Barbie Almalbis and her husband Martin Honasan recently wrote a song about their cat and called it “Tigre.” It is one of the tracks in her new extended play of the same name.
Almalbis launched the “Tigre” EP at 12 Monkeys Music Hall and Pub in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines on June 27, 2019. Before her performance onstage, I had a quick interview with her.
“It’s a song about our cat,” Almalbis said of “Tigre.” “I wrote it with my husband. So you know, cat, tiger. She’s a little cat but she feels like a tiger.”
I assumed the title of the song had a symbolic meaning. But I was wrong.
“No, it’s just ‘Tigre,'” Almalbis told me. “It’s a Tagalog song that we wrote for our cat.”
Apparently, Almalbis was not a big fan of cats before. She and Honasan adopted the cat in November 2018 from her sister-in-law.
The cat taught Almalbis that cats are also fun. Now, she and her husband love her so much they wrote a song about her.
Including “Tigre,” the new EP has three songs. The other songs are “Cover” and “Ghost.”
A former member of the bands Hungry Young Poets and Barbie’s Cradle, Almalbis pursued a career as a solo artist in 2005. In the same year, she released a compilation album titled “Barbie: The Singles.”
In 2016, Almalbis released her debut solo album titled “Parade.” She released “Barbie Rocks The Big Dome-Live” in 2007 and “Goodbye My Shadow”in 2011.
In 2014, Almalbis shared “My New Heart.” She has yet to release a new studio album since.
While musicians come and go in the Philippines, Almalbis managed to stay active in the music scene for more than two decades while being a mother to the two children she and Honasan share. I asked her what would she advise to new musicians who want to achieve the longevity in the business.
“I believe it’s God’s grace parang (like) for me as a person, as a musician, I’m always just like thinking what His will is for me, kung ano ba ‘yong purpose ko (what my purpose is),” Almalbis told me. “Parang ganon (something like that) and I’m just grateful that I get to do this until now and as an artist, I’m always trying to experiment. I haven’t stopped being a fan of music. I’m always learning and I just enjoy the process of creating, making stuff.”
Instead of merely chasing success, a musician should enjoy creating new things and sharing it with others, Almalbis emphasized. When I asked her who among the new Filipino musicians are promising, she enumerated groups Munimuni, Bird, Autotelic and IV of Spades as well as solo artists Clara Benin and Reece Lansangan.
Here is my quick interview with Almalbis: