Miguel Escueta Explains Why He Paused Flourishing Music Career and His Return With 'Devil': Interview

do not reuse - international
Francis Reyes/Courtesy of Billboard Philippines
Miguel Escueta

It would be a foolhardy decision to take a break from music when your career is reasonably peaking. Miguel Escueta did just that. The Filipino singer/songwriter and guitarist had two major-label albums under his belt (2007's I Am M.E. plus its repackaged two-CD edition and the mostly covers Now It Starts), an EP, plus a stint in GMA7's (now-defunct) Party Pilipinas. As The Morning Episodes, he released the album Never Felt So Alive in 2013.

The song "Now It Starts" actually made significant inroads in college airplay charts in the U.S. and was used for a pair of TV shows: Brazil's Malhação and the long-running The Young and The Restless in the U.S. The song "Never Felt So Alive" was used for ABC's Switched at Birth. So, why stop?

He felt that there were bigger challenges in life, and decided to try his hand in the resto-bar business. The results: the pub Pablo's, which has been in operation for four years, and the cafe Frank&Dean, which has been open for two.
He also got married, has a baby and is finishing his masters in entrepreneurship at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
A fool Escueta was not, clearly. In this interview with Billboard Philippines, he explains his decisions, and how painful it was to step away from the music scene:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZdbvyjPzHEE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The break from music was interrupted with "Until the Sunrise" where Escueta, as The Morning Episodes, collaborated with Solenn Heussaff.

With the pub and cafe running well, he decided the time was right to return to music full-time as The Morning Episodes and recently released the single "Devil," which features guests Leanne of Leanne & Naara, and Curtismith.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3jhMwQIPksE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Co-produced with John Pope along with long-time production partner/TME collaborator Juni Devecais (ex-guitarist for <a href="/articles/news/international/7905241/mr-bones-boneyard-circus-new-song-take-me-down-listen">Mr. Bones & The Boneyard Circus</a>), "Devil" is a marked departure from Escueta's guitar-driven pop-rock. The atmospheric late-night feel is a result of being exposed to hip-hop and electronica from the pub Pablo's. Escueta said, "It happened organically."
Creatively, his extra-curricular non-musical ventures actually influenced his new output.

Prior to the interviews, Escueta hands over a sample of his company's signature Cold Drip coffee and explains, "I'll probably release another single, and maybe shoot for an EP. I'll take my time and not rush anything."

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9bsQd9KtbY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.