more people to believe in themselves.” With a repertoire that continues to grow, Paul Pablo sure is as an exciting newcomer that you should watch out for.
Paul Pablo’s latest single “Kaya” is now available for download and streaming on your favorite digital music platforms.