Champ Lui Pio talks new album and collaboration with Sarah Geronimo
Hale is back with an awesome collaboration with Sarah Geronimo.
On Saturday, the award-winning Filipina pop superstar finally unleashed her new single, “The Great Unknown,” featuring her favorite OPM band Hale, which was well worth the wait.
In a new interview with MNL Online News, Hale frontman Champ Lui Pio reflects on his musical career, collaborating with Geronimo, working with new materials, and what to expect on Hale’s forthcoming full-length album. And the one thing Champ wants expectant listeners and fans to hold him to is “(how the band will continue) to create more beautiful music that will live forever.”
Hale is part of Sarah Geronimo’s new video “The Great Unknown.” Can you tell me a little bit more about what’s going on musically on the track?
Musically, it’s a straight up alternative ballad. The strength of the song is really the melody, lyrics – the message of the song. For the video, it’s a mix of performance and shots of Sarah and me in a parallel universe. Nothing complex, visuals just need to connect with the song.
What excites you most about your collaboration with Sarah? What was it like to meet and work with her?
What excites me the most is the collaboration itself. It’s Hale’s first time to collaborate with anyone and for us to work with Sarah, it really is a privilege. Just seeing all the elements come together and form into a beautiful sound is so surreal. We’ve heard so many good things about Sarah and we got to see it for ourselves during the process of making the song and the video. To be honest, I still can’t believe there’s such a talented, down to earth and kind human being like her given all her accomplishments. [Smiles.]
Was working with Sarah different to the other music making experiences you’ve had? What (who) else was/were the most memorable for you?
It’s very special. I can’t compare this with anything we’ve ever done. The magnitude of this collaboration is off the roof. It’s something we’ll be very proud of when we look back 20 years from now. [Smiles.]
‘I still can’t believe there’s such a talented, down to earth and kind human being like her given all her accomplishments’
Watch the official music video of “The Great Unknown” below:
Considering you are now friends with Sarah, what’s your favorite track from “The Great Unknown”?
[Laughs.] Sorry, it’s really “The Great Unknown.” ✌️
Going back, at what point did singing and songwriting start to play a big role in your life?Are you the type of guy who feels like songs are just out there floating around, waiting to be captured or do you think songs are created in a more internal, technical process that the composer goes through?
Songwriting has always been personal for us. We believe to come out with the right song it takes time and certain triggers that you cannot fabricate. So we let thing happen organically.
Can you still recall your fondest memory of being in the band? Was there a particular time you remember the band being at its happiest?
Definitely the first year of the band. From our first practice, songwriting to recording the demo, playing at underground gigs then eventually getting signed. You’ll always remember the beautiful struggle to get to your dreams.
What thrilling, extraordinary (non-everyday) experiences do you value most in life?
More than anything thrilling, I appreciate time with my family, most importantly with my parents. Everything is so fast paced, that a simple gathering with family is so priceless to me.
What is the best advice that you have received (in the past/lately)?
Wala eh. [Laughs.]
Do you have any words of wisdom for a young person getting started in the music industry?
Spend more time practicing and writing and less time online.
Today, how has your definition of success changed over the course of your highs (and/or lows) in the music industry?
We believe we can do anything together, and that our only weakness is ourselves.
Can you tell me some stories about how your music inspired and impacted other people? New fans need to hear that these days?
Since we came back, it’s touching to hear from people how our music helped them through dark times, heartbreaks and how we got them through it all.
Do you mind sharing to us your secrets to (recipe for) success?
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Food and Sea.
Share us your Top 2 songs that you cannot get enough of these days.
1. “Ships in the Night” by Mat Kearney.
2. “Stutter Love” by Opposite The Other.
You’ve just come back from a holiday, was that you having a bit of a breather?
Feels like a new reformatted phone.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
Anywhere near the sea.
What about your favorite place to play right now?
Personally, I’ve found a new appreciation for bar gigs. But overall, all gigs are a treat!
What recommendations would you make for those of us who are trying to maintain a balance between work, family, writing and performing, and personal time?
Learn how to listen to your body. It knows when you need a breather or when you are not in optimal condition to create.
Have you been working on anything else?
We’re working on a full-length album for next year. [Smiles.] We’ve been recording for a month now. And so far it’s very promising.
Finally, what is your next major goal you want to tick off?
Create more beautiful music that will live forever.
‘It’s touching to hear from people how our music helped them through dark times, heartbreaks and how we got them through it all’
What can you say about Sarah Geronimo’s new music video featuring Hale? Tell us in the comments!