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MW / Writing and recording Kape

12:10:00 AM

The song Kape (Filipino for "coffee") is the product of an awesome friendship. My best friend/soul sister/life partner Joandrea Santiago and I wrote this song on a random school night on our senior year in college. We were hanging out in her apartment, talking about our lives. When we were getting bored with ourselves, Jo brought out her guitar, and over Marlboro Lights Menthol cigarettes, we wrote the song. It took us about half an hour to finish it. 

We got positive reviews from friends. We've been told that the melody is catchy, and that the words make it seem like a love song even if it's just about coffee. Joan and I shelved that song for years. Sometimes we'd talk about it - we'll try to remember small details about that night. But we never really got to record it.

Good thing I crossed paths with legendary jazz guitarist Aya Yuson. I was briefly active in PhilMusic, an online forum for the Filipino music community. There's a thread there where a certain user insists that Kenny G is a jazz musician, and everyone reacted violently. I made one comment, and all of a sudden, the homophobes started to pick on me! Aya defended me and cleared my name.

Aya Yuson, jazz guitarist extraordinaire
(photo from the internet)
I asked him to sign a copy of his album, Angelsong, for Joan. We agreed to meet in SM Mall of Asia (close to where I worked at the time), and we had coffee there. He even gave me a CD of WDOUJI (Witch Doctors of Underground Jazz Improvisation), and to say that the album is incredible is an understatement.

Aya and I got along quite well. We talked in length about music, of course, but we also shared snippets of our lives with one another. He's about fifteen years my senior (sorry, Aya), so I was very much fascinated with the things he had to say. He's incredibly smart, but also incredibly humble and unassuming. He's a good person.

When we were walking back to my office, I told him about Kape. He asked me to sing it, so I did. Imagine how absolutely floored I was when he said that the song was nice, and when he offered to help me record it! It was beyond awesome! I am a huge fan of Aya Yuson, so the idea of collaborating with him was just too much for me to handle!

So we met up one weekend to practice, and then we set off to record with the help of his friend, musician cum hotel magnate Atticus King. Atticus was kind enough to let us into his home, and we recorded the song in his private studio. He served as the sound engineer for the day. Since Aya is, again, a legendary jazz guitarist here in the Philippines, you can expect him to make the song really awesome! He added flair to our plain song, and the result was so great, I could hardly believe that Joan and I wrote that on a random school night over cigarettes and fantasies of good coffee.

Click here to listen! :) Lyrics are posted in a previous entry on this same blog, titled Kape.

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