Ace songwriter composes for his ex-demo singer

Gil Villa - The Philippine Star
Ace songwriter composes for his ex-demo singer
Composer-producer Kiko Salazar (left) and singer Myko Mañago collaborate for the latter’s latest single Tulad Niya, which came out in digital stores last June 17.

Songwriter Kiko Salazar, whose compositions include the Morissette Amon-sung hit Akin Ka Na Lang, somehow knew it was coming. That one day, he’d work with his former demo singer Myko Mañago for a single of his own.

Myko’s latest digital release, Tulad Niya, which Kiko wrote himself, realized that forecast.

He shared, “I’ve worked with him as a demo singer for my other songs during his early years as a singer. We have developed an easy working language in the studio even before so working with him is always a breeze.”

Myko is a three-time champion from It’s Showtime and previously released the singles Stuck and Mahal Kita (Kahit Mahal Mo Siya). The latter came out last summer after several cities and provinces were placed under community quarantine because of COVID-19.

Tulad Nya, which, according to Kiko, was written “out of an old personal heartbreak,” was completed a few months before the pandemic. He explained how he writes, “When I write songs, I usually imagine a specific scene. For this one, I was recalling that moment when I vented out to a friend my unanswerable questions. We go through a phase where we feel like we’re always at the losing end because the other party has already moved on. That part when we wonder how can the other person make it seems like it’s an easy thing to go through, that’s the whole scene for the song.”

Kiko is known in the music scene not only as a songwriter, but also as an arranger and producer. He won Ballad Song of the Year at the 2018 Wish 107.5 Awards for his composition Ano Nga Ba Tayo. He has all the confidence for Myko’s singing ability, informing, “I was excited not just to write for him but to work with him again as well. I knew he’s more than ready to have more singles of his own. It’s time for everyone to hear that beautiful voice. I was also excited to create that ‘80s retro vibe through his voice. That was fun!”

He added, “Most Filipinos of my generation grew up listening to the music of Rick Price, Phil Collins, Richard Marx, and the like. We heard their songs as we rode in our school buses. I guess Myko’s voice fits those kinds of heartbreaking ballads.”

The Cavite-based singer with a well-followed YouTube channel and currently doing vlogs noted it’s a dream-come-true for him to record a song written by his mentor. He said, “Nung narinig ko ang song na ito (When I heard this song), I felt really excited because it’s from him and I am sure maraming makaka-relate sa kanta (a lot of people can relate to the song).”

Myko is backed by RJA Productions recently established by US-based Filipina music aficionado Rosabella Jao-Arribas, who came to town early this year to personally meet her talent pool of deserving Filipino singers.

With his long experience fronting for showbands, Myko’s heart feels for musicians who lost regular earnings because of the pandemic. He related, “As much as possible, hindi tayo dapat mawalan ng pag-asa kasi lilipas din ang problemang ito (we shouldn’t lose hope because this too shall pass). You just have to surround yourself with the right people.”


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