MANILA -- As the tumultuous 2020 is about to draw to a close, Gabba Santiago, guitarist of Gabba and Degs and former drummer of Fools and Foes, dared to kick off a new chapter in his career.
Under the mononym Gabba, the math-rock artist released a music video titled “Puzzle” on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“It is the first single I'm releasing as Gabba which has been both an interesting and challenging experience,” he enthused.
The track was composed, arranged, and performed by Santiago, while Francis Lorenzo produced, mixed, and mastered it.
The video, which Santiago co-directed with Joshua Elefan, embodies his path as solo artist. In the clip, Santiago plays it all, showcasing his talent as a multi-instrumentalist.
Apart from the drums, which were recorded at La Balls Studio, all other instruments were taped at his home.
According to the indie artist, he began working on the riff in 2018, and the rest of the track the following year during his free time.
“Making the song was a stop and go and stop—similar to those who do puzzle,” he recalled. “Unknowingly it became part of the different seasons of my life.”
Although the song doesn't have lyrics, its sound is enough to tell a powerful narrative — and one that is personal.
“If you listen to the song, it somewhat is like a roller-coaster ride because each part of the song signifies a particular point in time in my life,” Santiago explained.
He went on: “I was only able to view my music as a whole puzzle rather than puzzle pieces now. I have total creative control now, compared to before, when I had a role in the band. I was just a puzzle piece.”
Santiago added he hopes his new endeavor will help him diversify his skills and help him grow further as an artist.
“It’s like I bought a blank puzzle, one without a picture. There are no rules, the end result is entirely up to me,” he mused.
“Puzzle” is the first single from Santiago’s debut solo album, which is scheduled for release in 2021.
As of this writing, the music video has been watched over 14,000 times and has garnered nearly a thousand shares.