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Hero marks his ‘independence’ with empowering single Asa Ka

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Hero marks his �independence� with empowering single Asa Ka
Hero has recently released the song Asa Ka to signal his musical and recording journey as an independent artist. The tune is a testament to his interest in hip-hop and melodic rap with an exploration of Mexican beat. Asa Ka is ‘an electrifying blend of catchy beats and honest lyrics that will resonate with anyone,’ says his team.

MANILA, Philippines — The hip-hop and rap artist Hero has come up with a new single, Asa Ka, described by his team as a bold and empowering anthem. It also marks his being an independent Original Pilipino Music (OPM) talent.

“It’s hip-hop and melodic rap. I combine melody and rap in a song,” said Hero of his chosen musical genre and path in a virtual interview with The STAR. “For me, I’m able to express more of what I want to say (through it).”

He recalled that the young Hero loved to sing and join singing contests. Such an interest was complemented by his liking to memorize rap songs.

“Kaya mas pinili ko po talaga yung melodic rap (that’s why I’ve really chosen melodic rap),” shared Hero. “In my elementary days, I would memorize rap songs (and among them were) sir Gloc’s such as Bagsakan and Upuan, as well as those (tunes) of other artists like Smugglaz, 187 Mobstaz, Flow G and Skusta Clee.”

These names from the hip-hop and rap world have become his influences and guided Hero when he decided to follow in their footsteps.

Part of his early creative ventures was to take on the #44 Bars Challenge of Gloc-9 where the latter uploads the beat and the lyrics on his Facebook page and YouTube channel, and encourages artists to use the same beat and make their own words set to it. The activity invites artistic curiosity and creativity among talents.

“Sa akin po, sobrang panalo po ako nun kasi dun po talaga nag-start na mapakinggan (ako) din ng ibang tao at yun din ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito sa posisyon ko ngayon (for me, being part of it was a win since that was the start for people to get listened to me. It’s also the reason why I’m in my current position as an artist),” said he, whose talent got eventually noticed  by Gloc-9 and Universal Records Philippines. Hero is grateful for the contributions his idol and the label have made to his career.

“Ito po yung una kong kanta bilang independent artist (this is my first song as an independent artist),” shared he of Asa Ka. “Itong new song ko po na ito ay tungkol sa mga taong mahilig magsamantala, samantalahin ang kabaitan ng tao (this new song is about people who like to take advantage of others, the kindness of others). When the latter (the others) realize and learn from it, they will tell (these people), ‘Hindi mo na ko maloloko. Asa ka (you can’t fool me anymore and stop hoping).’”

As for Asa Ka’s source of inspiration, narrative- and music-wise, Hero said, “I think there are people who experience it, while the vibe of the song is like a Mexican rap, kaya natuwa ako at inisipan ko lang ng tema (I was glad with how the sound was coming and I thought of a theme based on it).”

Asked about what Mexican rap is, Hero generously shared his two cents’ worth. “For its beat, it uses instruments that are like its trademark. Kahit ano pong ilapat mo, kahit malungkot po ang tema yung ilagay mo dun magiging masaya siyang pakinggan (whatever you set to it or even if the theme is sad or pensive, the music remains fun to listen to). The beat is upbeat.”

According to a piece of information given to this paper, Asa Ka is “an electrifying blend of catchy beats and honest lyrics that will resonate with anyone who has dealt with deception and manipulation.” It reminds everyone “to stay true to ourselves and not let anyone take advantage of our kindness.”

As a tunesmith, Hero begins the song composition process with, as he put it, “beat first and then I write the chorus kasi duon ako magbabase ng buong song, yun po yung magiging tema ko at duon po iikot yung pinakalaman ng kanta (from there, I base the entire song, the theme and the content of the song will revolve around it).”

After that, he takes on the challenge of mixing and mastering his vocals.

“Perhaps, it took me two to three days to finish the lyrics because I first worked on the hook. With mixing, I also had two days,” said Hero, who also collaborated with producers in charge of the beat. “Nag-se-send lang ako ng mga reference ng mga gusto kong tunog (I would just send references to the sounds that I want). Posible po yung may baguhin, may idagdag (it’s possible that they might change it or add something to it). Ang mahalagang ma-i-send ko dun yung tempo atsaka yung key ng kanta, kung ano yung key, pero yung diskarte sa beat, madalas talaga, sila po yung naka-toka dun (what’s important is I send the tempo and the key of the song. But how to approach the beat, they’re assigned to it),” added he.

This has been the same approach Hero takes in creating music and doing a song.

Although he is an independent artist, Hero also works with the Asintada Mgmt. and Prod, Inc. 

(Watch Asa Ka music video via https://youtu.be/R4wijiQTX_w?si=F59gZQMZenXXTSqR.)

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