Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Movie release material

In New Line Cinema's romantic drama “If I Stay,” music is the connective tissue that threads the characters' world together. It is also “a metaphor for our passions in life,” states director R.J. Cutler.
Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

“If I Stay” opens with a Cello Sonata by Beethoven and riffs through an array of music including Zoltan Kodaly, Bach, Buzzcocks, Beck, Sonic Youth, Blondie, Iggy Pop, and The Dandy Warhols, to name a few.

“Music is an undeniably critical element in and of itself in this film and that created a wonderful opportunity for me,” says Cutler. “Telling stories about people who play music and who sing allows you to enhance the narrative in many different ways. You’re dealing with the content of the lyrics, the nature of the performance, and the tone of the actual scene itself. It’s really exciting to get things that function on all of those levels when you find exactly the right piece of music and put it together in exactly the right way.”

Cutler set the musical tone early, giving MP3 players to his cast loaded with playlists that their characters would be listening to, since “they are defined by the music they love,” he explains.

Chloe Grace Moretz, who plays the central character, the cellist Mia, received one filled with music from the classical genre, as well as contemporary music that incorporated classical instruments, like Nirvana’s “Unplugged.” Cutler also included a lot of Mia's parents, Kat and Denny’s favorite music, which Mia grew up on: The Clash, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, as well as more contemporary Pacific Northwest-based music that would likely be in the world around her.

The playlist for Jamie Blackley who plays the guitarist and rocker, Adam, overlapped Moretz’s, but with less classical and more of a foundation in Punk and Grunge.

Although Blackley actually plays guitar and sings, he brushed up with lessons from Simon Tong, who played in the band Gorillaz.

The first time Blackley got to perform the music was a pivotal scene which takes place at a Labor Day party at Mia’s house. The day Mia remembers in her retrospective state as her favorite day was also one of Blackley’s favorite scenes. Adam and his band mates play guitar with Mia’s father and his musician friends gathered around a bonfire in Mia’s backyard. Blackley recalls, “That was really fun to film because we had worked so hard on the music.”

Adam brings out Mia’s cello and pulls her into the impromptu jam and, for the first time, she and Adam are finally playing music together, melding her classical music with his.

“It’s very symbolic. It’s like they are intertwining all the aspects of their lives,” says Moretz.

Author Gayle Forman, whose novel was the basis of the film, relates, “Being able to actually viscerally experience watching Mia play the cello or seeing Adam and Mia actually jam together was a million times better than it could ever be in the book or in my head. I think the music is really going to resonate with viewers.”

The songs are touchstones in Mia’s memories as she studies her past in the in-between world and reflects on the complex twists and turns in her relationship with Adam.

“It’s really beautiful how R.J. infused music into every aspect of making this movie,” Moretz notes, “You hear their love story; it’s completely encompassed in the songs.”

Cutler reflects, “These two people who are deeply in love with each other, and really connected could be torn apart for no other reason than that they are fully pursuing who they are.

“Life is messy. There isn’t just one path. It’s all the joy that comes from the surprises that it has in store for you and all the tragedy that comes from those surprises. What Mia learns on her journey with Adam is invaluable and helps her make her ultimate choice.”

Opening across the Philippines on September 3, 2014, “If I Stay” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Japanese Singer AISAKU in his ‘ALAALA MO’ Music Video!

After the successful release of his carrier single ‘IKAW PA RIN’ (popularized by Ted Ito), Pure Japanese Singer AISAKU YOKOGAWA proudly unleashes his equally strong follow up track culled from his Ikaw Pa Rin album entitled ‘ALAALA MO’ (Saigo No Ame), another melodic remake of a Ted Ito original.

With "Alaala Mo", Aisaku showcases his flair for the Tagalog language; pronouncing words more vividly, understanding every phase and  applying just the right kind of emotion to its lyrics. Despite being a true blooded Japanese, Aisaku emerges and proves that his mastery of the Filipino language has developed. Over the past several years that he's been performing along side OPM icons, Aisaku seems to have adapted more of the Pinoy Culture and as he would term it, he's become more PINOY-ish now especially when he sings a particular Tagalog song. He sounds way better now that he did a few years ago. Aside from his ability to sing OPM,  Aisaku has also learned to embrace the most common Pinoy habits like taking a selfie using a selfie pod, and taking pictures of every ‘"ulam" he eats. He also revealed that his current favorite song is Davey Langit’s ‘The Selfie Song’. Aisaku admits that he owes this to his great mentors and he wouldn't have done it without their guidance. He is truly grateful to his colleagues and friends in the industry namely Rannie Raymundo, Dulce, Arthur Manuntag, Jerwin Nicomedez, Thor Dulay, Jeanne Vicars, Skarlet among many others. 

Aisaku is more than elated that Alaala Mo enjoyed heavy spins on radio. In fact, he's very thankful to the radio jocks and staff who have been very supportive to his career as a singer. As a token of gratitude to his supporters and fans, Aisaku recently launched the official music video of Alaala Mo, which can now be seen on YouTube, MYX and MTV Pinoy. The video effectively depicts the exact emotions of Aisaku at the time of the shoot. It captures his melancholic and more serious side as he just got his heart broken before the actual video shoot. According to Aisaku, he did not have a hard time recording the songs in this particular album, in fact he did it with so much ease mainly because the songs are very relatable especially to Pinoys who are sentimental/emotional by nature. Each track elicits a strong sense of loneliness since the lyrics are heartfelt and sincere. 

Aisaku's dedication as an OPM act remains unparalleled and this is evident through his music and in how he performs on stage. He always tends to please his crowd and meets his audience's expectation. 

At this point, Aisaku is gearing up for yet another exciting phase in his career. He will soon be launching his upcoming original tracks ‘‘IMADEMO AISHITERU’ (composed/written by Rob Evangelista) and Aisaku’s original composition, ‘DAIJOBU DAKARA ~kaya pa naman~’ poised to dominate the radio airwaves soon!

Grab a copy of AISAKU’s debut album ‘Ikaw Pa Rin’, featuring the much loved hits IKAW PA RIN and ALAALA MO, produced by Janet Ito, released under i&i records and distributed by
Universal Records. IKAW PA RIN  is also available on iTunes, OPM2GO, and in all record bars nationwide.

For booking inquiries, kindly contact Grace Foronda at +639178058870 or

Monday, August 18, 2014


The long wait is over. The one and only, Mariah Carey, is bringing her “Me. I Am Mariah. World Tour” to Manila on October 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The pop diva will kick-off her world tour in Asia that will include the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Japan.

Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artiste of all time with more than 200 million records sold worldwide to date and eighteen Billboard #1 singles (seventeen self-penned) including ‘Hero’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘Always Be My Baby’, ‘Honey’, ‘One Sweet Day’, ‘Without You’, ‘Touch My Body’, ‘We Belong Together’, ‘Don’t Forget About Us’ and the global smash hit Christmas single ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’, more than any solo artiste in history. With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific song writing, and producing talent, Mariah has defined the modern pop performance. As a singer, songwriter and record producer, she has been recognized with five Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" Award, the World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female Artiste of the Millennium," and BMI's "Icon Award" to name a few.

In 2012, after her post-pregnancy hiatus, she joined the brand new panel for American Idol’s Season 12 together with Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. She released and topped the dance charts worldwide with her smash hit single ‘Triumphant (Get’ Em)’. Mariah also filmed ‘The Butler’, a movie by Lee Daniels, which he had previously cast her in the critically acclaimed ‘Precious’ - a role which won Mariah unprecedented accolades for her dramatic performance.
This year, Mariah released her fourteenth studio album, ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse’, which has received positive reviews from both the media and public worldwide. The album features the smash hits ‘#Beautiful’ (featuring Miguel), ‘You’re Mine (Eternal) and You Don’t Know What To Do.

Ticket prices: SVIP- Call 374-2222, VIP- P15,840, Patron- P12,680, Lower A- P10,560, Lower B- P8,450, Upper Box- P4,230, General Admission- P1,960

‘Me. I Am Mariah. World Tour’ Live in Manila is brought to you by Wilbros Live. Tickets will be on-sale beginning Friday, August 15 via smtickets.comor call 374-2222 or 470-2222

Never The Strangers joins Universal Records

Breakout band Never The Strangers is the newest act to be signed by industry leader Universal Records. Thecontract signing, which happened last August 6, was attended by Universal Records Heads Executive Vice President Ramon Chuaying, Managing Director Kathleen Dy-Go, and Operations Director Peter Chan, theband’s manager Rico Blanco, and handler Soki Munar.

The band is now composed of Ace Libre, JP Del Mundo, Gab Palanca, Nash Ignacio.

The band’s debut album, released almost two years ago, spawned hits like “Moving Closer,” “Bago Mahuli Ang Lahat,” and “Alive.”

The band’s sophomore album is scheduled to be released within the year.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hit Broadway Musical ‘Beauty and the Beast’ tickets go on sale starting August 12

Belle, Beast, Gaston, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere and other much-loved Beauty and the Beast characters come to life on January 11-25, 2015 as Ovation Productions brings the original  Broadway spectacular  to the CCP Main Theatrestage! Experience Belle and the Beast’s wonderful and unique love story in this one of a kind Broadway musicalwhich turns 20 years old this year! Tickets go on sale starting Tuesday, August 12.

Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

The production is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West. It features costumes designed by Tony Award winning Ann Hould-Ward, lighting designed by Natasha Katz, scenic designed by Stanley A. Meyer, sound designed by John Petrafesa Jr., and music supervision by Michael Kosarin. There is also music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman, a book by Linda Woolverton, and additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice.
Daily showtimes except Mondays are 8PM with matinees at 2PM Saturdays and Sundays at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater, CCP Complex. For inquiries: Call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or log on to or,and

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What’s Going on with Barbie Almalbis’ New Heart?

Album release material

Yes, you heard it right. Barbie Almalbis has a “New Heart”, and we’re referring to no other than a new record to proclaim her love and passion for Music.

After 3 years of balancing her numerous gigs and endorsements, Barbie is coming up with a highly-anticipated new album, which she considers her most special, and her most adventurous yet.

“My New Heart” contains all-original tracks that music lovers from all walks of life and ages can relate to. The whole record has the Barbie Almalbis musicality that a vast audience appreciates. The songs included in the album are: Say Goodbye, Emmanuel, Run For Cover, My New Heart, On This Train, We Are Slaves, Secrets, Joyful Joyful, and Ostrich Cowboy. It was produced by Barbie and Maly Andres, and executively produced by Tommy Tanchanco under the 12 Stone Records label. The paintings on the album cover are works of Barbie’s better-half, Martin Honasan, and the layout was by Kuki Ulpindo.

Watch out for its release this month. Log on to for more updates about Barbie Almalbis and her upcoming album.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AFTER FOUR band Rises

I was invited to a launch of the new band not knowing I will really enjoy this Friday evening as this new band debuts with the concert. After Four got its name because they sing cover songs in gigs which usually starts around 4PM and goes home after 4 in the morning.

They do cover from light rock tunes and now having their own album under independent label. Not only that, their concert which I attended are performed with guest artists who are veterans in the entertainment industry such as Isabel Granada, Richard Reynoso and Lilet. It's truly a Throwback era because they are beyond the years to most of the band members.

I can compare their vocalist similar to Bamboo who happens to be their favorite recording artist. Now there's a potential collaboration. Before the concert started, there was an video showing the love ones of each band member telling some stories about their background, struggles and how supportive they are.

One of them was related to another singer that Ms. Granada and Ms. Lilet knows in their That's Entertainment days which is Manilyn Reynes. Good thing that Mr. German Moreno was also present so he could give this new band some boost in exposure.

The current band roster is not the original when they started but they are the current roster that is part of the album. Watch out for more updates and probably you can bet that their songs can be played in the airwaves.

The concert and band launch was held August 9 at Teatrino in Greenhills. For more concert schedules, album launches and press conferences, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs.