At 21, Inigo Pascual seems to have an old head on his shoulders–at least music-wise. His go-to playlist ranges from Michael Jackson to Gary Valenciano, as he finds his vibe in that “throwback, ‘80s retro sound” while coming up with his own material for his next album. When mixed with a more current style, Inigo thinks this would be interesting to his target listeners. “I feel like this generation likes old music. Ganun din naman ako, so I might as well experiment with it,” he says.
Last September 14, on his birthday, Inigo released the track “Lumang Tugtugin.” Its title alone suggests the type of sound that your parents used to listen to in their heydays. It’s quite far from his 2016 single “Dahil Sa ‘Yo” which became the kind of pop hit that you’d literally hear everywhere. Though he’s a songwriter himself, Inigo reveals that he didn’t pen this one. He shares, “I had a song na I wrote na gusto ko sana maging single. Pero nung narinig ko ‘yung kantang ‘to, sabi ko, ‘This song is special.’” Once the track was presented to him, he instantly pictured the music video (which he already released featuring Maris Racal,) his performance, and the kind of vibe it would bring to a live audience.
While the song isn’t entirely his own, Inigo tells us how he injected his own style while producing his rendition of it, “I recorded it in the studio twice, and I had to change things. The composer was very open to collaborating. He let me change the lyrics and the melody. As an artist, importante that it will sound like you. And as a composer, you still want to make sure that it’s your song. We were able to meet in the middle. It was exciting for both of us.”
Speaking of collaborations, Inigo lists pop superstar KZ Tandingan, hip-hop artist Shanti Dope, and his dad Piolo Pascual (“Papasayawin natin si Papa P!”) as some of the names he wants to get into the studio with. He adds, “I love it that the other Filipinos are collaborating with more foreign acts and stepping up in the OPM scene. So, I also want to meet someone from America or Korea, and we can just come together through music.”
With an album slated to be released soon, Inigo’s energy is accelerating. He’s fueled by that familiar high he’d feel once he gets to perform his brand new songs live. “‘Yung tipong dati ako lang may alam ng lyrics and melody ng mga kanta ko, tapos matutulala ako ‘pag sa mall shows and concerts, I’d hear everyone singing along,” he gushes.
Another thing that keeps Inigo on edge is the way he gets to affect people’s lives in a positive way. A week before our interview, Inigo met a fan with cancer. “I didn’t know her until I met her. Pero nung nakita niya ako, and we sang my song together, it’s like she’s known me forever,” he recalls. “‘Yun’ yung moments na parang, ‘Woah, this is what I am able to do through my work. I want to do this for the rest of my life!’”
With his position in the spotlight and a promising career ahead of him, Inigo’s ultimate goal is to influence a whole generation through his music. He’s got big dreams like any other bright-eyed fellow in his age. “I’m not putting much pressure on myself, though,” he adds, and rightfully so. If you ask us, we think this trailblazer is getting by just fine.
ALSO READ: #ChalkLovesMarNigo: Maris Racal And Inigo Pascual On What Makes Their Tandem Work
Photographed by Miguel Alomajan
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aaron Mangsat
Grooming by Jay Herrera