‘Body Crashes’ and the freedom to self-express: an interview with Rhian Ramos

“For a long time I’ve been very ashamed of my feelings… It takes a different set of guts to put [out] something that you’ve written.”

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Body Crashes has a rather intriguing title. Aside from the grammatical ambiguity (is ‘crashes’ a plural noun or an intransitive verb?), there is a striking sensuality to it, a feeling conveyed by the song’s cover art, with its stark image and suggestive smoke. Overall the work exudes a personality and bleeds an aesthetic sense, one that feels true to the personality and identity of the celebrity whose work it is—Rhian Ramos.

The single cover art for ‘Body Crashes’ by Rhian Ramos, featuring a monochrome portrait of her face in a suggestive, sensual pose, with smoke coming out of her mouth.

I refer to her as a celebrity, because she is self-aware enough that people see her first as an artista in the Filipino sense of the word, and only second as an authentic artist, an actress or musician in the exalted sense of those labels. Onstage during the launch gig for Body Crashes’s music video, she admits to the crowd that it is “baduy” when an artista wants to be a singer. “Someone had to say it, so I just decided to say it,” she later says, laughing. She clearly had in mind those dismissive types who would think it overreaching for a popular actress to try her hand at music-making.

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