The pandemic was a hellish time for Pinoy musicians. With bars closed, gigs cancelled and no venues to play, local musos had no other choice but to unplug and retreat to their inner sanctums.
Fortunately, a few artists turned this hibernation period into a wellspring for musical creativity.
Accomplished multi-instrumentalist, composer and session ace Wowee Posadas used this long dry spell as an opportune time to challenge his songwriting prowess, and at the rate he’s going, he’s clearly winning his battle.
The eternally youthful-looking virtuoso is on the verge of releasing his latest single titled “Foolish,” the fifth of a series of originals penned within the year, including the jazz-fusion instrumental ‘Eruption,’ and subsequent vocal tracks ‘Bahaghari,’ ‘Wedding Day,’ and ‘Trapped.’
Slated for release on Spotify and other digital streaming platforms starting November 19, ‘Foolish’ takes its cue from Wowee’s earlier musical influences.
“The musical arrangement started out in doo-wop style in 6/8 time, similar to that of ‘The Great Pretender’ by the Platters. It quickly evolved, however, into a pop-jazz tune,” Wowee explains. “It’s about moving in from life’s troubles and undesirable experiences.”
His creative muse couldn’t have come at a better time. He confesses, “I’ve always wanted to come out with my own tunes. And if there’s one thing I’m thankful for during the pandemic, it’s the opportunity to finally do it.”
“Since I love improvising on the keyboard, I originally envisioned my solo career to be that of an instrumentalist. Hence, ‘Eruption’ my very first single, is a jazz-fusion instrumental. By the way, ‘Eruption’ hit No. 55 on Apple iTunes’ Top 200 Philippine jazz tracks chart in May 2021.”
“After coming up with my subsequent single, ‘Bahaghari,’ which was a vocal track, I realized that I enjoyed singing and writing lyrics more. The journey has been great so far ‘coz I’m enjoying the recording and mixing process. Thanks to technological advancements in music production, I was able to record, mix and master all my songs by using just a laptop. It’s exciting! I’m learning new things as I go.”
Despite the radical changes in the music industry, Wowee points out the upside of today’s digital streaming platforms.
He points out, “Right now, music is primarily enjoyed or consumed via digital streaming. It has replaced physical music formats, such as vinyl records, cassettes and CDs. There’s nothing like having all your favorite music in one place and at your fingertips. I appreciate the immediacy and reach it brings.”
Wowee adds, “A few days after the release of ‘Eruption,’ a long-lost friend who resides abroad sent me a message telling me how pleasantly surprised he was when he stumbled upon the song on his car radio. I’m so amazed by the thought of being able to send music to the world right from my bedroom.”
Asked to expound on his songwriting process, Wowee elaborates, “‘Bahaghari’ started out with the lyrics and the melody. The chord arrangement was made after. But for my other songs, the chords came first then the melody. The lyrics came last. I prefer the latter approach as I find it easier to fit the words to the music than vice versa.”
As the founder and keyboardist of the Black Cows, the locally acclaimed Steely Dan tribute band, Wowee is excited with the impending semblance of normalcy in the live concert scene.
He says, “I’m happy to announce that the Black Cows are still together and going strong. Once live band shows are allowed, we will definitely perform again. When possible, I’ll also be doing session work for other artists as well.”
The good news augurs just as well for his 19 East bar and resto, which had been slowly bringing back its live performances via acoustic gigs at its al fresco dining area. (Tinnie P. Esguerra)