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Gloc 9: Keeping It Real

It helped that he was already well known as Gloc 9: Patients got a kick from having their blood drawn (and, in several cases, having their babies delivered) by a famous rapper. But the relentless suffering that he witnessed took a psychic toll. Gloc channelled it all into his next album “Matrikula,” its title suggesting all the dues that he had paid for the right to speak. Francis M., his friend and mentor, already gravely ill, was very much on his mind while he was writing the songs that went into “Matrikula.” He wanted, more than anything, to play the album for “Sir Kiks,” but sadly, time ran out. But the undercurrent of sadness permeates the work, as well as a growing authority of the voice behind the songs. “Matrikula” (2009) was followed by “Talumpati” (2011) and “Mga Kuwento ng Makata” (2012), with Gloc’s writing getting tighter and sharper with each album. “This is probably it,” he says when asked if he has found his authentic voice. “I don’t see myself changing my sound, or should I say, trying to sound younger.” He says turning 35 and being a husband and father (to 8-year-old twins) have grounded him, and if there’s any new challenge to be faced, it’s finding new songs to write. “Here in the Philippines, there’s no shortage of stories to tell,” he says. “But whatever you do, if you’re doing it for a good reason, you can’t go wrong.” He draws his songs from his personal experience, or from stories that he hears. Sometimes, as in “Lando,” it’s an imaginative leap, beginning with the question: What kind of travails does a person have to experience to get him to the point of turning into a taong grasa  (homeless drifter)?

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