October 18, 2022

Nicole Laurel-Asensio tells us about the forbidden things

Last week, I received a very special package from Nicole Laurel-Asensio and it got me intrigued about her new single. The gift was a jewelry box with a necklace with gold and silver handcuffs. But what caught my curiosity was Nicole was giving us a hint of her next single, "Bawal."

Bakit nga ba masarap kapag bawal?

It had been a little while since noted multi-talented Nicole Laurel got back in the recording cycle. She didn’t stop writing new songs. In fact, there are dozens in progress. For this upcoming single "BAWAL" she collaborated with a co-musician she had met nearly 9 years ago but never really had the opportunity to write with— guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Gabe Dandan. During an impromptu jam, he put down the guitar and began playing keys. Nicole began humming instantaneous melody and lyrics— the initial songwriting for “Bawal” was done in about 30 minutes.

"This is one of the simplest lyrical expressions I have published, nothing poetic here, just a sentiment revolving around the quintessential question: “Bakit masarap kapag bawal?” It was one of those instances na halos sabay lumabas yung lyrics and melody, and halos tapos na yung song form in the first session. I was led into the song by the chord choices. The song is a simple, slow, soulful blend of sultriness and the melancholy of desiring something you can’t have," Nicole noted. 
The "Bawal" team of the best musicians in today’s industry pooled their creative energies at Wildgrass studios for tracking.

Otep Concepcion (Drums),
Rommel Dela Cruz (Bass)
Nikko Rivera (Keys) 
Ted Amper (Cello)
Lester Sorilla (Trumpet) 
Gabe Dandan (Producer, Guitar, Percussions, Backup Vocals) 
Mike Luis (Vocal arranger, Backup Vocals)

The world class post production team are mixing engineer Angee Rozul then mixed and mastered in Dolby Atmos by: Waxified Sound Production.

Gabe Dandan on writing with Nicole Laurel Asensio:
“I like working with Nicole because I am inclined towards improvisation-style writing, it brings out the best in my playing and musical choices, Nicole encourages that environment. Her brain is like a factory for making lyrics, the workflow and is seamless and that doesn’t always happen with everyone.”

On Producing the track with the “Nyors”
“That was pretty scary, I went early, not just to get good parking, but also to calm my nerves before the guys arrived. When they all arrived it went pretty smoothly, I knew what I wanted to do, but these guys are all really really good, so at first I didn’t feel like I was in the position to tell them what to do, in fact I didn’t have to say much just a little guiding but they’re the best so they just did their thing. It was a fun process. Post production was easy and efficient, Nicole is very honest, she makes sure to tell me what she wants while we’re still in the process and not when everything is already done and I appreciate that.”

“Bawal” will definitely take all of us along with the memories of countless chases, losses, painful lessons, maybes, possibilities and loves that could have been.

More songs are birthing from Nicole Laurel Asensio, but for now she just needed to publish at least one to ignite the process again.

“Bawal” is the first of many to hit the studio.
More can definitely be expected in 2023. 

Nicole finally notes: “PUWEDE”

"The beautiful thing about songwriting is - technically, walang bawal… you can write about anything, anyone and everything… you can use any note, rhythm, topic, lyric that reflects your soul and sentiment… Marami ngang bawal, ngunit, sa paglikha… lahat pwede. This is why creativity proves to be my greatest purpose and escape all in one, theres no telling where the creative chase will lead, but one thing is for sure, the creative chase is never futile, and always “masarap.”

“One last listen… before I turn off the speakers.

The room is quiet now….
Save for the crackling sound of chicharon.
So, bakit nga ba masarap kapag bawal?”

BAWAL is Produced by: Gabe Dandan / Nicole Laurel Asensio
Executive Produced by: Nicole Laurel Asensio
Mix and Mastered in Dolby Atmos by Waxified Sound Production
Distributed by: Warner Music Philippines

Catch it on October 28 on all digital platforms!

Check out Nicole Laurel social media on:
Nicole Asensio (Spotify)
Nicole Asensio (Apple Music)
Nicole Asensio (Youtube)
Nicole Laurel Asensio (FB page)
@nicoleasensio (IG)

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