OPINION: Reimagining Filipino music

Rick Olivares

Posted at Jan 04 2017 04:47 PM

The author (extreme left) poses with (from left) Aia De Leon, Jin Paredes, Cooky Chua, Chino David, and Claudia Perrine for a group photo.

Most people know me as a journalist. For those who follow me on social media, they will know that I am an avid music fan. In fact, during my school days, I performed in class bands. I even dabbled in the music business for a bit and, as a bit of trivia about my career, “discovered” and signed Parokya ni Edgar to their first professional recording contract. Now, if I were younger, I trade writing and other journalistic ambitions for a career in music.

Except I am older now but that fervent love for music has not abated one iota.

This coming January 24 at 10 p.m. at 12 Monkeys Bar in Makati, I am hosting a show that I am producing with some friends called “Reimagination.” Entrance, I am proud to say, is for free (although a certain section is reserved for guests).

The show will feature Jim Paredes, Cooky Chua, and Aia De Leon performing original Pilipino music (OPM) with a twist. These songs will be “reimagined” such that they could be infused with hip hop grooves, house, or even jazz based on a direction by Chino David (of Silent Sanctuary and the Manila Symphony Orchestra). We hope that these re-arranged classic will not only appeal to old-time fans but more particularly to younger audiences.

I chose Paredes because his old trio, the Apo Hiking Society, is a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid and I believe that he is a gifted musician and songwriter. 

Chua, I watched since her Color It Red days from Mayrics to Club Dredd. I even wrote about her for a magazine several years ago that helped create a friendship.

De Leon, I became a fan of during her days with Imago. Even as a solo artist I am impressed with her work.

That’s three generations of artists who came up in three different times although Chua and De Leon aren’t too far apart. Getting their participation was much easier than I expected. Apparently, they love the idea for the show. 

Said Jim: “Reimagining OPM is a great project to start 2017. Music is alive and malleable. Let’s take these songs to places where they've never been.”

“Reimagination” is inspired by “Live from Daryl’s House” that web series by American singer Daryl Hall who revitalized his career by performing his hit songs (as the duo Hall & Oates) to newer arrangements and with current and former pop stars. 

While the show will be done in a premier performance venue such as 12 Monkeys, the idea is for the performances to be in a homier setting next time around. And this will happen.

Just being in a room and planning this with the artists and the musical director has been fun and a thrill. It isn’t every day that you work with your heroes and people you admire. But more than ticking something off my bucket list, it’s an opportunity to do something for Filipino music.

And I was an aspiring rock star at one point in my life. Just imagine that. 

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.