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HUESPAPER BY THE NEW HUE

Manila, Philippines

‘Pakilala’ captures the keynote of Zsaris’ harmonious wandering

Updated: Jul 19, 2021



Live loop artist, singer-songwriter, producer, and beatboxer Zsaris Mendioro reveals how her journey to self-discovery catalyzed the production of her first EP, ‘Pakilala’.


Zsaris has been making music for the last decade, produced hit tracks such as Kung Alam Mo Lang, Himala, and Alangan, to name a few. Here she unveils it took years to hear herself verily. Hence, ‘Pakilala’ sets forth a new sound from Zsaris, featuring stories on changes, musings, and falling in love.


TNH: Introduce the Zsaris in ‘Pakilala’

Zsaris: Zsaris in ‘Pakilala’ is at home, grounded, and honest. She’s very hands-on and particular. By far, the most Zsaris she has ever been.


TNH: What can we expect from the ‘Pakilala’ EP?

Zsaris: It’s a new sound and I got a hand in producing some of the songs, especially the track, ‘Pagbitaw’. During quarantine, I got back into music production after I wrote the song on the first day of the first lockdown. It was a new experience and it inspired me to finish the other tracks. Didn’t expect it to make enough for an EP but here we are.


TNH: How did the EP come about? What was the inspiration behind it?

Zsaris: I’ve been making music for the last decade but it took me years to finally hear myself. This whirlwind transition in my life got me questioning where I’m at and who I am. I felt it was time for a reintroduction– not just a musician, but also to myself. The process has opened me up to so much possibilities and a lot of self-discovery.


TNH: How was the process of producing the EP? What would you consider to be the most challenging and easiest part of the whole production?

Zsaris: It was easy because I have finally met kindred spirits to help me out in production. I’ve been working alongside Carlos Castaño since 2019 and the connection was instant – everything’s home based and fun. We took a break because of the 2020 lockdowns but we have learned to work remotely. I produce parts at home, he builds it up and mixes them at his studio; back and forth collaboration. Even the guest musicians are also game to do the process with us. I had nothing to worry about.


TNH: What was your process of choosing the tracks included in the EP?

Zsaris: I wanted it to be a true Pakilala, an album that will fully maximize the Zsaris experience. Not just as a songwriter, but also a producer. By chance, the songs that made the EP are the themes of my life, which is a lot of change, musings, and falling in love. I was scared it was too honest but it won’t be the same if I held back this time. I hope they get to see me and themselves too while listening to the EP.


TNH: You’re known to be a one-woman band, are there any collaborations with other artists in this EP?

Zsaris: My go-to guitar god, John Apura, is the secret sauce to all of my tracks. You’ll definitely hear his lines in all tracks. Leanne Mamonong of Leanne and Naara played keyboards for ‘Hindi Ko Na Mapipigilan,’ a first! I’m such a fan! I was so happy and honored she shared her beautiful chords for the song. Of course, Carlos Castaño and I have been working on my tracks in the past year and we’re already excited to produce more songs!


TNH: After emerging in the music industry in 2015, what made you decide to finally release an EP?

Zsaris: It wasn’t planned to release an EP but I had time to reflect on a lot of things – life, music, and the other passions I am being led to. And at the end of everyday, it’s the songs that get me through. I came back with a clearer mind and I suddenly heard a lot of new things, new ideas, harmonies, and felt a new groove back in my body. The rest was like riding a long wave and I learned to balance long enough to see this come to life. I am so grateful for the people who have helped me make this happen. OC Records has believed in me since day one and without their trust, none of this would’ve been possible. Excited for this new phase. I am already feeling the good good energy.


‘Pakilala', released on July 9th, consists of four tracks — Hindi Ko Na Mapipigilan, Pagbitaw, Hihilahin, and Solusyon.


Each track carries a strong and sharp expression of emotions, grooving around an impulse to profess such blazing sentiments, and wrapped around variations of a swinging momentum that truly captures a harmonious wandering.


You can stream ‘Pakilala’ on all leading digital streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.


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