Just recently, Gloc-9 introduced his new protégé LIRAH to whom he gave his song Sahod as debut single.
Gloc-9 on mentoring and going independent
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2019 - 12:00am

Dungaw marks the start of the independent route that Gloc-9 is taking. He has decided to move forward without a recording company, doing things on his own: write, record, produce, perform and publish his own songs. For the first time in his two-decade career, he would now have complete ownership of his music.

MANILA, Philippines — Gloc-9 is in mentor mode nowadays, looking to help the younger generation of artists fulfill their music dreams.

“Medyo matanda na po kasi ako. I’m turning 42 this year and this is my 22nd year in the music industry, and I think, mas may sense yung gagawin ko na makatulong ng mga artists na magawa nila ang mga gusto nila at mga pangarap nila sa music. It’s a big deal to me,” the rap star whose real name is Aristotle Pollisco told The STAR.

Just recently, Gloc-9 introduced his new protégé LIRAH to whom he gave his song Sahod as debut single. He has also been credited for mentoring teen rap sensation Shanti Dope. Both LIRAH and Shanti Dope are signed up with Asintada, the talent management group Gloc runs with his wife Thea.

His advice to the newer breed of artists? Not to forget or abandon their hunger for work. “That’s the most important thing to do to succeed in this job and to last long in this business,” he said.

How you deal with audiences and supporters is another thing, he added. “Makakalimutan ng tao kung ano ang kinanta mo pero di nila makakalimutan kung paano mo sila kini-cater or how you interact with them.”

What does he get out of mentoring the younger set? “It’s a big bonus for me to see an artist like Shanti Dope flourish in his field while I’m still around,” Gloc-9 said.

He recalled being asked whether he sees these rising rappers as a threat to his career. “Sometimes, iniisip nila mate-threaten ka ba? Minsan tinanong sa akin yan ng label ni Shanti, baka maging threat sa'yo. I think more than that, tulong pa siya sa akin, kasi ang kanyang age bracket ay malayo sa age bracket ng market ko.”

Gloc has worked with another young artist, Keiko Necesario, the featured singer in his brand-new song Dungaw.

“We’re very excited with the song and sobrang galing ni Keiko Necesario. For the longest time, we’ve been talking about doing a collaboration — I think for five or four years now — and then (nagawa) ko nga yung song na ito and sinabi ko na (sa kanya).”

At first listen, Dungaw is an infectiously upbeat, foot-stomping and hand-clapping tune, which belies the dark themes tackled in the lyrics. These include poverty, violence against women, greed, corruption, among others, because what is a Gloc-9 song without a commentary on pressing social issues? It also touches on faith, especially with the goosebumps-inducing final rap verse that comes across as an open letter to God.

The music video is set in a “happy wake” and Gloc explained why: “Matagal-tagal na rin akong nag-i-isip kung anong song ang gusto kong isulat after gawin ko yung Sahod (which he eventually gave to LIRAH). I’ve written songs almost on anything and for everybody, and then I thought, ‘pag ikaw ay nasa wake, most likely nakakausap mo lahat ng tao except dun sa nasa itaas. I wrote the song from the point of the view of the person inside the coffin.”

The video, which can now be viewed on YouTube, also gathers different rap artists, telling you enough of Gloc’s unifying stature in the Pinoy hip-hop community.

Interestingly, Dungaw marks the independent route that Gloc-9 is now taking as an artist. He has decided to move forward without a recording label, doing things on his own: write, record, produce, perform and publish his own songs.

This means that for the first time in his two-decade career, Gloc would now have complete ownership of his music. It was the realization that despite the years and hits, he does not have full ownership of his songs, that primarly served the motivation for him to go independent.

“Maybe, at my age, it became important to me to see if I can do this as an artist, to be responsible for my songs from beginning to end, na kung mag-hit, astig ‘yon, at kung hindi, semplang tayo, pero try again,” the rapper shared. “Lagi ko naman sinasabi sa mga kanta ‘ko na hindi natin malalaman kung hindi natin susubukan. And I feel it’s the right time for me to try this way of making music.”

It wasn’t easy coming to this decision. Gloc-9 has spent the past two years thinking hard about making this move, consulting with his management about it and just waiting for the right time. “Siguro in the past five years, every time a contract with a recording company ended, sumasagi ito sa isip ko. Siyempre matatakot ka, ma-o-overwhelm (ka) sa responsibility. Pero ngayon, parang mas nangibabaw ‘yung kagustuhan ko na subukan,” he smiled.

Going independent, nevertheless, is like returning to his roots. Long ago, as a relatively unknown rapper, he had recorded five songs for a CD that he sold out of his backpack. Twenty-two years later, with seven studio albums, three EPs and a string of hits to his name, he is back to doing things on his own.

Gloc-9 is hopeful that his fans and audience have grown with him enough to appreciate this development and join him in this new chapter of his life and career.

(Gloc-9’s first independent release Dungaw, featuring Keiko Necesario, will stream on Spotify and all online platforms.)

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