Why 2023 is Yeng Constantino’s Most Pivotal Year Yet
In her seventeenth year in the Philippine music industry, Pop rock Superstar Yeng Constantino has decided that it was time to take her music for a new and exciting adventure and here’s a glimpse of why 2023 is going to be her most pivotal year yet.
On life and 2023 so far
Every person will inevitably experience different seasons (or rather changes) in life as the years go by. This is one of life’s realizations that a person can only come to with enough experience under one’s belt. Yeng as an artist and person is no exception.
She has reached the point of her career where she feels more at peace and less pressure especially when compared to the time when she was just starting in the industry. Every new artist knows how nerve-wracking and pressuring it is to prove your worth in an industry where it has always been challenging to remain relevant over a long period of time.
“Nasa season na ‘ko na magtatanim ako pero yung mga bagay lang that will really enrich my soul.”
Yeng however, as those most familiar with her body of work already knows, is no stranger to experimentation. She is always on the lookout for new ways to evolve as an artist, a reassuring sign for fans who have been waiting for new songs to relate and jam to.
On the more personal side of things, the COVID-19 pandemic also played a major role in the changes she has gone through recently. The uncertainties brought about by the pandemic and the loss of her mother have made Yeng realize just how short life is and how fragile everything can be. On the plus side, she has found a deeper appreciation for her father’s wisdom in life as they both continue to figure out how to move on from the loss of their dearly beloved.
“When I’m looking at him…kahit matanda na siya, he seizes the moment, he enjoys his life.”
“Just observing yung tatay ko, andami kong natututunan…kaya gustong gusto ko siya pinupuntahan.”
This is why her goals for 2023 are: to maintain peace and happiness, to be open to new opportunities and challenges, and to practice her new mindset. The last goal, she admits, is a challenge for her as she has always considered herself to be the “malungkutin” type.
On her evolving journey as a recording artist
Yeng only has utmost gratitude to the record label that launched her career – Star Music. Thus Yeng’s farewell to Star last January of 2022 to transition as an independent artist was expectedly an emotional one.
“When I think about Star Music…maaalala ko talaga yung musical journey ko, yung freedom na binigay nila sa’kin to explore kung sino ako as a musician…”
“I will treasure in my heart lahat ng natutunan ko while working with Star Music, with my bosses, with sir Roxy, with kuya Jonathan, and even Ms. Annabelle Regalado…I will always…take that wherever I go,” she adds.
One could simply describe Yeng’s 2022 as “creative” and “full of experimentation” as she released independently produced singles with the help of her management, Cornerstone Entertainment.
Recording giant Republic Records Philippines (a record label under UMG Philippines) came into the picture after a year of Yeng doing independent projects with an exciting offer that instantly piqued her artistic curiosity, with the most notable part of the offer being the opportunity of getting to explore the South East Asian market – a challenge she wants to tackle and a box to tick in her bucket list.
This 2023, we can pretty much assume that fans and music lovers are going to see a very interesting and unique collaboration between Yeng and one of the world’s leading music companies. With Republic, she will undoubtedly be able to venture deeper into uncharted music territory not just in the Philippines, but also the world (as Republic Records is home to the likes of Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, John Legend, the Jonas Brothers, and many more international music stars). The creative and collaborative possibilities in this new venture are endless.
On owning her old songs
Coinciding with her transition and after finally obtaining the rights to her back catalog spanning fifteen years, Yeng immediately and excitedly took the opportunity to give new life to her past hits with her own new flavor.
The plan is to give her past hits an updated and more uniform sound packaged in four volumes with five songs per volume while working with different producers. To kick off the very first volume of the remastered versions, Yeng tapped the help of the highly sought-after composer, arranger, and musical director Ria Osorio to serve as a producer. Given the very personal nature of the project, Yeng made sure to get involved in every aspect of the production.
With the first volume practically done, Yeng couldn’t help but feel the excitement upon realizing how they managed to make the mashup of songs for the first volume sound like they all came from the same era and album. With a target release of March or April, it won’t be long before we finally get to enjoy a taste of Yeng’s new flavor of music.
On writing and releasing new songs
A new season in a musician’s life calls for a new way of approaching music. And for the Pop rock Superstar, she has taken her songwriting process to a completely new direction. One could say that her newfound perspectives and maturity in music and life are a culmination of all that she went through in the industry.
Regarding her producing skills, her mentor and “lodi” Raimund Marasigan has definitely become her biggest influence.
“Nakakahawa yung mindset ni Raimund…gusto niya yung freedom…hindi siya takot mag experiment.”
“Do’n ko rin natutunan kung pa’no mag produce…by watching him [produce the 2009 ‘Lapit’ album and 2013 ‘Metamorphosis’ album].”
She admits that as a songwriter, she used to be the type that would wait for an emotional kick first just to get the ball rolling. She also used to think that when writing a song, you first needed to have some kind of spiritual experience, inspiration, a story, or whatever artistic cliche one could think of.
Now, she treats songwriting like a discipline. Regardless of whether the “inspiration” kicks in or not, she has set a clear goal (or rather rule) for herself that she will keep writing in a more consistent manner. Whether it be just one line or a full chorus, she just has to start writing, with the goal of getting the engine of creativity running. Because once the engine starts, the ideas start flowing. However, she also makes sure that she is not too hard on herself.
“Minsan kahit wala kang gustong i-express. You just write because that’s who you are. Gano’n ka dinesign ni God…”
Her new free-flowing zen-like approach to writing has resulted in her most productive writing streak yet. So there should be no doubt that Yeng already has a lot of songs in store (in her notebook to be exact). In fact, she promises that she’ll be releasing a new original album this 2023. And given Republic’s eagerness to join Yeng on a new musical adventure, it’s just going to be a matter of choosing which songs to include, combine, develop, produce, and release among her huge trove of musical creations just waiting to see the light of day.
She has sorely missed the priceless feeling of releasing new songs and getting to sing it with fans whenever and wherever the magic of music takes them. So it’s pretty easy to imagine how excited she truly is to experience that feeling again.
Yeng’s message to her fan
“Thank you for waiting…I promise to do my best…thank you for inspiring me…excited pa ako sa pagsasamahan natin nang mas matagal pa.”