Rico Blanco returns with new album “Dating Gawi”

Touted as his first album in three years and with a new record label, rock vocalist and songwriter Rico Blanco is back breaking in a familiar territory with the new album “Dating Gawi” via Universal Records. Describing the follow-up to 2012’a Galactik Fiestamatik as a return to the way he started– two guitars, drums and bandmates.

Initially conceived two months ago, the album features eight tracks comprises of one reworked demo and seven newly written songs. Rico shared “When I started writing songs, I wanted to do one song a day for two weeks. Every song is a snap shot of where I am now musically and a big chunk of it is a stream of consciousness. Like I get a guitar, this is the first topic that comes to mind, I see where it goes. It’s the least contrived album in terms of what I feel.

“Dating Gawi” is his first album under Universal Records. As kick-off, the label dropped an album preview on YouTube on November 26, which automatically garnered positive feedbacks from the eager fans describing the album as to something “fresh.”

As “Dating Gawi” does exactly what it says on the sleeve—back-to-basics, honest lyrics, stripped back, and polished—Rico said “What makes this album really different from everything that I’ve done, was for the first time, I didn’t aim to innovate. In fact, bawal mag-innovate. Binawalan ko ang sarili kong gumawa ng something new. It has to be done already before, but still interesting. So, how do you do that? Parang yun ang rule ko: Do not make some far out experiments on this album, just follow the rock ‘n roll rule book. Do not put any weird things. Stay within the rule book and make it work.”

Joining Rico in the studio were his friends Buddy Zabala (Eraserheads, Cambio and The Dawn), Raimund Marasigan (Eraserheads, Sandwich, Pedicab, Cambio) and Roll Martinez (Hale). “For Dating Gawi, isang banda ulit kasama ko for the whole album. So, while I was writing, I already imagined Raimund, Buddy and Roll in it. I actually decided even before asking them. Fortunately, when I called them up, in a heartbeat, they all said yes. With no disrespect to my previous bandmates, but this is my dream band. For a long time, we would tell each other, let’s do one song, two songs, but I never imagined we would do one whole album.”

Sharing his experience during the recording with his ‘dream band’, “Malaki ang input nila (Buddy, Raimund and Roll). First day of recording the songs and arrangements were raw, it was intentionally raw because I want us to act like a real band. These are guys who have best the ideas.

“Dating Gawi” is released by Universal Records and is now available in all music stores nationwide. Digital downloads are now available on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Spinnr and Amazon.

For more information, follow Universal Records’ official social media accounts at Twitter.com/universalrecph, Facebook.com/universalrecordsphfanpage and Instagram.com/universalrecordsphilippines.


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Ron Mia

A music enthusiast who's into pop/ballad/rnb/alternative rock. Supporter of OPM and promoter of #OPMFriday