During my teenage years (when the term boyband wasn’t really that popular, if I remember it right), I was into boybands just like a lot of my female and gay classmates.
I was a fan of a lot of them: Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, Boyzone, 98 Degrees, Code Red, Plus One, O Town, 3T, Human Nature, 5ive, The Moffats, Hanson, All 4 One, Take That, BBMak, Westlife – just to name some. I bought their cassette tapes/CDs, tuned in to MTV and Channel [V] to watch and even record their music videos, bought magazines featuring them, and watched their concerts here.
I think I was into them a little more than most of my peers. This was because I wanted a career in music.
As in I wanted to be part of a boyband.
I wasn’t just a fan of these cute and talented singers; I wanted to be like them, too.
And so I found myself listening to and learning all their songs, released or not. I studied the structure of their songs, the delegation of parts, the usual and not-so-usual topics, the patterns when releasing singles.
I also became familiar with the in demand songwriters and producers they worked with (Max Martin, Soulshock and Karlin, etc.), trends in album art, plus other things like the importance of branding, imaging, logos, and choreography.
So when GMA 7 announced they were forming a boyband through a show called To The Top, I was excited because I’ve always wanted to form my own vocal group and I’ve always wanted to form and manage a boyband and a girl group. I should learn a lot of things from the show, I thought.
I got even more excited when my boss one day invited an officemate and I to help him judge in one episode together with Joshua Zamora and Kuh Ledesma. We basically had to watch the performances of the three competing groups and rank them.
Kuh and I had different opinions on the contestants’ performances and I just loved it when she told me that after being in the industry for 37 years (37 nga ba?), she sure knows who can and can’t sing. Good TV moment there, Speidi would be proud.
A week after, I judged again, this time together with Jett Pangan and Ryan Cayabyab.
Now I love Mr. C because, well, he is Mr. C! I met him a long, long time ago, when I auditioned for Smokey Mountain. Of course, I just had to remind him.
To The Top ended last week and I am suffering from separation anxiety. Watching the show on Saturday and Sunday nights became a habit. I also enjoyed live tweeting and exchanging tweets with some of the contestants (some of them recognized me as a guest judge and as someone from GMA Artist Center).
The good thing is that the boys are now with us.
I got to meet the winners – Miko M, Mico C, Adrian, Louie, and Joshua – just last week, as in for the very first time! I had coffee with them and it was nice to get to know them, of course. I asked them about their musical influences and the genres they like. I also asked about their love life!
I ended up giving them tips, as well, and showing them an interesting music video of another boyband.
The next day, I saw them again. My officemates and I were having a planning session and the boys dropped by to sing an original song called Paggising. Intro pa lang and I was sold! Harmony was great, Miko M’s runs were amazing. The whole song is pretty catchy and it is not forgettable so I hope a studio version becomes available soon so that you guys can listen to it.
By the way, the boys are now called T.O.P. but we haven’t finalized what the letters mean.
Transfer of Payment? Tower of Power? Throes of Passion???
We’re looking at either Top One Project or Tunay|Orihinal|Pinoy. What do you think?
As for the rest of the To The Top boys, don’t be sad because they are also with us and we do have plans for them so you will still see Cholo dela Cruz, Lance Busa, Edric Ulang, Lharby Policarpio, and the others. Who knows, maybe they’re really meant to be solo singers and not boyband members, di ba?
As for my dreams of being a member of a boyband, I have given up on that already so you won’t see me doing choreographed moves while blending with others.
Like I said, maybe some people are meant to be solo singers and not boyband members nga, di ba??? ;)