Rapper Archie “Franchize” Malate and singer/guitarist Mike Bon have joined forces for an album called The Hybrid Project on GMA Records. It is available on iTunes, Deezer, Spotify, and other digital stores and as a CD.

The Hybrid Project
The Hybrid Project cover art

The Tacloban-raised rapper joined GMA Records in 2014 and is a veteran of the infamous Fliptop Rap Battles. Franchize was looking for arrangers for his songs and found singer/guitarist/arranger Mike Bon online who, coincidentally, also released an album The Mike Bon Gang under GMA Records. The latter is highly regarded in the music industry as a versatile guitarist.

Abra makes a guest appearance on the track “Sulong.” Friends since 2009, the two have faced off before onstage. The music video for the track will be released soon.

BillboardPH spoke with Franchize for an overview of The Hybrid Project.

When was the Hybrid Project created, and who are the principal players/creators?

The Hybrid Project was formed last January 2016. It was a concept suggested to us (me and Mike) by Mr. Rene Salta of GMA Records and the album is produced by Kedy Sanchez who is also the label’s A&R.

How many songs/collaborations are in the album?

There are 7 tracks in the album including the ‘remix’ version of the carrier single Sulong featuring Abra.

Basically it’s a rap/rock hybrid album but we are also experimenting and working on more songs. We try to create a new kind of music incorporating the old school to the new style without limiting ourselves to our genre. The song “Alamat Ng Ambon” is a perfect example, it is a nostalgic track with a touch of the modern sound.

Please describe how you ended up working with Mike Bon. In addition to being a gifted guitarist, he is also well-rounded as a musician, so how did he influence the music?

After releasing my debut single under GMA Records last 2014, I decided to work on my new songs and was looking for arrangers to help me with the music and then thru an online ad site I met Mike. I saw his ad and called him right away. After listening to his works I asked him to re-arrange some of my songs. We started working together and introduced him to the label where he was also able to release an album with his former band The Mike Bon Gang. His talent and skills contributed a lot to our music. You’ll hear his solo leads alongside the beautiful arrangements he did on the album. Mad talent!

Describe how you worked with Abra.

I’ve known Abra since 2009. We belong in the same local Hiphop community and used to be on the opposite side of the stage during rap battles back then. When I approached my producer friend Jim Poblete who also happens to be his good friend to do a track for the album, it was there where I asked Abra to drop a verse for the song we were currently working on and fortunately he liked the track and, as they say, the rest is history.

How many music videos do you intend to release/have released for the album?

We will be releasing a couple of music videos. The first one (for “Sulong”) is set to be aired anytime soon but we are already planning to shoot the second MV by next month or even earlier.