Monday, 03 January 2011 15:42
Zamboanga’s very own and promising band called MALDITA launched its first album last December 31, 2010 at Bar Code, currently one of the most popular live acoustic music bars in town located at Paseo del Mar, frequented by music aficionados who like alternative rock, pop-new wave, reggae, folk and love songs.
The band, formed some two years ago by talented Zamboanguenos who are students from Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Western Mindanao State University, is composed of Demz Espinosa (female lead singer), Whey Guevara (composer and rhythm guitarist), Jimi Tristan Ong (base player), RB Bandiola (lead guitarist), and Mad Nubhan (drummer).
Demz, Whey, Jimi, RB and Mad, backed by keyboard player Jesser Sison, performed live before a hundred audience at the Bar Code with songs "Tulero", "Selosa", "Gayuma", "Sayo", "Ito Ya Lang Era", "Bahala Na", "Sana", "Bakit (the Tagalog version of Porque)", "Ayoko Na Sayo", "Crossroads" and "Porque (chabacano version)".
The first single was produced by Geraldine Therese Lim who owns WINNERS Inc. and Pia Santiago. It is exclusively distributed worldwide by VIVA Records Corp.
Maldita have been touring to many local late-night bars in the city since September 2010, promoting their songs “Porque,” which has so far hit 200,000 views on YouTube since its posting on June 28, 2009.
“We have been getting positive feedbacks from Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Latin speaking country, telling us they are willing to buy Maldita’s album and they have been requesting us to translate the song to Spanish and if we do, they are assuring us of guaranteed CD sales,” Ms. Lim told Zamboanga Today.
This 2011, the band will definitely perform concerts not only in Zamboanga City but in other places especially in Manila, said Ms. Lim. “We just finished our successful album launch at the Barcode. There may be a repeat performance, if so, stay tuned. There is a scheduled radio tour and mini-show at Mindpro - scheduled by Councilor Gerky Valesco on Junuary 4, then press conference and radio tour in the afternoon."
The band is set to leave for Manila on January 8 to shoot their first two music videos which will be shown all over the Philippines via MYX. There will also be TV guestings in major TV channels in Metro Manila.
“The only reason why we have launched this album here is because we hail from Zamboanga, so we want our fellow Zamboanguenos to be proud of us. Besides, we were requested by VIVA Records to have the launching of our album here by way of bar shows, mall tours and by way of media,” Ms. Lim said.
The five members of Maldita had come from different bands, who are of different personalities but share common interest on music of Eraserheads, Rico Blanco, Rivermaya and other Filipino alternative rock bands.
Guevarra (the Rhythm guitarist who is also the composer of most of the songs came from Comic Relief), while Bandiola (the lead Guitarist), and Ong (the base guitarist) as well as Nubhan (the drummer) came from Junk Yard, Bad Grass and Lipidz, respectively.
The female lead vocalist, Ms. Espinosa, was already part of an all girl band composed of friends. When there was an opening for a female lead vocalist for the newly formed Maldita some two years ago, she auditioned for the lead vocals and got accepted immediately.
Asked what made Maldita stand out among the alternative bands? Ms. Lim said they are presenting a socially relevant lyrics and they have their distinct musical style which is considered well-crafted and unmistakably honest and direct, their audience could easily identify themselves with.
Being musicians, all of them moved around the same circles and they bumped into each other during gigs or concerts for a cause, according to Ms. Lim. “Most of them have been playing and singing for close to 8 years already but never got the chance to make it to the main stream until now.”
It was Whey Guevera who composed the mega-hit song Porque which got the attention of Ms. Lim when she came over for a business trip in Zamboanga about a year ago.
“When I heard the band, being a composer myself and having such a big passion for music, I took interest in them however, since their hit song was actually in Chavacano, I did not see how I could be able to market them in Manila or elsewhere in the Philippines.”
For some reason though, Ms. Lim could not get the band off her mind so she set off to translate the song in Tagalog. After she had done so, she tried looking for ways to contact the band and she finally found a link in Friendster which had the no. of Whey Guevara posted.
“I rang him up, introduced myself, told him of my intentions to possibly produce an album for them containing English and Tagalog songs. Whey was so ecstatic and told me that they had been dreaming of this day to be discovered. He disclosed that they have had only one serious offer in the past but it did not pan out,” Ms. Lim said.
“He (Whey) also went on to add that the band already had an arsenal of Tagalog songs he had written and one English song. I told him I would listen to his compositions but, that my immediate interest was to get Porque marketed in Tagalog since it already had a huge following in You Tube - inspite of the fact that it was a Chavacano song and that Maldita was virtually an unknown band elsewhere. To me, it was already an impressive feat!” she further said.
So Guevara agreed to Ms. Lim's proposition for her to translate Porque song into Tagalog. The composer once told her manager that he had tried to do it but for some reason but it turned out not to his liking. “When I was done writing the song, I called up some friends in Manila and had them listen to it, they liked it immediately and so I flew to Zamboanga to meet up with the band finally!” said Ms. Lim.
She requested of them to record the song in Tagalog together with one other composition she wrote for them which is entitled Gayuma. Armed now with two recorded songs in Tagalog, she flew back to Manila and met up with a respected and long time concert producer. The producer was so impressed with the vocal quality of Demz as well as with the unbelievable talents of the other band members in playing their respective instruments that she hooked us up immediately with Sony BMG and PolyEast EMI.
“The results of the meeting were very encouraging. We were already being made offers to sign up as talents. My business partner and I asked for more time to go over their offers as we wanted to pick out the right Record Label to do the distribution and publishing.”
In the meantime, they knew they had picked out the right talents and even if their main business is into the importation of Streetlights and Electric Vehicles, they finally decided to give record producing a go and if they were going to make an investment in producing her songs, “it would be best to invest in "undiscovered but worthy talents" from Zamboanga.”
Last August 2, 2010, Ms. Lim and her partner flew Maldita band to Manila and the rest is history. “The total current expense is honestly quite big since our company has had to purchase all instruments, we have also put up the band's very own practice studio in their own apartment, this on top of all other expenditures such as apartment rental, food, allowances, clothes, pictorial shoots and Album Recording itself.”
“My Partner and I do not know actually if our company will recover the investment we have made with the band, while we are hoping we do, we actually draw satisfaction in the fact alone that we have helped ‘amazing’ talents from Zamboanga(my hometown) shine!” she said.
She continued: “We have actually guaranteed them stardom.....................and so far, we have not failed on this promise! We hope that at least this will give inspiration to the many aspiring talents of Zamboanga.....so that they may know that if you are truly determined to make it in your chosen field of interest and you work very hard to pursue your dreams, you will succeed in life. We also hope that our Local Government Unit in Zamboanga can also be more supportive of Zamboanga talents so that they may help promote music among the youth as a means to stay clean and possibly, a way out of poverty.”
Ms. Lim asked fellow Zamboanguenos to support their own band. “I ask of you to please buy CD of Maldita because by doing so we will be putting our fellow Zamboanguenos on the map. Ase kita lebanta el bandira del Zamboanga. Manda kita mira kay tiener el Zamboanga man brag about by way of our musicians and talents.”
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