Manila Grey Return With "Island Baby (Maarte)" Off Paradise Rising EP 'semilucent 2'

The Vancouver duo drop a new music video for the lead single off 'semilucent 2,' a compilation EP from Paradise Rising, a label supporting Filipino artists.

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Vancouver R&B duo Manila Grey are back with a splashy new music video for their tune “Island Baby (Maarte).” The track is the lead single off Paradise Rising’s sophomore compilation EP, semilucent 2.

The sister label to 88rising, Paradise Rising launched last year to empower and support Filipino artists. The new EP—the second installment to semilucent, the compilation album released July 2020—features tracks from a new crop of homegrown and diasporic talent, including Manila Killa, Steven Peregrina, Daze, Curtismith, CA Christian Alexander, Yuna, and of course, the Island Boys themselves. It arrives to coincide with Filipino American History Month.

The “Island Baby (Maarte)” starts off with Manila Grey getting a haircut and lecture from their tito—who has the classic Filipino setup of a Santo Niño shrinebefore heading out to a party and photoshoot. Directed by Brock Newman and Manila Grey’s Soliven, the visuals feature all of the Filipino-Canadian duo’s staples: exotic cars, beautiful women, and limitless swag.

Helmed by Manila Grey’s go-to producer azel north, the track is an unflappable vibe featuring a lithe acoustic guitar lick, jittery R&B drums, and Neeko and Soliven’s sweet nothings about the opposite sex. 

“The Manila Grey sound is distinct, and we definitely wanted to bring a new vibe to semilucent,” the boys say in a statement. “In ‘Island Baby,’ we show love to all the beautiful women in our lives, women who represent the vibrancy and class of our culture, both in our home city Vancouver. Maarte is slang for high maintenance in Filipino, but it actually means artsy. We just wanted to flip that narrative into something fun, while showcasing the art and the grace. All the strong women in our lives have high standards, sometimes you need that energy, you know? Like, go ahead, it’s all good, feel yourself.”

Peep the “Island Baby” video above, and check out the rest of semilucent 2 below.

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