BINI's 'Karera' tackles mental health, says composer Nica del Rosario

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2023 08:25 PM

Photo from Nica del Rosario's Instagram account.
Photo from Nica del Rosario's Instagram account.

MANILA — OPM singer-songwriter Nica del Rosario highlighted how to handle issues on mental health with P-pop girl group BINI's new single "Karera," which was released last Friday.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Monday, del Rosario shared how she thought of the times she dealt with anxiety when she wrote the song.

"I think 'yung mindset ko at that time was I was dealing with my anxiety. I think everyone naman nakakaranas ng once in a while feeling mo napang-iiwanan na ako or feeling ko wala akong naa-accomplish at this time. Minsan naiisip ko na what if ito na 'yung ano, wala na akong ma-accomplish after what I accomplished," she said.

Del Rosario stressed how society should not dictate someone's success and that one should just enjoy life at your own pace. 

"The lyrics that came out, message ko rin siya to myself na we set our own pace and kung ano man 'yung dinictate ng society dapat kasi merong mga list like dapat by the age of 25 ganito ka na, dapat before 30 ganito and I think at this day and age parang hindi na siya productive or helpful to people lalo na with what happened with the pandemic and everything," she said. 

"The message that I want to put forward is it's never too late to start over. It's never too late to start new things. If ma-decide mo na you wanna take a break and everything, ikaw lang magdi-dictate kung ano'ng gusto mong mangyari in life and nobody can tell you if it's right or wrong."

The singer-songwriter is thankfulthat P-pop has evolved and can now tackle issues on mental health like "Karera."

"I think the girls really appreciated the message of prioritizing self-love and mental health and from what we've seen upon release, I love that BINI was the one who was able to interpret this song kasi they're very young and very talented people and I'm pretty sure they would also experience the pressures of accomplishing things and kailangan makisabay sila kung ano 'yung sabihin ng society na parang ano 'yung pressures nun," del Rosario said. 

"I think with K-pop, they do this already. I think with BTS, they are writing about depression and anxiety and I like that P-pop is following this trend because they really do have a very, very wide audience of young people," she added.

After the song's release, del Rosario noted that many listeners expressed how they resonated with the song. 

"Young people go through a lot of pressure, especially young people in school. 'Karera' hasn't been out yet but I've been seeing messages and tweets na how ang daming nakaka-relate na students na irreg (irregular), students na delayed, students na who have to repeat. I think it's amazing that P-pop groups have the opportunity to spread positive messages like this to their young audiences and that they're taking this opportunity," she said. 

"It's a message that's really close to my heart, having suffered from anxiety for a really long time. Kasi with 'Na Na Na' and 'Huwag Muna Tayong Umuwi,' the writing process for me talaga is young love, it's kilig na may kaunting kirot. They're (BINI) a very young group and I'm not that young anymore so 'yun 'yung lagi kong iniisip when I wrote the two songs na parang what is something that young people can relate to and lagi kong naiisip is young love and developing feelings for the first time, developing feelings for your friend 'yung mga ganoon," she added.

"Pero with 'Karera' what I answered doon sa question na what do young people can relate to, it's not just young love and romance anymore, puppy love, it's also mental health struggles and the pressures of growing up. I think that's what sets it apart from the other two songs I wrote for them."

For del Rosario, talking about mental health is necessary to educate people about the issue and to address it.

"For me kasi personally, I think for the longest time lalo na in our country, talking about mental health is taboo kasi naging source of shame siya, especially before as in with older generations. I see it as a process that's continuously improving. Example like one of my first therapist, while waiting for my appointment, ang dami kong nakikita na older people," she said.

"I think with the younger and future generations being more open about mental health and the importance of addressing mental health issues, it's not just paving the way for the future but it's also showing older generations na it's okay to talk about these things and to address these things and unti-unting naa-abolish 'yung taboo na 'yung deregotory terms and stigma of baliw or 'yung may topak, na 'yung mga baliw lang 'yung pumupunta sa therapy, mga baliw lang may kailangan ng psychologists. What I believe is everybody kind of needs a little bit of therapy," she stressed. 

"We live in a harsh world and life can be hard talaga and when we talk about mental health as universal like music, I think it brings a sense of comfort to everyone na whatever you're going through, they're not alone and they shouldn't be ashamed or afraid to talk about it or address it or even share it man lang to people they trust and care about."