How Traveling Helps This Pinay Artist Stay Creative

Reese Lansangan finds inspiration by exploring unfamiliar places in the Philippines and beyond.
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Indie artist and internet sensation Reese Lansangan has won the hearts of young musicians and music lovers with her own brand of quirky pop and her lilting, catchy melodies. Her songs, which touch on everything from budding romances to failed relationships to poor grammar, resonate with thousands of young Filipino millennials who find encouragement and inspiration in the singer-songwriter’s thoughtful lyrics.

“With writing, I start off in a very personal space and release [my feelings] as catharsis in the form of a song,” says Reese. “So it really surprises me sometimes when I hear that a lot of people can relate to my music.”

The 27-year-old is in the process of coming up with her next album, where she hopes to include a few Tagalog offerings. Unfortunately for Reese, penning songs in her native language is new territory. “It’s really a struggle to write songs in Tagalog. I converse in Tagalog, but for some reason, I can’t fully put my thoughts into words, or maybe I overthink. This is something that’s been bugging me for a long time. I’m really frustrated.”

Experiencing a creative mental block from time to time is normal for every artist. To overcome these blocks, Reese turns to her other passion: traveling. “Sometimes, when you’ve been doing something for a long time, you feel like you’re not getting anywhere so you just want a change of scenery,” she says. “I work from home and things get so familiar that I just want to escape and go to a place where everything is fresh and new.”

The award-winning artist tells us how traveling, be it on a spontaneous road trip or in an unfamiliar country, has helped open her mind, her heart, and her horizons.

Experiencing a different environment refreshes Reese’s mind and allows her to explore new ideas and inspirations.

“One time, we were shooting live sessions for my EP in Baguio and we stayed in this old, rustic hotel. My manager was already sleeping so I just went around exploring. I felt so much pleasure in being alone, doing random things. And I got this rush from being in an unfamiliar place that’s still in some ways familiar.”

Traveling, seeing new things, and meeting new people open Reese up to a world of possibilities.

“When I’m traveling, I cherish the journey and the transit—for example, getting to converse with the people I’m seated next to in the waiting area or on the plane. I value all of these interactions. If you open your eyes and your heart to new experiences, you’ll really be rewarded.”

Reese is inspired by her fans and their personal stories.

“I went to Singapore to perform at Music Madness and I didn’t have any expectations, because I didn’t really know anyone in Singapore,” she recounts. “But there were these Singaporeans who had discovered my music and came to see me perform. Afterwards, one of them e-mailed to tell me how my songs have comforted at different points in her life. She felt like she grew with me. It was so heartwarming. It’s such a privilege for me to travel and meet fans. I want to keep on meeting people and getting to know their stories because, as rewarding as it is for them to say that they’ve been touched by my songs, I am equally rewarded by the stories that they share with me.”

The spontaneity attached to road trips allows Reese to indulge her whims.

“I’m very spontaneous as a person, so a road trip is perfect [for me]. If I feel like getting away or just taking a break, I can do so easily.” 

Recently, Reese went for a drive in Antipolo where she met up with music coach Toto Sorioso, who was her guide and mentor in writing the Tagalog songs she hopes to include in her next album.

Reese shares, “I wanted to go somewhere different but still very relaxing. We stayed in this beautiful house and fleshed out some ideas. I am very reliant on what I experience and what I see, which is why traveling is important to me. I need, from time to time, to feel a different kind of energy.”

As a true millennial artist, Reese was an easy choice to represent her generation as the face of Ford Philippines’ Creative BLK campaign.

Creative BLK: Taking millennials to live their passions

The Creative BLK (“creative block”) campaign seeks to take creative millennials to where they’ll be more in-sync with their passions, through a series of videos that showcases how the Ford EcoSport can take millennials to their own Creative BLK—a place where they can be inspired to pursue and live their creative passions and interests. Creative BLK will feature Filipino millennials who are making waves in music, culinary arts, and photography.

Reese says, “I’m very excited. I look at this partnership with Ford as another creative outlet for me to share the story behind the music I make. I believe that all of us have our own creative side, so knowing where our creative BLKs are can help us surpass the challenges that come with pursuing our passion.” She adds, “Driving a Ford EcoSport gets me to my creative BLK and gives me the inspiration I need to make music that people can relate to and be inspired by.”

The Ford EcoSport attracts a younger audience with its sporty looks. Reese enjoys the EcoSport’s real-world features and capabilities that are perfect for urban driving: smart keyless entry with push-to-start button, as well as the retractable sunroof that gives her a better appreciation of the fresh air, the sunshine, and clear skies—all of which inspire her during her drives.

She also ensures a safe drive all the time with Ford’s SYNC connectivity system with Bluetooth and voice control, which means she can keep her eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, even while on the phone or listening to music. Reese also takes advantage of the EcoSport’s spacious trunk, which offers plenty of space to store her musical instruments.

Curious to know what happened during Reese’s road trip? Watch the video below.

To know more about how the Ford EcoSport can take you places, check out this page.

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