FILIPINO singer-songwriter Ace Banzuelo

FILIPINO singer-songwriter Ace Banzuelo’s new single “Babae” is the flagship song for Sony Music Philippines International Women’s Month campaign.

With the release of the single, the 21-year-old musician is using his platform as an ally in women empowerment causes among creatives.

“‘Babae’ was already finished months ahead and it was set to be released earlier than the target date,” he said. “When the team approached me about the possibility of using my song as part of a women-focused campaign, I immediately said ‘yes.’ I’ve worked with many talented women all my life, and it’s about time that we recognize their legacy and how they have contributed significantly in pushing the culture forward. They are as great or even better than their counterparts if truth be told.”

Mr. Banzuelo began singing and performing at the young age of four, and began joining local and television talent shows as a child. Growing up, he taught himself to produce music — mixing beats, remixes, mashups, and dances. At 17, he won a local songwriting competition in Laguna which reinforced his passion for making and sharing music. In 2019, Mr. Banzuelo signed with Sony Music Philippines after representatives from the label saw his performance at show in Manila. To date, Mr. Banzuelo has racked up more than 12 million streams on Spotify and is slated to release his full-length debut album this year.

The 1980s pop-inspired track “Babae” combines retro textures with a combination of modern recording techniques that, according to the artist, “makes it sound new and it gives you nostalgia.”

Babae” talks about the genesis of a relationship with a woman, getting to know them, and gaining their trust.

“The song is about introducing to yourself a girl and there’s this shared experience and emotion that everyone knows when you’re introducing yourself to someone. You don’t really trust them yet because both of you don’t know each other yet,” Mr. Banzuelo said of the song during an online press launch on March 9.

“I have all these retro textures and combining them with modern recording techniques to make it sound new and fresh. It’s a new song [but] better it gives you this nostalgia,” he said of the music production.

The predominantly English song also has parts written in Filipino, Cebuano, Spanish, and Japanese. “I always felt that adding those little language twists would add an interesting layer to the track,” he said.

The song’s music video is directed by Katrina Arciaga and tells a story of a person earning someone’s trust.

Mr. Banzuelo said that the visual concept of the music video is a “dark metaphoric explanation of meeting someone new.”

“I tried to come up with a concept that actually highlights girls and personifies them instead of objectifying them and making them appear as just faces,” he said.

According to a press release, the record label’s campaign “aims to put a spotlight on women and female artists under the label’s roster.” In line with the campaign are several online and promotional activities this month.

“We put together a content-rich campaign which celebrates not just women in general, but highlights the wonderful women in music, especially from the Sony Music artist roster,” said Andrew De Castro, Marketing and Business Development Director at Sony Music Philippines.

“It’s obviously a month-long campaign full of exciting content shared the drive interest and engagement from music fans,” he added.

Babae” is the flagship song for the Philippine campaign, while Emmy Meli’s “I AM WOMAN” is the international flagship song counterpart. The campaign kicks off with the Tambay Tuesday curated playlist which is updated bi-weekly. The playlist highlights Sony Music’s local and international female artists. A series of online performances on TikTok and on Instagram called Instajams, as well as conversation spaces on Twitter (#BabaeAko, #IAmWoman) from the label’s roster of acts will run from March 17 to 29.

Babae” is available on all digital music platforms worldwide. Watch the music video at Ace Banzuelo – Babae | Official Music Video – YouTube. For more details about the campaign, visit Sony Music Philippines’ Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman