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Remember RJ Jimenez?

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - January 9, 2014 - 12:00am

It’s been several years since the first season of Pinoy Dream Academy ended, and despite the fact that he hasn’t been that visible, people still remember RJ Jimenez, singer and composer of the hit song Miss Kita Pag Tuesday.

Despite what his absence from the mainstream might communicate, RJ hasn’t been idle. On the contrary, he has been very busy with other projects, writing songs, producing music, acting on stage and musical directing. Among the songs he has written are Nagkakakulay ang Mundo, a duet performed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo as a sub-theme for their movie Must Be Love. The song was also used in a TV commercial. RJ also wrote Diskarte for Daniel. The song was included in his album and was also used in a TVC he did for KFC. He also wrote Live Supreme, which was performed by former 6Cyclemind frontman Ney Dimaculangan. Last September, RJ also joined a songwriting competition in UNTV called A Song of Praise (ASOP), where he won first place. His song entry titled I Am Grateful was interpreted by Miro Valera, formerly of the band Stonefree.

What he considers extremely rewarding is being given the chance to work behind the scenes as musical director for several stage musicals mounted by the Gantimpala Theater Foundation. His first project was Si Jack at ang Mahiwagang Beanstalk, which earned him a nomination in the 2012 Aliw Awards finalist for Best Musical Director alongside respected musicians Mike Villegas and Mel Villena. His next project was Ang Prinsipe at ang Pulubi. The most recent was the sung-through musical Katipunan: Mga Anak ng Bayan, where he was the musical composer, director and actor. The musical was directed by Joel Lamangan and Jun Pablo. It was revived this year by the Gantimpala Theater Foundation to coincide with the celebration of the 150th year of Andres Bonifacio.

RJ wrote a total of 17 songs for the musical, all done in his familiar pop-rock style. It was a challenge, yes, but not in the way you might think. “The difficulty for me was more the time constraint in creating all 17 songs while I was also rehearsing as an actor,” says RJ, who played Emilio Jacinto.

Despite the difficulty involved, RJ considers it one of the most worthy projects he has gotten involved in because it was a project that aimed “not just to entertain but to educate the audience as well on the importance of the role of Andres Bonifacio and the Katipuneros in forming our history.”

Does he miss the things he used to do? RJ’s last taste of the so-called “mainstream” came when he released an independently-produced digital album titled Makapangyarihang Barkada two years ago. Unfortunately, it wasn’t promoted mainstream like his first album. The songs, however, are available online via iTunes, Starmusic.ph, Spotify and Amazon.

In the meantime, he is busy working on his biggest project yet: Getting married. RJ is about to tie the knot with his good friend and business manager Tin Rodriguez. RJ proposed recently and she accepted. They are now busy planning the wedding. “We are getting closer to the big day and we are really excited. A lot of our friends are helping us with the preparations and we are so thankful. I am now working on my biggest songwriting project ever, my vows and the bridal march,” says RJ.

He’s not writing a comeback off, though. He would love to return to the mainstream if the opportunity should present itself. “I would love to release another album if given the chance. I am just waiting for the right opportunity. Although I am very happy with what I am doing now, I still miss performing.”

ALIW AWARDS ALTHOUGH I ANDRES BONIFACIO ANDRES BONIFACIO AND THE KATIPUNEROS ANG PRINSIPE BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR DANIEL PADILLA AND KATHRYN BERNARDO DREAM ACADEMY EMILIO JACINTO GANTIMPALA THEATER FOUNDATION
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