Well, here it is!
This mixtape is a product of an intense one week collaborative effort amongst five first cousins of my immediate family (thus the five pigeons on the album cover which was a total coincidence, rofl), counting myself. Originally, our intended purpose for creating this mixtape was to distribute our work to our extended family as a Christmas and New Year's gift, but after brief deliberation and very little thought, we had unanimously decided to release it to the public. Why the heck not, yea?
The process was a great learning and bonding experience for us as well a difficult adventure in which many heartfelt trials, struggles, and conflicts had brought forth exhaustion to our emotional- as well as physical- wellbeing.
On a brighter note, the creation of this tape had surfaced many hidden artistic talents in the younger generation of our group; for example, my 10 year old cousin Steven is surprisingly proficient in the art of rap with no prior experience or exposure of any sort... which caught us all off guard. Check out his debut single, "Banana Anthem" featuring me (NAK)! A song that discusses a very relevant matter to our generation in these days in times: bananas. Not only that, but it was also quite to our surprise that our 14 year old cousin Samantha is an extremely talented musical composer. Listen to "My Heart's Cry-" a profound spoken word piece performed by C-Cat that addresses his quest in finding and validating his identity- and see for yourself; a huge portion of the music that plays in the background is for the most part- with a necessary foundation and engineering support provided by JPK- driven by her ideas (it also being her first time composing).
Also, my cousin, Jesus Peace Kid (JPK), founder and vision holder of Persevering Destiny (PD) based in Arizona, created his first official- complete- rap song which is featured on this mixtape entitled “We Finally Needed a Song Like This!” which is a song dedicated to guys who have no suave in engaging with women (we figured we finally needed a song like this). Catch him also on “We’ll Find Out When It’s Over,” a song that has a lot of in-depth history and meaning behind it but will not be discussed at this time because I’m too lazy. Last but not least, it’s always a great privilege and honor to work alongside the insightful C-Cat and his Accretionary Penguin (What’s the Accretionary Penguin, you might ask? Follow his blog, toss him a question, and find out: normalc.tumblr.com)
Included in this six track tape are both live and studio recordings that have been captured across a span as early as 2007 to 2010. These live poems discuss a variety of topics found on each extreme of the spectrum- you’ll have to listen to see for yourself to get what I mean. In particular, we are happy to have recovered, restored, and mixed a lost recording of a spoken word piece performed by JPK and NAK nearly four years ago that uncovers and appraises the history of our family- the Estrella clan- bringing forth necessary insight to our current generation and building increased awareness and enrichment to our Filipino-American experience and legacy.
To wrap it all up... we really put a lot of love, heart, and effort into making this for our family. We may not be the most talented group of individuals and this tape is hardly platinum or gold quality but we definitely compensate for our areas of lack with love: for our family, for all people, and ultimately for God. We had a great time making this, and this experience is definitely an unforgettable one that will be imprinted into our memories within the deepest chapters of our story as a family.
We hope you enjoy listening.
And for my family reading this... on behalf of Me (Daniel), Steven, Samantha, Carl, Alex, Josh, and Jeanelle.
This one’s for you. We love you.