Skipo Jack: Saying 'Domo' to Enrique-A A +A
Monday, January 10, 2011
HE WAS once a Flippers band, among the third generation, under Alpha Records.
The group popularized the song Di Ako Iiyak back in 1994.
A native of Davao City who now lives in Fukuoka City, Japan, Enrique Diao, with his showbiz name Enrique Montre, studied at the University of Mindanao and Holy Cross of Davao College.
He is a professional singer, composer, and a sports enthusiast who became president of Asaphil (softball) from 2004 to 2007, Davao chapter.
Let's get to know Eric more in this tete-a-tete.
Skipo Jack: When did your love for music start?
Eric Montre: When I was in grade school, I think in grade four. I started singing in front of a large crowd while participating in a school choir contest at the Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Elementary School. My very first singing experience in a contest was in Tubalan, Davao del Sur where I joined a family-initiated fiesta contest.
In 1983, the famous Superwheel Search for Singing Stars (hosted by Dante Luzon and Connie Cummins-Ledesma) became an unforgettable part of my journey to music. It was followed by national competitions, namely Ang Bagong Kampeon in 1986, Sony Music Festival in Manila 1991, Pasikatan sa Trese in 1994, still in Manila. And in 1988, I experienced my very first travel outside the country. It was in Kyoto, Japan with The Music Empire Band. After I got back to the Philippines, I played in prestigious hotels such as Holiday Inn Manila (El Camarote), Sheraton Hotel, Manila Hotel, Philippine Plaza, just to name some. At present, I am working as a band singer and at the same time doing an album entitled Enrique Montre.
SOJ: What made you stick with music and performing all these years?
Eric: I want to reach my dreams before my own curtain falls down. I have a lot of compositions and I want to share them to people who love music as much as I do. I will stop at nothing till I hear my songs played on the radio, sung by other singers or other people. I dream of being recognized as a respected composer/singer in my generation. That is my ultimate dream as an artist.
SOJ: What are some of the challenges that you face in your craft?
Eric: In the Philippines, once you reach my age, singers and artists have to come to terms with getting very limited engagements. Unless you are millionaire, you cannot afford to produce your own albums. Considering that incapacity, singers would have a hard time making their own album. Plus this trend now in the entertainment scene where the young, good looking and sexy dominate the scene. I wish I could be one of them. (Laughs)
SOJ: What is it about music that really love?
Eric: I am a very emotional person. I am creative, imaginative and I have good ears for catchy melodies. For me, living daily without music is not living at all.
SOJ: Who do you idolize in the international/local celebrities?
Eric: In the local entertainment, my idol is no other than my brother Ronnie Diao. I owe a lot to him. I also have favorites like Rey Valera, Ryan Fuentes, Hajji, Rico J, Jun Polistico (who was once my mentor), Nonoy Zuniga and the late Ric Segreto. Internationally, I dig Peabo Bryson, Philip Bailey, Maurice White, Barry White, the Stylistics, Al Jarreau, Matt Bianco, the Manhattans, Marvin Gaye and Kool & the Gang. (Telling of age, Ric-Jack)
SOJ: What pieces of advice can you give to the new breed of singers?
Eric: Practice, research new stuff and study. Avoid smoking and too much drinking. My artist motto is act, walk, sing, talk and perform like a real artist. That way, your music will last forever.
SOJ: Five/ten years from now, will you still be doing what you do? Why?
Eric: Yes, I have always loved making new songs for people coming from different walks life. I will continue doing it for as long as I live.
SOJ: Which area of Davao's entertainment scene needs improvement? Why?
Eric: I believe there are lots of Davao artists waiting to be discovered. There are countless of them. I believe I am one of those. The artists themselves have problems too. Our obligation is not only to perform but be ideal especially to the young generation. I have always made it a point to look my best when I perform. I mean, be it on stage or on TV, performers should not look untidy, drunk, or high on drugs. I would also like to say that Davao City radio stations should support our very own. Let me take this opportunity to thank a few partners who have been there for me while making my niche in the city's music industry. Thanks to Baby Castillo and Poloi Castillo, Star FM`s former station manager Joel Castil.,Ricky Wilson of Love Radio, BigJoe of MOR, Chris Fabian, Roger Layson and to ABS-CBN Maayong Buntag Mindanao for the support of Samadhi back in 2005 and for airing Ciudad sa Dabaw during Araw ng Dabaw in 2004, which was performed by Yoyoy Idol Suave.
My sincerest thanks also to Vice Mayor Rody Duterte and former city tourism officer Id Acaylar for giving me the chance to perform and sing my song Magkaisa sa Mundo during the opening of Pasko fiesta that time.
Enrique Montre is now promoting his new single entitled "Hope It's You" under Wadab Records, an Indi Label, Japan. Check his website enriquemontre.com for updates on new compositions which includes Araw't Gabi (a duet with Yoko Yamamoto). This is the first time in the Philippine Music history that a Japanese singer croons a Tagalong song. Other songs are "Sweetness of Your Love" and the bonus track, "Maligayang Pasko Sa Inyong Lahat."
The album's carrier single, "Hope It's You," incidentally is enjoying airplays in Fukuoka City at Love-FM 76.1. Hopefully, on the first quarter of 2011, the people of Davao will be able to hear it playing in their favorite radio stations.
Email me at email@example.com or check facebook for updates and greetings on firstname.lastname@example.org. Text me if you have performers that are worth this page. Buzz me at 09228420977 or 09498569290. Happy 2011 to all from me and from colleagues, Grace Plata of SkipoJack&Co. We will be in Cebu for the Sinulog!
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 11, 2011.