MANILA -- Hit songmaker and singer Ebe Dancel is releasing a much-awaited new composition this week, reflecting his struggle with anxiety disorder amid the pandemic.
Dancel shared with ABS-CBN News Wednesday an excerpt of the song entitled “Manatili” which he composed during an early morning anxiety attack.
Courtesy: Ebe Dancel/Neil Gregorio/Widescope
“It’s a praise song, a conversation with God," Dancel related to ABS-CBN News. “May anxiety disorder kasi ako. I suddenly woke up, shaking at 3, early morning. Ginawa ko I strummed my guitar and the words just came out. I found myself talking with God. I felt nakinig naman Siya sa skin dahil andito pa ako!”
The song, to be released by his new recording label Widescope Entertainment on all music platforms this Friday, tugs at the heart with its lyrics:
“Manatili ka sana
Sa aking tabi
Hindi tiyak ang gabi
Hiling ko’y hawakan mo ang aking kamay
Ang iyong gabay
Dasal ko ay manatili...”
"Manatili” also reminds fans of the genius of Dancel who also composed and sang “Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak,” “Hanggang Wala Nang Bukas," “Bawat Daan,” “Dapit Hapon” and many other original songs he performed with his former band Sugarfree and as a solo artist.
The pandemic brought life-changing decisions for Dancel who left the refuge of his family in idyllic Los Baños, Laguna late last year to quench his thirst for work and creative fulfillment.
The adjustment of moving from a hillside village to corporate Ortigas was not easy. But, beyond his angst, Dancel reckoned it was time to forge ahead.
In a surprising career turn, he agreed to be managed by long-time friend Rico Blanco under his new firm called Balcony. “Nagtagpo lang kami, at that time I was in transition. Sabi niya, 'I-ma-manage kita.' That’s it,” Dancel related. “Sabi ko nga, ‘Rico, nobody can do this but you’. He is gracious and generous with his time.”
He also accepted a “day job” with another long-time friend Neil Gregorio of Widescope Entertainment. Dancel is currently A&R manager and producer of new artists like Jan Quijano, 46 Hope St. and Catharsis. “The roster is still growing. It’s very rewarding to help younger musicians," he said.
Come June 5, it will be Dancel’s turn to shine again in the online concert “ALPAS” featuring other singer-songwriters of his generation.
For the Kumu digital show, Dancel will collaborate with renowned alternative/pop-rock/folk stalwarts Aia de Leon, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Johnoy Danao and Bullet Dumas. The GNN production marks their first time to co-headline a show together. The six music acts are also set to perform as a group in a special number arranged and produced by award-winning musical director, Ronaldo Tomas.
The virtual show will be shot at the outdoor area of Conspiracy Garden Cafe in Quezon City and in Madrid, Spain where Kitchie Nadal is currently based.
“I’m excited to work with the artists that I admire in the music industry. It’s an opportunity that I wouldn’t want to miss," said Nadal in a statement.
Almalbis waxed nostalgic about taping at Conspiracy. “This is as close to playing for a live audience, “ she said. “I’m more than happy to share the stage with the artists that I look up to, and hopefully, the energy would resonate with the fans once they see it on the virtual screen. It’s something that we’ve worked hard for.”
Dancel, Dumas, de Leon and Danao also admit that they missed performing, and that “ALPAS” came at the right time when everyone needs a source of income and entertainment to keep them going amid lockdown.
“For our sanity as musicians, we need to perform," Dancel stressed. "It’s really a struggle for us. This gives us a chance to earn. It’s an honor to work with all of them, although we have to be in our own little corners na walang masyadong kwentuhan sa taping.”
Tickets to “ALPAS” are now available for purchase via Kumu, with a price of P499 for general admission.