When he got the nod from her mother after writing the chorus, Fil-Am rapper Ez Mil knew “Panalo” would go viral.
This was what Ez Mil revealed in a sit-down interview with Boy Abunda wherein he talked how he finished his major hit song that has since garnered millions of views online and streams in different platforms.
According to the rapper, the music came first before the lyrics -- thanks to his mother, who advised him to try to listen to Filipino folk songs that are being taught at schools in the Philippines.
“The music actually came first, stemming from an idea of my mom. Sabi niya, gamitin mo kaya yung mga folk song na ginagamit sa school noon sa Pilipinas. Ang una pa nga niyang ni-recommend 'Tinikling,’” he shared.
Ez Mil followed his mother’s recommendation and eventually drew inspiration from the popular folk music Cariñosa, which is evident at the start of the “Panalo.”
“And I was just thinking of the main words that would go for it. Tapos yung naisip ko...parang sinundan ko lang yung melody ng guitar strings, na-piece na yung puzzling. Tapos pinarinig ko na kay mom,” he added.
He went on to share that the approval of his mom to his draft made him feel that his song would be his much-awaited break in the music industry.
“I had a hunch because of my mom as to what she told me. She gave me that nod. Dati non, puro metal lang ginagawa ko. Nung nag-transcend na ko, nag-rap, tas ginawa ko na yung ‘Panalo’, yun yung reaction niya sa kanta. Tapos dun na rin nag-set in sakin, nag-isip na ko na parang sasabog ito,” Ez Mil admitted.
“As a kid, yung sense of approval. Being with her, just watching what she has done for us, it all stems from that as well.”
It took him two to three years to finish the entire song, doing it in Olongapo and in the United States. He said that upon arriving in Los Angeles, California, he knew he had to change his original genre, heavy metal, to something more popular.
“It's so hard but I had to do it. Right now, I'm still starving. Meron akong gustong patunayan na di ko alam kung ano gusto kong patunayan,” he said.
Ez Mil’s “Panalo” has reached over 66 million views on YouTube, as of writing.
In June, Ez Mil signed with global recording label Virgin Music as he plans to put out new music and other creative content.
He said the partnership allows him to stay as an independent artist, while Virgin Music deploys its considerable resources through distribution and promotion of his music.
"I just see this bright future ahead of me. Like, just working with people who see the vision, you know?" he said.
The rapid-fire wordplay and delivery, the usage of the traditional Cariñosa and the incorporation of Filipino languages showcased his undeniable talent to the world.
"I just resigned from my job at Burger King. And I was like, it was all bets are off. You know, I'm gonna do this and nothing so act one is that our, and I'll put my all into that," Ez Mil said.