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Manila, Philippines

mrld shares the inspiration behind new single, ‘Maligayang Pagkunwari’

Photo courtesy of O/C Records

Singer-songwriter mrld releases her newest single, ‘Maligayang Pagkunwari’ on Friday, April 1, via O/C Records. The release comes after the singer dropped her hit single, ‘Ligaya,’ in October last year, which now has garnered over 14M streams on digital platforms and has been listed in numerous Spotify hits playlists.

For her debut release this year, mrld launches Maligayang Pagkunwari — an acoustic rock song that explores what it feels like to suppress genuine emotions for someone for the sake of the other’s tranquility.

In a chat with mrld, the artist shared the inspiration behind the track, how the unexpected success of her previous releases motivated her to share yet another message about love for many, and why Maligayang Pagkunwari holds a more personal attachment with her as an artist.

Maligayang Pagkunwari (cover art)

TNH: Talk us through your newest single. What is Maligayang Pagkunwari all about?

mrld: Simply. It’s a general feeling that not everybody talks about. Like how we bottle up our feelings and hurt ourselves for the other person’s peace of mind.

TNH: Aside from sharing the narrative of the song, and your personal experience of bottling up your true emotions about someone, what underlying message do you aim to share with your listeners through this single?

mrld: They should always think about themselves first. Being selfless doesn’t make you selfish. Trying to hide what we feel hurts, and we all don’t deserve that. I hope they don’t go through the same situation, but if they already did or if they do, I hope this song reminds them that they’re not alone.

TNH: You’ve shared that Maligayang Pagkunwari talks about a general feeling that not many talks about. What prompted you to tackle such story through your music, and how important is it for you to express the narrative of this song to many?

mrld: I wrote this song way back in 2020, and I just couldn’t find the push to release the song. I was scared that people would think of me as someone who acts like someone who goes through so much as a kid, which is true, even I questioned the situation at that time. I was a kid, it was new to me. Now, after “Ligaya’s” unexpected recognition, we decided to go with this song. I feel comfortable now, thanks to the listeners and, of course, to the team.

TNH: Your previous releases lean more towards your signature take on acoustic pop and mellow. Maligayang Pagkunwari leans more towards an acoustic rock approach. How was the creative process for the sonic arrangement of the track? What can you share about it?

mrld: If I’m gonna be completely honest with you, “Maligayang Pagkunwari” was not really the first choice as the next song in line. We had a bunch, but Mr. Kean and I talked about how the song would put transparency after all the fluff with “Ligaya.” Musically, this song wasn’t that hard since this one has been sitting in the vault for a while now.

TNH: What major influences made the most impact on your overall artistic approach for this single?

mrld: I think about how flexible I can be with any genre. From acoustic pop and mellow that talks about love and affection, and now, with this single, it’s more on acoustic rock that’s just filled with strong sadness. Thinking about it, I would take it as an asset because not everyone can shift from genre to genre.

TNH: You’ve worked with Franz Sacro and Hazel Pascua for the first time. What can you share about the experience? How much did they influence the making of this track?

mrld: I know Franz would give me the track I wanted. He’s talented. You give him a demo, and he just adds his own creative approach to it. Miss Hazel gave me this feeling that she’s just as passionate as the other people I know with music. She knows what she’s doing, and she listens. I always say this, but there’s nothing better than working with people as passionate as you.

TNH: What something new can your listeners expect from this newest track? How is it different from all your previous releases?

mrld: This is mrld. My previous tracks were all about how I visualize things though I’ve never been through such situations. But with this one, I felt it, I went through it, and I was hurt by it. This song is part of me, and now I’m showing this to everyone. I hope they feel the connection too.

Arranged and mastered by Hazel Pascua and Franz Sacro, Maligayang Pagkunwari evokes a somber emotion filled with “strong sadness,” all while featuring mrld’s flexibility as an artist.

You can stream Maligayang Pagkuwari on all digital streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

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