Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nostalgia with The CompanY

Last Friday, the group who sang "lullabies" for me each night in the 90s (we used to have a non-stop tape player near our bed) had a nostalgic concert at the Music Museum.

Known for their string of mellow hits, the CompanY is an offshoot of the Ateneo Glee Club in the 80s. 

I was lucky to barge into one of their rehearsals :))

Versatile soprano/alto Annie Quintos recalls after grad, they just had withdrawal symptoms of not being able to rehearse that often together. So they decided to come together on Fridays to have that rush & sing. 

Moy Ortiz, their youngest kabarkada, was still in school at that time.

Superb in a capella, The Company is proud to share their humble beginnings. With 12 founding members, they started with an 8-song repertoire in a family restaurant.

They became premier backup singers for several decades because they were all triple threats. 
The harder the pieces, the more the audience liked it. They were like a theater ensemble unheard of at that time.

Although there were times when the audience wasn't so receptive, they had fans who helped & inspired them to trudge on.

In 1990, they got their first record deal "Minsan Pa" thru Louie Reyes & Cesar dela Fuente. Formerly engrossed in a capella & jazz, the project gave them their first try at pop music for a wider audience.

Moy Ortiz discovered his music writing skills when no one would volunteer to compose original music for them for their album.

I think it was just Manifest destiny. After 5yrs of paying our dues. We had our share of intrigues & struggles. It's a good thing when you're in your early 20s & trying to make a name for yourself. It's good to have these things because it builds character

Their first single in their first album (and my fave) "Everlasting Love" was such a hit; people thought it was sung by a foreign group. They were challenged to come up with more hits.

The CompanY seems to know the secret formula as their success was followed by "Now that I found you", "Muntik na Kita Minahal" & "Pakisabi na lang"-- songs that even kids nowadays sing in the shower. 

Their secret isn't much of a secret says Moy.

This applies in any life journey. You have to put in the time and the work, the dedication, the passion. It helps if you have a vision; and for our group it helped that we have a spiritual side.

Since then, The Company has been coming up with albums annually. They now have 24 albums & they try to keep on trying new things. Recently, tenor OJ Mariano joined the group after a successful run with soprano Sweet Plantado in Rak of Aegis. 

Sweet shares

I think we have the same level of commitment when it comes to the group. We need to do something else also to grow & learn so when you go back to the group, you bring something new.

Acclaimed composer Ryan Cayabyab has always supported the group. He stresses that a string of hit songs promotes the musicians' staying power.

If you have a string of songs, it's like a friend. If people like one, "let's listen to the others!" You also have to be active in the industry. As long as you're there, they won't forget you.


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