How Barbie Almalbis Wrote an Album During the Pandemic

The singer-songwriter collaborated with her husband during the quarantine. 

In the fourth episode of Esquire Sessions Live, we talked to singer-songwriter Barbie Almalbis. The Tabing Ilog musician has kept busy during the quarantine, producing her fourth solo album, Scenes From the Inside

The album was actually conceptualized before the quarantine started, and it was set to be released last year. There was a certain creative process that she thought she would follow—write, record, release. She initially planned on releasing one song at a time. But when the lockdown happened, she had no other choice but to rearrange the flow. It worked out quite well, since she got to collaborate with her husband, Martin.  

It was a surprising but welcome change to her songwriting process. Together, the couple wrote Kumpas, one of the songs in the album. The actual title of the song translates to “compass” in English, she mentions, so it’s centered around the theme of being guided. It was also inspired by an action movie she remembered watching pre-pandemic, which had a soundtrack that was structured around a unique time signature. 

Almalbis and her husband started playing around this specific beat, jamming out and experimenting with different chords and melodies. This collaboration actually came about when her husband decided to help her with a creative block she was going through. 

“I’ve written a lot of songs, but may time din sa last few years na parang ‘di na ako na-eexcite sa mga songs na ginagawa ko,” she says. 

The singer was glad to have her husband’s help and support throughout the entire undertaking, especially with Kumpas. It was through this that the first track of her album was born.


This is the first episode of Esquire Sessions Live that makes use of Spotify’s new Music + Talk feature, which lets listeners interact with the music in the show without leaving the episode page. To listen to Kumpas or hear more about Barbie Almalbis’ music journey and quarantine experiences, listen to the full episode on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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