Music

Who Is Valentina Ploy, the Artist Who's Worked with Moira Dela Torre and KZ Tandingan?

The Thai-Italian artist is breaking down walls musically.
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Being in two different music scenes can be tough, especially when you’re an up-and-coming artist whose talent has reached local audiences in real life and listeners over the internet. For singer-songwriter Valentina Ploy, it feels as if she’s home in her respective scenes with no stress at all. 

The 28-year-old Thai-Italian singer has a lot in common with the Berlin Wall in her latest single “Berlin,” which features multilingual earworms and poppy production that’s partly skeletal and resourceful. 

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It was a Wednesday morning for her in Italy, approaching late afternoon in Manila. Ploy’s bright smile and tender voice greeted the Zoom call while her mom in the background tended to the chores. She apologizes briefly for the background disturbance, but it was no sweat for anyone who’s used to the interview-at-home setup. For the rest of the interview, she remained bright-eyed about her career and experiences about being a singer in Thailand. She has even collaborated with local’s producers—both the well-known and unexpected—and met up with Filipino premiere pop acts.   

She’s basically done everything throughout her 20s, balancing in joining music contests in the past with finding herself artistically. But one thing she has yet to do is break those metaphorical walls down now that she’s a major label artist. During the call, Ploy spoke on the fact that music grows as if it's a part of life.

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“There could be changes in the sound for sure,” she says. “I guess the music evolves a bit with you, like you grow up, the music grows as well and evolves together with you and it all changes together so it would be all natural like that.”

Post-singing contest-era, Ploy had a great start in the music industry. She was a resident artist in Thai label Whattheduck, she’s experienced working with Thailand’s top producers—one of her collaborators is currently in a pop-duo called ‘Plastic Plastic’—such as Pokpong Jitdee. Singles like “See you in life,” “Love You Better,” and “Wire,” one of which had Pokpong’s touch in the production.

“He’s just like [pauses] on it,” she says. “He doesn't speak music, he’s just a little genius. Pokpong’s very versatile in production, he can do amazing tracks, very organic tracks. It's funny because he’s very open to try all the crazy ideas. Sometimes I don't make any sense for a single like for instance [I asked if we could] do glasses of water and do like ‘ting-ting-ting’ and he was like, “okay sure,” and he went to the kitchen and he did that.”

Back in 2020, Ploy collaborated with other Filipino singers for a charity single called “Heal.” She worked with artists like Moira Dela Torre and KZ Tandingan, albeit digitally. It was sort of like a peek of different cultures in a small span of time and Ploy spent every minute of it learning what or how songwriters create magic even in quarantine.

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“There was like so many squares in the screen,” she laughs. “It was like a group chat between friends, it was very fun, and sad at the [same time]. We (haven’t gotten the chance to meet yet).”

Ploy also mentioned that she has met up with Filipino acts way before collaborating with ABS-CBN Music International such as Timothy Run and Ena Mori pre-pandemic. 

“I met Timothy Run and Ena Mori at a showcase in Bangkok,” she says. “We became friends in a show in a venue so those ones I met in real life. They are super talented and nice.”

Ploy has always pointed out the fact that joining in these competitions helped her grow as an artist. But all of the quarantine and times spent alone in the past two years made her realize that being home in Thailand for several years made her experiment with her vocal style. Ploy is the type to carefully apply her vocals in her tracks, as evident with her work back when she was releasing singles through Whattheduck. The experiences of collaborating with locals have boosted her confidence in the long run.

“Just if it feels natural really, but I don't really see myself singing songs like ‘waaaaah,’” she laughs. “You know, like that. But it’s true that I have songs where I explore new ways of singing, where it’s maybe higher, but still quite soft. But whatever feels right for my persona. In my artist persona kind of thing. I experiment more in soft melodies, or maybe high up, because I used to never sing high up and then there are other songs where I sing very high up.

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“And also more collaborations,” she adds. “I am very excited for that.”

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Elijah Timothy Pareño
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