Balikbayan Tony Labrusca—son of actor Boom Labrusca and singer Angel Jones of the popular ‘90s hip-hop group Kulay—first caught the fancy of local music fans following his stint in the ABS-CBN “Pinoy Boyband Superstar PH” talent search. He may have not have made it to the show’s finals, but the very grounded 22-year-old gratefully realized that winning isn’t everything in life.
Shortly after the winners of Boyband were declared, Labrusca was cast in what became a series of viral videos for a fast food chain. From there, he landed his own endorsements for a handful of labels, and, as his biggest break, was tapped by ABS-CBN to join Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo in their top-rating prime time series “La Luna Sangre” as Jake Arguelles.
Uncomfortable to be tagged these days as “Boyband PH’s most successful discovery,” especially since he has forged a close friendship with the contest winners, the 22-year-old Filipino-American honestly told a huddle of entertainment press, “I never thought of it that way. I just try to stay in my lane and do my best. And I don’t know how else to feel rather than being ridiculously thankful to God, because who knew losing will open so many doors or me? I’m just thankful to Him for giving me another chance.”
The Manila Times met Labrusca last week at the launch of his single and music video, “Tanging Ikaw,” both available on various digital media platforms.
Since he considers himself a singer first and foremost, Labrusca is again grateful for the opportunity to have made his dream come-true.
Collaborating with Urie Tesorio and Bryan Lotho, his self-penned song speaks of a young man’s infatuation for a girl that he’s been admiring from a distance and his yearning to express his feelings to her.
“Tanging ikaw lamang ang laging nasa isip, bawat pagtulog ay ikaw panaginip/Tanging ikaw lang ang laging nasa isip ko/Ang ngiti at ‘yong tingin, pa’no ba maaangkin,” says part of the lyrics.
“Writing this single wasn’t that easy especially since I’m still struggling with my Filipino, but Kuya Urie and Kuya Bryan pushed me to do it, and I’m glad they did because not too many artists can say they helped create their song,” Labrusca related.
The official music video directed by Callalily front man and actor Kean Ciprano shows how Labrusca musters the courage to pursue a girl (played by Ysabel Ortega) and how their relationship eventually evolves.
“Tanging Ikaw explores the familiar yet riveting tale of an infatuation that grows into romance—and of strangers becoming lovers,” Cipriano pointed out.
“Through the use of modern techniques, the lyrics and the music video let an old and universal story of love and romance unfold in a way that millennials can easily relate to,” he added.
Cipriano further stated that there is no better way to revitalize the state of OPM than to bring it closer to the new generation. And for him, “there’s no better talent for bringing this about than the unique sound that is Tony Labrusca.”
Presented by McJim Classic Leather under its Dreams Get Real OPM advocacy campaign and arranged by Jonathan Ong of Sonic State Audio Studio, Tanging Ikaw was released on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Amazon Music, and other music platforms in over 240 countries on August 25.
Produced by public relations maven and filmmaker Chris Cahilig, the video was shot by Patrick Ferrer in the Camella Provence community in Malolos, Bulacan.
As for Labrusca himself, Tanging Ikaw is his gift to his fans and supporters.
“I’m really excited and I hope that they like it. I’m such a people-pleaser so I just really want them to enjoy it,” he ended.