Indiana-based singer/songwriter Debbie Morena has dropped a new music video for her latest release entitled “tw3ntytwo.” Debbie is a singer who we’ve had an eye on for a minute, partly due to her frequent social media covers. Prior to releasing “tw3ntytwo,” the soulful morena vocalist built a fan base from a few viral releases, most notably “Hope You’re Happy.” We sat down with Debbie to discuss “tw3entytwo,” adjusting to life back in America after relocating from the Philippines, the differences between the local music scene stateside and in Manila, Morena representation, SZA comparisons, and much more.
Q: First and foremost, let’s have those who are meeting you for the first time get to know you more through your music. Send us three clips, can be anything from released songs, music videos, TikTok challenges, covers, etc for our readers to get a glimpse of your sound.
Q: Describe your sound in 3 words?
DM: Magical. Authentic. Feels.
Q: Now let’s shift over to “tw3ntytwo” – how was your creative process different for this song? Any collaborators you want to shout out?
DM: Yes! Kindred Productions and Mango Room Studios helped me with this one. They were all the masterminds. Shoutout to Jorge, Fern and Obi, Duane, Vincent, and Jaime! This took like 9 months, plus the fact that I moved to the states and they’re in the Philippines. This project led me towards my own sound and finding myself as an artist as well. I think I really learn about myself as an artist with every song I create and release.
Q: A lot of people who hear your vocals often compare it to SZA vibes. How does it feel to be often compared to an artist like SZA?
DM: I feel flattered that I sound like SZA because she’s literally my idol, but I think that I don’t sound exactly like her, I honestly think that if you mash up all my favorite woman artists into one (Jhene, Her, Summer Walker, Umi) is what I sound like since I listen to them all the time, that’s more accurate to me. If you mix them up altogether, you get Debbie Morena.
Q: You recently just moved back to America from Manila. How does your experience working with artists stateside compare to your experience working with artists in the PH?
DM: I think every studio or artist I work with whether it be in the Philippines or America is never gonna be the same no matter where it’s at or who I’m working with. As a Fil-Am, I can relate to both sides culturally. The Philippines and America are so different from each other, but as long as the vibes are right in the studio, we’re making bangers.
Q: I love the Morena aspect of your name. It’s no secret that Morenas tend to have less representation in Filipino media. How does it feel to represent Filipinos Morenas? Do you have any advice for fellow Morenas who may occasionally feel discriminated against?
DM: I think my brand is more than just representing Filipino Morenas like me. I’m all about not caring what society's standards are or people’s expectations of me and more about embracing my own true self and who I’m meant to be for myself and for other people in this lifetime. My goal each day is just to be at peace with whatever the situation is as long as I’m putting my happiness first.
Check out more of Debbie's songs below on her Spotify: