A Filipina singer making waves in Japan is in Manila for a return mission: make it big here.
Songstress Maricar, who in the past ten years has been flying in and out of Japan as a professional singer, is promoting her freshly made and independently produced self-titled album, actually her second since she released an album under the tutelage of seasoned songwriter Vehnee Saturno back in 2014.
That album Mahal Mo Na Siya was a minor hit and distributed by Universal Records under her full name Maricar Riesgo. She needed to drop her surname for this new package because, according to her, it is not that easy to pronounce.
But the surname matter is least of Maricar’s concern. It is the challenge of penetrating the competitive Manila music scene that gives her the urge to “take the big leap.”
“I wanted to please the local audience kahit mahirap ang labanan dito,” expressed the noticeably grounded lady act whose voice beautifully captures a variety of singing styles, including one often heard these days.
One of her new songs “Tahan Na” fits into that bill, with its lyrics sung in such quick-walk pace without losing that necessary laidback feel. It’s the second single off her 11-track album she launched on May 5 at Walwalan Overview in Quezon City. Limited copies of her CD is available by ordering through her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/maricarofficial/. Any moment the whole album is in digital format release.
Maricar, who is raised in Tondo and got scouted by a Japanese company for her career, noted, “The album started as essays that got crafted into different genres of music played on different sets of instruments.”
Among her achievements in Japan include placing 2nd in the Japan Karaoke Grand Prix, winning multiple champion trophies in Utawit (singing competition for Filipino-Japanese singers), and fronting Bless of GK, a band based in Ginza, Tokyo that performs regularly at the high-end Kentos Ginza.
She also had a sold-out concert at JZBrat in Shibuya, described as a dining club frequented by Japan’s movers and shakers.
Her album’s executive producer credit is shared by Marikai Group Japan and Blckmrkt International (with its studio located in Quezon City). Most of the songs, including the alternative rock track “Lumuluha”, featured the skill of young songwriter Yang Yang Duna. A Japanese version of the mentioned track closes the album.
Maricar recalled that she needed to fly back to Japan a couple of months after the release of her previous album. This time around, she won’t make the same move that affected her momentum.
Asked about the current state of Filipino performers in Japan, she pointed out, “Gone are the times when just about anyone can have a shot at becoming a singer in Japan. Now you need to be a legitimate singer to get the gigs.”
With her credential and love for Pinoy crowd, no doubt Maricar is a singer who deserves a second look.
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