PLUS: Maja Salvador’s single with Thailand heartthrob eyes February launch
Poised to make Filipinos proud before January wraps up is indie band The Ransom Collective who’s been invited to play at the 2018 St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Singapore. A much-awaited annual festival, it will take place at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay on January 27.
The only Filipino act to be featured this year, a stellar line-up of international bands and artists await music fans across the region with Aldous Harding (New Zealand), alextbh (Malaysia), Amy Shark (Australia), Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals (United States), Billie Eilish (United States), Bonobo (United Kingdom), Father John Misty (United States), Heals (Indonesia), Loyle Carner(United Kingdom), Mac de Marco (Canada), Moses Sumney (UK), Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (Australia), Slowdive (UK), Sylvan Esso (US), The Internet (US), The War On Drugs (US), Tim De Cotta (Singapore) and Wolf Alice (UK) among others.
The Ransom Collective is an indie folk group comprised of Kian Ransom (vocals, guitar), Redd Claudio (drums), Jermaine Choa Peck (percussions, vocals), Leah Halili (bass, vocals), Lily Gonzales (keyboards, vocals), and Muriel Gonzales (violin, vocals)
“It’s incredible that we’ve been invited to play in Laneway! It’s been on our wish list to get to play in Singapore. Being the only band to be coming from the Philippines, we really want to give a good impression. We hope that this will open doors for more indie artists from the Philippines, for organizers to discover that there’s a lot going on in the music scene here and find other talent,” violinist and vocalist Muriel told Music Geek.
Laneway, as commonly referred to, is an indie music daylong outdoors festival, which traces its roots to Melbourne, Australia in 2005, before making its debut in Singapore in 2011 where it has been mounted ever since.
So how did their inclusion in the festival come about?
“Our manager Raymond Fabul reached out to the organizers. They emailed him a few weeks later expressing interest in working with us and we said yes right away,” bassist and vocalist Leah said.
The band is so excited to perform at Laneway that they even held a “special” send-off gig at Saguijo Bar on January 19. It is after all a big deal to play in front of an international crowd, not to mention a festival considered the “best in Southeast Asia.”
“We’ve been hoping our music would reach more international audiences. We’ve been working on tightening our set and plan to bring our CDs and merchandise there. We’re excited to meet and watch the line up of performers as well,” Muriel continued. “We promise a fun set at Laneway.”
Since winning “Wanderband” in 2014, a competition among emerging young Filipino acts, life has never been the same for this six-piece indie folk band. Since then, they have been doing the rounds of top music festivals as well as holding gigs around the country, and is considered one of the most in-demand independent bands of the day.
The Ransom Collective released their self-titled EP in November 2014, and their full-length album “Traces” in May 2017, both to critical acclaim. They have also worked with international artists like Yuna from Malaysia and G.A.C. from Indonesia, as well as local artists like Gabby Alipe and John Dinopol of Urbandub. In 2017, they played at the Asean-India Music Festival in New Delhi and Jaipur, India, thereafter featured in MTV Asia Spotlight.
Now, with Laneway under their belt, could this be the start of an international career for this talented indie band?
“If it keeps going that way then yeah, sure, that’d be awesome! It’s exciting for us to gain opportunities to share our music with international audiences. Through these experiences we also gain the opportunity to learn about the regional/international music industry and push our music beyond the Philippines,” Leah said.
With 2017 a banner year for them and 2018 starting with a bang, what’s still in store for The Ransom Collective?
“We plan to release one or two more music videos off our album Traces and then we’ll start working on some new material. We’re looking to perform in more festivals and shows around the Philippines and hopefully in other countries,” Muriel said.
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Still on the subject of Filipino pride, another home grown just landed a feat this month with a place on Spotify’s Global Viral 50. As of January 16, Darren Espanto’s version of “Dying Inside To Hold You,” the theme song of 2017 MMFF movie entry “All of You,” is officially on the Global Viral chart at No. 44.
The Viral 50 updates weekly with the most shared and trending tracks across world. Locally, Darren’s song peaked at No. 4 on Spotify Philippines’ Viral 50 and No. 21 on Spotify Philippines Top 50.
Besides Darren, congratulations also go out to Philippine Dance Princess Maja Salvador for her collaboration with Thailand’s most adored pop singer and pianist Tor Saksitfor. Their single titled “Falling Into You” will be released on February 9 worldwide across digital platforms, under BecTero Music Thailand and Ivory Music and Video.
In September last year, the “Wildflower” actress flew to Bangkok, Thailand to meet and record the single with the Thai heartthrob at Karma Studios in Bang Saray, south of Pattaya. The single serves as Maja’s first time to collaborate with a foreign artist, and Tor’s first time to record an English single.
Tor was in the Philippines in November last to shoot the music video and is due back this February to promote the song with Maja. Victor Lau, a well-known musical producer and composer from Taiwan who has worked with Meteor Garden’s Vaness Wu, Cyndi Wang, and more, produced Maja and Tor’s single.
“Falling Into You” will be launched via a series of mall show on February 10 at Southwoods Binan, Laguna and on February 11 at Robinsons Meycauayan, Bulacan.