Beauty Queen character takes a step back as Catriona’s music introduces itself


Catriona Gray

For her self-written debut single, “Love Language,” Catriona Gray chose to use only her first name, a move she said would help distinguish her side as a musical artist from the glitzy beauty pageant character most. people associate it.

As she relaunches her pursuit of a singer-songwriter career, Catriona – celebrity, spokesperson, and holder of the Miss Universe 2018 title – intends to step back to allow her music to take hold. front of the stage.

“This song came out under“ Catriona, ”because it’s distinct from the previous songs that were aligned with my pageant image. The visuals for that and the way I want to present myself are more indented – not a lot of glam. I’m trying to change this notion that people are used to seeing me in the foreground, ”she told the Inquirer in a recent one-on-one interview hosted by Warner Music Philippines (WMP).

In the music video for “Love Language,” for example, the 27-year-old celebrity doesn’t wear makeup like she usually would for a show biz or a competition-related affair. While her beauty still permeates the screen, her appearance isn’t glamorous at first glance. They are more artistic or conceptual, with more emphasis on light as a visual element.

Platforms without borders

The song, which Catriona created with producer and fellow Filipino-Australian producer Cabu, was inspired by the many different ways people give and receive love, and how they can sometimes complicate relationships, both romantic and platonic. The song is also part of WMP’s Global Pinoy Music, a movement that promotes Filipino music and allows local musicians to collaborate with international artists “through platforms without borders.”

“Of course, I’m still part of that image – I’m just trying to take a step back and let the music flow instead. It would be interesting to see how all of this evolves as I make more music and develop my vision. It’s such an exciting thing to look forward to, ”she said.

Excerpts from our interview:

You’ve released songs before, but this is the first time you’ve released something you’ve written. How did you find the courage to do it?

I surprised myself, because I had never written a song before. I had this thing in my head where I felt like songwriting should be a certain way.

But the way it comes to me is, when I’m overwhelmed with emotions and I get very analytical… When my mind is busy, I write things down. The line that inspired the song came from my notes.

It’s a new experience. Let’s see where this takes us.

The song contains R&B, soul and jazz elements. Was that how you wanted it to sound?

When I created “Love Language” it was not with the intention of doing something R&B, soul or jazz. It’s just that the chords the song was set on were warm and jazzy. How it ended up sounding like that was an organic process. The song started with the lyrics, as opposed to me for a certain sound.

But have you been influenced by these genres?

I have always resonated with jazz and soul music, which I grew up listening to. So I wouldn’t be sorry if that became my main sound as an artist! But I am still growing and learning. If you were to ask who Catriona is as an artist and what her genre is, I don’t know if I can stay in a box.

What was your reaction when you heard the final version of the song?

I was incredibly proud of it. I had no idea if it would be good or not, it was my fear of venturing into songwriting.

What was it like working with Cabu?

I appreciated that he allowed it to be a collaboration and let the song go where I felt it was going. He tweaked a thing or two, but he allowed me to push for what I thought the melody should be…

The song has that cold, sultry vibe, and I think your voice hit a good point here.

I just tried singing it like I thought it should be performed. I was more inspired by the vulnerable lyrics, so I thought it shouldn’t be approached as a powerful ballad. The tone is sultry and pulled back, and has just a few moments where it goes up and down.

Catriona Gray

Your spoken voice is very different from your singing voice, which is much deeper and hoarse.

I get that a lot! (laughs) I always joke that maybe my old self is coming out. I have always spoken with a nasal tone since I was young. But my [deeper] the voice comes out naturally when I start to sing.

Maybe your love for soul music has something to do with it.

While I was growing up there was always music. And that was a huge range because my dad was born in the 40s and my mom was born in the 60s. I was born in the 90s, so the radio was jumping everywhere, from Elvis Presley, to disco music, to going through hits from the 90s. I have a great appreciation for music across different genres.

But Ella Fitzgerald was one of the artists I really fell in love with. I am in awe of his vocal abilities.

Tell us about the clip.

I am pretty handy with everything I do. I wanted it to be a play of light, refraction and reflection; on shadow and contrast and spotlights. And that became the idea of ​​visualizing the different love languages. I didn’t want a script. I just wanted visuals that would complement the music and allow listeners to interpret it as they pleased.

They say there are different languages ​​of love, such as affirmation words, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch. Do you believe in these?

We don’t give and receive love the same way. We are all unique and there are different levels and numbers of love languages. It doesn’t have to be just those five, but it’s a simple way to figure it out.

The way my parents raised me and showed me love is an act of service. I still see them doing things for the family, making sacrifices and working. I also adopted this type of love language. I am a provider now, the breadwinner, so I go out of my way to make things right for them.

Being a lawyer also involves acts of service. It’s just a big part of who I am.

How were you able to stay creative in the midst of the pandemic?

It forced me to dive deep and explore my emotions. I have listened to the stories of others; inspiration doesn’t have to come from your own ideas alone. The writing was therapeutic. And I’m proud that I was able to take something that I wrote during a confusing and overwhelming moment, and turn it into a song.

Where does singing rank among your career priorities now?

This is one of my top priorities now. I wanted to pursue it with all my heart when I was 18, but I ended up not doing it, because I became the breadwinner. I have to put this dream on the back burner. And then there were the people who told me that music is not a profession that pays the bills. There’s always that stigma about pursuing a career in the creative field.

And then the pageantry arrived.

I always reassess myself and discover what fulfills me as a person. I want my work to have a purpose… And music has repositioned itself as one of my priorities because it keeps me sane at a time when we all feel bombarded. It’s a way to decompress.

And now I feel like I’m in the right position to do it because I’m surrounded by people who encourage me. You can expect me to do more music.

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