Rico Blanco

Continuing his winning streak
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

After appearing as Lucas in the TV series Imortal to rave reviews, Rico Blanco surges on and continues to reap laurels for both his singing and acting stints. “My acting experience was very humbling. We have a tendency that before we've embarked on any undertaking, we are quick to judge. Now though, before I want to criticize, I will think twice. Now, too, I have patience. I can wait for 8 hours before a take unlike before. The prosthetics for my Lucas character is put on me for 6-8 hours and then another 2 hours to take them all off. And I get to wear it for 20 hours straight each time we shoot my scenes.
“We don't have economies of scale like the Western world. Our working set-ups are far from ideal but the fact that we produce television shows one after the other and putting bits and pieces of our culture in it is I think commendable.”
To chronicle his successful career in the last couple of years, Warner Music Philippines released a two-CD limited edition of Rico's first album Your Universe. Disc 1 contains the original cuts of the album while Disc 2 features a fresh line-up of tracks that highlight his latest single Kahit Walang Sabihin, the song from the hit teleserye Imortal.
“I just want to do as many things as I can. I'm a singles guy but I'm also an album person. I'm a staunch advocate of the singles route 'coz they can be a very effective medium.”
Bangon was written for the victims of Ondoy, but still enjoys radio play; remaining relevant as it was when first released, speaking to all victims of natural calamities in the country and elsewhere. The song calls for national unity and recovery. It's refreshingly patriotic and positively Pinoy. Ayuz, on the other hand, is an anecdote on local scenarios; encompassing situations from one's health to family life in general.
China in Me is one of the songs included in the Southeast Asian release of the album along with the chart-topper Neon Lights and its Funky Avy remix that debuted No. 1 in the Hong Kong radio charts, Music Bus HK. Meanwhile, Yugto will delight music fans with its Bollywood feel.
“It used to be the goal to make it big internationally when I was still with Rivermaya. But, over the years, I've got to appreciate the smaller things in life. So that when I hear my songs played in a far-flung barrio or in a big city like Hong Kong, I'm equally happy in both instances. Going solo makes one flexible as an artist. And to all gifted artists in the bud out there, there's no excuse to be out of reach if you're really talented. Call us, or me, anytime.”
Rico is also a Sesame Street ambassador for its outreach project Sesame Street Kid Ako. As its spokesperson, he is the face and voice of this campaign to generate support from the media and corporate sponsors to raise funds to create a Sesame Street corner with a TV-and-DVD set, along with Sesame Street videos, in public schools and encourage laughter and learning at an early age. “I feel blessed to be given the chance to help as I grew up with Sesame Street. Sadly, the show is not as accessible to young audiences now as they were before. This is one program where kids can pick up good values while challenging their creative imaginations. Oscar, the Grouch is my favorite Sesame Street character because we both strike many similarities in traits.”
As part of this initiative, he is currently working on rock versions of two classic Sesame Street songs – Lady Bug's Picnic and Lonely End.
After launching his career as a solo artist in 2008, he presented even more artistic bones with every project he's immersed into. His lyrics and music bespeak of his journey as an artist. “I don't usually say no but I can't see a reunion with my former band looming in the horizon. But who knows?”
In the song Say Forever, the first cut in Disc 1, the artist seems to be embarking on a trip to rediscovery; of searching anew, conjuring tender memories in a moment of recollection. And like a train surging on to some unknown destination, Rico rides his autobahn of dreams, chugging through the vast music landscape and leaving us beautiful songs in its wake.
“If you've maximized and/or fully utilized your God-given talents, then you're a successful artist.”
For mobile phone uploads, simply text KWS to 5677 and get Kahit Walang Sabihin on your respective hand-held units.

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