I’ve heard so many Filipino acoustic acts already, may it be folk or pop, but what captivates me is when the artist delivers his own sound in a manner of showing the style possessing him/her to stand out among the rest.
Kito Romualdez is one of the youngest voices in this genre. His music was inspired by his very own music heroes such as John Mayer, Jack Johnson and Ed Sheeran. “I met my most current inspiration. Ed Sheeran when he opened Snow Patrol’s Toronto concert. Met him backstage, super nice guy, super relax, and wears only a sweater and a simple shirt. I am more about the music than the appearance, that’s what I like and get inspired from,” tells Kito as he admits his admiration to Ed Sheeran.
He believes, “You don’t need to listen to music with your eyes; you don’t need your eyes to listen to music. You just need your ears, so it doesn’t really matter what I’m wearing or anything,” explains the Filipino-Canadian singer-songwriter. “I know it’s important as well but I don’t think it’s a big factor for me. That’s what I like most about my 3 inspirations.
Upon meeting Kito at the blog con organized by Viva Records, he shared stories about his journey to music: he never took guitar lessons in guitar, yet he tried taking piano lessons for proper education but got bored, he’s focused on playing songs that he likes the most on guitar and has learned John Mayer songs as he believed that he’s more musically educated in studying Mayer’s style alone. I hope he eventually ventures into more meaningful musical experiences as he releases his debut album.
“I started playing guitar at 10 and can perform RnB and other covers comfortably with my guitar so I can control the tempo. I didn’t take it seriously until I’m 17,” remembers Kito.
“Learning other artists’ songs is coming up with your own style of different vocal style,” adds Kito as he introduces his first ever record. “Its focus is on easy listening with wishful thinking songs. People would be able to sing with my songs, easier than the rest that are out right now.”
The album is an array of original music, “All 5 songs are not similar and not typical. The songs have different perspectives whether it’s a break-up or it’s complicated, that’s how I wanted the songs to be. I showed the different sides of things. It’s more relatable, playful, upbeat and happier sounding,” confidently tells Kito.
I asked him to tell us about the 3 original songs in the album he wrote, “’Ready Ka Na Ba?’ is a song dedicated for a girl I am seeing in Canada. It’s a song that I wrote for an anxious guy who just wants to get into the relationship right away regardless of the consequences or long distance or whatever,” narrates Kito. It is the album’s carrier single, checkout the music video below by vivamusicgroup1.
“Jack & Jill” is my first song that I ever wrote, 4 years ago, about an ex-girlfriend. Everybody used to call us Jack and Jill when we were in high school. We were a cheesy couple; we were in this type of relationship. Though a product of broken heart, it is light and upbeat. And when we broke up, I pushed myself to go further with my music. The first I can do is to write a song, played around with the Jack & Jill thing and here it is.”
“She Could Be the One” is about the girl I was seeing before I moved here, a girl that is out of my league. I don’t really know but there could have been the chance that she might be the one,” ends Kito. Two other songs are covers: Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and Session Road’s “Suntok Sa Buwan.”
I adored his cool, simple and mellow style that might be more appealing with his generation. The good song recall is a plus. Good thing is that he is also into songwriting which valuably helps him to develop his artistry. “I’m always writing. I have this red book where you can find my songs, others unfinished. Sometimes it’s half done or three chorded verse or a chorus. I used to work an 8-hour shift at Starbucks. When I have a song idea amidst the shift and when I don’t have any paper to write on, I used to write lyrics on the side of the cup or paper receipt,” he laughingly shares.
The Music Fan’s Expectations
For now, Kito’s EP release is a good start. You can download it now via iTunes. I would be very happy to listen to Kito’s fresh easy listening and upbeat songs just like what his music heroes have served to their audiences.
Adding everyday Pinoy stories of this generation where it shares inspiration and life’s value might be a great idea in songwriting. It will be helpful for the public to increase appreciation and recognition of the youthful vibe in songs.
“For me to stick with a song, it takes a lot. I really need to fall in love with a song and I have to be willing to perform it live and just like it myself because if I don’t like the song, it’s hard to sing it and get the crowd involved.”
We expect numerous new styles of music in the coming years to come which will cater to the changing sound tastes of the public. They are the new breed of artists, they arrive to propel today’s market demands and this generation will have to make a difference. Now, a whole new set of influences are at play including Kito Romualdez who performs in his newly found role in the amplified acoustic guitar genre within the Philippine music industry. All we need is everybody’s support for OPM.
Checkout the happenings at the blogcon, video by vivamusicgroup1.
Here’s Kito’s new music video from the same album featuring Aryanna Epperson with the song “Suntok Sa Buwan.” Kito and Aryanna are this year’s MTV Pinoy VJs. In the music video are Julia Klarisse and Marco Brillo as the young Aryanna and Kito. Directed by Ryan Evangelista. Video courtesy of vivamusicgroup1.