After releasing last year the inspirational pop piece she composed called “Tahan,” and even going electro a few years back, the country’s bossa nova queen Sitti returns to her roots with her latest single “Buti Na Lang Hindi Ikaw” available in digital stores beginning today Aug. 31.

“Bossa nova will always be my home. I can go to other places, try other things like any person does in a lifelong quest of knowing/understanding one’s self, but I will always go back to it,” said the voice behind the young classic “Para Sa Akin” which catapulted her to stardom.

The composer behind that breakthrough hit, Emil Pama, is the same tunesmith behind this new piece touted to become a viral hit itself. According to him, the song’s title, an intriguing tweak of a past Sitti album track called “Kundi Rin Lang Ikaw,” came from a KUMU influencer referring to her past experience. He noted, “I find the idea interesting, so I wrote this new song with a twist.”

“Buti Na Lang Ikaw” is published and distributed by Widescope Entertainment headed by executive producer Vic de Vera and producer Neil Gregorio who actually helmed Sitti’s double platinum debut “Cafe Bossa” and some of her subsequent albums.

This particular recording, done at Wild Grass Recording Studios, involved arranger/guitarist Erskine Basilio, mixing engineer Dante Tanedo, and A&R coordinator Ebe Dancel. Oh yes, the famous singer-songwriter himself who currently works with the label’s carefully picked artist-roster.

Of her being part of such a talent stable, Sitti excitedly pointed out, “I’m working with old friends! I’m also excited to be working with Ebe as I will always be a fan of both his music and person. To be working with creatives of a top advertising firm who’s also into producing songs is a winner for me.”

The rest of Sitti’s back-up musicians are drummer Gian Vergel, upright bass player Gerald Flores, pianist Francis Etorma, flutist Archie Lacorte, and percussionist Diego Martinez.

Being around for quite some time has made Sitti an even more mature and strikingly honest individual. Juggling her time being a wife, a mother, and an entrepreneur, she certainly knows her priorities. She explained, “It’s easy for my career to take the backseat for now given that I’m expecting and raising a nearly three-year old and we’re still in a pandemic. I am hoping that this current stage of my life will bear fruit musically.”

For that last bit, it definitely bore a sweet fruit with her latest recording sounding like the Sitti we all fell for, and especially with its pretty outspoken lines that go, “Heto ako ngayo’y masaya/Nanumbalik muli ang sigla/Mundo ko’y muntik nang magunaw/Buti na lang hindi ikaw.”

Pama, a gifted talent based abroad but who has remained firmly in touch with the lovestruck Pinoy sentiment, shared, “The challenge for me is how to present the song in such a way that will evoke strong emotions and feelings that people can relate to.”

In a musical sense, he efficiently addressed the matter note for note.

Part of Sitti’s success comes from her sense of gratitude for things that make her life more meaningful often can be likened to the relaxing sound of the samba feel. She expressed, “I am grateful to be surrounded by discerning ears who help me have clarity.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (