Charice – “Pyramid” feat. Iyaz

If you haven’t heard about Charice, chances are you will in the next few months.  This pint-sized singer from the Philipines made a name for herself through YouTube (so common these days!) and made a particularly huge impact when she performed “Note To God” on Oprah in 2009.  That YouTube clip has over 2 million hits.  Check it out:

It gets pretty ridiculous around 2:15 in, then she just kills it at the end… Yeah.  Let’s see Miley Cyrus do that.

Anyhow, Charice’s new single is “Pyramid” featuring Iyaz.  It’s going to be a challenge for her to cross over from the big, huge broadway-esque songs like “Note To God” to more mainstream pop fare… But with her incredible range and agility, I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulled it off.  In fact, her new video for “Pyramid” already has almost 2.3 million hits and it was only posted a month ago.  Check it out here:

-e

The Kuwagos Launch Sophomore Album

The Kuwagos of Bergenfield, New Jersey

If you’ve never had the unusual and delightful pleasure of flying and dancing at the same time, then you don’t know what you’re missing.

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Kuwagos’ new album Lagi Sa Kama, and that is what it did to me on the first listen. It made me dance first, and then, before I knew what was happening, I was flying.

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Far East Movement Signs With Cherrytree/Interscope

One of our favorite APA hip hop groups, Far East Movement, announced yesterday that they have officially signed with Cherrytree/Interscope records, home to such giant acts as Sting, Lady Gaga, and Feist.  This marks FEM’s foray into the tricky world of major label record deals.  Say what you will about major labels, but I think this is a huge accomplishment and marks what I hope is a continuing trend of more APA musicians being put into the spotlight.

Congrats to FEM and their management team! I hope that Cherrytree and Interscope treat them with the respect and, ahem, resources they deserve.

-e

John Balicanta releases new EP on iTunes

John Balicanta

John Balicanta

New York – For anyone who has ever sweated, cried, laughed and/or screamed at a Lola Ray concert, you’ll be happy to know that the former band’s intrepid frontman John Balicanta has spun himself into a whole other universe entirely. And in this new universe, it is not dark and cold, but warm, vibrant, and hella cool.

Balicanta, a Filipino-American artist based in Los Angeles, announced on February 1 that he released a new all-instrumental EP on iTunes, a musical score that he has just composed for playwrite Jonathan Goldberg’s new play “Luck of the Ibis”, for which the EP is named.

While Lola Ray is on an indefinite hiatus (yes, as a hardcore Lola Ray fan, my heart can only deal with saying “hiatus” for the time being), Balicanta seems to be leaping and bounding over all sorts of things to bring to life new creations that are simply…in one word…stunning.

“Luck of the Ibis” is a 3-track EP that outlines Balicanta’s first attempt at producing an original musical score. But for a first attempt, this EP is a sumptuous feast for the ears. Deeply rich in depth and magnitude, the music shows how Balicanta adeptly steps outside the realm of shredding guitars, lyrical angst, and that rock god persona to achieve a higher plane of epic countenance.

I have been saying to myself that work such as this belongs not just to the theater stage, but on the big silver screen of movies. Hollywood, are you listening to this!?!?

This EP gives us just a small inkling of what Balicanta is capable of as his ability and songwriting/music-writing process matures. I daresay, Lola Ray fans the world around, our beloved John is alive and kicking. And here is the proof.

To purchase the $2.97 EP please visit iTunes.

To preview a track, Underwater Dance, from the EP please visit Balicanta’s myspace page.

Review by Feliza Mirasol