Nicole Laurel Asensio, together with other strong and accomplished women in music, Saxdiva, Vanessa Celestial (trombone), Yanni Diola (backup vocals), and Yuna Reguerra (bass), are preparing to release a new original song in honor of International Women's Month.

Join acclaimed ladies acts Jika Marie and Keiko Necesario for a live pre-launch party on March 19 at 12 Monkeys, Estancia Mall, and be the first to hear their music.

The digital launch will be on March 29 in all digital platforms under Warner Music Philippines.

Nicole shares that she wrote this song during the pandemic without the usual jam-sessions with co-writers, but instead by using samples and loops. It was during that time that she also first met a brilliant artist, composer and producer Sam Akins online. They clicked immediately and went on to writing a few songs even without meeting each other in person yet. It was only three years later that Nicole let him listen to the initial rough demo for “I Know My Worth”  in a studio session. She sang it for him, Sam’s eyes seemed to light up at that moment. Nicole had always wanted to work with him and decided to pursue the rest of the production then and there. Sam’s pop sensibilities and prowess in singing, composing and playing several instruments instantly swayed her to partner up with him for this production, and a number more in the near future.

“I first met Nicole online during the pandemic. She is a marvel of an artist and definitely one of a kind, to be candid. Writing with her is easy because not only is she a great collaborator, she is also in tune with herself and knows what she wants. She isn’t afraid to test the waters and try new things, which to me are the markings of longevity in the entertainment industry. I can see her climbing to the top of her game and doing this for many years to come. I have so much love and admiration for her.” Sam Akins, (Producer) shared.  

“I met Nicole Reluya (Saxdiva) and Vanessa Celestial about 8 years ago during one of my first shows with the AMP bigband. Witnessing their sheer talent playing the saxophone and trombone was unbelievable, plus they are such skilled singers as well. Yuna Reguerra and I met over a decade ago and I have always admired her skill and style, but this is the first time I had the chance to work with her. As she was recording I kept thinking to myself “why haven’t we worked together sooner? she’s amazing!” Gabe Dandan also recorded multiple guitar parts for the track under the direction of Sam Akins, it was a nice dynamic seeing two producers work together and Gabe who is usually a musical director, sit back and play under the direction of Sam." Nicole added. 

This time, Gabe handled the most of the backup vocal arrangement work. Yanni Diola, a good friend of Gabe's from the band "Morning Goodness," spent an afternoon working with the crew to customize the vocal stacks. The song was subsequently submitted to highly sought-after producer and engineer Joseph Gregory for mixing, and Abbey Road UK for mastering. Nicole feels so glad for this team's unity, which is truly a blessing. Nicole is appreciative to have encountered each participating musician at various stages of this musical journey.

Saxdiva shares that Nicole Asensio did a fantastic job with this song, which is quite powerful. This gave us a lot of inspiration to work with her and produce. It seemed more like a celebration than a job.A lot of the song's quirky lines and improvised sections were added by Vanessa and me. I also included several lines of solo saxophone.

Sam is accustomed to playing most of the instruments on a track as a producer, but for this song he worked with amazing musicians. He liked to let their thoughts and inclinations run wild when it came to music. He believes that since collaboration frequently elevates a piece to a whole new level, it is something that artists of all stripes can afford to explore more. Sam feels incredibly fortunate to have been given the chance to collaborate on this amazing musical composition.

During our recording sessions, conversations would spark here and  there about the challenges of being a woman working non stop in the music industry.

Saxdiva shared that being a woman in the music industry is difficult. Regardless of how well you perform or how skilled you are, there will always be people who attribute your success to your gender. However, she is no longer let these circumstances affect her.

Nicole cannot even begin to tally the number of times she has experienced degrading treatment both on and off stage due to her gender—catcalls, inappropriate gestures, terrible remarks made online by chauvinists. simply because she is a female... Nicole is confident that the stories of many other women in the field are comparable. The ironic part is that, most of the time, the criticism has nothing to do with the song's melody or meaning.

Sometimes it's all a power trip, which is why Nicole felt compelled to write these incredibly basic and obvious lyrics to encourage other women to recognize their worth as being vessels of the love and power that our creator bestows upon us. We have to speak up about our experiences, believe in our own value, and never allow someone to place us in a box because  of gender, race, age, appearance or social status, music transcends all of that and more.

Raise the standard for female musicians in the music industry by putting your all into what you do. It's not easy, but it will always be worthwhile, Vanessa Celestial reassures. 

The passionate and furious hymn "I Know My Worth" is perfect for the modern bond-girl who refuses to take no for an answer from anyone who makes her feel unworthy. A real hallmark of Nicole Asensio's characteristic sound for several years, the tune features big, strong brass and string arrangements, an upright bass, and cinematic nuances resting upon a modern backbeat. It is the ideal fusion of old and new, classic and modern. The track's intended persona—a woman who is aware of her value—is highlighted by the vocals, which swing from sleek and silky to textured and feisty.

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