Rob Deniel brings minimalist romanticism and DIY ethos to the fore

Published March 25, 2021, 7:08 PM

by Punch Liwanag

Rob Deniel is doing pop songs the old-fashioned way.

After an impressive debut that garnered him 5.9 million views on YouTube and 16 million listens on Spotify, Rob Deniel releases a new single titled “Ang Rosas.”

And just like his previous effort, Rob is applying his D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) approach to recording and wants to find out how deep he can dig to improve on the dreamy and retro-inspired sounds.

“I thought that making songs (in what I imagine is) the old way can help me make timeless (sounding) songs,” said the 16-year old singer-songwriter.

In this he hopes that listeners from the far-future would listen to his songs the same way he digs the pop music that has gone before. 

A hopeful Rob said: “(I hope yung) mga susunod na generation (of listeners) ay ma-digest pa rin nila yung mga kanta ko.”

Those aspirations are not so far off. Rob who still has to finish junior high school has gotten his head start on a promising career as pop musician. And at sixteen years of age, the “Ulap” singer is just brimming with ideas when it comes to his music.

For his latest, Rob is singing about going back to the past to find true love.

“The main story of ‘Ang Rosas’ is about two lovers with old souls. May napanood ako na movie na parang nag-time machine siya pabalik sa nakaraan to bring back his lover.”

Rob could’ve seen countless movies about going back in time, but the premise of his song sounds something like “Somewhere In Time,” a 1980 movie that starred Jane Seymour and the late ‘Superman’ actor Christopher Reeve.

“Ang Rosas” is a mid-tempo pop number that is minimalist in its arrangement but quite catchy with its melodies. One might say that Rob is dabbling in retro wave, with its subdued new wave-tinged and jangly sounds and the occasional guitar solo swooping in. But whatever genre Rob is in, his listeners like what they hear from the singer-songwriter. And he’s managed to endear his  pop romanticism to a lot of listeners in such a short time.

And yes, just like his previous singles, Rob recorded the basic tracks of “Ang Rosas”  on his smart phone’s music recording app. Something he’s getting proficient in since recording his fan-fave single “Ulap” on his phone’s Garageband.

Rob’s approach as he mentioned, was getting the basics of his songs recorded and then working from there.

He has lucid advice for creatives of all types: “Continue making music and don’t look down on yourselves, always create something that you are happy with and then put yourselves out there more.”

 
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