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Single Stories: “Sobrang Init Naman”

Sobrang Init naman
Gear behind the song

I wrote this song in August of 2022, before our trip to Southeast Asia. After almost a year and a half in Europe, I knew it would be very hot weather-wise. We planned to live in Bangkok, Manila, and Singapore– countries known to be hot and humid all year, so I wrote "Sobrang Init Naman," which translates to "It's very hot."

I demoed this song in our Airbnb flat in Edgewater, NJ, where we stayed for a month to recuperate after our nomadic European adventures. I always knew this was an upbeat, semi-disco number, and I had my TR-08s drum machine in mind the whole time, but the bassline was the catalyst of this song. The line in the recorded, single version is the one I had in my head before everything else.

There are many demos of this song. There's even one where my former Freesouls bandmates jammed on since I intended to record the song in a studio in Manila. That didn't pan out. There were many attempts to get this done, from acoustic guitar-only versions to recordings with real drums to pure electronic renditions. Ultimately, I decided to take the hybrid route.

I recorded the final single version here in Los Angeles and used the following gear:

  • Roland TR-08

  • Roland Juno 60

  • Roland Juno 106

  • Moog Grandmother

  • Fender Jazz Bass

  • Gibson Les Paul

  • Marshall Amp

  • Sennheiser small diaphragm condenser mic

  • Blue Bottle large diaphragm condenser mic

I recorded everything through the Focusrite Scarlett interface and Logic Pro. The bridge and the arpeggiated Juno 60 in the outro are my favorite parts. I don't know, but I love changing things with random parts or lines.

The song sums up how people in tropical countries react to the heat. It's part of life and something that everyone who wants to visit must handle. There will be broken ACs and faulty fans. Sweat will flow, and it will test tempers and even relationships. And, like everything in life, the only way to weather the weather is to embrace it.

Here are the lyrics.

"Sobrang Init Naman"

Words and music by Ted Reyes (BMI)

Wala nang ulap sa langit

Tutok ang araw, sobrang init

Basang basa na sa pawis

Singaw ng kalye, di mapawi

Di makatulog, di pa makakain

Kelangan ko ng hangin

San ko hahanapin

ang ginhawang para sakin

Sobrang init naman

Aircon mo'y may kalawang

Buga ng ere, sobrang init

Kay lagkit pa nang hangin

Sakit ng ulo, di mapawi

Wala nang araw sa langit

Ala ring kaso, sobrang init

Tagaktak na ang pawis

Sakit ng ulo, di mapawi

That's it! The first single out of many is out. The next song, "Awit ng Himagsikan" will be out on September 21. Later on, after maybe six singles, I will compile everything into an album that will only be available on physical media - plus unreleased tracks. My idea is to release the album on CD and cassette since vinyls are expensive to press. However, if enough people want vinyl, I would do a pre-order to see if it could cover the cost. We'll see.

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