Monday, December 14, 2009


MANILA, Philippines - Juan Pablo Dream (JPD) is taking audiences to a genre other local groups would find unconventional and risky tackling about. Mainstreaming soul music dubbed as Manila Soul is what the band would like to play. So far, it has been successful in attracting crowds to delve into their entertaining show.

“Walang gumagawa ng soul these days and ayaw namin gawin ‘yung nagawa na,” says lead vocalist Bing Austria.

JPD’s conviction of spreading the soul sound is evident in its performances, with Bing making sure the crowd knows the band is playing such music and not other genres confused with it. In a recent gig at the NU Rock Awards where the band delivered a three-song medley, JPD performed defining soul music as pyro-blast supplemented the finale number.

Having scored a couple of hits in the past and putting X44 Tony Ferrer back into the limelight via the latter’s cameo role in one of its first videos, the eight-piece band has been providing a kind of show uncommon to band acts today. Theirs has that classic, old school energy feel, complete with uniformed suits and girlish vocal back-ups. Yet they have that underground act appeal that diffuses any probability of selling out.

Of course, the songs they perform, whether originals or covers, are gripped tightly on the essentials of soul music — melodic, patterned and groovy. Their latest single Tibok Ng Puso represents that firm hold, supported by a performance music video that zeroes in on the band members and the synergy that’s going on among them.

A former member of Tropical Depression and Put3Ska which both spearheaded the popularity of their respective genre affiliations, Bing is expert on helping a band. “We feel blessed that we are exposed to soul music. Nalulungkot kami na nakakalimutan na ng iba ang roots ng sound nila. They have forgotten the music of the legends.”

“We are artists and it’s important that we are true to the music we’re representing. Kaya binibigyan namin ng emphasis ang soul music,” he adds.

The singer-songwriter is supported by a strong pack of instrumentalists namely Aurelio Castro III (guitars), Alexander Dumlao (bass), Kim Ventusa (saxophone), Bong Termulo (trumpet), and Aldwin Fernando (drums).

Helping him produce pretty harmonies are backing vocalists Bianca Holganza and Lotte Villarosa.

JPD was formed in Malolos, Bulacan in 2004 and released its debut CD under Terno Records. The band is now under the care of Bryan Garcia (of Rookie Records) who decided to manage it beyond basic business concerns. “I like their music and even if being indie is not easy in most aspects, I love the fact we’re happy with our product.”

The new, self-titled album was produced by Benjie Mendez and engineered by Angee Rozul of Tracks studio. It contains mostly originals, with three interesting covers led by the Doors’ Light My Fire.

JPD will launch the new CD on Dec. 17 at Eastwood Central Plaza.
The Philippine Star