Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Know Your Worth: Nicole Laurel Asensio’s Empowering Anthem for International Women’s Month

Know Your Worth: Nicole Laurel Asensio’s Empowering Anthem for International Women’s Month

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Nicole Laurel Asensio is all set to release a new original composition for International Women’s Month in tandem with fellow empowered and multi talented women in music — Saxdiva, Vanessa Celestial (trombone), Yanni Diola (backup vocals) and Yuna Reguerra (bass).

Be the first to listen LIVE at the pre-launch party at 12 Monkeys, Estancia Mall on March 19 with renowned women acts Jika Marie and Keiko Necesario.

The digital launch will be on March 29 in all digital platforms under Warner Music Philippines.

“I wrote this song during the pandemic without the usual jam-sessions with co-writers, but instead by using samples and loops. It was during that time that I also first met a brilliant artist, composer and producer Sam Akins online. We clicked immediately and went on to writing a few songs even without meeting each other in person yet. It was only three years later that I let him listen to the initial rough demo for “I Know My Worth”  in a studio session. I sang it for him, Sam’s eyes seemed to light up at that moment. I had always wanted to work with him! He’s prolific! — the moment seemed right.  So we decided to pursue the rest of the production then and there. Sam’s pop sensibilities and prowess in singing, composing and playing several instruments instantly swayed me to partner up with him for this production, and a number more in the near future.” – Nicole Asensio

“I first met Nicole online during the pandemic. She is a marvel of an artist and definitely one of a kind, to be candid. Writing with her is easy because not only is she a great collaborator, she is also in tune with herself and knows what she wants. She isn’t afraid to test the waters and try new things, which to me are the markings of longevity in the entertainment industry. I can see her climbing to the top of her game and doing this for many years to come. I have so much love and admiration for her.” – Sam Akins (Producer) 

“I met Nicole Reluya (Saxdiva) and Vanessa Celestial about 8 years ago during one of my first shows with the AMP bigband. Witnessing their sheer talent playing the saxophone and trombone was unbelievable, plus they are such skilled singers as well. Yuna Reguerra and I met over a decade ago and I have always admired her skill and style, but this is the first time I had the chance to work with her. As she was recording I kept thinking to myself “why haven’t we worked together sooner? she’s amazing!” Gabe Dandan also recorded multiple guitar parts for the track under the direction of Sam Akins, it was a nice dynamic seeing two producers work together and Gabe who is usually a musical director, sit back and play under the direction of Sam. Gabe took over most of the backup vocal arrangement duties this time. Gabe’s good friend Yanni Diola from the band “Morning Goodness” spent an afternoon with us to add her touches to the vocal stacks. We then sent the track to in-demand Engineer and Producer Joseph Gregory for Mixing and Abbey Road UK for mastering. This team coming together is a real blessing and one that I am thoroughly grateful for. I am grateful to have met each artist involved at different points in this musical path.” – Nicole Asensio

“This song is very powerful, and Nicole Asensio did an exceptional job with it. This inspired us greatly to create and collaborate with her. It felt like more of a party than work…Vanessa and I incorporated a lot of funky phrases and improvised parts of the song. I also added a number of solo saxophone lines.” – Saxdiva

“Typically, as a producer, I am used to playing most if not all the instruments on the track, but for this song I got to collaborate with incredible musicians. I enjoyed letting their musical inclinations and ideas run wild. I think collaboration is something we all can afford to explore more as artists, it oftentimes takes a project to a whole new level. I am immensely honoured to have the opportunity to work on this incredible piece of music.” – Sam Akins

During our recording sessions, conversations would spark here and  there about the challenges of being a woman working non stop in the music industry.

“Being a woman in the music industry is difficult. Regardless of how well you perform or how skilled you are, there will always be people who attribute your success to your gender. However, I no longer let these circumstances affect me.” – Saxdiva

“I agree, it can be very challenging considering that the many corners of the music industry are still somehow dominated by male artists and music business personalities. I also feel like my instrument, the trombone is not commonly used by women, at least not here. Despite the challenges, I find it very inspiring whenever I get to perform with other high caliber female artists— it motivates me even further to work hard and excel in my chosen craft.” – Vanessa Celestial

“I am not a woman, but I look around me and see a whole lot of pressure on women and a lot less appreciation for their skill and hard work. I have been opportune to work with some incredible women in the industry, and they do inspire me, but I also can’t help but notice the disparity. For example when I glance at the current 10 most streamed artists in the Philippines at the moment, there is currently only one woman on the list, I feel like more women need recognition.” –Sam Akins

“I can’t count how many times I have been degraded on and off stage simply because of my gender— catcalls, lewd gestures awful chauvinistic comments online… all because I am a woman… I am sure many other owmen in the industry have similar stories. The funny thing is— usually the negativity has nothing to do with the music or the story behind the song… it’s all a power-trip sometimes, and that is why I felt like writing these very simple straightforward lyrics to remind fellow women to know our worth—we are vessels of our creator’s love and power and that should be celebrated. We must know our worth, we must tell our stories and we must never let anyone put us in a box because of gender, race, age, appearance or social status, music transcends all of that and more.” – Nicole Asensio

“Do your work with great pride and passion in order to raise the bar of the quality of female artists in the music industry. And trust me, It’s not easy but it will always be worth it. Know your worth” – Vanessa Celestial

“I Know My Worth” is a fierce and fiery anthem for the modern bond-girl who won’t take B.S. from anyone who makes her feel like less than her worth. With Big, bold brass and string arrangements, upright bass and cinematic nuances resting upon a modern backbeat, the track is a perfect blend of old and new, classic and modern- a true trademark of Nicole Asensio’s signature style for several years now. The vocals range from slick and smooth to textured and feisty highlighting the persona behind the intention of the track—a woman who knows her worth.