While many young singers use social media to get their break in the music industry, singer Ryan Tamondong is seemingly taking, shall we say, a harder route, relying on old-school “moves” to make a name for himself.
But first, this impressive backgrounder: This fresh Star Music talent became the first Asian to ever join and win the prestigious Euro Pop Berliner Perle Grand Prix Championship in Germany.
Now, Ryan considers social media, particularly YouTube, an effective platform for singers like him. However, he thinks there’s a different sense of fulfillment every time he goes to auditions, trying his luck face to face.
“Some millennials believe it (social media) is the only way to make it. But I believe you need to reach out to the masses, to perform in front of them. Make connections in person not just by staring at cell phone screens,” he said.
Although a millennial, Ryan seems to be an old soul. His repertoire is composed mostly of songs from the ’80s. Among his idols are Basil Valdez, Odette Quesada and Raymond Lauchengco.
That makes him different from other artists of his age, Ryan shared.
“I want to relive the ’80s era. I believe that’s the golden age of OPM. And I want to be the next great balladeer of my generation,” he said.
Ryan has just released his eponymous debut album under Star Music.
The tracklist consists of his rendition of Basil’s classic “Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga,” original tracks “Since You Went Away,” “Ikaw Ang Panaginip,” “Ako’y Minamahal Mo Pa Rin,” and “Hayy Pag-Ibig,” and these are all composed by his manager, Joel Mendoza.
Joel shared how he signed Ryan as talent.
A music lover since 11 years old, Ryan is a Conservatory of Music student at the University of Sto. Tomas. He is no stranger to singing competitions, one of which happened at the Tanghalang Pasigueño.
“I met him there,” Joel narrated. “There are two auditionees at that time and I let them sing under the stairs. Ryan sang ‘Sana Maulit Muli, and the moment I heard his voice, I said, ‘Sisikat ka (You will be famous).”’
In less than two weeks, Joel went to Star Music and submitted his demos.
“And they liked it. After three weeks, we decided to produce his album,” he said.
Joel advises Ryan to create his own style.
“Some say he might be the next Basil Valdez. But I think, there’s only one Basil Valdez in this industry, so I told him, ‘Make a name for yourself. Be Ryan Tamondong,’” he shared.
Ryan described his album as a labor of love.
“The songs are about love inspired by my passion for OPM Music,” he related. “I hope people love the songs not only because of my voice, but because of the messages these impart.”
Asked to name his favorite song in the album, Ryan chose “Haay Pag-Ibig.”
“When you hear it, you will say, ‘Ooh, it’s so nice to be in love.’ It will give you the feels.”
Ryan was a contestant on ABS-CBN’s “I Can See Your Voice.” He is one of the featured artists in Star Music YouTube channel’s “OPM Refreshed.”
He received the International Achievement Award at the 29th Awit Awards.