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Manila, Philippines

Sabrina Manansala talks pain and vulnerability in latest single, ‘Honey Please Stay’

Honey Please Stay (cover art)

Rising singer-songwriter, busker, and poet Sabrina Manansala dropped her latest single, ‘Honey Please Stay’ last Monday, February 21.

Honey Please Stay features a blend of indie-ballad tunes that speaks of pain and vulnerability – underpinning Manansala’s vigor to connect people through artistic stories bearing the veracity and truth of art.

In an interview with the artist, Manansala shares more about the story behind her newest track: how pain being an integral part of life illuminated the production of this record, how her creativity as an artist was harnessed in the process of its curation, and the importance of tackling stories of pain anchored in both letting someone go and asking them to stay.

Photo courtesy of O/C Records

TNH: Tell us more about your new single. What is Honey Please Stay all about?

Sabrina: Honey Please Stay is about someone important in your life leaving and you being in that forkroad of wanting them to stay & letting them go–a lot of people in our lives leave sometimes temporarily and sometimes for good, and this song tells a simple story of showing your emotions and vulnerability to someone, all skin and bones, in the hopes that they’d see how much you value them and in the hopes that they would stay.

TNH: In this single, you speak about the honest truth in wanting and asking someone to stay. What made you decide to tell such story through your music? And how important is it for you to touch on stories like these?

Sabrina: This song was written during the fourth month of the pandemic back in 2020, when we still had a strict curfew in place. It started as an “I don’t want to go home yet” to “what would someone say to me to make me stay tonight?” to bigger hard-hitting questions like – why do people we love the most leave, why do some choose to stay, what would you be willing to do to let them know how much you are willing to fight through this together — and the song became a mix of that, the soft and hard-hitting truths about loving someone whom you don’t know whether will stay or go.
I think pain is an integral part of life, one that we choose to sweep under the rug, one that we think is too heavy to share, and I believe music or art is one of the ways we can let people know that I feel you, one way or another, you are allowed to want, to cry, to desire and to fight.

TNH: You mentioned that the inspiration for this track came about one night when you were reflecting on questions anchored in the feeling of having someone you love walk away from your life. What prompted such reflection? Is Honey Please Stay inspired by a personal experience?

Sabrina: I think personally, and this is a hard pill to swallow if I may add, I always hated it when people had to go, when relationships change, when things have to end because I’ve always been someone who thought that there is always a workaround for things, that a lot of these situations could have been resolved with communication and vulnerability but alas life happens and the most uncontrollable variable which is the people we care for the most make the choice in the end.

TNH: You have your way of weaving a perfect blend of spoken word poetry and music. In your latest track, Honey Please Stay, can we also expect a piece of your literary art? If so, what can you share about it, and what is the connection between those two art forms (poetry and music) in this single?

Sabrina: For this song, expect nothing but to hear the song as it is, poetry is embedded in the words of this song, and something I’ll be adding more in my live performances as a little surprise.

TNH: You have been a true believer in the power of collaboration in producing all forms of art, and in this single, you have worked with Henry Alburo and Jay Olaguer. What can you share about the experience of working with other creatives for this track?

Sabrina: I think it’s important that the people we collaborate with are people we trust or can trust, people who are safe spaces to our ideas and want nothing but for the both of you to grow. I am very grateful for Jay, Henry, and everyone else who have been cheering for me since day 1, from my small wins to the uphill battle of corporate life and balancing this with working on my music, community, and passions in life.

TNH: How about the creative process of this track? What can you share about your experience in crafting this single? What discoveries did you encounter that harnessed your creativity as an artist?

Sabrina: Crafting this single was an amazing experience, it was a new world that left me discovering a lot about how I create. To name a few, I realized it’s hard for me to communicate what to add or specifically how to tweak something, but when I listen to it, I know, and I can feel when it isn’t there yet or when the colors start to show. Another thing is to give me any beat or melody, I can pour everything I feel into lyrics or poetry.

TNH: After the release of Honey Please Stay, what else can we expect from Sabrina in the next coming days?

Sabrina: I will probably go back into hiding as releasing a single is very tiresome and fun, but my hideaway will be a very special space where I can continue to create at my own pace. Improvisation, collaboration, and staying true to myself with everything that I do, that is what’s next!

Honey Please Stay marks Manansala’s sophomore track under O/C Records, following the release of Hanggang Dito Nalang in October 2020. In this latest single, Honey Please Stay, Manansala’s ingenuity to get across the purport of pain, honesty, vulnerability, and art is exhibited.

You can stream Honey Please Stay on all digital music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.


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