TRACK REVIEW: Zeke Abella – Poems 

Written by Elijah P.

The Philippines has a heavily documented history when it comes to comedic viral stars turned musicians, the pipeline dates back to Yoyoy Villame in the 80s in his most sadistic form of humor of turning classic soft rock hits into parodies. Throughout the 90s to the aughts, you’ve got comedians taking a serious turn of their slapstick into the top of the pops with Michael V’s persistent chart topping singles that’s taken notes of earlier Weird Al Yankovic and Bayani Agbayani’s eternal childhood pop hit “Ocho Ocho”. But as the decades pass, the 2010s was a turning point for some who’ve grown up using the internet post-battle rap, late night TV and internet hugot culture. Take Vice Ganda as a worthy example of these comedians taking it to the bigger musical stage despite the influential catchphrases and next level sarcastic humor they’re known for. 

Entering the 2020s, the shelflife of a comedian-musician will last a longer internet lifespan of a shining star across the cosmos, especially for Cebuano native Zeke Abella’s shot to stardom in his latest single “Poems”.

If you’re not convinced enough, Abella has reported about the VisMin hip hop scene months before being a Tiktok sensation on YouTube Channels. But the effect of being a casual comedian has further skyrocketed his exposure, putting his musical talent and his scene cohorts to the limelight. 

Absorbing the sensibilities and vocal runs of a SZA listener, Abella’s latest singles “Poems” deviates from his earlier material and the entire cliches of machismo in male-fronted r&b. Instead, Abella puts his vulnerability front and center, tapping into the struggling, emotional yearning on top of tasteful vocal harmonies and piano rolls, with no artificial additives and comedy involved. Zeke Abella may have given everyone a good laugh or two but his music has imminently put the VisMin scene to the spotlight for the coming years.

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