Reese Lansangan within and beyond her music

Jan 16, 2023 0 comments



Reese Lansangan has been one of my favorite local artists since I discovered her during my 'indie' phase in 2015. I remember listening to "Exploration No.5" and "Autopilot" every morning to settle my nerves as I walk the street of Pureza, Manila, to my school in PUP Sta. Mesa. There's something about her playful and folky pop music that feels like a warm hug — a best friend ready to hold your hand as you discover and explore a world where one's truest self can be at peace. I was hooked. 


Throughout the years, Reese's discography has become a powerful beacon of hope among her listeners. I, included. There's power in her writing and melodies that just let the listeners find themselves in her songs. 


Years of being one of the "Reese Kids," I have gotten the chance to get to know Reese Lansangan within and beyond her music.

  

Reese is still learning 


Reese has been an established artist for years, from singing incomprehensible gibberish at two years old to singing along with his father as he played the guitar and trumpet. "I sang songs very early since my dad was a guitar player. He played the trumpet as well," Reese explains. "He would play a lot of music at home, so I would hear it growing up. A lot of things that I know from music, pop music, I actually picked up from him when I was young." 




Her debut album, "Arigato, Internet!" was released in 2015 and her first introduction to the local music scene. It became a huge success – an album full of self-reflection, grand soundscapes, and joyous melodies. 


"It's like 'hey!' and I'm wide-eyed and super naive about everything, so everything was very earnest and was very all about me and my ideas, and I had no filter. And looking back on some of the things I had wrote, I think I would've wrote differently. But yeah, it's very pastel," she said. 


Over the next years, she grew and evolved, both as a person and as an artist, and released more Eps and an Album. It is safe to say that her music has become a bookmark of her growth. "For the other EPs, "Of Sound, Mind, and Memory," it was so real, I think. I think it's what humanity is or what my humanity is at that time. "Playing Pretend in the Interim" is like a stage show play with different acts, and "Time Well Spent" is about growth, about insecurities and getting past that and the long process of growth." 


But behind her growth as an artist, Reese admits that she still has a lot to learn. "I am a learner, and I love discovering new things. And focusing on niche subjects and just diving deep," she said. 


Reese is a storyteller


One aspect of what makes a promising singer-songwriter is their ability to tell a story through their lyrics, and that's what Reese does best. "I think I am a playful musician and I tend to pay attention to lyrics more, especially in my writing," she admits. 


If you are one of the people new to her music, you will find her songs to be direct and narrative-based yet transformative as it teleports you into the song. 



"I feel like I'm stronger there versus the melodies. I'm not an amazing instrument player or guitar player. I'm not even technical at all, but I like creating stories and sort of forming words creatively, in a memorable way, into music. I love creating stories."


Reese is an author


Aside from being a successful singer-songwriter, Reese was also able to spread her writing prowess into publishing haikus and two books, "In Case You Come Back" and "The Map That Contain Us" with Marla Miniano and Jamie Catt. "I approach my works from a very beginner's perspective, from a beginner's eye. So I hope they don't expect too much but also, I hope that they recognize imagination in them and the real-life experiences that came with writing."





In 2020, she won Contemporary Folk Song of the Year at the Wish Awards with "An Opportunity To Go To The Moon". And she decided to partner with Adarna Foundation because she wants to support local publishing and provide reading materials to areas that need it the most. 


"Well, it's really great. It's flattering, but it's also humbling. It's great that people find meaning in what I do and appreciate it. It makes me remember that I do music, and there are people who are affected negatively or positively. Be it so, it makes me feel that I should be more responsible for what I actually do and produce. It's more than who I am, it's more than just me," she shared. 


 Reese for her "Reese Kids"


As we ended the interview, I grew to love Reese more behind her music. She is truly a talented artist. She has a way of getting into your head as she sings her love, strength, and power messages. But moreover, she is an artist for the people, and with that, as we end our conversation, she wants the Reese Kids to follow their "bliss." 


"Heed your calling," she said "Whatever your interests are, dive deep into them, fall in love with them, if you feel like you've lost interest in them, it's okay. It's okay to go in and out of them. Just follow your bliss. Just follow what's interesting for you and find something that you enjoy and is worth your time. And if you do find that, go ahead and run with it. And it's okay to change your mind."




━━ Written By  Mark Elwyn Baccay & Sean Steven Gabriel Cruz
━━ Photos By  Shaira Luna



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