Gail Banawis’s musical coming-of-age in ‘Dagger’ album
By Lindy Rosales
The event was billed an artist’s ‘debut album’ but to young singer Gail Banawis it felt like a coming out of sorts.
“It was a moment of self-discovery on my part,” she said in an interview with The FilAm. “I wanted to figure out how to make it on my own, approach things differently.”
Coincidence marked the birth of this album. The much-anticipated launch happened three days before the U.S. presidential election when candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump found themselves making their closing arguments on who would make a better president. In New York, Gail was jittery over the album’s launch. There was political hoopla all over NYC, and with it serious gridlock leading to the concert venue, The Cutting Room in the Flatiron District.
A music video, directed by MTV Senior Producer Ted Reyes, was also unveiled.
“It was not easy doing this,” she said. “We started planning in December last year and things started moving fast.”
An accomplished artist best remembered for singing the Philippine National Anthem during the celebrated Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in 2015, Gail regards this album, “Dagger in Your Heart,” as her musical coming-of-age. Her songs are edgier, more mature, the style hovering between jazz and soft blends.
The signature single, “A Dagger in Your Heart,” touches on the musings of a young love betrayed. It shows the 20-year-old fresh-faced Gail showing with intense emotions. There was a part in the video where she picks up a knife behind a dumpster her facial expression is one of rage. It was a surprise for some in the FilAm community to see this new Gail, but the singer herself laughed at her so-called transformation.
“It’s my first time to do a music video. I didn’t know how people would react, and I was looking angry all the time,” she said.
Her fans say she carries the song like a pro, belting out the tune with ease and hitting just the right tones.
“My style is more of a mix of a lot of things, more jazz, bossa nova, pop, swing — different genres of music in one. I learned a lot of things about myself as an artist. I learned that you should put out music that you want to hear,” she continued.
“Working on this album has really been a great experience for me,” she stressed.
On her growth as an artist, she said, “Now that I’m more mature, I’m starting to find my own personal music. That used to be my issue before. I didn’t know how to approach my music. I’m starting to discover myself more as an artist. A different Gail, in my opinion.”
“A Dagger in Your Heart” was composed by Ted Reyes, who is also the leader and guitarist of the band known as the X-Swing Pilots. Ted also wrote the four songs in Gail’s debut album. The FilAm learned from publicist Little John that the X-Swing Pilots was organized in time for Gail’s concert.