“So I left all that shit back in 2020 / I’m in my feels and I’m feeling legendary…“
Know what I don’t need right now? Sad songs and somber reflections on the past year. I get it, fully. Trust! I am living this Hell, just like everyone else! Know what I could use instead? Any music that contains the mustard seed of hope that I might feel alive again.
Enter Ylona Garcia, 19-year-old Filipino-Australian singer-songwriter and actress – and former Pinoy Big Brother contestant (!) who rose to prominence as a runner-up on her series, followed by a string of popular appearances on shows like All-Star Sunday Afternoon Party (ASAP) and It’s Showtime.
After making her music debut with her My Name Is Ylona Garcia EP at the young age of 16, appearing in more variety shows and reality TV competitions like We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-Offs, as well as a stint in a co-ed teen pop group called ASAP G! (who among us has not?), Ylona caught the attention of influential Asian-American label 88rising‘s radar, eventually signing to sister label Paradise Rising, which launched with Globe Telecom in the Philippines last year.
While she might just be getting started at establishing herself in some territories, she’s a big deal in others, and has already racked up nearly 4 million followers on Instagram. And now, it’s her time to shine even brighter all over the globe.
Fast forward to 2021, and Ylona is breaking out with a pop banger: “All That,” an ode to the post-2020 landscape, and all the complex emotions that come with adjusting to The New Normal™.
Co-penned with Peter Hanna and Michael Fatkin, who also worked on labelmate Chung Ha‘s “Dream of You,” the throbbing dance-pop track pulses in a way that fits nicely alongside acts like Dua Lipa, Ava Max and Rita Ora as she goes through the motions of lockdown.
The song’s all about capturing the present moment: “Staring at my phone like everyone’s got the perfect life / Found my prince but just to find that he’s got the perfect wife / Where’s reality? / I need therapy / All of the time.” Too real.
The accompanying music video is pretty much a colorful quarantine fever dream: at-home workouts, toilet paper panic and Zoom sessions galore. Plus, some choreography to boot! But the mood isn’t at all defeated, just realistic – and, ultimately, defiant. It’s a real dancing-through-the-depression moment – very “Rain on Me,” if you will.
“Slick my hair back and dance all night / Gucci shades when it gets too bright / ‘Cause I’m on my way,” Ylona confidently declares, fully feeling the fantasy of When This Is All Over™ that we all desperately need.
May we all leave that shit in 2020 and be on our way very soon.