Photo Credit: Andrei Suleik
How have you been?
INIGO: I’ve been good, we’ve been traveling a lot. We’ve been to three different cities in the last 10 days. We went to New York, San Francisco, and now we’re in Los Angeles. Next week I’m gonna be in Japan and the following week I am going to be in Europe, in Amsterdam. So, I’m super excited, we’re doing a lot of work while meeting really good people. I am honestly super excited for my music to be out, playing on the radio and doing interviews like this on Vents.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single Options?
INIGO: Options is my first single from my new album to be released this year. It is one of the tracks that I worked on with producer Harv and songwriter, Fallon. It is one of those songs that gets you dancing, it’s got that feel good vibe, summer vibes. I feel like this is one of those songs that you would play during parties to get the energy up. The message of the song is pretty simple, it is telling a girl that you met that since you two met, you forgot all about you other options. You are letting her know that she is the only one you want to prioritize and forget about all the other girls in your life, straight to the point. As I’ve performed it in cities like New York and LA already vibing to it, I am excited to see people dancing to it and can’t wait to see the dance challenges and videos that will come from it on social media.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write the song?
INIGO: I feel like when we were writing the song, I just wanted to write something different from what we wrote the day before. The day before, I worked with the amazing songwriter Felicia formerly from the group Cherish, on a song called Neverland that is also on my new album. The song was mellow and slowed down so I wanted to work on something more upbeat. Together we all vibes and it was this awesome song that came about in 24 hours which is a lot different than how we create music in the Philippines.
Are you going to to release a video for the single?
INIGO: Yes, we made the music video in the Philippines but will be shooting additional videos for social around the song with some of the biggest dancers and influencers on social media. It’s the biggest music video that I’ve ever done with a two day shoot and it was very memorable. As Filipinos we love to dance and being with the dancers on set was was really fun. There was constant good energy and good company and it was also the first time we used one of our sound-stages for a music video in the Philippines which is very, very special. I’m honored to be able to be the first artist to do that. The support that I’ve just been getting from my label Tarsier Records and the fans is incredible.
What was it like to work with Harv and how did that relationship develop?
INIGO: I met Harv actually about two months or just about a month before we recorded the song. The fact that he wanted to build a relationship before working together meant a lot. It wasn’t just like, “all right, we got to work because we’re being paid to do this relationship.” It was genuine, he wanted to know my vibe and he wanted to get to know me before working together. I felt like as artists, I feel that’s very important when you are collaborating on whatever project it is because you want to be able to have your own input as well as taking in the other person’s inputs. I feel like if you want to work together, you really have to make it a shared collaborative work and that starts from getting to know one another outside of the music. So months before we even recorded, we hung out and vibed, played each other music. We were at this cafe and we just talked about each other’s goals and music stories. Harv is so talented, humble and has so many amazing stories and experiences to share that we bonded over, working together was easy and I think the fans will really love the music we made.
Was following your father’s footsteps a no brainier, how did that actually come about? Were you worried about getting yourself overshadowed by this?
INIGO: I feel like it was just natural for me to gravitate towards this direction. People say it’s in the blood, but I feel like seeing my Dad in movies or seeing my Dad on stage performing was inspiring. I feel like as a kid if you’re exposed to that kind of thing at a young age, it’s something that you would naturally just gravitate towards. I feel like being surrounded by music made me fall in love with the idea of music even more, I never had negative thoughts of being overshadowed. I feel like I never thought of those things because it felt like it was an opportunity for me to challenge myself even more. I always do. Like people would say negative things like “he’s probably just famous because of who his Dad is.” It was always a challenge to be able to prove myself even more as an artist, not just for them but also for myself. I’m thankful for my Dad as an inspiration and I’m thankful for his support.
What was it like to actually eventually find success?
INIGO: I don’t know how to answer that question to be honest because I just feel like you can never really define what success is. I feel like success to me is just pure happiness and being able to do the job that is challenging but you love and that you are blessed with. I don’t think the amount of hits that you get, or the amount of shows that you get, would define success for anybody. I feel that just the fact that we are all out here trying to get music on a bigger stage. I feel like being able to work with the people that I’ve already worked with is already success to me. So, to me, I think just finding pure, genuine happiness everyday is what success feels like.
Have you gotten to meet other cultures? Have they influenced your writing?
INIGO: Definitely. I just came from San Francisco just a couple of days ago and went to Sundaze, the Bay Area’s #1 Day Party and seeing how these people are just so connected, through music, and vibe even if they don’t know each other, they vibe and love dancing.. I feel like there’s a certain connection that you just don’t find anywhere else and this is something that I want to incorporate into my music showing how culture can affect one’s music. I want to be able to relate to my audience wherever there are. I want to be able to really find out what these people go through everyday, be immersed into their culture and get to know the artists they listen to. I want to know what Japanese people are into in Japaan. I want to know what Chinese people are into in China. I want to know what Koreans are into or whatever country or race they are and find that middle ground and having that universal sound that connects everybody together.
Speaking of, I haven’t gotten to collaborate with other big names like Wengie, what was it like to work with her and how did that come about?
INIGO: Working with Wengie was an opportunity that I just wanted to do right away. I think I’m at a point in life where not just want to collaborate with all these new artists, all of these talented artists and working with her and her management was so easy. We worked with the really talented composter Melanie Joy Fontana and Lindgren, who are the people behind big hits by BTS, Justin Bieber & the Chainsmokers. The whole process and vibe that we just had was super cool. We made three different tracks all in one day. We made an English version, a Tagalog version and a Taglish version. Wengie and her manager Danny Lee flew all the way out to the Philippines for the music video. We also were able to perform it on our biggest TV show, A Sunday Afternoon Party, which is our biggest variety show in the Philippines. After a few weeks, the video hit over 3M plays on YouTube and topped the radio charts at #1. I feel like opportunities like this shows that it doesn’t matter where you’re from. It doesn’t matter what kind of music you’d do, as long as you guys were able to reach out to share each other’s ideas everything is possible. Danny Lee, Wengie’s manager also works with artists like Black Pink and BTS and it’s amazing to see the success they’ve had.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you’re collaborating someone rather than in your own?
INIGO: Definitely, it’s different every time. Every time I meet new artists or new people that I want to collaborate with, I am open to their suggestions, but then also not staying quiet and voicing my opinions and suggestions, I share my inputs as well like how it was working with producer Harv, it was collaborative work. Together, you gotta find the middle ground. Being open to collaborative work I’ve been able to work with Disney, being able to work with Alex Aiono, Leroy Sanchez, Wengie, Ruby Ibarra, all these different artists, they just have different approaches on everything that they do. Collaboration as an artist teaches me to be open to these new things that might challenge me as an artist.
Does a new single mean that we can expect additional material. How’s that coming?
INIGO: Yes I will be releasing a full album called Options, with each song like a chapter in that book.
The name Options connects with the whole concept of the album. We decided to go with the album title, Options, because it describes all the different relationship phases & all the situations that a person would go through in life. There are different options you go thru when dealing with situations where you have to choose what do you have to do? What do you want to pick in life, juggling whether the heart will win or the brain will win. The title Options describes all those different situations and we have so manyOptions in life to choose from. The next songs to be released are Catching Feelings, a song about the moment you start to have feelings for someone, no matter what heartache you’ve already been through. There’s a song called Neverland, that describes the love that isn’t right for you at that exact moment. There are other songs like Lost & Ride as well that are all tell stories of the different phases & Options there are while being in love.
Any tentative release dates that a title in mind?
INIGO: Options comes out June 28th and the following single, Catching Feelings will come out in August. I’m excited about that single because it is produced by Moophs with a unique Manila tropical house sound. After that we are planning on releasing the full album with additional singles and collaborations. The more I travel, the more music I want to create so you’ll see a lot of different collaborations with artists from different genres.
Have you found this insanely a big success in what it seems such a short amount of time, do you feel any pressure as your work on new material or the opposite?
INIGO: I feel like I will always be pressured, but I feel like it’s the good kind of pressure. I feel like every time you are too relaxed, you’re not really able to bring out the best in you. If you are too relaxed and you don’t really put that pressure that you need to, you won’t really be able to bring out the best in you. If you don’t pressures yourself you’ll be stuck on a plateau. Its nerve wrecking at times but I know I just have to do it. I feel like a good amount of pressure is definitely important for an artist because you always want to be able to challenge yourself and grow. I think you should always try out new things. You should always think of new ideas, new concepts that might challenge you, not just as an artist but also as a person.
Any plans to hit the road?
INIGO: I love performing, I love touching and meeting the fans, playing the songs live because it’s different when you can see people singing back lyrics that you wrote. We’re going to different cities left and right from New York to Tokyo and I feel like just meeting the fans and really being able to connect with them on a personal level in person on a personal level is one of the best feelings. You get to see them online, but meeting them in person and getting to know who they are, getting to know their names and seeing their faces is honestly the best part about being on tour. My fans who are friends, the Loveties, have supported me since day one and I do this for them. I love taking them on this journey with me whether it’s performing at a music industry showcase at Viacom or a private listening session in San Francisco with Gabby Diaz of Wild 94.9. One of the best parts that I really love about doing a live performance is hearing them sing my songs, when writing the songs, you don’t imagine people would memorize your lyrics. You can see the reaction when people start dancing to your songs. It’s such a good feeling to have.
What else is happening in Inigo world?
INIGO: I’ve been really busy with working on this album and then we’ve been promoting it a lot, I can’t wait for it to come out. During these promo tours, I’ve been immersing myself in different cultures. Every time I tour to a different country or city, I love learning a lot of new things from different people and that lines up with what we’re doing with music. I’m really taking in a lot of the good things and thankful that I’m able to experience with my music.
For more follow: @inigopascual on instagram.
Hi Justin, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? Hey, thanks for having me. I’ve …