Giving his forever: Music will always be there right by Zack Tabudlo’s side

Juno Reyes

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Giving his forever: Music will always be there right by Zack Tabudlo’s side

CHART-TOPPING. Despite already having numerous successful song and album releases, Zack Tabudlo is just getting started.

Spotify and Zack Tabudlo's Instagram

With numerous chart-topping releases under his belt, Zack Tabudlo has already carved a space out for himself in the worlds of OPM and international pop

MANILA, Philippines – In early 2021, Zack Tabudlo dropped his breakthrough hit “Binibini.” It has since gone on to bag over 156 million streams, establishing itself as one of the milestones that has paved the way for the Filipino singer-songwriter-producer’s career. 

Later in the year, the then-19-year-old singer released his first full-length album, Episode. With songs like “Habang Buhay” and “Heart Can’t Lose,” the 14-track album has proven to transcend borders – connecting Filipinos and foreigners alike further through their shared love for music. 

ENHYPEN’s Heeseung even posted his own rendition of “Give Me Your Forever,” which has amassed over 4.3 million likes on TikTok. BTS’ Jungkook also played the song during one of his livestreams, telling viewers that he would add it to his playlist. The love anthem eventually made its way to Thai audiences, too, with Zack releasing a special version of the song with Thai actor-singer Billkin. 

It wasn’t long before Episode rapidly rose up the charts and even managed to spend seven weeks in first place in Spotify’s Weekly Top Albums in the Philippines. As the album had become a huge success both locally and overseas, it was only fitting that Zack held a concert for Episode’s second anniversary on October 14. 

The concert saw a turnout of over 10,000 attendees, breaking Bonifacio Global City’s record for the biggest audience in a music event. 

From there, it had become all the more clear that Zack had already begun to make his mark as a Filipino musician – even having a large crowd singing at the top of their lungs to the romantic woes his songs usually paint a picture of. 

Realized potential

But while Zack is now known for his hugot anthems and love songs thanks to “Binibini,” Episode, and his subsequent releases, his origins as a steadily rising OPM act date all the way back to 2014, during his time as a The Voice Kids contestant. 

It was his grandfather who encouraged him to join the singing competition. Back then, though, Zack shared that it wasn’t really a goal of his to be in the limelight. All he knew was that he loved to sing, and that was all that mattered. When he eventually took an interest in producing songs professionally, things began to take off from there. 

Given his talent for songwriting and music production, he has been producing songs for other artists since his teenage years. However, as with any creative endeavor, Zack admits that the process behind it all won’t always sail smoothly. 

“I normally do everything from scratch until the mastering process. It really depends on the situation, [but] sometimes it takes 30 minutes to finish a song. Sometimes it takes months. It even takes one year sometimes,” he told Rappler. 

Zack also believes that creativity doesn’t only have to happen in your designated workspace. While his studio is where the magic happens, eureka moments usually won’t wait for him to be surrounded by his instruments and recording equipment – they’ll pop up whenever they please. 

“It’s funny, actually. When I think of ideas for a song, nagkakataon lang na (coincidentally) I’m usually in the bathroom,” Zack shared, laughing. 

“Normally, I feel like the good songs come out very randomly, especially when I’m just hanging out with my friends, or I’m traveling from the north to the south alone. They come out in the most weird ways,” he added. 

The only way is forward 

It’s apparent that these sporadic bursts of creativity have paid off. Throughout his career, Zack has collaborated with both local and foreign artists – carving out a space for himself in the worlds of OPM and international pop. 

Zack joined forces with James Reid for the song “HATDOG,” and later produced the hit song “Gusto” with rapper Al James. Western artists took notice of Zack’s musical abilities, too. The 21-year-old singer now boasts collaborations with American pop duo joan, English singer-songwriter James TW, rising British singer Mae Stephens, and Canadian singer Johnny Orlando, among others. 

His most recent collaboration with Thai-Belgian singer Violette Wautier in the track “Turn Back Time” has also been gaining traction among Filipino and Thai fans, with the music video starring 2gether actor Bright Vachirawit. 

Giving his forever: Music will always be there right by Zack Tabudlo’s side

Despite the numerous international collaborations under his belt, Zack still makes it a point to return to his roots. Knowing full well that his Episode album struck a chord with listeners all over the world since its 2021 debut, his newest solo release “DELULU” goes back in time to relive that era. 

“That’s an Easter egg with the album art for the song. It goes back to the figure na white ‘yung eyes sa album cover. With “DELULU,” I wanted to do a throwback. Musically and lyrically, it’s very similar to my first releases. I wanted everyone to feel the old Zack in a way just through a very relatable song [because] everyone has their ‘delulu’ phase,” he explained. 

With his sound mainly resting within the confines of fun guitar pop and occasional tinges of rock, experimenting with other genres is also another endeavor Zack is eager to dive into again. Interestingly, his upcoming third album is a testament to that. 

“I have an album coming out very soon. It’s gonna involve a lot of new genres again, a lot of R&B and slow pop,” Zack said. 

Since speaking to Rappler, the singer has already released concept photos and videos teasing its release. The color red seems to be the album’s primary motif, and appears to center around a small house — complementing Zack’s repeated use of the phrase “coming home” in the posts’ captions. 

With continuous releases and special projects each year, Zack doesn’t seem to plan on stopping anytime soon. In fact, he’s just getting started. Now, the only way to go for the young musician is forward. –

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