EXCLUSIVE: Chi And Gabs Gibbs On All The Creative Work That Went Into Producing "Angel Baby"
It's a feast for the ears and a visual extravaganza! Music video director and creative director BJ Pascual also share more details about this masterpiece
Young artists and style influencers Chi and Gabs Gibbs, known as GIBBS The Duo, launched their latest single, "Angel Baby," and its music video last week, and they're a masterpiece. The official music video premiered last April on Tarsier Records' and Metro's platforms.
We got to interview Jana Silao, the fashion stylist who dressed up Chi and Gabs for their M/V. And here, the duo and the other creatives who worked on "Angel Baby" shared more details about the music, the visuals, and their creative process.
Chi and Gabs wrote "Angel Baby" at home while under lockdown.
Its look was inspired by a bunch of sci-fi shows airing and streaming at the time—hence, all the awesome psychedelic, out-of-this-world aesthetic that started with their outfits for the song's promos and ended with the set design of the music video. Think of the show Lovecraft Country and H.P. Lovecraft himself; the master of science fiction pretty much set the tone for how this song would translate, visually.
In terms of its sound, inspiration came from another pop culture giant: 007 himself, or more specifically, all the awesome James Bond songs that contributed to the overall feel and look of all Bond movies. Pairing that with these sisters' love of all things retro (the decade of choice was the 80s this time), and you get "Angel Baby."
Story-wise, Chi says, "It's a heroine story about fighting your demons, whether it be yourself or someone you want to cut out of your life." All in all, the song is meant to empower listeners as it reminds that they have the power within them to defeat dark and let the light in.
"Angel Baby" was produced in collaboration with Moophs (Chris Lopez), a music producer, composer, sound engineer, DJ, lifelong guitarist and founder of Tarsier Records.
The songwriting process came easily to them.
This pair of uber creative sisters didn't fold under the monotony of things that pretty much sum up life under quarantine. They thrived and made the most of being able to dish out new material at their own pace with zero distractions to delay the process.
"We were just together, all the time," Gabs smiles.
"We had help from our dad [Janno Gibbs] who we live with also, so it was a fun, organic experience," Chi adds.
Working for the first time with music producer Moophs was also a highlight of the in-quarantine project. It took them a mere five hours to record the song and the end result turned out to be everything they imagined and more, according to Chi.
Musical influences on the song include an eclectic mix of Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson and Daft Punk, plus broad strokes of good old fashioned 80s rock and roll. According to their producer Moophs, he'd never seen such an odd combo of creative inspiration, but it worked out. Given the Gibbs' sisters specific vision for themselves and their music, it wasn't difficult at all to tie in seemingly unrelated elements together into one cohesive whole.
It was about time they released a new single.
"The people that listen to our music keep asking us when we're going to release something new and it's been a year since we released our first single," Chi shares.
"We also wanted 2020 to end—new year, new single, new song," Gab adds.
GIBBS The Duo debuted with the hit single "No Hearts" in 2019, which, to their surprise, caught the attention of audiences here and abroad. Most notably, it was featured on a Korean variety show and a K-drama, and it encouraged the sisters to keep exploring what else they could do with their musical talent.
The sisters have picked out their favorite lines from the song:
Chi's are, "'Cause you know you're Vincent Price, and I'll be sure to put a steak through your heart." On Why she loves these lines in particular, she says, "Because we wrote this lyric with our dad who's a cinephile. Vincent Price is the OG Dracula and the whole vampire/horror aspect of the song just clicked. I love it because it really establishes the heroine of the song. It's about slaying your own monsters!"
On the other hand, it's the words "You know I'll come down shining, you know this light is blindin'" that particularly stand out for Gabs. "Aside from it being my favorite part of the song, it makes me feel empowered for some reason—like I'm here to battle my inner demons," she tells Metro.Style.
Besides how good the song sounds, these sisters also want everyone to appreciate how it "looks."
Before the Gibbs sisters made a name for themselves as musicians, they've established themselves as fashionistas and beauty icons. Their Instagram feeds are filled with all the different looks they've come up with over time, some glam and some edgy, some bare and some bold and brave. So it comes to no surprise that they're incredibly invested in how their songs are interpreted onscreen in a music video and in photo shoots.
"We worked with the dream team, with Simon [Te] and BJ [Pascual], and it was amazing," Chi emphasizes.
"Our director Simon really envisioned the three sets or rooms, namely earth, heaven, and hell. He wanted there to be a portal or hallway between the three to tell the story! Honestly, we were just amazed with what they came up with!" the sisters say. The set design was created by Aren Santos of ADSET Prod.
As for BJ, it marked a first for his already illustrious career. He's a master of photo shoots, but "Angel Baby" was his foray into creative direction for a music video, for which he really overlooked the hair and makeup styles and matched them with the right setups. There was a ton of pressure from the get-go, but what really helped him (and the whole team) pull off the vision was the collaborative effort. Planning began as early as February and after a thousand and one group chats and Zoom calls, they zeroed in on what they wanted to do for the project.
BJ says, "It was a really great process to be able to work with like-minded creatives that really just want to create something great, even with a very, very limited budget. It's a visual extravaganza! But seriously, it's a feast for the eyes, and I think it's something new and fresh, especially for the local music scene!"
Music video director Simon shared the same sentiments. Since he and the Gibbs sisters as well as the other team members are friends, not just professionals working together, the whole experience proved to be a break from the un-normalness of the pandemic. Creative juices flowed freely and ideas meshed perfectly.
"The music video is a play on our inner demons (and angels) and what would happen if we leaned into them," Simon says. "This is one of the few music videos that really embraces a look and the means to get there. So just having everyone come out to work on this and really see it turn into a communal piece of art is what gets me every time I see it. It's a diary of ours in a way!"
In the end, the concept they came up with was a literal interpretation of the song topped of with Y2K fashion inspo that kids from that generation can recognize from a mile away. The Gibbs sisters have always been fans of dropping pop culture Easter eggs in their work, so be sure to keep a keen eye out for influences from movies, theater, art, and fashion, Simon hints.
Speaking of the beauty and fashion that came into play in the music video, Chi and Gabs have are all praises for their glam team.
"In terms of styling, we knew we wanted to work with Jana Silao because she already imbibed the aesthetic we were going for. We worked with her for a cover shoot before and absolutely loved the quirky vintage pieces she brought, so we thought it would be a perfect fit. For makeup looks, we had already talked to Mac Igarta way before the music video was in the works, we've always been a fan of his work and we feel like he totally gets us!" they say. Chi's favorite outfit had to be her mom's [Bing Loyzaga] suit that served as her "devil outfit," and for Gabs, it was her angel look that had her don patent leather boots and Cindy Lou-inspired 'do.
"It's a mix of everything we love and everything we're obsessed with at the moment, for sure," Chi smiles.
Watch the "Angel Baby" and "No Hearts" music videos below!
Photos by @bjpascual via @chiiloyzagagibbs @gabsgibbs