DUMAGUETE CITY – To create music that is not just for music’s sake.
This is one of the goals of this year’s Elements National Singing Songwriting Camp, led by renowned musician Ryan Cayabyab at the Bahura Resort and Spa in Dauin, Dumaguete.
Now on its 4th year, the Elements music camp is a five-day singing and songwriting workshop that aims to improve the musical talent of young Filipino aspiring artists.
As with previous years, 60 young musicians are participating in his year’s camp, where they will learn the basics of music and songwriting from some of the country’s most successful musicians—including Kapatid artist Ogie Alcasid, singer-songwriters Noel Cabangon and Rey Valera, rapper Gloc-9, Armi Millare of Up Dharma Down, and former Imago member Aia de Leon, among others.
The national music camp in Dumaguete City comes after typhoon Yolanda hit neighboring areas in the Visayas.
Elements camp director Twinky Lagdameo said they want the participants to produce music that can be used to help relief and rehabilitation operations in storm-hit areas in Visayas—whether as a benefit song or in any other way.
“In all the work that we’re doing here at the camp, we want it to lead to something that we can donate,” she said.
Lagdameo further explained, “Where we are, it will organically grow. We will let them all create. And whatever happens out of it, we’ll take it to the next level.”
“It’s always been said that music is the most potent weapon to convey a message. And we feel that if we’re here now, there is a reason why these great musicians are together.”
Lagdameo said Radio Republic, an Internet radio based in the Philippines, will also look into playing song produced at the workshop.
Although majority of the participants are amateur and aspiring artists, the songwriting camp attracted a number of professional singers as well.
Among the participants is bossa nova and top-selling singer Sitti Navarro and acoustic singer Princess Velasco.
Emmanuelle Vera, who released her self-titled album last year and was a contestant in the recently-concluded “The Voice of the Philippines,” is also among the workshop participants.
“I just want to learn more about my craft, enhance my skills, and produce better albums,” she said. “I think we should never stop learning and growing as an artist. I expect to learn a lot (from the camp)”
Lara Maigue, music student at the University of the Philippines, also wants the opportunity to learn from established artists. Lara’s song “Sa’Yo Na Lang Ako” was among the entries in this year’s PhilPop songwriting competition. It is also the theme song of the TV5 soap opera “For Love and Money” and will be part of Regine Velasquez’ latest album.
“Sa totoo lang, I’m not as exposed to local music and pop music in general. So it’s really nice to immerse myself in the music and to be with songwriters,” Lara said. “I’m coming here, it made things clearer to me. I want to be the next me. I don’t want to be anyone else but Lara Maigue.”