Last Valentine’s Day, Filipino-Nepali soul/R&B singer Jason Dhakal dropped the music video for “Body & Soul,” the first of 7 tracks from his debut EP “lovesound,” distributed by Warner Music Philippines.
The video, directed & produced by TwoFold Media, actually begins with the ethereal “dream2doubt – interlude,” the 4th track from “lovesound,” used as a moodsetter to ease into the languorous boldness of “Body & Soul.” It starts off with a scenic pan of luscious cove, slowly revealing Jason lounging by a pool with daintily scattered flower petals at night, almost auspiciously looking at a curious peach before biting into it and plunging into the pool.
The narrative of the video then takes a more sensual turn as it dives deeper into the concept of sexual exploration and non-conventional forms of intimacy and relationships. Daytime scenes with two individuals who seem to be home alone are interspliced with striking imagery of their fantasies through highly suggestive closeups of fruits, flowers, food and more. Such a candid and grounded approach to eroticism sends a powerful message that’s uncommon in today’s local media.
Produced by the prolific & widely renowned Lustbass, “Body & Soul” unapologetically indulges in the adoration of one’s beloved and the craving to merge with him/her on every level. “Let me ease your mind / Your soul, your body / Cater only to you, you're mine / Ain't fucking with nobody,” Jason croons passionately in the chorus.
“Body & Soul” is the follow-up to Jason’s single “Endlessly + Tenderly” which was released last August as part of “semilucent,” the debut mixtape by 88rising’s new label Paradise Rising, which featured emerging Filipino artists such as Leila Alcasid and Massiah among others. The 20 year old singer, represented by B-Side Productions, has also previously collaborated with other artists like JCON, CRWN, Arthur Nery and Claudia Barretto.
Along with the release of the music video for “Body & Soul,” Jason also released red versions of “lovesound” shirts to celebrate the anniversary of its drop of Valentine’s Day 2020. Get one or more for you &/or your loved one/s on www.jasondhakal.com.
Manila artist, Claudia released a four-track EP Conflicted this year with the lead track of the same name. She tells Dannieboi about her musical process and what songwriting looks like for her. Claudia also tells us how she's been coping during the pandemic and how she started in music.
During the lockdown, Claudia shared she started a podcast and created more music with her bandmates remotely. As for other hobbies she's been focusing on too are reading and writing a lot. Dannie asked her if she has any suggestions on activities to do when you start to get cabin fever. "Working out really helps. Don't pressure yourself. If that means a 10 minute walk, then let it be. Moving your body is important especially mentally."
Claudia also shares about the beginning days of her musical career. She goes by Claudia because she was looking to separate herself from her family. It was a natural decision for her because her family is also in the entertainment industry and wants to create her own path. She's always wanted to be a singer but no one else knew she could sing! "I was shy growing up that I didn't think I had the confidence to pursue music." What opened her eyes to music was Kehlani's mixtape, You Should Be Here. Artists that have influenced her include Taylor Swift who drew her to write songs and would love to collaborate with Pharrell.
Claudia has ventured into songwriting in her latest singles and has collaborated with 88rising artist, Jason Dhakal. Her early singles, Stay and Finally Found It were well received by an evolving Manila music scene. Although she didn't contribute much in the creative process for Stay, she worked with a producer from Cebu for Finally Found It. For her latest EP, the tracks Conflicted and HEAD/HEART, she collaborated with Jason.
"Conflicted was completed when HEAD/HEART came out. I sent Jason an idea of what I wanted to write then 1-2 hours later he sent the whole song. Usually I want to have a say in writing, but made the exception because Jason was able to capture it."
The overarching theme of her EP is choosing between your heart and being rational. It's a tough decision sometimes and things could get confusing. She explains the music video for HEAD/HEART was an experimental visual project where they contrasted the ideas of choosing between one's head or heart.
To close out the interview, Dannie goes through a list of quick questions. Find out what some of Claudia's favorite foods are, what her phobia is, and the song she'll never get tired of. Make sure to check out her latest EP, Conflicted on all music streaming platforms.