Ring in the New Year with New Music

And we are back to square one, the New Year just ushered in a few days ago and it’s the start of another 365 days for everyone. But a new year isn’t a new year without music because music makes the world go round and keeps everyone sane despite the insane.

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This year’s first Music Roll compiles some of the noteworthy new OPM albums from Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo and boyfriend actor-racer Matteo Guidicelli, from Indie Sweetheart Clara Benin in “Riverchild,” and crooner singing champ Jason Dy with his self-titled debut album.

And although we may have been getting too much of covers the past year in OPM, X-Factor Australia wonder boy Cyrus Villanueva’s debut album “Cyrus” is still a welcome breather with his smooth pop covers of some of music’s biggest hits.

This month also marks the second edition of Fusion ’16 – The Philippine Music Festivals that encourages the Filipinos to continue to dream and aspire for a better Philippines through the world of music.

Cyrus Villanueva comes out strong with debut album 

X-Factor Australia Season 7 winner Cyrus Villanueva rings in the New Year in a high note as his debut album “Cyrus” is now certified Gold in Australia. The half Filipino half Australian wonder boy follows the footsteps of last season’s winner Marlisa Punzalan of marking back-to-back wins of a contestant with Filipino descent. Video courtesy of The X Factor Australia.

His winning single “Stone” debuted at the top 5 of ARIA charts and is consistently receiving love on pop radio. The song is also included in his 11-track smooth pop covers of huge hits that also includes “Dancing On My Own” (Robyn), “Earned It” (The Weeknd), “Wicked Game” (Chris Isaak), “Hold Back the River” (James Bay), “Rumour Has It” (Adele), “Jealous” (Labrinth), “Don’t” (Ed Sheeran), “Love Me Like You Do” (Ellie Goulding), and “In the Air Tonight” (Phil Collins).

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The 19-year-old Ed Sheeran fanboy also shares he hopes to release a new single this year and that he’s turning his focus on writing original songs, and taking into action what he has learned from mentors like Guy Sebastian.

A native of Wollongong in New South Wales, Villanueva was just fresh out of high school when he auditioned for the competition, covering The Weeknd’s “Earned It,” which he also sang during the finals. Born to a Filipino father and Australian mother, Villanueva grew up in a music-loving family with his father being a full time musician known as Jo Vill.

The wonder boy credits his father for nurturing his talent, tagging along with his him during his gigs and opening his eyes to the wonders of music. He also extends his thanks to the Filipino community for the wonderful support and response. Villanueva’s debut album “Cyrus” is now out featuring studio recordings of selected songs from his X-Factor journey.

Celebrity couple Sarah G and Matteo Guidicelli release new and debut album

Coinciding with her December concert, Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo launches her 12th studio album “The Great Unknown” following last year’s “Perfectly Imperfect.” She gave a sneak peek of the album when she performed the track “Tala” from the new album and immediately went viral on social media. Tala video below courtesy of sonatina7040, tajen from Sarah’s recent concert at the Araneta Coliseum.

The 10-track album boasts of collaborations with the industry’s equally prime talents such as Hale, Yeng Constantino, Yumi Lacsamana and Thyro Alfaro among others with songs “Unbroken,” “The Great Unknown” (feat.Hale), “Baby You’re The Reason,” “Ako’y Para Lamang Sa’yo,” “Kaibigan Mo,” “Kapit,” “Only For You,” “Sabi Mo Sa Akin,” “Tala,” and “Misteryo.”

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Inquirer’s Rito P. Asilo calls the album as a career-boosting showcase for the singer highlighting her expanding skills as a vocalist and interpretive ability as a performer.

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Meanwhile, boyfriend and actor Matteo Guidicelli isn’t losing out as he also comes out with his self-titled debut album from Star Music with carrier single “Ipapadama Na Lang” now on the 13th spot on Spotify Philippines’ Viral 50 list. ”Ipapadama Na Lang” music video by ABS-CBN Starmusic.

Other tracks include “Panaginip,” “Ewan,” “Kathang-Isip,” “Annie’s Song (You Fill Up My Senses), and “Sa Kanya” featuring Regine Velasquez-Alcasid with 3 remixes of the carrier single and six minus one. ”Sa Kanya,” a duet by Morisette Amon and Matteo Guidicelli was performed at #MG1. Video by amayamon.

The album was soon followed by his first ever major concert titled “MG1” at the Music Museum performing with guests Concert King Martin Nievera and The Voice Ph contestant Morisette Amon, while girlfriend Sarah was also present to show her support.

Clara Benin launches new EP ‘Riverchild’

Indie singer-songwriter Clara Benin is really on a roll this year as she comes out with another set of brand new tracks with the recent release of her new EP “Riverchild.” It was only March this year when she released her debut album “Human Eyes.” ”Riverchild” music video by Clara Benin.

Consisting of four original tracks and one cover: “December,” “Smile,” “Tila,” “Riverchild,” and “I’ve Been Looking All Over the Place.” Riverchild is actually part of Benin’s final thesis project for her Music Business Management course at the Meridian International College in McKinley Hill, Taguig. The EP is also part of an advocacy campaign with proceeds to benefit the Tapulanga Foundation, an organization helping children through educational scholarships and healthcare assistance.Clara-Benin---Riverchild

The EP boasts of themes of innocence and childlikeness, as the launch also centered on encouraging the audience to capture and experience the thrills of being childlike again no matter what age. Audience members were also given the chance to donate toys, clothes and books for the children of the foundation.

Riverchild is now available on iTunes and record bars nationwide. You can check out more of her music on Facebook, Soundcloud and YouTube at clarabeninmusic.

Jason Dy: From haranista to all-out performer

The Voice of the Philippines Season 2 grand winner Jason Dy finally fulfills his dream of becoming an all-out performer from his humble beginnings as a “haranista” (singer serenading women in place of their suitors/boyfriends) and as a demo artist with the release of his self-titled debut album under MCA Music.

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The singing champ gushes about the unique experience of working on his first album and collaborating with the industry’s prime songwriters and producers. Dy also shares his title track “Milagro” penned by the hitmaker Jungee Marcelo talks about love the general public know by heart as well as his own journey to winning the Voice Ph Season 2 after trying it out in so many other singing competitions.

His 11-track Pinoy RnB album compiles (9) originals, (1) with an acoustic version and (1) cover, as well as “Caught In That Feeling,” an original single by Daniel Lindstrom which he released ahead of his debut album release, “Break My Heart Some More,” “I Am Something,” “Walang Iwanan,” “Seasons of Love,” and more.

Fans can also hear him very soon as he sings the Martin Nievera classic “Be My Lady” – theme song of the upcoming teleserye of the same title starring real-life couple Daniel Matsunaga and Erich Gonzales.Video by Rod Magaru.

Fusion 2016 – The Philippine Music Festival to imagine a better country in music

Top media agency Carat is set to stage another momentous edition of Fusion ’16 – The Philippine Music Festival on January 29, Friday, 5PM at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds as the event unites some of the biggest and the brightest stars of OPM and all Filipino music lovers.

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With this year’s theme IMAGINATION, the music festival aims to leverage the vast influence of music as a platform for the Filipinos in expressing their dreams and aspirations for a better Philippines amidst negativities and tribulations.

2016 is definitely the year of big changes to come, with a new leader at the helm after the election; Filipinos expect a new direction and a newfound hope for the future of the nation. And that is the very core of Fusion 2016 as it manifests the voices of hopes and dreams of every Filipino through crowd-sourced lyrics and materials that will become the nation’s power anthem with the performances and exciting collaborations of various OPM artists encompassing different genres.

Fusion ’16 will unite Abra, Aegis, Andrew E., Bamboo, Banda ni Kleggy, Callalily, Chicosci, Ebe Dancel, El Gamma Penumbra, Franco, Gary V., Gerphil Flores, Gloc-9, Gracenote, Janno Gibbs, Kyla, KZ Tandingan, Loonie, Noel Cabangon, Ogie Alcasid, Parokya ni Edgar, Rak of Aegis, Sarah Geronimo, Tom Taus, Yeng Constantino, The Dawn, and many more.

Tickets are now available at all 7-Eleven stores and SM Tickets (Gold – PhP 2,000 / Silver – PhP 1,000 / Bronze – PhP 300). For updates, visit /FusionPhilippines on Facebook, @FusionPhils on Instagram and Twitter.

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