MANILA — American pop act Stephen Speaks’ music can be heard regularly in over 200 countries but it is with the Philippines where he has this special relationship.
This year, 2023, after a successful recent mall tour, Rockwell Ryan Ripperger (aka Stephen Speaks) is cementing that with an international release on vinyl – his first – that will be pressed by Philippine independent label, Eikon Records.
“Last year (2022), I wanted to release a lot of new music and content that I had been sitting on (during the global lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic),” said Ripperger. “There was writing new material – of which I have done – and editing some touring footage. I even planned to open my own YouTube cooking channel.”
“But one such plan that I had and is now materializing is a ‘greatest hits’ album on vinyl that is a dream come true for me.”
Stephen Speaks’ two most popular songs are “Out of My League” and “Passenger Seat” that have collectively received 150 million streams. Other popular songs from the pop act include “All These Things”, “What’ll She Look Like”, “Bold”, “Alive to Fight”, and “Trying to Prove.”
Along with Stephen Speaks’ local manager, Atty. Mark Piad, they signed a deal with local independent label Eikon Records that recently released Pinoy Rock legends’ Maria Cafra’s third and new album Gintong Musika at Panahon in this year where they are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band.
Eikon Records will soon be releasing on vinyl Sugar Hiccup’s third album of Tongues and Thoughts that was initially released on compact disc in 2006, Kapatid’s debut album that will be a 20th anniversary edition featuring a bonus and never before released track, goth rockers the Late Isabel, post-punk shoegazers Monochrome, and ska band Neighbors among others.
Stephen Speaks is one of their three international acts the label will be releasing.
“Working with a Filipino independent label is a dream come true for me,” added Ripperger. “It is another opportunity that screams what I am all about. Putting my favorite recordings of mine on vinyl, immortalizing those songs in a format I personally collect is something that I always wanted to do. When Eikon Records approached me with the idea, it was like they were inside my head. It’s like the heavens brought me exactly what I wanted.”
According to Piad, the long playing record should be out by October of this year, when Ripperger returns for a concert this time with a full band to perform.
“I feel that the Filipino people are not only very musical and very romantic, but they are also relentlessly independent which is exactly how I am,” summed up Ripperger. “While my music has picked up in other countries, especially in the last few years, my love for the Philippines has always grown. I am looking forward to celebrating that with a special ‘greatest hits’ record when I return.”
Filipino music fans can follow Eikon Records on their Facebook page Eikon Records Philippines.