Jay Som’s Melina Duterte’s life became a whirlwind in the wake of her 2017 breakout Everybody Works. After spending her teen years and early 20s exploring an eclectic array of musical styles—studying jazz trumpet as a child, carrying on her Filipino family tradition of spirited karaoke, and quietly recording indie-pop songs in her bedroom alone—that accomplished album found her playing festivals around the world, sharing stages with the likes of Paramore, Death Cab for Cutie, and Mitski.
In November of 2017, seeking a new environment, Duterte left her home of the Bay Area for Los Angeles. There, she demoed new songs, while also embracing opportunities to do session work and produce, engineer, and mix for other artists (Sasami, Chastity Belt). She wrote most of her brilliant new album, Anak Ko—pronounced Anuhk-Ko—in a burst during a self-imposed week-long solo retreat to Joshua Tree.
The title Anak Ko means “my child" in Tagalog, one of the native dialects in the Philippines. It was inspired by an unassuming text message from Duterte’s mother, who has always addressed her as such: Hi anak ko, I love you anak ko. That sense of care charges Anak Ko, as does another concept Duterte has found herself circling back to: the importance of patience and kindness.