Blog || More Marmar

WHY THINGS HAPPEN  

Sometimes I wonder how God could let certain things happen. What His reasons are behind the way He lets our lives unfold. 

Like why would He let us go through trial after trial. 

Sometimes you kind of figure out that if this hadn’t happened, then you wouldn’t get this other thing that is so much better for you or this other thing that’ll get you where you really need to be. 

But it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it. Lost. Wondering as to why things are happening the way they are. And all you can do is pray and hope for the best and hope for a sign or an answer. 

God answers our prayers in the way that’s best for us, right? That whole thing about giving us what we need and not just what we want. And there’s that saying “Let go and let God.” 

I guess this is a test of faith. And Him building my patience and strength. 

So I guess this is my way of telling myself to hang in there. Relax. Cause this is all part of God’s plan of making you the person you’re meant to be and giving you the life you’re meant to live. 

You can have dreams and plans but you’re not always going to get them the way you expect. And not all your dreams and plans are meant to happen either. For all we know, this could be a detour to something even better. So let go of expectations, perfectionism, and let God.

MY TAGFEST DUBAI 2017 EXPERIENCE 

I’ve always wanted to become a part of a band festival. Like ever since they became a thing. You know, with Coachella and Wanderland and all. OH actually even since Warped Tour was still a super big thing in the U.S. But yeah, I remember thinking about how the indie band/music festivals here in the Philippines worked and wishing I could be a part of one. 

That was maybe two years ago. And they never panned out. So I was like..

K.

Moving on.

Maybe I’m not meant for music festivals. 

 

And then THIS offer came out of the blue late last year! 

 

BAND FESTIVAL. 

IN DUBAI. 

 

And I’ll be joining THESE names as part of the headliners: 

PAROKYA NI EDGAR 

GLOC 9 

SANDWICH 

EBE DANCEL 

 

… 

… 

… 

… 

 

So I pretty much died. 

 

Me being a fangurl 

I actually wanted to ask the organizers like... are you suuuure you’re not mistaking me for a different artist? You’ve heard my music right? I mean don’t get me wrong I love my music but it’s a bit out there compared to the other headliners. 

But you know, blessings like this shouldn’t be questioned. I still did a little bit though and apparently Tag 91.1 (the Filipino radio station in Dubai that the event was for) played my songs all the time. :D Songs like “Pumapag-ibig”, “Free Fall Into Love”, and I think “I Love You Always Forever” were all part of the hit charts there so people did actually know me and my music. <3 

Anyway, performing for the Filipino community there was amazing. After Kuya Ebe’s set, I went up on stage with my band called “Le Band” (Super creative, I know. And my sister Ashley was also included as backing vocals, tambourine player, and somewhat back up dancer haha) and performed some songs off my 2 albums as well as some covers. 

Ashley as a human kebab #WhenInDubai

 

Here are some videos of my fave numbers: 

IF YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR MIND/DI NA NGAYON 

IF I AIN'T GOT YOU - Alicia Keys Cover

OO NGA PALA, DI NA TAYO 

AKO SIGURO 

PUMAPAG-IBIG 

 

And some additional photos from the show care of Mon Ramos!

 

Afterwards, there was a meet and greet, plus, a fun radio interview with TAG, of course! 

All in all, it was a dream come true. And yes I’ve posted so much about this event already but like I said in my spiel before singing “If You Ever Change Your Mind”… 

“WALA AKONG PAKE.” 

BASTA I-BBLOG KO TO. WALA AKONG PAKE. 

Any violent reactions? Fun comments? Were you there at the event? Let me know at the comments section below! 

 

Marion

 

HOW I WROTE: Lights Down Low 

FYI: Lights Down Low is the second track of my second album. 

I’m not gonna lie. I was totally obsessing over Ellie Goulding when I wrote the hook for this song. That’s what I started with. Just: 

TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW 
TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN 

 LOW 

Then I left it for a couple of months. I’m not sure when I decided to continue it. Maybe I had to prepare some song pitches for Star Music but I just remember really liking the hook and wanting to write an Ellie Goulding-ish song so there. 

Lyrically, I was inspired by Damon and Elena. I was watching a lot of The Vampire Diaries at the time (Oh but I did end up finishing the series actually. Huhu Salvatore bros <3). I liked how passionate they were together, especially with those scenes where they’d be by the fireplace and have some super dramatic, building-up-to-a-passionate-kiss scenes. I LAV IT. I wanted to capture that feeling in the choruses. 

The verses though are more about a relationship that lacked actual communication. The bond seemed to be powered more by intimacy. And although both parties were able to “get to know each other” on a physical level, there are all these other aspects of an ideal relationship that they were lacking. 

“We don’t talk much but we’re in love 
But if we don’t talk much, well is that enough? 
Cause I wanna know you, I wanna know you so bad 
Won’t you come let me through your walls? 
Cause I’m gonna love you despite it all” 

So “Lights Down Low” actually has two meanings: Wanting to get to know the person physically (ehehe) and wanting to break through their partner’s barriers  to get to know them emotionally. 

Got any "lights down low" moments? Keep it to yourself. Nobody wants to know. But feel free to comment about your favorite fruit! 

- M 

FAVE LINES: 

So undress - it’s the only way I feel you connect 

Let’s get lost inside these walls

HOW I WROTE: Pressing Rewind (Bad Habit) 

FYI: Pressing Rewind is the 7th song on my 2nd album 

This is the song your heart sings that you wouldn't want your ex/ex-crush to hear. 

It's that song that makes you succumb to your guilty pleasures and just be like, "Well screw it. This is who I want. Daz what I like." (Hi Bruno. Love the song.) But then ultimately when you see how they are now you're like... Nah I'm good. 

Anyway, I wrote this on the guitar. I was feeling slightly rebellious and playful that day. 

Started with a light-hearted line: 

"They told me not to put too many words in a song so it's easier to sing along" (They--my label and some fans-- were probably right. But again rebellious and playful day.) 

"They also said I should move along, find someone else to love 
But what if you are where I belong?" 

Aaaand everything else that follows is pretty much about that dilemma in your head and how stupid it makes you feel but darn it YOU LIKE WHO YOU LIKE. 

Ever felt the same way? Tell me your story at the comment section below! So I can tell everyone :D


- M 


FAVE LINES: 

You're like an apple from Eden 

You're sweet but you're forbidden 

(I don't know how these lines fell into my hands but I still remember how good it felt to write them.)


MY ASCAP EXPO HIGHLIGHTS 

ASCAP: American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers 

The ASCAP EXPO songwriting convention was THEBOMB.COM. (Oh wow that site actually exists. Checked just now. Anyway.) ASCAP was awesome and was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never actually heard of it until my Berklee Online professor told me about it. Luckily it fit my schedule for this April. The EXPO lasted from April 12-April 15 and was held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, which was conveniently near where I’m currently staying. So yuh. Meant to be. :3 

Wouldn’t wanna bore you by going into too much detail, so here are the highlights and the events that I managed to get pictures/videos of (Was too busy “living in the moment” HAHA look at meeeee I actually have a life. Ish.):

Me at the hotel lobby looking like a short child, waiting for registration to open cause I was an hour early. Di naman po ako excited.

REGISTERED. IDs - check!

Me and the sissy getting our photo ops done.

Me and the sissy waiting in line to get our ASCAP “Swag Bags” which contain all the swaggy songwriting thingos. In a bag.

ASCAP annual membership meeting about to begin!

Out came Paul Williams - the ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board to welcome us all to this year's ASCAP EXPO :D So funny he was.


Plain White T’s lead singer Tom Higgenson singing “1 2 3 4” at the ASCAP EXPO Kick-off/Meeting! He also told us about how he ended up writing it and how his experience with ASCAP has been. Apparently Paul McCartney is a huge fan of this song.

Me with my Berklee Online prof! Met him in person for the first time! Exciting stuff. Well for me anyway.

He was one of the representatives/speakers for Berklee online. Learned soooo much from this 45 minute lecture.

Another photo op.

Closer this time.

Me with Ryan McMahon of Captain Cuts AKA the trio who wrote and produced Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” and Grouplove’s “Tongue Tied”. They’ve also written and produced for Tove Lo, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Bebe Rexha, and Marina and the Diamonds. 

Obviously hindi kami nag-usap kung mag-ssmile na ba or hindi. (Obviously we didn’t discuss when were going to smile [for the camera]). He was super nice. And sweet. And is a kyot.
 


Captain Cuts group showing us how “Shut Up and Dance” was produced from the voice recordings to the demo track to the final production. Too cool po. They also demonstrated some of the effects they'd use from start to finish. My sister loved that.

This is one of my faaaavorite panels. These are the top songwriters behind all the biggest hits. Everyone was so humble and told us about how they’d always thank God for their blessings. Really inspiring stuff.

Standing on the far left was the panel moderator AKA super cool songwriter LeShawn Daniels behind the multi-platinum award songs “You Rock My World” - Michael Jackson, “If You Had My Love” - Jennifer Lopez, and “He Wasn’t Man Enough” - Toni Braxton. He’s also written for Whitney Houston. Crazy.

This girl I REALLY wanted to see. Bibi Bourelly. Only 22 years old. Behind the hit song “Bitch Better Have My Money” - Rihanna. Plus she has some singles of her own out. How to be you po.

This guy PREACHED that day. Told us to reaaaally peel our skin off when writing. Huhu I will try. This is Malik Yusef Jones. Six-time Grammy winning artist, poet, songwriter, and producer. He worked on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album as well as Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo.” Bat po kayo ganyan. Masyado po kayong cool. Not even gonna translate that anymore HAHA. Was lucky enough to shake his hand and thank him for inspiring me but didn’t get to take a photo huhu :(

Then there’s Priscilla Renea (on the left duh) - writer of Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It”, Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up”, Selena Gomez’s “Who Says”, Mariah Carey’s “Infinity” (which apparently is the ONLY song Mariah didn’t write or co-write. WHUUUT.), and Pitbull ft. Kesha’s “Timber”. Yun lang naman po. *dies* 

Guy on the right is Jean Baptiste. Songwriter and producer of “X”, “F.A.M.E.”, “Graffiti”, “Royalty” (Chris Brown); Pink Friday," "Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up" (Nicky Minaj); "Rated R" (Rihanna); and "MDNA" (Madonna). Uwian na po tayo. 

So theeeere.

But of course the ASCAP wouldn’t be complete without THIS!

Stevie effin’ Wonder, bros. Interviewed by JANELLE MONAE. HUHU <3

He took us through how he started out in the industry and how he ended up writing his hits. He even played a couple for us! Free concert and free Wonder wisdom <3

Overall, the ASCAP EXPO was definitely an unforgettable experience for me. Still can’t believe we were fortunate enough to see these musical geniuses up close and actually meet some of them! I also love how I got to be around my fellow aspiring singer-songwriters. Everyone was really friendly and just gave off positive vibes all around. I’m also glad that I got to share this experience with my mom and my sister. That way I’d know all of this ACTUALLY happened haha. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you’ve got any questions or violent reactions, just comment below! Although not sure how to.. reply to those actually. I’ll figure it out. 

- M

 

 

 

TURNING 25 

I was dreading this day actually. Quarter-life crisis and all that. But now that it’s finally here, I’m actually just excited for what this year’s got to offer. Sure I feel the uncertainty and instability that may come my way (and every time I tell people I’m 25 I get a gag reflex) but life would be boring if everything was planned by us to a tee. 

This year, I choose to trust in God more than ever. Not everything may be clear yet as of now; but I choose to be faithful. And I look forward to finding out the reasons behind why certain things have to happen and what miracles may blossom from them. 

Besides, I’ve got so many amazing people surrounding me and making me feel loved. If you actually took the time to read this, then that’s you. You’re one of them. And I want to thank you. :) 

So 25? Bring it on. 

- M

Photo by Rafael Reynante

HOW I WROTE: Free Fall Into Love 

FYI: This is the 10th track off my 2nd album 

Free Fall Into Love was written during a... desperate, "single-life" time. I mean sure I'm an empowered, independent woman (Voice in head: Wait, we are? Me: Shh.) but I just CAN'T when I watch cute rom-coms. Or those really romantic scenes from my fave TV series.. es. (Series? Series.) It makes a girl dream about her own happy ending. (Ew that sounded real cheesy just now. But yeah. We have our moments.)

OH. And now that I think about it, I also wrote this song when I liked this guy and I was just waiting, waiting, WAITING for him to make a move. I mean, he ooobviously liked me. What's not to like, really? 

(U: ... 

Me: See? Empowered, independent woman. Who is slightly delusional.) 

So that was my way of... dealing with that. 

"Nasan ba yung fast-paced, whirlwind romance? 
Yung feeling that makes my heart beat so fast" 

(Gurl is impatient.) 

Anyway, I originally wrote it in English and submitted the song to Sir Jonathan Manalo (super adorbz A&R at Star Music). He saw its potential as a tagalog song and helped me out by translating the lyrics. (Thanks, Sir Jon!) 

During the actual recording, it was me, Kidwolf, and Dan Tanedo (our brilliant sound engineer) working on the track. We were trying to figure out what to do with the bridge; if we should go for a "talkie" like what Taylor Swift did with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (like ever). 

Now Dan was feeling pretty pick up line-y at the time. Guy had looooads to offer. I was really iffy about going for it at first (I was still absorbing the fact that Sir Jon put "prince charming" in my lyrics with no sarcasm involved whatsoever. -__- I love you Sir Jon but huhu) but since we've already kind of passed the point of cheesiness, we went for Dan's idea which made the song sooo much fun to perform live. 

"Roses are red, 
Violets are blue 
Love... here na me 
WER NA U" 

And this year it won "Best Pop Recording" at the Awit Awards. Yay! 

Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to show your cheese. Explore. Experiment. Allow yourself to be silly. 

- M 


FAVE LINE(S): 

What Dan said. 

P.S. A lot of people have related this song to Physics. 

It's not related to physics. I hated physics class.


HOW I WROTE: Unbound  

FYI: Unbound is the third track of my second album. 

Writing Unbound was like singing in a musical. One of those moments where the viewers would have been like “how do they magically know the words and chords to the song…..” But it really did feel that way. I was on the piano (Playing the piano not actually on the piano. Do you get it now? Okay.) and I had this really perfect view of the sunset at Manila Bay. I was having one of those “what do I do with my life” days and I remember having that moment of clarity upon seeing that sunset. I remember asking God for a sign or some answers then just having that feeling of assurance somehow. Like a calling of sorts. 

So I wrote: 

“I see the light at the end of the city (literally) 
it’s calling me (not literally) 
It’s telling me to reach beyond the clouds, right where the stars are” 

Then I remembered everyone else’s opinions. I always have these teen angst moments. “Huhu world is against me. Everyone’s telling me what to do.” I mean even just from “Do Do Do” (first song off first album) the topic was pretty much like that as well. 


“And I’m tired of all the voices telling me what I can and I cannot be 
And I think that it’s time I set myself free”

Free was the title at the time. 

“Play by the rules, that’s what we’ve been told 
Keep your head down until you grow old 
This is not how I want my life to unfold 
People look for a way to survive 
Forget how it really feels to be alive 
Now’s the time to spread your wings and let go” 


I wanted to write something motivational for the listeners. And I also was feeling the pressure of not going for my dream job at the time. 

The chorus came after I pitched the song to Kidwolf (the overall producer of my 2nd album). He wanted a chorus that would soar. Actually I don’t remember if that’s what he said hahaha but I ended up making a chorus which I think kind of soared. I wanted people to feel empowered. 

“Cause we were meant to lift up off the ground 
Start an era, conquer new worlds found 
And they might, they might try to take us down 
But we won’t, we won’t let them stop us now 
So make way for the Unbound!” 

I remember that originally I wrote “so please make way for the unbound” and Kidwolf saying that he loved the chorus but wanted to change the line to something that takes charge more. And I realized, “Yeah why does it seem like I’m saying ‘excuse me, can I ples pass tenchoo.” I want to be unbound! I will claim it! Let me through! 



So there. 

- M 



FAVE LINES: 

Play by the rules, that’s what we’ve been told 
Keep your head down until you grow old 
This is not how I want my life to unfold 

AND 

Cause I, I’m still young 
Still got a lot to learn 
You tell me what I need to know 
But I’ve got to go crash and burn all on my own now 

(— I learn from experience. Some things you just gotta go through yourself to learn what really is good for you.) 

 

Are my boobs too small? 

Every seemingly flat-chested girl asks herself that question. And the answer is no. They are not too small.  

They are called “model boobs” or “ballerina boobs” (Don’t know if ballerinas will find that offensive. But whatevs.).  

PERKS:  

  1. You can pull off those really low cut tops without looking slutty. Unless that was your purpose then go gurl.  
  2. You can sleep on your stomach. Me looooves to sleep on my stomach. Like my dog.  
  3. You don’t have to worry about having an extra set of “weights” to carry around when you’re running. (Actually this one isn’t true. It still hurts when you wear the wrong bra. OR DID I MAGICALLY GROW BOOBS ALREADY? I mean I don’t care.)  
  4. It doesn’t get TOO awkward when you hug guys. Cause you kinda forget they (the boobs) are there. Or is that just me? Just me? K.  
Got distracted. Stopping list. But yeah I remember one stylist trying to convince me to get a boob job. He’s gay and would like to fill out his chest as well and if that’s what’ll make him happy then go. But I don’t think it’s necessary for girls to have bigger breasts just to feel like a woman.  

On a side note though, how the heck do other girls have that Barbie body. You know, super slim and toned with C cup sized boobs. Are those real? Did they gain weight then lose all the weight and the universe was like, you know what? I’ll leave your C cup boobs on. And a nice cushy butt.  

I’m just wondering if they already just naturally had those bodies and the media was like OOH let’s make THAT the popular thing or if it was the other way around. Although I guess the media and society always influence each other anyway.  

What do you guys think? Let me know at the comments section below!  

U: Yes, your boobs are too small.  

Me: … *facepalm*  

- M

Being an Aunor 

I always get asked what it’s like to be related to.. 

...

...

...

My sister Ashley. 

And it’s hard. So much to live up to, you know. She went to Assumption. She’s taking up sound engineering now at Berklee College of Music. She’s really good with fixing our wifi here at home. She’s got that really milky Chinese-y skin. 

And I’m just a lowly singer-songwriter trying to make something of my music. 

But someday, I know it’s gonna happen for me. It’ll all work out. I know that if I believe hard enough, I too will have really milky Chinese-y skin. 

Sigh. 

- M

P.S. Totally kidding. I know I have beautiful skin. Just wanted to post something for today HEHE. :3 But feel free to express yourself in the comments section below!

I like the word blog.

It sounds like a flubber-y, slimy, bouncy, squishy thing.

So I made one.