Like many of us stuck at home for the last eight months, Nadine Lustre has been doing a lot of reflecting in quarantine.
As a singer and actress used to the fast pace of the daily grind, she recalls how the pandemic lockdown left her with a lot of time to think. “Most of the time I’d just be in my bedroom and have conversations with myself and try to deal with all the things that I pushed down and swept aside, and which I was able to resolve,” she says.
Though she used to be insecure about her songwriting skills, the process became an outlet for her in quarantine; a method of “pagpiga” and trying to get what was in her mind and her heart. The result of all this emotional wringing is Wildest Dreams, Lustre’s upcoming visual album composed of 12-tracks and six interconnected music videos out Oct. 31.
An unapologetic scorpio, Lustre admits that she’s used to being the type to hide her feelings and vulnerabilities from the public. This album, she says, does away with all that. It’s a chance for the public to see her for who she really is. “If I put everything that I have experienced, everything that I’ve learned. I’d say that now is the best Nadine,” she said at the press conference last Oct. 24. “I’m a better person because of all the things I’ve gone through, that I went through.”
Ahead of the album’s release (and her Halloween birthday), Lustre sat down with Underdog to sound off on the artists on rotation in her playlist and how Breaking Bad inspired one of her songs.
Wildest Dreams is a visual album about stepping into a lane of your own and your vision as an artist. What’s a game/movie/show/song that you listened to or watched while working on the album?
I listened to a lot of Björk songs and FKA twigs. I guess one of my inspirations talaga for the album is Jhene Aiko. Yung album niya, Trip — that album really saved my life. At the time, my brother just passed away. She had the same experience, her brother also passed away so I related to that album so much. Just the part of it, her being vulnerable and pouring her heart and emotions out — I thought it was pretty brave and something beautiful. So with this [album], yun talaga — [I’m] just showing vulnerability.
Well there’s one song in the album that’s inspired by Breaking Bad because I was watching [it] as I was writing. It’s called “Complicated Love”. I couldn’t think of any situation or any inspiration, so I was on the couch, I was just trying to write. I had my headphones on, and Breaking Bad was playing on TV. Mr. White and his wife Skyler—they’re just fighting, so [it was] the perfect inspiration for the song.
Something that I’m actually very curious about,that was mentioned in the press release, is that you collected a bunch of sounds from indigenous instruments and nature. How did you collect those?
Actually, one of my producers — meron siyang mga pre-recorded sounds. He’s been working on a lot of projects ever since, so meron siyang files na puro indigenous na instruments. I think he got them from a professor in UP? So he said why don’t we put it in because our instruments are very interesting to listen to.
For “Glow”, there’s kulintang. There are probably other instruments that are in there that they kind of filtered.
How long did it take you to write all of these songs?
The first song that I wrote was Complicated Love — that was last year pa. Everything else, we started working on this year. I think it took us about six or seven months to finish the album.
If there’s anything you want people to take away from the album?
Mainly, I really just want people to get to know me even more. Being in the showbiz industry, you do a lot of these roles where you’re portraying other people so you can’t really see the person kasi nga it’s always just roles. With this one, I really just want people to know the real me and who I really am as a person and as an artist as well.
Lastly to wrap up the interview, is there anything you’re listening to/watching/playing as you wait for the full album release.
I don’t know because I really don’t have time to watch anything — we’re all working non-stop and trying to get everything together. I’ve been listening to a lot of Billie Eilish recently, Christine and the Queens, Caroline Polachek, and also a lot of Beyonce. The new Beyonce album and Lady Gaga’s Chromatica. Lady Gaga is my idol when it comes to being an artist. She’s just so unapologetic kasi. She really doesn’t care. She just wants to express herself.
Listen to “Wildest Dreams” below:
Header art by Thea Torres
Gaby is the full-time Editor of Underdog and part-time (ok, also full-time) stan. Her brother says that she is only cool on paper and much of her time is spent trying to get her dog to notice her. More of her work can be found in Young STAR, CNN Philippines Life, Rookie, and Twitter publication @tybutdisagree. Tweet her @gabyabbyy.
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