MANILA -- Six years after Lyca Gairanod became the powerhouse champion in the first “The Voice Kids” in 2014, with Sarah Geronimo as her coach, the relationship of the two has apparently not been curtailed. In fact, their bond has even become stronger through the years.
Geronimo is the main reason Gairanod transferred to Viva Artists Agency (VAA), with whom the 16-year-old singer recently signed up for a management contract. Geronimo, after all, has been constantly guided throughout her career by the bosses of Viva, her management outfit.
“May nag-push po sa akin na try ko sa Viva,” Gairanod said. “Naghahanap po ako talaga ng bagong journey. Si Ate Sarah po kasi, gusto ko rin siyang makasama. Tuwang-tuwa ako na maging part ng Viva.”
Now that she has blossomed into a young lady, Gairanod admitted it was a conscious effort on her part to project a mature look. Her image now is a far cry from the nine-year-old lass the public first saw belting out powerful hits of the pop-rock band Aegis.
“Iba po ang journey ko dati sa journey ko ngayon,” Gairanod insisted. “Lume-level up na ako ngayon. Kailangan may mapatunayan ako ngayon na nandito na ako sa Viva. Gagawin ko ang lahat ng makakaya ko para mas maganda ang maging new journey ko.”
Even with her choice of songs now, Gairanod who used to hit stratospheric keys, is opting to churn out more soul or R&B tunes of late. “Mas gusto ko ang galing sa puso,” she said. “Gusto ko ma-impress ang mga tao sa panibagong tunog, although na-impress naman sila before sa Aegis songs.”
She believes her voice has become more mature and developed now, so that she is ready to try new genres and sing even love songs. “Gusto kong paghandaan ang journey ko dito sa Viva,” Gairanod said. “Ito na si Lyca ngayon. Kailangan gawin ko ang dapat gawin para matupad ang mga pangarap ko.
“Kaya kong gawin ang lahat para sa pamilya ko. Sobrang gusto ko po talagang makatulong sa pamilya. Sobrang sarap at sobrang saya. Nakaka-kain na po kami ng tatlong beses sa isang araw. Okay na ang buhay namin ngayon kaysa sa dati.”
She expresses her desire to enhance not only her singing career, but even her acting and dancing. “Gusto kong mahasa sa pag-acting at sa pagkanta,” Gairanod declared. “Gusto kong mas ma-enhance ang career ko ngayon na nandito na ako sa Viva.”
Gairanod previously made her big screen debut in director Joven Tan’s dramatic work, “Tatlong Bibe,” shown in 2017. She also acted on TV in the “Maalaala Mo Kaya” drama anthology of her life story.
Now that she has joined Viva, Gairanod, who turned 16 last November 21, is bent on pursuing her showbiz career, be it singing, acting and or dancing.
“Sinabi sa akin ni Ate Sarah kung gusto kong mag-join ng Viva, sabihin ko sa kanya. Nag-Viva na rin ako para magkasama na kami. Marami akong gustong gawin. Gusto kong ipakita ang best ko. Gusto kong maging actress, singer and dancer. Gusto ko pong ipakita sa public na enjoy din ako sa ganoon.
“Malaking opportunity po sa akin na gusto ni Ate Sarah akong maging part ng concerts niya. Nag-uusap pa rin kami ni coach hanggang ngayon. Nag-kamustahan at balitaan. Sobrang saya ko dahil si Ate Sarah ang nag-convince sa akin na pumunta sa Viva. Alam ko maganda ang kakalabasan ng career ko.”
A reunion concert with Gairanod and Geronimo is not far behind, as music fans are set to experience the new blending of powerful vocals of the two artists, this time in a different setting.
Gairanod does not deny the big influence Geronimo has on her career. The former "The Voice Kids" champion takes to heart the best advice Geronimo has given her. “Sinabi niya sa akin na tuparin ko ang mga pangarap ko sa buhay at tulungan ko ang pamilya ko.
“Kung saan ko dadalhin ang pagkanta ko at kung paano ko isasa-puso ko na hanggang ngayon at daladala ko at tumatak sa akin ‘yung payo niyang ‘yun.”
Getting the chance to join the Viva stable of artists is rather a big break for Gairanod. “Hindi ko akalain na magkakaroon pa ako ng ganitong opportunity sa Viva,” she said. “Gusto kong maipakita ang best ko. Magsisimula po ako ulit.”
Still brimming with potential, Gairanod does not deny the fact that she wants to work with a lot of artists aside from Geronimo, now that she joined Viva.
She is also slated to collaborate and record with another Viva Records artist, one of the biggest breakout bands of 2020, Bandang Lapis, the group behind the viral hit, “Kabilang Buhay.”
Her powerful vocals is set to unmistakably blend with Bandang Lapis’ catchy, lyrical style in the yet untitled collaboration, certain to be her kick-off music project.
Understandably, Gairanod prioritized her studies over her singing career after she won “The Voice Kids.” No wonder, she became scarce in the local entertainment scene.
“Nag-aral po ako after the contest,” Gairanod said. “I decided to return to school. Hindi po natin alam kung magtatagal ka sa showbiz at ‘yung career mo.”
Not once did Gairanod regret her decision of going back to school. She was only in third grade when she won “The Voice Kids.” Now, she is in Grade 8.
“Better na nakapag-aral ako,” she insisted. “Mas ready ako ngayon mag-trabaho at mag-showbiz. Hindi natin masasabi na magtatagal tayo sa showbiz. Mas naging priority ko ang pag-aaral ko. Ready naman akong bumalik.”
While out of the limelight, Gairanod remained visible through her vlogs in YouTube. To date, she has so far amassed over 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, with the potential of growing it further with the creative assistance that Viva will provide.
Her fellow contest winners like Ehla Nympha of “The Voice Kids Season 2” and Janine Berdin of “Tawag ng Tanghalan” have charted their respective career paths and at the same time, pursued their personal interests.
Nympha admitted she now is in a relationship, while Berdin disclosed she recently underwent rhinoplasty to look better with an aquiline nose.
Gairanod, however, insisted she is not following any one of them. To start with, she is not ready to fall in love. “Hindi natin masasabi kung magkaka-gusto tayo sa isang tao o mai-in love tayo sa ngayon,” she explained.
“Right now, I’m not sure. Hindi pa po yata right time for me. There’s a right time for that. Ang love life, nandyan lang ‘yan. Ang mas importante po sa akin, career, family and studies.”
Gairanod also denied she has insecurities about the way she looks. “Confident naman po ako sa packaging ko,’ she granted. “I have nothing against pagpapa-ayos ng mukha. Depende rin, pero hindi ko pa po gustong magpa-ayos ng mukha ko. Proud po ako sa sarili ko.”
From the time the public came to know her, Gairanod never sugarcoated her upbringing. Up to this day, she always acknowledged her humble beginnings. That she previously lived in the slums of Cavite with her whole family and scavenge in the trash undoubtedly became a big part of her life.
“Hindi madaling kalimutan ang lugar kung saan ako nanggaling at saan ako lumaki,” Gairanod said. “Ang dami kong memories kung saan ako nagsimula. Ayoko siyang kalimutan. Doon nag-start ang journey ko bago ako naging professional singer.”
In the near future, Gairanod wants to go into business with her family. She acknowledged the love and support of her maternal grandmother, who took care of her while she was growing up in Tanza, Cavite. “Kung lola ko ang nagsasalita, nagiging emotional ako talaga,” Gairanod said.
“Siya po ng nagturo sa akin na kung may gusto ako sa buhay, talagang dapat paghirapan ko. Kung ano po ang mararating ko, proud na proud siya sa akin. Alam niya po na puhunan ko talaga ang boses ko. Kailangan alagaan at ingatan ko.”
As she shuttles between her studies and her showbiz career, Gairanod is more focused and determine now. Guidance for her would also entail a refocusing of her singing career. Something that Viva Records will definitely have a big hand in.
She is apparently ready for everything big that is set to happen in her career, knowing she has the right people behind her. That only makes Gairanod more confident in her moves, personally and professionally.