Leah Salterio

Kris Lawrence pens music for Daniel Padilla’s theme park

May 18, 2024 Leah C. Salterio 167 views
Kris Lawrence with J Castles theme park owner Daniel Padila
Kris Lawrence (center) with his team at J Castles theme park in Tanauan, Batangas
Kris with Cursebox

Prince of RnB Kris Lawrence adds another feather to his cap.

This time, the acclaimed singer-songwriter channels his musical genius to create a backdrop of trippy, ambient soundscapes for J Castles, the recently opened immersive theme park in Tanauan, Batangas co-owned by Daniel Padilla.

Since the amusement park’s soft opening last May 1, curious denizens have undoubtedly been mesmerized by the futuristic, awe-inspiring and Instagram worthy visual effects adorning every room.

The themes – ranging from tropical, cosmic, crystal and even disco, seem even larger than life when experienced simultaneously with a thunderous 3D soundtrack, literally creating a multi-sensory overload.

But just how exactly did Kris get involved in the project?

Kris’ participation came about when South Border member, Jay Durias, asked the former to sing the theme song, Let There Be Lights.

Kris was subsequently also asked to sing another song, Sky Full of Colors, which was played during the fireworks display in the soft opening early this May. 18, 24

“After, I’ve been holding songwriting camps there where I would go and set up my studio, bring a producer and a team of writers with us,” Kris disclosed. “I think it was during our second or third visit when we were asked to do the music for the rest of the rooms.”

Being commissioned for such a project was something new to Kris and his producers, Cursebox. Despite their previous songwriting experiences, creating new, instrumental soundscapes for the theme park, seemed like a novel challenge that was just too good to pass up.

No stranger to the local music scene, Cursebox (Michael Negapatan) has written his own share of hits, including Chamber for Alex Gonzaga, Alamat (Dagundong official soundtrack for the Metro Manila Film Festival), Geng Geng for Boss Toyo and Sige Lang for Andrea Brillantes.

“It was an honor to be part of the first Disneyland of Tanauan and it was a challenge to haul our equipment from room to room, soaking up the vibe and creating the music on the spot,” Kris shared.

On paper, the task seemed pretty simple: Create the ambient music that would set the vibe for the theme goers to appreciate each room.

Although the bulk of the material was instrumental, surrealistic soundscapes, Kris clarified that they wrote some songs, as well.

“For instance, they have this one crystal room and it was just a room full of mirrors, crystal and LED, and we had to create this vibe that was magical, meditative – just a serene and tranquil vibe,” informed Kris. “So I brought my handpan and played live, handpan music. Cursebox played flute. It was a whole, magical vibe.”

All the hardwork paid off during the soft opening when they all walked through the park and heard the music blaring through the speakers.

“It was a proud, ‘goosebumps’ moment when we heard the music play for the first time,” Kris recalled. “Together with all the futuristic visuals, especially seeing that people were enjoying the immersive experience.”

Meanwhile, Kris is looking forward to his US-Canada concert tour. May 17 with Billy Crawford and Jay-R at the Hollywood Casino in West Virginia; May 19 again with Billy and Jay-R at the Asian Festival in Fairfax, Virginia; June 22 with Jay-R at the Toronto Pavilion; June 23 with Jay-R at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Theater in Calgary, Canada.

Kris is also dropping his new single produced by Cursebox, this June.

Top artists in music and arts festival

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Get ready to sing your hearts out with performances from campus bands from University of Sto. Tomas, UP Los Baños and STI College will get pumped for a day filled with non-stop entertainment on May 18 at the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds. Gates open at 4 p.m.).

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