The OPM hitmaker is the first Filipino artist to debut on the Coke Studio Global Stage
It’s only been five months since we last spoke to OPM hitmaker and “Hugot King” Zack Tabudlo, but he’s been continuously booked and busy since then. After the success of his funk-laced sophomore album ZACK: FOR ∀LL, the musician continued to work on more singles and multiple collaborations. His team-up with Al James called Gusto has set the stage for his single with Coke Studio: Fallin, a euphoric R&B song with South African rapper Nasty C. While its dreamy atmosphere is enough incentive for many to press play, the song also serves as a landmark in his career, as Fallin marks his debut on the Coke Studio Global stage.
In case you didn’t know, this project also marks Zack Tabudlo as the first Filipino artist to do so.
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During the first preview of the performance at Balcony Music House, Zack expresses his gratitude in front of the press, “Coke is such an iconic brand. Being here is such an honor.” It’s no secret that a lot of audiences outside our shores have developed a deep appreciation for Zack Tabudlo’s rich discography. Borders don't exist where he’s concerned, with his hits reaching number one in Indonesia and even getting a thumbs up and playlist save from one of the world’s biggest superstars. It only seems natural that he gets his shot to create real magic on the global stage after a stellar year so far.
More than getting a first preview, Wonder also got the chance to sit down with the singer. Before he and Nasty C got to share a stage, Fallin was made, completed and polished remotely. “It has this magic vibe and kind of floating love type of feel,” Zack recalls. “That was the goal for the track.” Discussions happened and ideas were thrown before they ultimately settled with Zack’s demo, with Nasty C’s team agreeing that they could see the rapper join Fallin. “I kind of envisioned me having that Bieber-ish, Chris Brown kind of verse, “ he shares. “And then Nasty C [comes in] being just him, the OG rapper.”
If Zack Tabudlo could describe his working experience with Nasty C in one phrase, it would be “everything fits.”
“Everything is perfectly matched, music and style-wise,” he lists down. “How Nasty gave justice to his verse and at the same time having it really flow in the track.” While he had a heavy hand in creating the song, Zack expresses his gratitude for everyone involved. “With a lot of help from Josh, the Coke team and the producers who gave their inputs into the track, that helped us layer in the perfect parts of the whole thing,” he recounts. “Everything matches perfectly.”
While Fallin could easily be categorized as only a love song, Zack Tabudlo has another message he hopes will resonate with the listeners especially those who fall under the Millennial and Gen Z ages. “It doesn't matter where you are in this world. You can make music, you can do whatever craft you want to do,” he emphasizes. “We're here to inspire more people to just push with their craft and do whatever they love. I feel like that's the most important part of it in this whole campaign.”
Apart from Fallin, many other songs will feature team-ups with different artists with the main one being Be Who You Are with Jon Batiste, J.I.D, NewJeans, Cat Burns and Camilo. When asked about the artists he hopes to meet through the project, Zack names two artists specifically: “I have a lot of friends who are big fans of NewJeans—that would be really cool. Jon Batiste is part of it. He's an amazing artist, producer, writer, everything! He's a Grammy-winning musician as well.” Upon realizing that he’s part of that global roster, Zack, in awe, muses, “It's really crazy to be part of that campaign along with these amazing artists in Coke Studio Global.”
Fallin’s music video will premiere globally on July 14th. Anticipate more surprises of borderless collisions and magical team-ups from Coke Studio. Head to Coca-Cola’s official website for more information.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver