MANILA -- Rising Filipina R&B artist Dia Mate released this month her first EP, "Don’t Quote Me," under Island Records Philippines.
The EP includes four songs: “Faded,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Take Me Away,” and “Dream,” which is shaping up to be a summer anthem in the Philippines.
“I wanted to base it off experiences I went through,” Dia explained. “The reason why I called it ‘Don’t Quote Me’ is because I didn’t want to relay it as something I feel, as of now. It’s more of the emotions I felt in the past that I was able to go through.”
One thing she learned while making the EP was to not be so hard on herself. Writing the songs was a form of therapy which allowed her to channel her emotions into art. “Bad for the heart, good for the art,” she said.
And that art translated into collaborations with other artists.
With “Faded,” she worked with fellow singer, songwriter, and music producer Fern. Dia described the song as ‘the borderline feeling between infatuation and love; it is a metaphor on being ‘high’ on the idea of love."
It took Dia and Fern four revisions before they were finally happy with the outcome. “The only thing that didn’t change in that whole song was the second verse,” she said.
With “Dream” -- her self-confessed favorite on the EP -- Dia collaborated with Blaster Silonga from IV of Spades.
The song, she described, is about “wanting to move forward from the past, but still being stuck because of the trauma.”
With “Dream,” she already had a demo ready for the song but Blaster helped improve it to what it is now. And since its release two weeks ago, the song has garnered close to 14,000 streams.
“Collaborations are a fun way of learning music,” she added.
Her dream collaboration? “Frank Ocean,” she answered without hesitation. “I grew up listening to his music.”
“To be completely honest, I didn’t think I would be an artist, or I would be doing this,” admitted Dia of her music career. Although she interned with MCA Music in August 2018, she only dove head first into music production during the pandemic where she learned to play not only several instruments but also production.
“That was really my dream job, to work with artists themselves,” she said of her working at MCA. “If I couldn’t be the artist, I’d love to work with the artists and help them.”
Except the 19-year-old lass is now a recording artist herself with Island Records Philippines.
Although Dia’s music career has just started, she’s also already looking at her next steps: “Eventually I really want to write songs for people as well. I really love songwriting, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” she explains. “[And] I really want to be a woman producer, because there’s not a lot of those in the industry, and [to] be an inspiration for other girls -- you can do this too, you can also produce your own music.”
"Don’t Quote Me" is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other music streaming sites.