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Phenomenal new gen actress and recording artist Belle Mariano successfully launched her And Solemn EP last January 27 at The Skydome. It was definitely a night to remember for her Bubblies as she sang songs from her new EP for the first time alongside her other familiar hits.

 

The EP is the second half of her 2023 release Somber. In comparison, And Solemn is just about as introspective and reflective as its predecessor, but with catchier and more diverse musical arrangements.

“Nung una kasi,we were supposed to release them as a whole," Belle said. But we eventually decided na paghiwalayin para mas magandang ma-explain sa audience and mas may room to absorb things. It talks about how one deals with life - meron tayong mga Somber na pinagdadaanan, pero there’s always something to look forward to, ‘yun naman ang ...Solemn.”

While Belle is primarily known more for her acting, she's always had a soft spot for music since she was young. “Growing up, mahilig na talaga akong kumanta, lagi akong nagvi-videoke. Never ko na-imagine actually that I would venture in the music industry. Everyday, being able to co-write songs, being able to co-produce, being able to articulate messages through music, I’ve fallen in love with the whole music industry.”

The album opens with "Walang Pake". “It was written by Trisha Denise (who also wrote Belle's signature hit 'Sigurado'). I specifically chose this song because it’s very empowering. Anganda lang na parang more than pakinggan mo yung sinasabi ng iba tungkol sa ‘yo, parang mas maganda na intindihin mo na muna ang sairli mo. Anganda lang ng message na ‘yun and ‘nung pinapakinggan ko pa lang ‘to, parang ‘Wow anganda!” Parang ibang version of me naman this time, never pa ko kasi nagkaroon ng song na ganun ang atake.”

When asked if this song was also how she feels about intrigues and online criticism, she said, “Siguro for me, in terms of handling those intrigues, I compartmentalize what I should hear and what I shouldn’t listen to. Sometimes there are critics and there are bashers na kung anu-ano ang sinasabi, pero sometimes there are those who are constructive and will help you grow more than taking it as something na negative.”

"Shot Right Through" is a breezy and light hearted song written by Angelica Tagadtad. “Nung pinakinggan ko yung ‘Shot Right Through’, sobrang na-LSS ako. Anganda ng melody. Tamang inlab lang, sobrang light ng song and super-uplifting.”

Belle was very elated to record "Nobody Else", which was written by none other than The Soul Supreme, KZ Tandingan. “Sobrang nakakatuwa, ‘di ba? Ate KZ is always been someone I look up to for what she’s been to the music industry. Gusto kong magpasalamat sa kanya. Thank you for sharing this (song) to us and I can’t wait for it to be heard by those who will listen to the ...Solemn album.”

"I Choose Me" is a big favorite for Mariano. “’I Choose Me’ – I specifically chose this song because it delivers such a beautiful and amazing message. It’s about, you know, choosing yourself. It’s very empowering and I think the whole message naman of the ...And Solemn album should be very inspirational and empowering, so bagay na bagay talaga itong song na ‘to.”

She was also thrilled to collaborate with indie pop band giants Ben&Ben for the duet version of "Autumn", which is also in the soundtrack of Belle's phenomenal TV series with Donbelle partner Donny Pangilinan Can't Buy Me Love. “Wow, Ben&Ben? Grabe! Noong una kong pinakinggan ko pa lang yung rough draft, sobrang kinilabutan ako na ‘Hala, anganda naman nito!’ Parte pa siya ng Can’t Buy Me Love namin. Siyempre, sobrang nagpapasalamat ako sa Ben&Ben for doing this collaboration. Tagal ko na talaga silang gustong makatrabaho, so ‘Thank you!’”

In many ways Belle can relate to her Can't Buy Me Love character Caroline. “Well, I think my character now, going to Caroline’s journey, she is…I could definitely see her character development, how she’s grown from someone who was very uptight to now actually being open. And I think not just me, but everyone can relate to that, facing life na some of us are just so scared to open up and, you know, be vulnerable in front of others. Sometimes, you can call yourself strong if you have the courage to open up about yourself and accept people in life and that’s how I relate to my character.”

For sure, ...And Solemn finds Belle opening more about herself in ways that resonate to her Bubblies

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