Behind the scene-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
UNKNOWN to many, a special niche is reserved for Cebuanos in the music landscape. It’s a saturated scene out there but amidst the typecast in the capital, homegrown bands Urbandub, The Ambassadors and Powerspoonz, among others are attracting a cult in local and international stages.
Sure, they’ve made it that far in representing the Southside sound. Going pandemic is not too much of a dream for artists. Why not, if they have the balls and the competence? It’s a good old struggle, though. It’s either the music is “eargasmic” or you lick some dirty boots, which no artist really wants to do.
Good thing Cebu is a creative hub with a network of pro bono players willing to catapult bands to the exposure they deserve.
It all started when uploading video parodies online seemed to be the most effective
way to get by college calculus.
At least that was the case for Mariano Raphael “Yano” Cortes III, who was frying brains with computer engineering back then at the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus. That was circa 2006 when YouTube was the greatest sucker of pranks because streaming spoofs at the comforts of the bedroom had never been so convenient. Above all, it’s free.
When gags were not that fun anymore, it dawned on Cortes to position the pastime to something productive.
“I was an anonymous fan of local underground bands. I thought their raw music is worth the attention. From digital camera, I moved to DSLR but this time, not to record comical episodes but live gigs, instead. It was more of like a hobby until it evolved as an advocacy,” Cortes recalled.
Sometime in January of last year, YTV Cebu burst into YouTube as an independent media arm of Cebu’s underground music scene. YTV is simply “walay TV.”
Cortes operated the music video production outfit before it was labeled as a group effort. He now does directing and editing duties together with recruits, who are also self-taught disciples of music and arts, in their mid-20s: audio specialist Alain Lee Godornes, main photographer Dunhill Johari Talpis, assistant director of photography Ian Gabriel Parulan and technical assistant Joseph Modesto.
YTV plays around Cannon DSLRs and Go Pro cameras for video recording and Adobe Premiere Software for post-processing.
“Our videos are produced within the parameters of our resources but they are not mediocre. Producers must patch together the elements of their imaginations for a dynamic output,” challenged Never Ending Weekend (NEW) synthesizer Modesto.
An official music video is delivered in two months average at a minimal cost while live gig videos are available as soon as possible at no charge.
Cortes said meeting clients halfway is necessary as the team is also faced with job schedules and financial constraints.
“YTV is an affordable, do-it-yourself producer in town. We are not cheapskates but bands play for beers. We all know what that means. But it’s safe to say we have the quality. You can always check our Youtube channel,” said Talpis, the eye of freelance photography unit Djtalcore 1.2.
YTV’s debut output is the official music video of Silver Lining, an original composition of Cebuano pop punk quartet, NEW. YTV captured a good reception underground. Other rock bands followed as default subjects: The Lower Class, March The Sky, Drive Me To Juliet, One Man Down, Break Offenders, Killing Amy and streaming.
NEW riffs Godornes voiced out that YTV is an eye opener for Cebuanos whose musical mentalities are confined within discrimination.
“Cebu’s music scene has progressed a lot. Our bands might not be packaged for the masa but they are undeniably good. It’s unfortunate how a bunch of undiscovered talents down here are deprived of proper publicity,” Godornes said.
“That’s why many resort to underground which is not bad at all. Sometimes, bands that sell end up as commercialized front acts for marketing,” Parulan cautioned.
“If the government is serious about tourism, they might want to support bands for a change. A rock star can still talk about local culture, you know,” Cortes opined.
As Cebuano bands march along with the caravan of musicians in pursuit of the limelight, it’s always a relief to have a supportive following. Sometimes, they come in the form of random hobbyists who can’t seem to get enough of YouTube.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 08, 2013.