As most contestants on “The Voice Ph,” Paolo Onesa had his own back story. Fresh from his top 8 finish from last year’s ‘The Voice of the Philippines’ (ABS-CBN’s singing reality search), what struck me most was his sincerity on how he connects to people he is talking with or to his own audience.
“Standards have always been part of me because I grew up listening to this type of music from my father’s CD collection,” unfolds Paolo through a Bloggers’ Night on Thursday (10 Apr 2014).
Bamboo as an inspiration
Paolo have mentioned that he owes part of his success to his former coach Bamboo Mañalac, the Pinoy rock icon, which led him to his path in singing standards. “Noong ‘The Voice Ph’ pa lang, hindi ko pa alam kung anong genre ang kakantahin ko. Coach Bamboo was the one who guided me into this genre. I am happy with how it went, doon nadevelop iyong crooner genre at standards,” narrates Paolo as it eventually pushed himself to record this debut album under MCA Music.
“Every time na nakikita ko siya, nai-inspire ako especially when he is performing. His impact and his soul, doon ko kinukuha ang inspirasyon. His greatest reminder was ‘once you perform, always perform with a certain level of confidence.’ Dapat may certain swag to let your audience feel the hype. Do not just sing but perform. Coach Bamboo lets me bloom in this sound.”
Richard Poon as a challenge
Will Paolo give Richard Poon a strong competition? “Nag-meet kami noong MYX Music Awards at para sabihin niya na nagustuhan niya ang areglo at ang album ko is such a big honor, coming from someone who’s been in the industry and someone who creates the music that I like to do,” tells Paolo as a reaction to a tweet from Richard Poon recently saying “Great vocal work on all the songs @paoloonesa in ur debut album.”
Paolo denotes being hands on to his vocals during recording, it’s his creative control over the album. I think, If Paolo manages to sing more original songs like “Lucky in Love,” maybe he will emerge to prevail in this vocal style and still remain popular among fans of traditional pop music. But he still needs to work hard for it.
“Lucky in Love” is his first single from the album. It’s a right song of choice for a single for a debut album because it is original, well-written and an easy-listening song with richer harmony. Check out how beautiful this song was, video below by muzikgeek.
Music influences and collaborations
He cited his influences including Bamboo in local music; Michael Buble, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Jamiroquai and John Legend in international scene. He mentioned his dream collaborations with Zia Quizon, KZ Tandingan, Richard Poon and coach Bamboo soon.
Pop Goes Standards
Paolo as a star of his own album guarantees sophistication with the musical arrangements created by Benjie Pating, Bimbo Yance, Bond Samson and Ria Osorio. It’s a 10-track album including 2 original songs “Lucky in Love” and “Which Way, Robert Frost?” written by American composers Roxanne Seeman, Daniel Nitt and Philipp Steinke.
“Pop Goes Standards” is the biggest achievement so far, it’s every artist dream. I feel overwhelmed and blessed sa lahat ng nangyayari sa akin ngayon, may mga shows at itong album,” says Paolo as he shared his joy in recording songs, his satisfaction for the album and also hopeful that people can listen to it and like it. To live the life he always wanted to live is one of the best ways to make every moment count.
For people to hear this record is Paolo’s focus for now. He aspires to create more original music, to write his own songs, to get to know more about the artist in himself and to direct short film as he pursues Mass Communication (Broadcasting and Journalism). Although he has many plans and plenty of things he wanted to be accomplished, he told us that he will not leave his first love – music. It’s clear that music is his whole life.
Also featured in “Pop Goes Standards” is the second single “When I Was Your Man,” a song originally recorded by American singer-songwriter Bruno Mars for his second studio album, Unorthodox Jukebox.
I missed to ask about how hard or how easy it is to cover an Adele song because I hardly appreciate Adele revivals. Covering Adele’s is really a great challenge to an artist. My top favorite songs in this record are “Lucky in Love,” “Which Way, Robert Frost,” and “Elesi.” Overall, the album’s a pleasing ride that it more than just allowed a reinvention of current pop tunes into fresh jazzy renditions. It makes younger generation to appreciate what standards were.
Other songs include covers like “You are so Beautiful,” “Make You Feel My Love,” “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” featuring his fellow ‘The Voice’ finalist—Klarisse De Guzman, “Marry Me,” “Skyfall,” and “You’re Beautiful.” Listen to the album preview below by mcamusic.
Catch Paolo on the following dates as he promotes “Pop Goes Standards”:
Apr 27 – SM Lipa, Batangas
May 16 – SM Malolos, Bulacan
This album is now available in your favorite music stores and can be downloaded via Spinnr and iTunes. https://itunes.apple.com/ph/album/pop-goes-standards/id820299604
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