Bayang Barrios’ music may be traditional in all sense of the word, but that doesn’t mean she’s left in the past. Last week, we had the chance to have her, along with the Naliyagan Band on One Music Live – their first ever online gig.
“Masaya kasi first time nilang narinig yung music, tapos maganda naman yung comments halos nakita ko. Most of the comments galing sa Bisaya yung language, nakakatuwa,” she said about their experience.
("It was fun because it was the first time that they heard the music, and almost all the comments I saw were good. It was delightful to see that most of the comments were in Bisaya.")
Having been in the music industry since the 90s as part of Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad, Bayang Barrios has observed a lot of changes in the scene but, she says, the essence is the same. “Nung 90s kasi, nasa kay Joey Ayala pa ako nun. Halos ang mga audience ay professors, studyante. Ngayon, iba iba din. May mga bata na rin na bukas sa ganitong klaseng music. […] Pero actually, halos ganun pa rin naman kasi yung message ng song noon at saka ngayon, halos pareho lang din naman.”
("In the 90s, I was with Joey Ayala then. Almost all the audience members were professors, students. Now, it's different. There are also kids that are open to this kind of music. But actually, it's almost the same because the message of the songs, from then 'til now, did not change.")
It’s been a common observation to say that the music of yore was more meaningful than today’s pop tracks, but that isn’t an observation shared by Bayang Barrios. “Sa tingin ko, mas nag-eevolve lang. Kung baga, nalagyan lang ng ibang tunog, pero pareho pa rin naman. Like Ebe Dancel, sila Ben&Ben, parang Cynthia Alexander yung tunog nila eh. Nag-eevolve lang, pero yung sense nandun pa rin naman."
("I think it's just evolving. They're putting new sounds, but it's still the same. Like Ebe Dancel, and Ben&Ben, they sound like Cynthia Alexander. Music is evolving, but the sense is still there.")
And it’s independent folk duo Ben & Ben, along with Cooky Chua, that she collaborated with on “Tinatangi,” their entry for PhilPOP 2016. “"Kasi mga bata sila, nakakatuwa, ang galing nila. Sila nga yung sa tingin ko ngayon yung bagong gagawa ng kakaibang tunog, at hindi lang tunog, maganda pa yung lyrics. In terms of music, talagang parang nandun na lahat. Ang galing nila. Ang ganda dun, kasi bukas sila sa kahit anong ibibigay mo." By the end of the competition, “Tinatangi” won 2nd Runner Up and Best Music Video.
("They're kids, and it's amazing that they're really good. They're the ones, in my opinion, that will make good yet unique tracks. And it's not just the music, but their lyrics are really good as well. In terms of music, they have everything. They're really good. And what's great is that they're open to whatever you will give them.")
The track aside, Bayang Barrios last released new music in 2013, in the form of her sixth album “Malaya.” This year, she’s set to make a comeback as she releases a new music video for “Katribo Ko,” which is actually one of her first songs, on February 24. A new album, as well, is in the works for her and the Naliyagan Band. While there are no concrete plans for recording and songwriting yet, she says, “mangyayari yan, kung iniisip mo, kaya mong gawin!" ("It will happen. If you think about it, you can do it!")
What do you think of Bayang Barrios’ One Music Live session? Are you excited for new music from her and the Naliyagan Band? Let us know in the comments below!
Writer/photographer/non-musician that hopes to promote local independent music. Probably hanging out at a gig at this very moment...