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BP Valenzuela in Homeworlds: Amid the Noise

A Parallel Planets piece by Jofer Serapio

Parallel Planets presents BP Valenzuela
in Homeworlds: Amid the Noise
Series by Jofer Serapio

Mentioned: E. E. Cummings, mind deep in thoughts, and melodicas

* * *

Twice, I could have met BP Valenzuela in person. Twice, I could have shook those hands that magically reach inside my chest cavity, squeezing the feelings out of this second-hand cardiac muscle I swindled off a lady in Baclaran, whenever I listen to her music. Twice, I disappointed myself. Sometimes, life just throws things at you that you can't ninja, and you're left a heaping pile of weepy flesh. Thankfully, BP's music, like BP herself, is accessible, pure, and simple.

I first heard about BP through an old friend whose website had just recently showcased her music. The first song I heard from her was the E. E. Cummings-inspired "Building," but my favorite so far is her more recent "Pretty Car," which is actually a collaboration between BP and producer Nicholas Lazaro. Prior to the release of "Pretty Car," "General Scheme of Things" was my jam. With BP's wispy delivery of the line, "I'm just a speck here, in the general scheme of things," it wasn't hard to fall in love with the way that song just speaks to you of you. Falling in love with BP's songs is pretty much unavoidable: just hit play, close your eyes, and sit back and relax as you are introduced you to the depths of this teenage singer/songwriter’s quirky soul.

BP's creative space is her bedroom. Lined with bookshelves and posters, it provides her with a view of one of the country's most historical locations, the site of the People Power Revolution, Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA), as well as the nearby train station (MRT) and of course the city of Metro Manila. Just the mere mention of a nearby train station would probably make any other musician cringe, but BP works around the noise, not just out of necessity but also because of her love for the sirens and the symphony of steel against steel.

"Earlier on, I would hear sirens or the train arrivals in my recordings and try to edit them out of my music, but every now and then I’d keep everything because I feel like they’re a part of me," BP muses. "You can see all the cars and billboards from my bedroom window, and I feel like it’s shaped me and my music entirely, being so close to the city."

But BP didn't always have her room all to herself. Before she turned 14, that's when her siblings moved out, she had to share her room. All her stuff had to be in the living room. Now that the space is 100% hers, leaving her Fortress of Solitude is a daunting task for BP who feels that she's tethered to her room. If she could, she would just stay home. Inspiration sometimes hits her when she's lying down, mind deep in thoughts, or playing video games. At least in her room, her space, she can just pull everything out and lay tracks down. Just like that.

"I have my recording stuff like my interface and mixer and some instruments lying around," BP reveals. That includes mic stands, a keyboard, and a bunch of guitar stands. The weirder things, according to BP, are her harmonicas, melodicas, maracas, and kazoos. Clearly, music is inseparable from her life. "I sleep next to my books and my keyboards, often I fall asleep while working, so I’m really attached to everything in here."

BP also has a memory board, essentially a cork board full of her milestones, which she piles a lot of stuff on without taking anything out. It's genetic, BP explains. "I’m a hoarder and I got it from my mom."

As a musician, BP admits to working compulsively and obsessively. She feels she needs to finish everything without taking breaks. She takes from her mind almost immediately, as ideas come to her, grabbing this and that from her inner world of concepts and inspirations and tirelessly molding all of those things into one harmonious product of genius. That's about as easy as it is difficult. One can only imagine the skill and passion needed to survive that whole process, especially when you come out of all that chaos and confusion with something great.

Last March, BP had her first EP (extended play) launch. It was around the end of her first year in college. It was also on a Wednesday night. Oh, and should we even mention that it was finals week? Nevertheless, the venue was packed and BP sold most of her EPs. BP recounts how she felt so nervous, having to face an entire crowd packed in one room, all of them there for her and her music. "It felt nice. From then on, the wheels started turning for me."

BP currently has a lo-fi (low fidelity) project called half-lit. While working on her album, she's also waiting for Dragon Age Inquisition to come out. In between, she juggles school with everything else, attends shows, makes loom bands with friends, visits thrift stores with her sister, looks at cute animals online, and talks to her dog. Yes, you read all of that right. Generally, she just takes immense pleasure in doing what she loves. Making that transition seems to be close at hand -- mere inches, really.











"There’s nothing in the world more powerful than practice, and an unlimited imagination."
— BP Valenzuela

More from BP Valenzuela: SoundCloudFacebook, Twitter

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