Troy Laureta drops his ‘heartbreak album’ Dalamhati

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Troy Laureta drops his �heartbreak album� Dalamhati
Troy Laureta’s latest album Dalamhati is the final volume of the Troy Laureta OPM Collective album trilogy, after Kaibigan (2020) and Giliw (2021).

Filipino-American musical director Troy Laureta recently dropped Dalamhati, which he described as his “heartbreak album.”

Dalamhati is the coda to Troy Laureta OPM Collective album trilogy, after Kaibigan (2020) and Giliw (2021). The key track of the newly-launched record is Akin Ka Na Lang, composed by Kiko Salazar and performed by American Idol season 6 winner Jordin Sparks for Troy’s Dalamhati.

The 24-track album consists of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) hits, as interpreted by various local and international artists, including Martin Nievera (Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika), Regine Velasquez (Huwag Mo Kong Iwan), Ogie Alcasid (Pangarap Ko’y Ibigin Ka), Jed Madela (The Memory), Loren Alfred and Pia Toscano (Gusto Ko Nang Bumitaw), Katharine McPhee-Foster (Kailan Kaya), JJ Lin (Hanggang), among others.

“I had this dream ever since I was a kid. I was always into music and I grew up with Filipino music. And always, I had that weird inkling that, ‘Oh my god,’ wouldn’t it be cool doing all this Western music if the Westerners would do our music? So it wasn’t until the pandemic that I was given the opportunity to start this trilogy,” recounted Troy in a media conference.

“It started with Kaibigan, then it went on with my second album which is Giliw, and now Dalamhati. It’s basically the story of unrequited love. For me it’s very Filipino. It’s the story of my life and how our relationship kind of developed. You know, from friends to lovers, and this is basically my heartbreak album.”

Jed, on the other hand, shared that he had known Troy for the longest time and he commended the latter for being generous to Filipino artists.

“Aside from the fact that it’s really obvious that he is such an amazing artist and amazing arranger, producer, what really stands out is he has a very beautiful soul. He, of course, starts with his dream but he is not selfish. He includes everybody else’s dream, especially us Filipino artists,” described Jed of the award-winning musical director and producer.

Jed likewise noted how Troy has “opened so many doors, even windows” for Filipino artists to be noticed in the international scene. “And you can just feel the sincerity of his heart. He loves OPM. He loves our music. He loves Filipinos and it shows in all his work,” further expressed the singer-songwriter.

With that, Jed said he will never get tired of saying thank you to Troy. “Thank you so much Troy for being such an amazing person, amazing human being. You just don’t know how much you have helped a lot of people realize their dreams, especially these young ones.”

During the press conference, former The Voice Teens contestant Chloe and Tawag ng Tanghalan season 3 grand finalist John Mark Saga joined Jed and Troy on stage. Jed displayed his powerful vocals with You Are My Song performance, Chloe with Akin Ka Na Lang and John Mark with Hanggang.  Chloe remarked that working with Troy was “such a dream” for her. “I didn’t expect that I would be invited to his album launch. That was my first time seeing and performing with Troy. And I’m so very grateful. And parang na-check ko na po yung isa sa bucket list ko to perform with such a great artist so thank you very much,” she offered.

John Mark, who had been a fan of Troy ever since, chimed in, “And it’s nice to see someone na nagbibigay space for such important stories. I didn’t realize that he still recognized me until he posted a video of me performing on Instagram and then nag-contact kami dun.”

The young performer still couldn’t believe that he got to collaborate with one of the artists that he admired most. “Because he opened doors not just for Filipinos but for OPM itself. So really to be in this presence is an honor for me.”

Troy, on the other hand, got emotional hearing those words, expressing his gratitude to them in return: “I just wanna say that these three in particular everyone has been so supportive and I just wanna thank you guys ‘cause you’ve been supporting me these past couple of weeks. And being in just full form from all different parts of the Philippines to be here, thank you so much.”

Troy grew up in the US and has worked with Ariana Grande, Deborah Cox, Melanie Fiona, Cheesa, Tommy Page, Iggy Azalea, and many others. He was mentored by Canadian musician and composer David Foster.

“Being just Filipino in general in the music industry that was maybe 10 to 15 years ago, a little less inclusive was definitely hard,” he opined on the challenges of advocating for OPM while working in the US.

“I got told by some family members that Filipinos don’t make it in the industry because of the color of my skin, the size. There was a lot of adversity... And it took a lot to get here. But, you know, being here today, I’m proud that I’m able to (be a) beacon of light for a lot of Filipino musicians and creatives. And I wear that flag and my Filipino identity proudly everywhere I go.”

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