Singing in a completely different language is certainly a challenge. Note the pronunciation and accent of the target language in addition to the melody of the song. So when singer and TikTok sensation Just Stef discovered that many of her fans were from the Southeast Asian region, she decided that singing in Tagalog was a challenge she could take on.
According to the Argentinian-American artist, the idea for “Miss You Miss Me” came to her more than three years ago after a breakup.
“There were a few songs that were sent to me and when I heard ‘Miss You Miss Me’ it made me feel the way I felt at the start of the breakup process. And it was about missing him and knowing that he probably misses you too. I felt that was super relatable,” she said.
On an optimistic but sad tune, “Miss You Miss Me” is a plea for a second chance in love. It is asking to fix things even if the situation seems hopeless. With the strong conviction of Stef’s voice combined with the throbbing electro beat, it paints a clear picture of desire amid chaos.
After posting the song on TIkTok, she noticed that a lot of the traffic came from Southeast Asia, which led her to seek out other TikTok influencers in the region. This is where she met AC Bonifacio.
“I started looking for influencers on TikTok and my For You page had a lot of Southeast Asian content in it. I had seen AC there so we decided to collaborate and do a Tagalog version of it. »,
Along with acclaimed record producer Jonathan Manalo, Just Stef and AC somehow got Miss You Miss Me to take on a more upbeat tone in her Tagalog reincarnation. With AC’s sunny vocals contrasting with Stef’s, the song’s upbeat tune becomes less of a “I miss you and I probably miss you too”, and more of a “though I miss you, I’ll move on to something else”.
For Stef, she found the hardest part of singing Tagalog was trying to perfect the accent.
“Jonathan Manalo was sending me demos so I could hear how it’s said correctly, and I also had a demo version sung in Tagalog. So I was going back and forth in the two translations to hear the difference. It took a few hours, but I managed to get through it,” she said.
“In my mind, I’m here so the audience is probably here, I’m Latino, so maybe it would just be the Latin crowd, so when I looked on Spotify and saw where it came from, I thought, ‘this is crazy.’ I was able to open my eyes a little more and start looking into the culture and I was able to open my mind to something completely different,” she added.
“Miss You Miss Me” by Just Stef and AC Bonifacio is available to stream on all major streaming platforms.