Why Top Suzara left Freestyle
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - March 21, 2006 - 12:00am
Up to now, it isn’t quite clear why vocalist Christopher "Top" Suzara left Freestyle in April last year, simply because Top has opted to keep mum about it – until now, that is.

"I left Freestyle under not-so-pleasant circumstances," confessed Top who has signed up with Universal Records which recently released his first album as a solo artist, entitled Carry On, which carries more than a dozen songs all composed by Top.

"I and the group had irreconcilable differences which, I would discover, had roots back in 1997 when I joined Freestyle," added Top whose father died three weeks ago.

Asked to elaborate, Top begged off.

"All I can say is that I wasn’t comfortable with the group anymore, hindi na ako masaya. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing and it was affecting my music."

Did the green-eyed monster (yes, professional jealousy) rear its ugly head between him and, according to rumors, a Freestyle member? Was any member of Freestyle getting "threatened" by and/or "insecure" with Top? Was there some kind of a "conspiracy" to ease out Top who was the last to join the group?

The question that popped up when Top "liberated" himself from Freestyle was this: Why would a guy who wrote all (well, almost!) the Freestyle hits leave the group?

"I’d rather not talk about it," said Top. "Freestyle is behind me. I have started to move on."

A Business Management graduate from La Salle St. Benilde, major in Human Resources Management and Organizational Development, Top was in Davao in 1997 to help in the family business when he joined Freestyle which was formed in 1996 by schoolmates from Ateneo de Davao. Freestyle started performing on weekends at the Apo View Hotel.

"One of the members is my cousin, Tat (Suzara, who eventually married Jinky Vidal, the lone female member). I love music, so it was easy for me to blend with the group," recalled Top.

Anyway, the group recorded one song which was first played in Davao and then in Cebu. During a Globe-sponsored event in Davao, Freestyle front-acted for Side A. Soon, Freestyle was conquering Manila, signed up by Viva Records. Freestyle was in-demand in concerts both here and abroad, and recorded four albums, with Top writing 80 percent of the songs (eight out of 10 per album). Freestyle was at its peak when Top left it, thus the question: Why would the guy who wrote all the songs leave?

Luckily, even out of Freestyle, Top has decided to continue singing and writing songs – as a solo artist. His first public performance post-Freestyle was at the M.Y.M.P. concert late last year and he was roundly welcomed by the audience. He’s now seen regularly on the ABS-CBN Sunday show ASAP 06.

You can summarize Top’s flight by putting together the titles of the songs on his solo album, like so: Top Suzara has to Carry On after he decided to Run Away from Freestyle under Overcast circumstances. On the Inside, he may be hurting but he doesn’t show it. No One But You, his fans, may perhaps notice it. With Angel Eyes, Top may be saying that It Ain’t Easy entering Another Lonely Chapter (well, not really that lonely), Breathin’ easy now. Yes, Sabihin Mo Na that Top has a bright Kinabukasan as a solo artist, Magpakailanman (Tagalog version of Angel Eyes), Anywhere But Here, even On The Sand (of Time).

Of the songs on the album, I find most touching Angel Eyes which Top said he wrote as a tribute to his late father and mother (who died in 1995), laden with love and affection like those expressed by Eric Clapton in Tears in Heaven which Clapton wrote for his months-old son who fell to his death from the window of a high-rise condo in New York.

Read the lyrics of Angel Eyes and, especially if you yourself have lost a parent (or both), weep:

Verse I:


There is no reason

That I can think of,

Or I could imagine

Why you had to go.

Verse II:


With no explanation

And so abruptly,

I know I have to

But it’s so hard letting go.

Refrain:


I know you’re watchin’ over me,

I know you’ll always be with me.

Chorus:


I know you’re looking down

At me with angel eyes.

I never thought it would

Ever be this way.

And I know your love for me

Will make me realize,

That you never went away

‘Coz you’re looking down at me

Today with angel eyes.

Verse III:


Wish I could make up

For things I wasn’t able

To do or say but

I should’ve said and done.

Verse IV:


It’s still so hard to

Move on without you.

But I know tomorrow

I am gonna face the sun.

Refrain Chorus

Bridge:


I wish I never let

Them slip away;

Every single chance

I had to say

The little things like

‘Thank you,’ ‘I love you,’

‘I’m sorry’...

I’m saying, ‘Thank you,’

‘I love you,’ ‘I’m sorry.’

Chorus

Coda:


I know you’re looking down

At me with angel eyes.

I never thought it would

Be this way.

And I know your love for me

Will make me realize

That you never went away.

You will be beside me

All the way.

And I know your love

is here to stay

‘Coz you’re looking down at me

Today... with angel eyes.
* * *
E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph

A BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ALL I ANGEL ANGEL EYES CARRY ON DAVAO EYES FREESTYLE KNOW TOP
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