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INTERVIEW: The Morning Episodes

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi Vents! Great to meet you guys. Doing well, thanks 🙂 Devil was released just a week ago so we’re trying our best to push and grind. We performed at a local music festival just last weekend where we did the first live performance of the song. It went pretty well.

Can you talk to us more about your new single “Devil”?

“Devil” is actually our first music release in 4 years. And its sounding a lot more different than anything we’ve ever released. My music in the past was very alternative / pop-rock driven while this sound, I would say, more modern and a lot fresher. The time away from music and collaborating with other producers / artists has allowed us to grow and evolve into how we sound today. (I did 4 solo releases with Universal Music here in the Philippines from 2007-2010 and in 2012 re branded to “The Morning Episodes” as we released our first international album with Grammy Nominated Producer Christian Davis in Los Angeles in 2013).

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

Well, i think the main thing was being exposed to nightlife. Over the past 4 years me and my business partners have opened up several establishments, a couple of them are a pub and a small club. So being exposed regularly to that type of atmosphere, empathizing with what people in the club go through, and hearing a lot of EDM and HipHop — all of that led me to writing / producing “Devil.” In terms of theme, its basically “Wanting something you know you can’t have, but still wanting it anyway, trying not to think about whatever consequences may come about.”

Any plans to release a video for the single?

A Lyric Video is set to be released in a couple of weeks. A music video, maybe sometime in November.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was mostly done by myself. Once I had a basic skeleton, I started working with a couple of producers to shape it up — John Pope (Red Bull Academy Alum) and Juni Devecais (my long time bandmate and former producer). Once they worked their magic, it sounded like the song could go another level if we could add a rapper and a female singer. Thus the addition of Curtismith and Leanne.

These are 2 young, talented up and coming artists here in the Philippines. I’d been away from music for a while, so teaming up with some young guns definitely felt like a great idea.

What was it like to work with Curtismith and Leanne Mamonong and how did those relationships develop?

It was fun and seamless. We actually just had one studio session with each of them and they nailed their parts down quickly.

Leanne is part of the duo “Leanne and Naara.” I met her initially at our pub through one of our partners because we got them to perform for us several times. And off the bat her voice blew us away. At the time they were still about to graduate from college and hadn’t released any music yet. By the time I was writing “Devil” they were done with school and had just released their first single “Again” with Warner Music, so I asked her if she’d be interested in helping out and being featured on the track. Thankfully she agreed and was excited to be on board.

Fast forward to today — they’ve released 3 singles in the past year and have over 10million streams on Spotify! I suppose I was lucky to meet her before all that haha. Amidst all that success though she’s still that same humble, down to earth girl – who can flat out WRITE and SING!

I was hearing a lot of Curtismith before and our producer, John Pope, actually mixed and mastered his mix tape, so he was kind enough to connect us. Curtismith sent a couple of scratch raps via email but we hadn’t met yet and were having a hard time getting a common schedule for the studio. Luckily though, one afternoon, I bumped into him at our coffee shop – Frank & Dean. He was reading a book while sipping an iced black. It was there that we finally got to talk in person and figure out the studio time.

To date, Curtismith has landed endorsement deals with Coke, San Miguel Beer (#1 beer in the PH) and Jollibee (#1 fast food chain the PH). He’s definitely a rising star in the local scene and we’re blessed and lucky to have him on the track.

Why did it take so long to release this material?

Well, my main focus over the past few years has been growing our business. My partners and I are in the restaurant / cafe / bar industry. We’re now also trying to get into the real estate industry. I finished producing “Devil” almost a year ago, but at the time I had just started my Masters in Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, so thats something that I had to prioritize at the time as well. Early this year as well, my wife and I were blessed with our first baby – a girl and her name is Callie 🙂

I also wanted to make sure that we had the right tie ups and parternships that would help us launch and promote the single. So now that we’ve laid that down and I’m about to finish my masters degree, I started pushing for a release before the end of 2017.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new album – how’s that coming along?

We’re doing another single called “Feel The Night.” Release will be either in December on January. We’ve actually got a lot of material written down so we plan to do an EP release in March or April of next year. I’m graduating from my masters in Feb, so by then I’ll have more time to focus on music. For now we’re building towards that! Again its been a while since we’ve released new music so we need to do this the right, methodogical way.

Any plans to hit the road?

With the new single out we’re lining up shows and a radio tour here in Manila. We’re also targetting local and regional music festivals, so hopefully that works out.

What else is happening next in The Morning Episodes’ world?

Just trying to get our feet wet again in the music world. I forgot how intense this can be. Haha. Its really a grind. But music is one of the things I’m most passionate about, so its a fun kind of grind 🙂

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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