Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Challenging times inspire Rachel Alejandro to record “Takipsilim”

After a long absence from the recording scene, singer-actress Rachel Alejandro has a new single entitled “Takipsilim.” The song produced by Nino Alejandro’s Rebel Records and released by Warner Music Philippines is currently available for download on Spotify. That “Takipsilim” is Rachel’s first solo single release in a decade is made more special because it was completed during the pandemic.


Not being able to entertain her audience through concerts and shows affected Rachel. “It’s an unprecedented time for performers like me around the world. The pandemic has definitely impacted nearly all of us financially but worse than that, it did a number on our self-esteem. For someone who loves her job as much as I do, to say it’s been tough is an understatement,” she confesses. Rachel was also supposed to do work on film projects, the musical “Song of the Fireflies” with Morissette Amon (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aua1ammUuiA) and “Song for Selina,” an independent film by the makers of “Quezon’s Game.”

When the travel restrictions eased, Rachel hopped on a plane from New York (where her husband, journalist Carlos Santamaria, is based) to Manila to spend the holidays with her family whom she missed. On the way back to Manila, inspiration struck! Rachel relates, “When I can home to Manila before Christmas last year, it just suddenly occurred to me that I wanted to create new music. I figured, ‘All bets are off!’ I haven’t had a certified hit song for many years but who’s to say it can’t happen in 2021. I thought, ‘Sure, I can’t be performing in concerts now, but I can certainly be recording.’”

Rachel and her cousin, musician and Rebel Records Managing Director and The Voice of the Philippines contender Nino Alejandro quickly announced a song search online. Within a few days, Rachel and Nino received numerous submissions from local songwriters. “Takipsilim” by 19-year old Rain Santana was chosen for its haunting melody, emotional yet hopeful message. “We fell in love with it immediately,” Rachel says of the song. In a matter of weeks, Rachel recorded the song at Nino’s studio in Parañaque and taped for the music video with directors Chuck Ronquillo and Aris Magayanes in Alabang. (The music video of “Takipsilim” is featured on the Rebel Records YouTube channel here https://bit.ly/3kWa5NE).

The song title, which translates to “twilight” in English, is very apt for the current times. As Rachel says, “When you look it up, ‘takipsilim’ translates to ‘twilight,’ that time of days when practically all the light has gone… but not quite.”

Thus, Rachel hopes that her latest song will be both a new anthem for romantics and an ode to everyone who’s struggling during this time. “As this ‘takipsilim’ continues for us displaced artists and unemployed professionals around the world, we cling to our faith, whatever that may be. My wanting to create new music was a leap of faith on my part…. If there is something we learned this past year, it’s that nothing can surprise us anymore. Anything can happen to any of us, both the bad and good.” 

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