Zack Tabudlo and James Reid Open the Year with a Collab We Didn’t Know We Needed

Listening Station

MANILA, Philippines—Chart-topping singer-songwriter/producer Zack Tabudlo just opened the year with a resounding bang with a high-profile collaboration with multimedia superstar James Reid.

The pair teams up on “HATDOG” a soulful pop track written, mastered, mixed, and produced by “Episode” artist himself. With its swoon-worthy chorus and sterling guitar work, the song not only showcases the duo’s complementing vocals to bring an emotionally captivating song.

In a press statement, the breakout recording artist says, “‘HATDOG’ is all about loving and waiting for the right person despite the other camp’s hesitation to give in. ‘HATDOG‘ is about giving reassurance, love, and support to the person who has mixed feelings for you. You are there for them no matter the situation is even if it will hurt in the long run.”

Prior to this exciting new team-up, the two artists have worked together on the music video of the former’s hit single “Para Sa Mga Ex,” off his critically acclaimed 2021 album, Episode–the first time they’ve talked in person. Upon meeting, both Tabudlo and Reid clicked, became friends, and decided to collaborate on a music project.

“James was just very chill to work,” the artist with Spotify’s most streamed song in the Philippines last year, shares. “He was very open to ideas. He really has an edge with singing as well. The character in his voice pushes out the uniqueness of how it sounds, which makes it very different from what we hear from singers and artists nowadays. He has his own thing.”

Tabudlo finished writing the track in 30 minutes and made the Careless Music head listen to it in his studio, who then immediately loved the track, and decided to finish recording his part in 4 hours. The rest, as they say, is history.

“We were supposed to just hangout to kind of talk about what song and style and everything else we should do,” Tabdulo adds. “But we ended up finishing the material. I’m happy James came along, and added magic to the song.”

The finished product shares the familiar aesthetic sensibility that defines the young music tour de force’s previous songs: an easygoing pop/R&B tune with soulful, slow-rock edge to it and infinitely catchy verses that build up and soar. As the 20-year-old hitmaker puts it, “HATDOG is definitely one of the most ‘chill’ songs that I’ve released so far. It’s super laid back and just easy to listen to.”

Cover art by Chris Costello. Image courtesy of Island Records Philippines.

Zack Tabudlo ft. James Reid’s “HATDOG” is out now on streaming platforms worldwide via Island Records Philippines.