MANILA -- Once you are born into a family of musicians, it will no longer be surprising that you will tread the same musical path your loved ones had pursued.
For newest Star Music recording artist Cody Bondoc, singing was not a surprising decision. As a kid who loves listening to music, Bondoc was exposed to performing at a very young age. At seven, he was already churning out melodies because his parents, as well as his sister, are all singers.
“I could still remember Akon’s hit, ‘Don’t Matter,’ was the song I would always sing every morning and every time there was a rented karaoke in our house,” Bondoc told ABS-CBN News. “But at the age of nine, the first song I performed onstage was ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber.”
Growing up, Bondoc’s late father, Reynaldo, was the most supportive one with the things he wants to do in life. “I got into singing when I was only nine years old because I’ve heard amazing stories about my dad being so talented,” Bondoc shared.
“My dad and I would go to a music store and he would grab a guitar and play a song and I was just there in awe. Hearing my dad sing was a blessing, even though as a kid, I know my dad’s voice was very different compared to mine. I still knew by heart that music, singing and playing instruments are something that I do not want to leave behind.”
Bondoc has a lot of music idols. Since 2009, he enjoyed listening to Bieber, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Ella Mai and English rapper KSI. He idolizes Ben&Ben “for their very touching songs and beautiful voices,” SB19 “for their witty lyrics and catchy tunes,” and Zack Tabudlo “for his very amazing vocals.”
Bondoc also mentions John Roa and Skusta Clee “because I really admire them as singer-songwriters and I really find their songs great,” he said.
Bondoc, now 20, initially had mixed feelings about his future. He remembers as a kid, he would imagine situations where he was singing and dancing in front of many people. Yet, he also wanted to become a successful businessman.
It was not until 2018 when Bondoc realized that music is really his passion. Being a singer-songwriter is something he really wanted to do for a living. “I wanted to become an artist, but knowing my family, they were worried about my future.
“They suggested that I should take a business degree first. But they know how happy I am when I am making music and that is enough reason for them to support me with my career.”
Bondoc is now on his third year taking up Export Management at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. He wants to become a businessman, although his dreams are really running towards music.
“My family is very supportive,” Bondoc said. “They are excited for what’s next for me in my music career. Even though I took a business degree in college, they still support me all throughout in my music journey.
“They are not pushing me to pursue my dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter, but they support me in a way that as long as I am happy, they are likewise happy.”
Bondoc’s dad inspired him to write songs, hoping that one day he would become an artist. Although his dad is no longer around to see where he is now, Bondoc’s mom Perly Elaine also fully supports his musical inclinations.
“I wrote my first song when I was 14 and it was inspired by my crush in high school,” Bondoc shared. “As I grew up and kept writing songs about my personal experiences, then I learned to write songs using someone else’s experiences. I usually write pop/R&B love songs, mostly sad love songs inspired by painful or sad memories.”
When Bondoc was in Grade 12, he enjoyed performing in a Broadway musical, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ in his school. “It was a surreal experience, considering that I really love performing,” he recalled. “Being in the musical was amazing, because I was able to show what I could do as a performer.
“To be completely honest, it was one of those moments where I was really happy and excited to the point that I could not think if it was real or not. It made me feel nervous, but I do understand that every opportunity is my moment to shine.”
Bondoc is open to collaborating with other artists. “I do have a possible collaboration with another Star Music artist, Zach Ignacio,” he said. “If God allows, that song could be included in Zach's EP [extended play] with Star Music.
“I really love making music and I do acknowledge that Star Music is full of amazing talents. I am and will always be ready whenever they need me. I feel like being able to collaborate with other artists packs a one-two punch on how strong a song will be delivered to the people.”
Being the youngest in the family, Bondoc finds time management a challenge for him. “It gets tough sometimes especially when a family member needs my help and I am busy,” he said.
“I am forced to adjust time that would lead me to sleeping late. It’s hard to not be distracted when doing school work at home. I didn’t really try to address the challenges immediately. I just happened to get used to the things I have to do in a day.”
Once the pandemic subsides, Bondoc wants to take his family on a vacation somewhere. “Just a few days away from home would be great,” he said. “I miss family road trips so much, as well as eating outside with friends. Playing basketball and, of course, travelling overseas.”
Since Bondoc is also into basketball, he idolized Kobe Bryant growing up. “Kobe’s work ethic went beyond basketball and he inspired me to do my best every time and to work hard for my dreams,” Bondoc said.
“The most important thing that I learned from Kobe is that greatness is not about being better than everyone. Greatness is about being able to inspire the next generation to do better.”