FINDING a balance between artistic expression and self-doubt can be a challenging feat for many, especially in the realm of music. For Niño Angelou A. Estremos, also known as 'Onin,' this balance is a work in progress.
Onin is an independent musician who closely pays attention to details and emotions, making sure that every sound carries the intent to evoke a certain feeling that matches the message of the songs he makes.
“I’m the type of artist that doesn’t want to be too cryptic nor too upfront with my writing. I want my songs to be easy for the listeners, but still pack a lot of details in the songwriting and/or the production,” Onin said during an interview with SunStar Davao.
Onin’s journey into music was influenced by his family’s deep-rooted passion for the art. However, it wasn’t until he discovered his knack for playing instruments and delved into music production that he realized his potential in making music.
“Our favorite pastime would be karaoke, and that was how I unknowingly got my start as a musician,” he recalled fondly.
Growing up listening to pop music, Onin found inspiration in its catchy melodies but yearned to explore beyond its boundaries.
"I admired their catchiness but want to explore other genres in terms of instrumentation," he explained.
Onin also draws inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences which impacts his musical journey.
He shared that he particularly resonates with the story of the IV of Spades' bassist, Zild Benitez, who started making electronic dance music (EDM) tracks before joining the band; while, International bands like Paramore and I DON'T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME (IDKHow) have further shaped his musical style, helping him develop his own style in the music industry.
Besides creating music, Onin also has a knack for visual arts and enjoys learning 3D animation. While his focus remains on music, he finds ways to incorporate his visual skills into his musical endeavors.
Producing own songs
Onin has officially written and produced five songs including 'Kabilang Daigdig,' 'Save Me Too,' 'Gaya ng Dati,' and 'Nasaan Ka, Maria Clara?'
Among these self-produced songs, 'Slowly' holds a special place in his heart.
"It’s the first song I’ve written and produced, and it has taken on a lot of versions that not many people have heard yet. Constantly changing it for the past three years showed my progress in every aspect of music. And the version that you can currently listen to satisfies me the most, both in technical and general aspects." he shared.
He further stated, "I still equally love everything I make because of the stories behind them."
Despite his passion for music, Onin has faced his share of challenges, particularly in overcoming his shyness and self-doubt.
"I've always been shy and socially awkward, especially when performing, and I've been working on my confidence ever since," he admits.
Yet, through his dedication, he has been steadily building his confidence and self-trust.
"I think it’s mostly because of how I make up assumptions about what other people might say about me. But then I started committing to this musical career and developing my own image and brand, and that’s when I started realizing that some people actually appreciate what I make," he realized.
Through the years of pursuing music, Onin's hard work has not gone unnoticed as he recently won the Mindanao Film Festival's Best Musical Score award for the film 'Lament of the Silent Crow,' directed by his colleague and friend, Chrismar Rue Soegaard.
"It’s one of those moments that solidified me as a musician because I got to see my name in that trophy for the first time ever," he proudly stated.
Looking ahead, Onin plans to release an EP this 2024 in which he has already finished two songs, "I’ve been in contact with some of my very talented friends to work on music videos. It’s only a matter of scheduling and technical planning at this point. It’s always been my biggest dream to finally have music videos for my own songs.”
For aspiring artists, Onin encourages everyone to fearlessly pursue their artistic dreams, maximize resources, and not dwell on skepticism.
"You have to understand that skepticism will only hinder you from achieving your true potential. Commit to your goal until you start developing your own style and learn more about yourself and your music." he ended.
To know more about Onin, check his social media pages: