Rob Deniel drops new single, hopes to hold solo concert

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Mar 14 2023 05:46 PM

Singer-songwriter Rob Deniel. Handout

MANILA -- Nineteen-year-old singer-songwriter Rob Deniel can hardly believe it that after launching his debut single “Ulap,” during the pandemic, he has charted a total of nine songs to date.

Deniel’s compositions, which have a combined 90 million-plus streams on Spotify and YouTube, are unmistakably in the retro-pop genre.

“I’ve always loved the music of the past,” Deniel told ABS-CBN News. “But I want to bring something new to the table.”

He started releasing songs only this pandemic and Vicor Music signed him up. 

That was not in Deniel’s original plan, as he wanted to work after school at Malayan Colleges Laguna, where he is completing his Multi-Media Arts course. 

“Ang plano ko talaga to take up engineering,” he shared. “Naisip ko lang, love ko talaga ang music.

“I was given an opportunity to have the equipment that I need. I realized when I started writing music, I found my calling so I started to pursue my singing career.”

Rob Deniel is his real first name, while his last name is Barrinuevo. He is the eldest of two boys, while his younger brother, 16, is also into music.

Surprisingly, Deniel did not take after anyone in the family, although his dad was part of a band before as a drummer and bass player.

Deniel recently released his ninth single, “Ang Pag-ibig,” where he is joined in the music video by Kapamilya actress Karina Bautista.

“I was not the one who chose her, but I really wanted her to be in the music video,” Deniel said of Bautista, who was chosen by Vicor to be in the music video. “Bagay siya sa song. If I would be asked to suggest, she would be the ideal one.”

Deniel opts to write timeless tunes, like “Ang Pag-ibig,” He wishes that even after 20 years, music lovers will still revisit his love songs with fondness.

He was heavily influenced by the Apo Hiking Society and even Rey Valera. “I grew up listening to them,” Deniel shared. “Every time may karaoke, they request me to sing Apo tunes.”

Apo’s “When I Met You” is a popular OPM song Deniel knows by heart.
He also idolizes a diverse group of artists, from Elvis Presley to Harry Styles. In fact, he already purchased tickets for Styles’ “Love on Tour 2023” concert at the Philippine Arena on March 14.

“I want to watch their live performances and get inspired when I perform,” Deniel said. “I don’t get stage fright when I also perform.”

With his original compositions, that includes “Diwa,” “Kundiman,” “Darling, Darling” and “Baby I Tried,” Deniel wants to take his music to the next level. He dreams of staging his own concerts one day.

Since he also loves watching K-dramas, Deniel does not discount the fact he may venture into acting, too.

“As a musician, I get to express my own style when I write my own music,” Deniel said. “I write alone, in my room, then I would song it on my phone even facing the closet. I wrote ‘Ulap’ that way.”

Last year, Deniel recorded “Sinta,” for the soundtrack of the Kim Chiu-Xian Lim Korean drama adaptation, “Always.”

Artists like SB19 and Cup of Joe are the new breed of young artists whom Deniel wants to collaborate with.