“A first kiss is rarely ever planned. In a paradisiacal time and place… when emotions are ripe… it just happens.” Multi-talented and multi-awarded artist NICOLE LAUREL ASENSIO is all set to release her latest single “KISS ME NOW.” The original composition will be released on all digital platforms this September 15, 2023.
“I’m not usually the type to let things just happen… but perhaps I was missing the thrill of the unknown… I needed a change of environment… so I hopped on a 3am bus alone to Baguio and booked myself an afternoon session in Openheaven recording studios for the first time. Producer Gabe Dandan (who I had co-written with for my previous releases “Bawal” and “What Matters Most” was tapering off a Baguio series of gigs and met me at the studio to join in the collaboration. Initially, I had planned to work on a different song, award-winning producer Shadiel Chan welcomed us into his studio and introduced me to his band,” recalls Nicole.
Gabe Dandan shares his story: “Tobi (Drums) and Brad (Keys) and I began jamming chords and rhythm as a soundcheck to test the levels and Nicole immediately caught the vibe and extemporaneous lyrics and melodies began to flow from her lips, together the synergy was instant and we decided to make a song out of the free-jam in no time.”
“Let’s record it!” – I remember saying “I got a couple curious looks at first but insisted on recording. We were done with the entire song structure, lyrics, arrangement, and melody in a couple of hours. The song unfolded in Shadiel’s patient hands. I laid in some vocals the next day and after a fulfilling evening, boarded the bus home the next day brimming with ideas for more songs,” Nicole added.
“Most our songs usually stem from improv jams but usually just between the two of us, this time it was nice to do improv with an entire band of talented Baguio-based musicians,” – Gabe
“When I got back to Manila, I sent the track to Krina Cayabyab who arranged beautiful backup vocals performed by premiere jazz group Baihana with additional vocals from my mom (Iwi Laurel) and Gabe … I was stunned that this vocal section was comprised of such an all-star cast and that they were willing to join in the extemporaneous fun. Michael Guevarra and Gabe recorded a synchronized guitar-sax solo from home. The track was mastered by multi-awarded recording engineer Angee Rozul and Mastered in Abbey Road UK by Alex Gordon.” – Nicole
“Kiss Me Now” is a slow, syrupy soulful song that was written and recorded almost entirely impromptu. Mirroring its unscripted nature, the lyrics describe the urgency of finally giving in to a first kiss. Nicole’s velvet vocals glide over scales with power, range, and stirring sensibilities. The instruments and backup vocal lines play within the textures of gospel and soul influences and showcase flavourful chord choices and rich deep tones —sealing the song with a kiss.
The music video was shot in the largest mixed media art museum in the country, Art in Island. —It features endless opportunities for exploration and discovery across its 15 zones.
“I didn’t feel like I was shooting a music video, I just allowed myself to freely wonder through the otherworldly experience of projections of flora, cityscapes, dreamscapes, seascapes, celestial expanses and much more. The best part as that we could stay freely from opening to closing time and experience art on a different level all while shooting.” The music video was conceptualised by Nicole and Directed by Dominic Dimagmaliw.
“You can look forward to many more projects and songs from us as there are dozens being churned out. Each of us spends most our time exploring different song concepts and collaborating so this season will definitely bring you more creativity.” – Gabe
The Launch event plans for “Kiss Me Now” are also in the works and being plotted for mid-October 2023.