In a perfect world of hopeless romantics, not ending up with one’s soulmate may sound like taboo. But we all know the world is not perfect, and a pop song can argue that it’s actually just fine not to end up with the supposed ideal person for you.

Singer Adjeng’s lyrics for her latest digital single “That’s Okay (To Not Be Okay)” may trigger a listener’s take on the matter about finding soulmates. But since it’s a pop song done with precision by a group of professionals and sung in a way to evoke simply good feelings, whatever issue it may bring up is likely resolved or dissolved in the pretty mix of words and music.

“When I was younger, I believed in soulmates. So very Thomas Moore,” Adjeng explained. “But now it’s more of embracing God’s best. And that can equate to God’s best in terms of a lifetime partner, or God’s best in plans and dreams aligned with His purpose. I think we can find soulmates or kindred spirits in many people, genuine friendships that are for keeps. But your lifetime love should be someone whose friendship is the very best for you.”

The cover artwork by Kuki Ulpindo for Adjeng’s first single of 2022 ‘That’s Okay (To Not Be Okay).’ The song features Adjeng’s lyrics and ace songwriter Soc Villanueva’s melody.

Released today, Jan. 21, on various digital music sites, “That’s Okay (To Not Be Okay)” is Adjeng’s ninth single to date, and the first of what is likely to be several this year. She released the previous eight, all in 2021.

The new song is her second collaboration with songwriting par excellence Soc Villanueva. They first worked together over a song for Jason Dy’s first album. That one called “Slowly But Surely” was released in 2014 or before the singer won the second season of The Voice Philippines. She shared, “Through the years, Soc and I would chat occasionally, and I would send him song lyrics, and he would reply with his melodies. Towards the end of 2021, I was in the middle of an online songwriting camp when Soc messaged me, saying he had already supplied a melody to a set of lyrics I sent to him years back. This song ended up to be ‘That’s Okay (To Not Be Okay).’ Worth the wait, I must say.”

It was quick and easy from there. Soc suggested seasoned arranger Arnold Buena to handle the song’s arrangement. They both agreed to put in the guitar playing of her former bandmate Ardie de Guzman, and pull in Zeb Zuniga to do the backup vocals and backup vocal arrangement. Adjeng noted, “I was so happy to have such a great team of musicians working on the song. I was happy that the recording went very smoothly, and I enjoyed singing this song.”


The track’s key line goes, “That’s okay. Sometimes you just don’t end up with your soulmate.”

Why? The song answers that too, because in such a scenario, “letting go is the most loving move you’ll ever make,” it sings.

As for the digital single’s artwork made by Kuki Ulpindo, and based on a room she was using when establishing a small workstation area in her son’s room, Adjeng shared her fondness for the little pieces of clutter captured and the depiction of how her work area looked at that period of time. “Kuki creates beautiful dollhouse-style art amongst many of her illustrations,” she pointed out, “I’m always after authenticity. It’s a refreshing way to remember that room, and how, like music, it can evolve and change.”

Somehow, Adjeng’s latest song title seems to be a fitting message to be passed around these days. She related, “The year has gotten off to a rocky start, what with the anxiety of witnessing the rising cases.”

But while there’s much chaos hovering in the air, Adjeng makes sure she’s intact at home with her family. Music has a lot to do with that personal calm. “Happy to share that I have taken it upon myself to write my songs, both melody and lyrics,” she further assessed. “Last year I did all collabs, and in hindsight, while those songs were completed, I realized now that 2022 is my chance to start off with a clean slate, with a sound I personally want. I would like to think that 2021 was a fine creative test drive. I am excited to begin a brand-new slate this 2022, with more songs I have written myself and new collaborations.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (