Filipino experimental/alternative artist BLASTER redefines the Christmas tune canon with a new single that essays the profound sadness and grief of celebrating the holidays in the time of pandemic.
His latest offering “PASKO’Y HINDI NA MASAYA,” out today via Island Records Philippines, is dedicated to countless of people whose lives were hit hard by unfortunate circumstances, and are dreading of how challenging the days might be—be it experiencing Christmas with the loss of a loved one or abandoning expectations at least for this season’s run as a way of coping.
“This one is not really about celebrating Christmas,” says the eclectic singer-songwriter and producer. “It’s more of a tribute to those that we’ve lost, and a nostalgic yearning of how Christmas used to be.”
While BLASTER’s “PASKO’Y HINDI NA MASAYA” doesn’t fall under the conventional holiday songs that articulate the merry warmth of the yuletide spirit, the modern day anthem gives a sobering reality to some folks who happen to experience Christmas in a different light, recognizing sadness and nostalgia as they find a way to rise above life’s obstacles.
With production by BLASTER himself and Max Cinco, “PASKO’Y HINDI NA MASAYA” retains the sparse but innovative musical direction that the prolific artist is known for. But what makes it extra special is BLASTER’s ability to cut across universal themes with a balance of accessibility and experimentation.
“I decided to make it sound old and new, while maintaining some classic melodies in the mix,” shares the Disko Forever act. “I’ve also incorporated some electronic and synth elements to give it a more contemporary flavor. In terms of lyrics, Dan Tanedo helped me with writing the song.”
The holiday track will be accompanied by a music video featuring a compilation of old Christmas videos from the 80s and 90s.
BLASTER’s “PASKO’Y HINDI NA MASAYA” is out now on all streaming platforms worldwide via Island Records Philippines.
With a knack for making experimental pop music that is characterized by immutable prettiness, BLASTER is set to show himself as a solo artist. As the lead guitarist for his former band IV of Spades, Blaster has endeared fans and peers in the industry with his inventive but technically adept musicianship.
Outside of his work with his former band, Blaster has worked with several artists, including doing production work for alt-R&B artist dia maté on the luscious summertime tune, “Dream,” and jamming with artists such as Ebe Dancel and Hilera’s Chris Padilla at some point in his career.
Now signed to Island Records Philippines, BLASTER is ready to release new music that strikes a balance between remarkable restraint and sonic adventurousness, seemingly inspired by outlandish personalities in music such as Radiohead and David Bowie, and genres that range from art rock to space rock, funk to Japanese city pop.
So far, he has currently recorded demos for his upcoming releases, which will see the light of day soon: there’s the deceptively simple “Disko Forever,” which pays tribute to a glorious era in music, while also dressing it up with woozily beautiful things this side of Krautrock and modern electronica, and the lighthearted and gorgeous number “Nararamdaman,” which showcases Blaster’s minimal instrumentation and guitar/bass skills.
The 21-year-old singer-songwriter and producer also reveals that he is channeling his daily life experiences and random observations through music, purposefully aligning it with his brooding, socially aware, and intimate worldview. His writing feels more personal and honest this time around—not afraid to create artistic statements that double as confessionals.