Yeng Constantino
Yeng Constantino Image Credit: Supplied

Filipino singer Yeng Constantino is known in her music-loving nation as pop rock royalty. This is thanks to her timeless hits such as ‘Hawak Kamay’, which was on her 2007 debut album ‘Salamat’; 2014’s ‘Ikaw’, the video for which hit 100 million views on YouTube this year; and ‘If We Fall In Love’.

Over 14 years in the music industry, 33-year-old Constantino has also dabbled in acting, starring in movies including ‘The ‘Eternity Between Seconds’ and ‘Write About Love’. Constantino will bring all these track to her fans in Dubai as she returns to the city on December 10 for Paskong Handog Para Sa Pinoy 2021, a music event that will feature a medley of pop, ballad and OPM (Original Pilipino Music).

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Singer and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, singer-rapper KZ Tandingan, singer-comedienne K Brosas and OPM hit maker Erik Santos will also perform at Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City.

In an email interview ahead of the show, we caught up with Constantino.

How has the pandemic treated you? How did it impact your relationship with music and your fans?

Like many, I had a difficult time. But I thought I can’t do anything to change the situation so I just changed my mindset. I took this time to rest and reflect. I wasn’t able to write many songs, just a few. But I didn’t feel sad about it because I am taking my time. For my supporters, I used this time to connect with them through social media with my occasional Facebook Live. My friends and I also played music so that my fans will not miss me too much.

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Yeng Constantino performing in Dubai in 2016. Image Credit: GN Archives

How does it feel to be getting back to the stage to perform?

Excited but nervous. For sure those like me who miss live gigs are also missed by our fellow Filipinos who are excited to see us perform and give a great show.

You’re known for some pretty iconic songs. Are there any of your tracks that are extra special to your heart? And why?

‘Hawak Kamay’ will always be a song that is close to my heart because that is my first song that people love.

What are some of the key points you keep in mind when making a hit song? (Eg, the theme/lyrics/melody?)

Now that I am a bit older, I try not to overthink when I write songs. But most of my songs start with a strong emotion. The melody and lyrics just follow.

You have a massive fan following on social media. Does it ever get tricky to keep up a social media persona?

Not really. But now, it is more difficult for me because I studied how to curate my feed. It is somewhat difficult because my being an artist is mostly about music rather than visual. I am not that good in photos and editing that is why I think that is what I need to improve to make my social media posts look pleasing to the eyes.

Do you think it’s important to have a social media presence in the music industry today?

Yes. Communication with fans is more personal with social media.

What advice would you give aspiring singers today?

Just keep going. Don’t mind the negativities of other people. Learn from your mistakes and experiences. Enjoy the journey.

What are your future music plans?

For now, I don’t have any. The industry has just restarted, so I will just go with the tide.

Don’t miss it!

Paskong Handog Para Sa Pinoy 2021 will be held on December 10 at Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City. Tickets start at Dh100 and are available online.