Mary, the 9 Ideas held its album launch last January 25 at the 70s Bistro Bar in Anonas, Quezon City. The budding group of advertising creatives-slash-musicians performed all nine songs from their self-titled album alongside Soupstar Music artists, Hey June!, Banda ni Kleggy, Gracenote, and Sandwich.
Mary, The 9 Ideas or M9i is a collective of lyricists and musicians who work at ideas agency GIGIL Philippines. Their name comes from a common phrase in the advertising industry: ‘Marry the ideas.’ The group made a character based on this iconic line: a person with nine heads, as if multiple personalities merged into one being, but with literal heads collided into one character – a musician with a lot of things to say. The album features 9 artists, whose faces are featured on the character’s head.
The group was formed under GIGIL Philippines’ #PursueYourGIGIL program. As a creative agency, the company believes that all work and no play can dull one’s spark. And if there’s one thing creatives fear – it’s being boring. This is why they encourage their employees to pursue their dreams, passions, and creative pursuits outside work with #PursueYourGIGIL.
Back in September 2022, GIGIL conducted a songwriting workshop for its musically-inclined employees. It was held in 70s Bistro – the same venue where they eventually launched their album. This workshop was facilitated by none other than Raymund Marasigan, the legendary drummer of Eraserheads and frontman of Sandwich. Here, he gave GIGIL employees inspiration and advice on how to write songs and make music. Inspired by this talk, the employees were given the opportunity to create and submit demos for the first-ever GIGIL Album… and thus, Mary, The 9 Ideas was born.
When you listen to their songs and read the lyrics, it’s like you’re reading the autobiography of an advertising creative. Their lead single, ‘Pagkawala,’ is a play on the word’s two meanings, to disappear and to be free. It was made during the lockdown — when everyone wanted the pandemic gone in order to be free again. It also marks a relationship’s end and the need to move on. ‘Pagkawala’ is a mantra made into a song in order to turn a painful end into a hopeful beginning. The second track and single, ‘Simula. Dulo,’ tackles the literal start and end of a relationship. It talks about how some may click right away, as if they’ve known each other for lifetimes right from the start, but oftentimes are divided by their ideas of ‘the end.’ ‘Simula. Dulo.’ explains that some endings are happily ever afters while some are heavily closed chapters.
The album was produced and recorded in November 2022 by Soupstar Music at the Velvet Playground studio. Eunice Jorge of Gracenote was at the helm as producer and arranger, while Berns Cuevas and Raffy Bonifacio of Banda ni Kleggy appear in the album as additional studio musicians alongside the GIGIL Philippines artists.
Mary, the 9 Ideas is now streaming on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2BLO0iQJICAhMgFHScqO6h?si=TRwgFafoTIyHgCo9CevQHA