Manila’s Pop Virtuoso Reuben Laurente releases his first digital album,
“Milestone,” his sixth solo outing that is expected to entertain, inspire and uplift the spirits of all those who will listen amid this pandemic.
Although he has been away from the local entertainment scene for more than a decade because of his work in international cruise ships, Reuben found a perfect time to record an 11-track album when the ocean liners went on lockdown.
“I strongly believe that through this album, I can inspire, encourage and
touch people in however unimaginable or unfathomable way it can also touch them. After all, music is the universal language of the soul,” Reuben maintains.
“Milestone” leads with the re-imagined track, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” given an a cappella arrangement by Andre Castillo, Reuben’s former colleague in The CompanY.
With the said song, Reuben and Andre pay tribute to the premier
vocal sextet, their erstwhile vocal group. A promotional video of the song will be out soon, directed by the tandem Mikko Angeles and Patrick Nobleza.
Reuben also recorded a duet, “Us Together,” with soul diva Jaya. The song is
penned by Jonathan Manalo and arranged by Paulo Zarate.
There are two OPM revivals in “Milestone.” With Tricia Amper, Reuben
recorded Gines Tan’ “Di Na Muling Mag-iisa,” originally sung by Basil Valdes and Pat Castillo. “Sandaling Pinakahihintay” is a popular inspirational song by Prof. Augusto “Agot” Espino and arranged by Naldy Rodriguez.
The original selections in “Milestone” are “Simula ng Umpisa” by Babsie
Molina and Edith Gallardo, arranged by Niño Regalado; “Through It All” by Architect Markel Luna, arranged by Eboy Refuerzo; “Never Felt This Way Before” composed by Nathanael Arnel De Pano; “Unexplainable by Jungee Marcelo and arranged by Gino Cruz.
There are also “Panalo,” a song by Soc Villanueva arranged by Kahlil
Refuerzo; an inspirational cut, “Stronger Together As One,” composed by Jasmine Aquino and arranged by Erle "Eboy" Refuerzo; and a Christmas OPM, “Pasko Na,” written and arranged by N. Arnel De Pano.
Aside from Reuben doing back-up vocals to his songs, other back-up vocals
were arranged and recorded by Zebedee Zuñiga, Eboy Refuerzo, Luis Cortez, Krina Cayabyab. Recording engineers include Dante Tañedo and Enrique "EK" Santamaria (of JazzPop band Extrapolation).
Trisha Denise lent her ethereal voice to one of the tracks. There were also
musicians who worked on the album, like saxophonist Ian Jacinto, guitarists Paul Armesin and John Apura.
Reuben recorded “Milestone” at Ryan Sarmiento's (of 6CycleMind) BackDoor Studio, The Purple Room and Paulo Zarate's Studio Z. The album is produced by Arnold Santiago for GRMilestone Records Music.
Songwriter-producer Christine Bendebel administered production for House of Tunes for various digital streaming platforms worldwide. Album cover is by Hong Kong-based musical theater actor and mentor, Roy Rolloda. Photos are by Dr. Raul Ceralde Supnet.
GRMilestone Records thanks Peewee Apostol of Mangyan Tunes and FILSCAP for facilitating the copyrights for “Di Na Muling Mag-iisa” and “Someone To Watch Over Me.”
“I'm not saying that after 34 years, ‘I'm still here’,” declared Reuben. “Most
may not even know me and this is not inverted humility. Whether or not they felt my presence in the music industry, I believe my purpose is still to make good music and share it with the world. So, let me say, after 34 years, ‘I'm just here’.”