Listen to ‘This Too Shall Pass,’ Rico Blanco’s song for COVID-19 frontliners

Rico Blanco

Rico Blanco

Rico Blanco returns with a rousing new anthem to help us deal with the uncertainty of the times after a four-year hiatus in making songs of his own. “This Too Shall Pass” is his first solo single in four years as well as his first under Sony Music Philippines.

The song was written from a place of discomfort and fear. While the world is battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Blanco witnessed how the much louder tremor of pandemic anxiety instantly changed our lives and left us with little time to mourn and move forward.

With frontliners risking their lives with little protection, people going hungry, and the social order crumbling to pieces, Blanco felt powerless by the situation. Hence, he had to forego his difficulties of living alone and coping with his own emotional troubles, as there was work to be done.

“My efforts are little in light of a pandemic like this,” Blanco stated. “As big as my imagination is for this song, I also feel that it’s not enough but it’s what I can do and contribute as a musician.”

“This Too Shall Pass” succeeds in repurposing music’s mission and outside of its function as an entertainment fodder and a way to escape, it carries the resilience of the human spirit. In darkness, it shines brighter.

The big, sprawling pop tune is his most personal to date, which he struggled over the course of two weeks to finish, and almost did not. Blanco shared, “Some songs are anchored on truth, but they are wrapped and adorned in a lot of romanticized thoughts.”

“This song is real, inwards and also outwards,” Blanco continued. “It’s something that I really want to tell every single person. I wasn’t able to give a message to the frontliners and I feel very guilty about this.”

“I needed to finish this and I want them to hear this,” the singer-songwriter added. “I know each one of us is going through something. I wrote this song as my way to reach out.”

With sonic elements that span continents and a carefully honed production which Blanco supervised himself, “This Too Shall Pass” defies convention with a global sounding opus that incorporates musical dispatches and personal anecdotes. From samples of his nieces laughing culled from a family chat group to his attempt to blur the cultural lines by incorporating European techno, hip-hop beats, Asian riffs, Afro chanting and Filipino fiesta in a seamless, genre-bending extravaganza, the song is ambitious in scope and sound design, but its heart is for the people who need light and love.

There is a sliver of joy in finding one of the most prolific artists emerge from a long silence. Sony Music’s general manager for Philippines and vice president for Business Development Asia Roslyn Pineda stated, “Music is important, we all know this but never more so than when we are faced with uncertainty because it is then that the power of music becomes unquantifiable, almost limitless.”

“Music can make you feel you’re not alone,” Pineda continued. “Music can save you from despair and so it is with a song like ‘This Too Shall Pass.’ It is so relevant to the times that it becomes a declaration, a prayer, a mantra, all rolled into one.”

This Too Shall Passis now available on all digital platforms worldwide. Here is the lyric video:

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