We speak with the young singer about her debut single, “Ayoko Na”
The first step is always the hardest when it comes to putting something into motion—whether it’s finally sending that dream job application, making the first move or initiating a breakup. There exists the fear of rejection or the lack of certainty about what happens next. It makes us doubt. But for rising singer-songwriter Ica Frias, taking the plunge, which involves staying determined and knowing when to let go is worth it all.
We chat with the young singer one weekday afternoon, a period of calm after a handful of events. Think, a Wish Bus appearance and a set during UP Diliman’s exciting UP Fair week to share her debut song, Ayoko Na, to the world. “It's been very busy [but], at the same time, I'm so happy kasi, finally, na-release na yung song,” she shares. After all, there’s nothing more exhilarating than hearing crowds positively respond to a song you worked hard on.
Ica Frias’s previous dreams only involved becoming a performer, until one of her friends encouraged her to explore writing music. “Yung art ng pagsh-share mo ng story through songs…mas doon ko na gusto i-push na i-pursue ang music career (The art of sharing a story through songs pushed me to pursue a music career),” recounts the singer. Despite some setbacks and struggles trying to tell her “no,” Ica knew that this was the only path for her. “Feeling ko tinatawag pa rin ako ng music (I felt like music was still calling to me),” she explains. The same friend encouraged her to begin again with her own originals and, as they say, the rest is history.
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After meeting and signing with Off The Record, the label got the ball rolling on Ica's career. Ica looks back at the period with fondness, saying, “I'm very happy now, I can say now na buti na lang hindi ako nag-give up na i-pursue yung music career ko (I can now say that I’m glad I didn’t give up in pursuing my music career).” But if there’s anything we can learn from her, choosing yourself and taking the plunge has never been so rewarding.
Speaking of choosing herself, Ica Frias explores the painful move to do so in Ayoko Na. The soft bedroom pop ballad that pulls at your heartstrings as her saccharine lilt delivers the gut-wrenching need to let go. But underneath it all is a determined declaration: “I’m choosing myself.” So while she sings about the lows of unreciprocated energy and heartbreak, she also picks up the pieces and chooses to move forward.
Looking back at her writing process for Ayoko Na, Ica recounts writing it on her guitar. Fueled by a personal experience, she wrote a song about letting go of what she felt at the time. “Doon nag-start yung first line na, ‘Ayoko nang isipin ka.' Nile-let go mo na talaga lahat (That’s where the first line, ‘I don’t want to think about you anymore' started. You’re letting go of everything),” she notes. So while it starts off sad, Ica looks at the bright side. “Pinipili ko naman yung sarili ko (At least I’m choosing myself),” she proclaims. “Ako naman (It's my turn).” Apart from letting out her own emotions, Ica also hopes that whoever listens takes the same sentiment to heart.
While romance would be assumed theme of the song, the music video for Ayoko Na highlights the feeling. It doesn’t focus on the cause, but the time in which the difficult decision is made. “Gusto ko talagang ma-capture yung moment lang (I wanted to capture the moment),” she expounds. “Walang ipinapakita na third person—doon lang kami nag-focus [sa feeling] (We didn’t show another person—we just focused on the feeling).” And for the viewer, being seen despite the difference in details is enough to bring validation and solace.
Inspired by the likes of Justin Bieber, SZA, Zack Tabudlo, KZ Tandingan and more, Ica Frias hopes to provide comfort through her music. “Gusto ko lang maging friend na nandiya-diyan for them whenever they're not okay (I want to be a friend who’s always there for them whenever they’re notokay),” she explains. “I want to be their comfort while listening to my sound.” This also encapsulates what she hopes to do as a woman in the music industry: someone who lifts fellow women up. She eagerly expounds: “Gusto ko rin sila i-encourage, gusto kong mag-stand rin sila sa gusto nilang gawin at i-pursue yung dreams nila (I want to encourage them, I want them to also stand for what they want and to pursue their dreams).”
Ayoko Na won't be the last we'll hear from Ica! As March rolls around, we can anticipate more singles and music that will provide relief like an old friend.
Special Thanks Amplified Entertainment
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver