Ryan Tamondong (leftmost) with Star Music audio content head Jonathan Manalo (center) and Ryan’s manager Joel Mendoza
Young singer is into old songs
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While singers his age are into new sounds that wax lyrical about love, Ryan Tamondong gives classic OPM songs a fresh vibe with his style and cool vocals.

But first, get to know the young crooner’s musical background which is impressive enough to get him a spot in the music scene. Ryan is a Conservatory of Music student at the University of Santo Tomas who became the first Asian to ever join the prestigious Euro Pop Berliner Perle and was hailed the grand prix champion in Germany. His victory also resulted to his receiving the International Achievement award at the 29th Awit Awards. On the local stage, Ryan ranked second place in one of the episodes of ABS-CBN’s I Can See Your Voice.

Ryan is the Star Music family’s newest member who was formally introduced to members of the entertainment press recently. This coincided with the release of his eponymous debut album under the Kapamilya music label.

On his preference to OPM classics, Ryan said that he wanted to create his own niche by following his heart. “I want to be different from other young singers. Gusto ko sundin kung ano ang sinasabi ng puso ko na way of singing. If I have the same approach as the other singers who are mostly into pop, EDM, then my sound will just be the same. The songs I have in the album exactly fit my style.”

Besides, Ryan wishes to relive the ’80s era when OPM tunes were a hit among music enthusiasts of all ages. But it doesn’t mean, he will no longer put an effort to make a different sound. His manager, Joel Mendoza, has seen how Ryan dedicates most of his time and puts much effort to perfect every note of the songs included in his album.

“Actually when we were still working on the album, Tito Joel and I were truly bent on finding that style that would make me different from my idols like Gary Valenciano, Daryl Ong and Michael Pangilinan. And I can see that the hard work is now paying off.”

Joel revealed how Ryan had a series of emotional breakdowns before successfully completing the album with Ryan saying, “Naiyak po ako kasi very strict po siya. We have to repeat many times until we find the ‘heart’ of the song. But I know it’s for my own good.”

Growing up, Ryan admitted music has always been a big part of his life. He started singing during his elementary days and had joined amateur singing contests, among them was in Tanghalang Pasigueño. It was there where Ryan met Joel and what followed was his actual “vocal test” in front of the latter.

“It was under the stairs where I asked him to sing,” Joel recalled. “Actually, they were two at that time. Ryan sang Sana Maulit Muli and the moment I heard his voice, I said to him that he will become famous.”

Joel wasted no time to let Star Music execs, including Jonathan Manalo, listen to Ryan’s performances through his demos “and they liked what they heard so after three weeks, we decided to produce his album.”  

Included in his five-track album are his rendition of Basil Valdez’s classic Sana Ikaw Na Nga; Joel’s compositions Ikaw Ang Panaginip, Haay Pag-Ibig and Ako’y Minamahal Mo Pa Rin; and Joel and Vehnee Saturno’s Since You Went Away. 

Asked how he wishes to be tagged in the future, Ryan said he wants to be the next great balladeer. “I love ballads but I’m open to doing other genres.”

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