A wonderful MYX of musical fortunes
- Philip Cu-Unjieng () - June 16, 2006 - 12:00am
Staking its claim as being a premier Music format TV station, MYX had its first Awards Night recently at Onstage, Greenbelt. While pundits back then had predicted that the other music stations possessed global branding, and that MYX as a purely home-grown brand would not prosper, MYX has cagily set itself apart from the competition by being the first to incorporate sing-along lyrics with every video (in this karaoke-mad country), and deftly parlayed the general fascination with hip, showbiz types to create fanatical followings for its VJs. All this came to the fore on a night of true musical celebration. Reflecting the variety of musical genres and schools that now find representation on MYX, the performers, categories and awards presented that night showed that MYX can truly have something for everyone, and that purists be damned, good music is good music, no matter where your tastes may lie. And just as importantly, that OPM (Original Pilipino Music) is not some ’70s concept, but alive and well – and that MYX is there at the barricades!

The atmosphere was electric, and the music was both electric and eclectic! The acoustic wave has long dissipated, but the great thing to see was how the truly talented among these "acoustic" artists have now found their own niche as individual artists or acts. M.Y.M.P. and Nyoy Volante were present on the night to make the case for the evolution of the acoustic craze. Before the awards night ended, M.Y.M.P. garnered two awards, while Nyoy performed in a production number.

It has really been the age of the pop-rock bands – and whether they were Coldplay clones, rap-metal disciples, reggae-tinged rockers, indie alternative bands, or throwbacks to Led Zep-inspired hard rockers – they were in full display throughout the night, regaling us with the vibrancy of today’s music scene.

The people operating in the background were all accounted for, showing MYX that they recognized the role the TV station is playing in furthering the cause. Among others, I espied the head of MCA Universal Ricky Ilacad, and from his former company, Warner Music, new head Jim Baluyut and Anne Poblador. From the camp of promoters, Felix Co and Jeffrey Cal of Maximedia were enjoying the kibitzing going on before the show proper started.

More than the awards themselves – which I’m sure will be duly reported in other write-ups and on the station itself – it was the show that was put on that really gave me pause, happy to see that the music industry is thriving. The rousing opening number had the Akafellas giving the Orange & Lemons hit of Ako’y Pinoy their unique treatment. M.Y.M.P. sang a Cueshé song, and this interchange of hits continued with Christian Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go, Aia de Leon of Imago and Pochoy Labog of Dicta License all performing, until everyone came back for a rousing rendition of Bamboo’s Hallelujah. It was a great number, as it put into focus this mood of how we’re all in this together, regardless of the diverse musical direction we may be taking individually.

The night’s blast to the past had the Juan de la Cruz Band stalwarts of Joey Smith and Wally Gonzalez jamming with Sandwich. And when presenter Eula Valdez was joined by Jay Contreras of Narda Kamikaze fame, we had the night’s most memorable comedic moments. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that a male/female comedy team was born that night. Jay made a second appearance with the Kamikaze band, as they jammed with Parokya ni Edgar, with Ian Tayao of Queso as guest vocalist – again that theme of the music industry as a fraternity.

My two other favorite musical highlights of the night were the tributes to Sharon Cuneta and The Dawn. As recipient of the first MYX Magna Award, Sharon was serenaded by Yasmien Kurdi, Nikki Gil, surprise guest Christopher de Leon, Aiza Seguerra, Top Suzara and Nyoy Volante. Dina Bonnevie was there to hand the award to our Megastar. And the Dawn tribute had Bituin Escalante belting out Enveloped Ideas with Jett Pangan (coincidentally, both work in theater nowadays). Ebe Dancel of Sugarfree and Gabby Alipe joined the two to bring the number to its heady conclusion.

To see an audience consisting of such faces as Rivermaya, Hale, R&B rising star April, Raymond Lauchengco, Ryan Cayabyab, Pops Fernandez and Anne Curtis, all breaking into smiles and seeing VJs Iya, Heart, Luis, Jeff and Nikki, all bobbing their heads to the music – it just drove home how OPM can truly be one of this country’s unifying forces.

If this first version of the MYX Awards is anything to go by; and Chinky de Jesus of CPI and Andre Alvarez of MYX promise it will only get better as the years roll by, then I am glad we have an awards night that steadfastly relies on the strength of the music to create the magic.

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