Dreams Get Real
McJim supports budding Filipino artists
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Six promising OPM acts: Archetype, CK Arca, Dream of Pearl, Fifth Dynamics, JBK, and Neo Domingo; battle it out in “Dreams Get Real,” McJim Classic Leather’s talent search for the next Pinoy singing sensation. In the run up for the revelation night on June 30, the Top 6 have recorded and released their debut singles for radio stations nationwide and are being featured in MTV Pinoy for the month of June.
A panel composed of music industry stalwarts led by multiawarded arranger Jonathan Ong of Sonic State Studio and project head & public relations consultant Christopher Cahilig will take into consideration radio airplay, radio charting, and YouTube views as well as overall potential in selecting the grand winner. “McJim Classic Leather initiated the competition to give undiscovered Filipino talents a chance to be heard while expanding the library of OPM with fresh melodies and lyrics that resonate the national sentiment. We applied McJim’s principle of quality and originality in choosing the six singles recorded by the finalists. We are optimistic and confident that these songs will help advance our agenda of enlivening the local music industry,” shared Cahilig.
Archetype of Tondo, Manila recorded Di Na Biro, the group’s own composition. With Alvin Traquena (rhythm guitar), Ar John Patalay (lead guitar), Nikko Martin Francisco (bass guitar), Tricia May Casauay (vocals) and Zejemiah Gonzaga (drums), the band plays alternative and rock music and considers Hillsong, Paramore, Up Dharma Down, and Kamikaze as their musical influences. “Di Na Biro is a song about friends who become lovers. At first I thought we joined this competition just for the experience because, honestly, we lack outside exposure. But as I think deeper, Dreams Get Real is a venue for us to showcase our talent and to prove that we can do more,” intimated bassist Nikko Martin.
CK Arca, on the other hand, is Calvin Khaye from Caloocan City who interpreted Certfied Good Vibes, an inspirational song composed by Raffy Calicdan, a PhilPop finalist and member of The X-Factor finalist Take Off. CK usually sings and plays pop, R&B, classic rock, standard music and looks up to Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Steve Perry and Aerosmith as his musical idols. The 21-year-old singer replaced Arnel Pineda as vocalist when the former left his local band to join Journey.
“By natural process, the top six kind of showed themselves from the throng. They’re all looking for their sound and in time we will help them find it and fine tune it,” enthused Jonathan Ong. From 50 submitted live videos, twelve were picked out. For the six finalists, three were taken from YouTube and three were chosen by the producers.
“Music is attuned to the youth. From this crop will come the next sustainable artist, not just because of looks or belting capacity. Sometimes these qualities help but these are not enough. All the entries are very radio friendly and doing well at the charts,” he added.
Another Top 6 entrant is Dream of Pearl, whose debut single Panalo is composed by Oli Agustin of Letter Day Story. The amateur band, which hails from Caloocan City, is composed of Alfonso Abrenzosa (vocals), Mark Jayson Dizon (guitar), Von Christian Vizmanos (bass), and Evan Briones (drums). Playing alternative, rock, and acoustic music , the band considers Eraserheads, Bamboo, Parokya ni Edgar, and Silent Sanctuary as their musical influences. Being a part of the finals has been a big boost for the band;s confidence and considers the competition as a door opening to a myriad of opportunities. “We believe that Dreams Get Real is a big break for us. This is a chance to show our talent and our own brand of music,” intoned vocalist Alfonso.
Another group taking a shot at the grand prize is Fifth Dynamics from Antipolo City who recorded Anyare, a self-composed piece written with the help of Chris Cahilig, discoverer and manager of hit-maker boy band 1:43. Composed of Mark Cordovales (vocals), John Peterson Leyva (rhythm guitar), Eljon Nono (lead guitar), Daryl Jay Santos (bass guitar), and Aldrin Condat (drums), the group plays mainly pop and alternative rock and follows the musical lead of Rivermaya, Bamboo, Kris Allen, and Boyce Avenue.
Dreaming one day of representing the Philippines in an international competition, Fifth Dynamics hopes to kickstart that goal by becoming a recording artist. The competition has proved to be an eye-opener in more ways than one. “So far our experience with Dreams Get Real is beyond our expectations.”
“The six finalists could very well be the faces of tomorrow’s artists; singing the songs of our lives. The six will be the front-runners to the new OPM sound in different genres, singing songs that listeners can readily relate to. They’ll push OPM further and make it move alongside global music. All six are good and very promising. Their recorded singles are now airing in over fifty radio stations nationwide. Level Up and Allphones stores will also play and carry their recorded music,” Ong continued.
Also part of the Top 6 is JBK who released the love ditty Anong Meron Ka, composed by Urie Tesorio who is behind the hits Hayop sa Ganda and Ikaw at Ako of 1:43. Hailing from Mandaluyong City, the trio is comprised of Joshua Bulot, Bryan del Rosario, and Kim Ordonio. They have a variety of influences that include One Direction, The Wanted, All4One, Boyz2Men, Bruno Mars, Jason Mraz, and Emblem3 among others.
It was the competition that prompted the three friends to create a group and show their musical skills. “The tag-line itself, Dreams Get Real, prompted us to join the competition. We want that dream to get real. And knowing McJim is there to back us up, we are very lucky to be given an opportunity to represent an undeniably great band,” said Joshua.
Completing the lineup is Neo Domingo, whose impressive vocals gave life to Pagbigyan Mo Na, also penned by Tesorio. Neo is Epifanio Domingo III from QC who plays acoustic pop rock and R&B music and admires John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Gary Valenciano. The competition is a way for him to showcase his own compositions and hopefully achieve success in the industry while promoting OPM to a larger audience.
The grand champion of the talent search will receive Php 50K and Php 25K and 15K for the runners-up in descending order. All three will each receive a trophy and will have recording, management and distribution deals with MCA Music Pilipinas. “McJim is pulling all the stops in creating a memorable show during the Finals Night. Having gone through an extensive, rigorous search, the Top 6 are poised to have the biggest performance in their budding musical careers. Only one will emerge as winner but I’m confident that, with the right attitude and motivation, all of them will stake their claims in the music industry,” Cahilig concluded.
All six entries are available in Spinnr, iTunes, and Smart Music. Three special awards will also be given out on the finals: Producers Choice, Deejays Choice, and the entry with the heaviest radio airplay. Requests and number of airplay weighs heavy on the criteria as well as radio charting. If, however, all entries are on the charts, their points will be determined through ranking. Radio listeners are really the jurors in this case because for them the winner they’ll pick is a real hit maker!
The six finalists will battle it out in the decisive grand finals slated on June 30th at the Teatrino in Greenhills. As the ever increasing popularity of the boy band craze still escalates, with