How Ebe Dancel collaborates with Rico Blanco

Gil Villa - The Philippine Star
How Ebe Dancel collaborates with Rico Blanco
Tanging Kailangan was partly inspired by the countless vows Ebe heard when attending and performing at wedding ceremonies. Rico Blanco produced the track released in digital stores tomorrow, Aug. 24.
STAR / File

While it’s interesting to note that singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel is currently working as A&R (Artist and Repertoire) manager for rising label Widescope Entertainment, it’s even more intriguing to delve into the fact that he’s also managed by a celebrated guy named Rico Blanco. The reality that the two of them are actual friends and working together in professional capacity should nurse a salivating premise.

Ebe seemed to be aware of what fans may ultimately think about his ties with Rico which dated back to his Sugarfree days. Yet, everything he does is grounded on what’s truly possible given the situation.

“Rico and I have resigned ourselves to the idea of file transfer for now,” Ebe shared, “I record a demo on my computer; he gives it a listen and comments first on the arrangement. He tells me what he thinks works and what needs improvement.”

Their latest output Tanging Kailangan is Ebe’s second single backed and published by Widescope Entertainment. The ex-chief songwriter and frontman for Rivermaya, as expected of him, proficiently produced the track released in digital stores tomorrow, Aug. 24, and even had noted guitarist Noel Mendez on the record.

“Rico takes care of the musicians involved and how they go about the song,” Ebe continued. “I then proceed to the studio where there’s a monitor in front of me. He is patched through and we record vocals via Zoom. It’s a lot of work, but we do what we have for now.”

The said single, another Ebe composition blessed with his relatable lyric writing, features bassist Roger Alcantara and drummer Paolo Santiago, along with violinists Dino Decena and Jascha Obieta, and cellist JopiVergara Doestra. Looking from a bird’s eye view is the combo of Vic de Vera and Neil Gregorio, who sit as executive and supervising producers, respectively.

Tanging Kailangan was partly inspired by the countless vows Ebe heard when attending and performing at wedding ceremonies. For its lyrics, he related, “I just write as sincerely as possible, always careful with the words that I use together. I guess the fans appreciate that.”

He added, “If you listen really closely to Tanging Kailangan, you might get a visual in your head about what the song is really about.”

The opening verse is classic Ebe: “Kung maligaw sa galaw ng mundo/ Hanapin mo ‘ko/ Kung malunod sa malungkot na ilog/ Ako’y languyin, ako’y sagipin.”

Ebe hinted at even more exciting artistic plans ahead, noting that he’s working on an EP (Extended Play) and there’s a theme to tie all the songs together. As for his work as A&R, he makes sure he has quality time for Widescope acts.

The former Sugarfree lead vocalist and hitmaker put out Manatili last May, which heralded his fresh streak under the watch of his latest label affiliation. As a solo act he has kept a strong following with more than half a million monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

Asked about the possibility of him and Rico singing a new song together, Ebe pointed out, “If the opportunity is right, then I believe it will happen. It has to be something we both believe in.”

Rico produced Sugarfree’s debut album which spawned Burnout, Mariposa and Telepono.

Ebe reiterated, “We’re great friends and I trust him. Trust is very important in this business.”

On that note, fans will have to trust the gods of rock to allow such collaboration, that is, a record credited to and featuring both Ebe and Rico, to happen sooner than later.


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