NOT every spotlight is meant to be shared. And perhaps due to artistic necessity, some members of bands — even if they are already successful with a string of hit songs, albums, and adoring fans — need to break away to have that "solo turn" in front of the microphone.

Blaster Silonga — the co-vocalist and lead guitarist of indie rock band IV of Spades (pronounced as "four of spades") and son of veteran musician Allan Silonga of '90s band Kindred Garden — is making a bid for standalone stardom, with his newest single "O Kay Ganda."

It was released on all major streaming platforms via Island Records Philippines, where he just got a record deal.

Blaster Silonga is blasting his way out of reality.
Blaster Silonga is blasting his way out of reality.

"Before [with IV of Spades] the [group] dynamic is different. When you're in a band, you're all equal. The decision-making process takes a longer time because you need to consider the opinions and the tastes of your bandmates before you can come up with a result. As a solo artist, [although] I still work with a band, [but] I'm now the principal songwriter, the overseer, the main decision-maker. It's like riding a bike without the training wheels," Blaster said in a virtual interview with Music Geek.

"O Kay Ganda" is a classic three-piece rock band performance, with Blaster himself singing and strumming the lead guitar, Lorenzo "Max" Cinco on drums, and Dave Jazz Sillonga on bass. Its music video was directed by Raliug. The track was recorded at Kosmik Island studios, engineered by Dan Tanedo and mastered by Sam Marquez.

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"O Kay Ganda" is a prelude to Blaster's debut solo album, "My Kosmik Island Disk," which was released in October.

His individual endeavor was the result of writing and recording material by himself at the onset of lockdowns due to Covid-19 pandemic. It was also shortly after IV of Spades announced on their official Facebook page on August 21, 2020 that they "needed time off as a band."

"My songwriting [process] is much more personal now. The sound is more explored new sonic territory. I usually start with an idea, then it develops into a melody, and when I have the melody, I just push through with the words. The music production comes after. But sometimes the music comes first, before the whole song itself," Blaster said.

His new music strikes a balance between remarkable restraint and sonic adventurousness, seemingly inspired by outlandish music personalities such as Radiohead and David Bowie, as well as genres that range from art rock to space rock, funk to Japanese city pop.

Blaster has more songs waiting to see the light of day soon: the deceptively simple "Disko Forever" which pays tribute to a glorious era in music, and the lighthearted yet gorgeous "Nararararamdaman," which highlights his minimal instrumentation and guitar/bass skills.

"It is a song about the paranoia [and fear] of missing out, and not doing what you love. It was titled 'Nararararamdaman' because of the rhythm of the song.

"There's this always a desire for me to express myself through songwriting, and I just love expressing myself through music, [because] I don't really like talking that much."

During his stint with IV of Spades, he has worked with several artists. It included doing production work for all R&B artist Dia Mate on the luscious summertime tune, "Dream," and jamming with performers such as Ebe Dancel and Hilera's Chris Padilla at some point in his career.

When asked who else he dreams of collaborating with in the future, Blaster suggested Japanese musician, singer-songwriter and producer Takarai Hideto, known by his stage name Hyde, the lead vocalist of rock band L'Arc-en-Ciel. He also added American rapper Kanye West on his list.

He is channeling his daily life experiences and random observations through music, purposely aligning it with his brooding, socially aware, and intimate view of the world. His writing feels more personal and honest this time — no longer afraid to create artistic statements that double as confessionals.

The 23-year-old solo artist has grown quite well as a songwriter, his latest single "O Kay Ganda" can speak for itself. He also admitted to being a fan of his work now. Blaster is indeed blasting his way out of reality.