Words: Cris O. Ramos Jr.

When this writer politely asked Miguel Jimenez of Stages Talents to spare five minutes of his time to talk about Keiko Necesario as an artist, he responded with, “Do you have ten?”

Keiko with special guest Quest

After a lengthy detailed explanation of Keiko’s place on a formidable list of local solo female acts that includes the likes of Reese Lansangan, Clara Benin, and Rizza Cabrera, among others, Jimenez cited her as “…A standout individual. Keiko embodies a pop star in the indie scene. She’s always been a workhorse. When it comes to her sound, she does whatever it takes for her to get that sound. For this EP, she has this Bon-Iver-meets-The-1975-kind-of-electro-folk that she aimed for. I told her before is to not be afraid to show a different side of her, to see what happens and that if it doesn’t work, don’t feel bad because there will always be another EP. This one doesn’t compare to her first album, everything across the board is a level up.”

Miguel Jimenez of Stages describes Keiko as a workhorse and embodies “a pop star in the indie scene”

A listen to Keiko Necesario’s EP [escape] – which was successfully launched at Route 196 last June 30 – attests to this. The place was packed with her fans, friends and contemporaries such as guest acts Libra, Tom’s Story (who got the older well-wishers of Keiko stunned), Curtismith, and Quest. The three-track EP was recorded at La Balls Studio with producer Nick Lazaro and indeed features an electro-folk angle that is louder and more powerful compared to the soulful acoustic style of her self-produced full-length debut album Through It All.

Keiko Necesario ‘escape’ EP

[Escape] was named after the third track of the EP, and was inspired after her newfound fascination of travel, particularly Cebu and some of the country’s beautiful provinces. “It’s like life itself,” says Keiko. “You meet different people, have different experiences to learn from. Lahat ng experiences have a big impact on what you do. Kadalasan ‘pag biglaan ang lakad, mas exciting. I actually met a lot of new friends that way; I even got to shoot a music video for ‘Ever Alive,’ the last single off my first album that bridges it to my new release. Now I dream of being able to travel outside the country.”

Her eagerness to share her new music showed in the vigor she displayed in her set. When asked if she would ever strike a deal to come up with the greatest album ever in exchange for burying it for no one else to hear, she responded, “Parang ayoko. I’d rather come up with quality albums that I can share to inspire.”

PHOTOS: LEE CACES/BILLBOARDPH

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