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Kala: Manila sound is back in the groove


Inquirer

Last updated 18:41:00 06/29/2006

THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE is in full bloom, with various Pinoy artists producing world-class hits. Local music is now penetrating the mainstream. In the center of this OPM Golden Era comes a resurgence of a sound that is distinctively Pinoy--Manila Sound.

Manila Sound is a genre that was popularized by the Hotdogs in the 70s with the famed hit "Manila." Today a fresh new band named Kala is reviving and redefining this genre.

Kala is behind the new hit song "Jeepney," which is currently number one on the charts. Its music video features actress Snooky Serna.

"Manila Sound is the soundtrack of our everyday life in Manila," said Brian who has written and co-written a number of tracks for Kala?s debut album, "Manila High."

The album is distributed nationwide by Sony BMG Music Entertainment Philippines Inc.

Rock for a cause

Kala has been performing at various venues in support of Rock Ed Philippines, which promotes nation-building through music. They released an EP last year entitled RockEdition: For the Benefit of the Filipino Youth to promote the United Nation?s Millennium Development Goals and support the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. "Music is the purest language that we can use to reach out to individuals and unite them to make a difference in themselves. We must be the change we wish to see in our lives, our country and the world," said Kala?s guitarist JP Tanchanco. They tend to urge people or bands not to go to rallies or instigate chaos and partition but instead encourage them to unite, look at the positive side of things and promote peace. And just like other artists who are ambassadors of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (Bono, U2, Santana and others), they recruit followers to wear a white band and join them in saying "No More Excuses."

Aside from their advocacy, they have established their distinction in the music scene with their unique sound. Very few bands these days have associated themselves with that kind of identity popularized by the Pinoy artists of the 70?s and Kala?s move seemed to note that a new genre is paving the way to challenge the "alternative pop" and "pogi-rock" type of sound common these days.

"Sa palagay ko, ang Pinoy music listeners and artists ay nagmature na? marami nang lumalabas na makabagong tunog ng OPM," said vocalist Mike Grape. "May boses na ngayon ang mga banda at composers. Pinoy artists are claiming their throne."

Rene Garcia, of the Hotdogs, noticed Kala?s sound as "carrying the funky groove of the old 70s."

Brian noted that it was Garcia who inspired them to classify their music as "Manila Sound."

Influences

"Pinaghalo-halong influences ng mga myembro ang tunog ng Kala. Manila Sound is something we can all be proud of. It gives OPM pride and personality."

Kala?s second single entitled "Manila High" will be launched this July. The music video is a continuation of their debut video for Jeepney.

Other members of Kala are William Gabaldon (bass), and Raymond Daylo (drums). They took the name Kala from kalabasa--the prime content of a cake-making college project they later called "Kala Cake Project."

     


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