Growing up in Queens, New York, some would assume that the 23-year-old singer-songwriter Cedric Escobar was out of touch with his roots. He was still as fluent in Filipino as any native and embraced the country’s culture – especially on the music scene.
That’s because he took lessons to learn the language to better connect with his local fans through his music.
“‘Nung 2016 umuwi ako dito [sa Pilipinas] para i-try ‘yung singing, acting career. Marami akong naranasan na rejections, so medyo na-discourage ako. Hanggang sa kumanta ako sa isang restobar sa New York until may nag-imbita sa akin na ma-feature ni Miss KZ Tandingan noong 2019. That kind started the ball rolling na na-invite ako sa ibang tours,” he said.
Cedric began performing live for other Filipino artists, such as KZ Tandingan, for her 2019 U.S. World Tour. He also served as the opening act for others, like Jaya, Juan Karlos, and The Introvoys, where he met his mentor and the band’s drummer, Paco Arespacochaga.
By performing for Filipino artists, Cedric saw how their Filipino fans supported them through it all. As a result, he wanted to start his career in the Philippines and establish a fanbase since he moved here.
“Sa pagto-tour ko sa America with OPM artists, naranasan ko sa kanila ‘yung pagtangkilik ng mga Pilipino fans,” Cedric told Manila Standard Entertainment.
One fond memory was during a tour with The Introvoys, where the band members still recognize their loyal fans who have been with them since the beginning.
“Para sa akin, nakakataba ng puso ang makaranas ng ganoong ka-loyal. I feel like its not something you witness often sa America, pero ang pagtangkilik ng Filipino fans sa artists nila ay talagang masayang maranasan. At isa ding ‘yong experience na gusto kong maranasan,” Cedric added.
Cedric has experience performing various genres, like gospel, soul, and R&B, but his primary goal with his music is to bring back the 90s OPM sound. He grew up with his mother teaching him how to sing with influences from renowned artists from OPM. Cedric names Martin Nievera as one of his idols in the local music industry.
He’s taken the first step by signing a record deal with PolyEast Records to release his first-ever single, the heartbreaking ballad titled “‘Di Na Ba.”
Arespacochaga wrote the piece for Cedric since “‘Di Na Ba” draws inspiration from the balladeer’s love life. The song is about asking someone if there’s a chance to reunite and continue their story, even if she’s already with someone new.
The young balladeer shared that the song’s message is him asking for a second opportunity because he made a mistake and now regrets his decision.
Initially, Cedric wasn’t sure about the piece because it differed from his usual singing style. But after performing it for a small crowd and hearing how his voice brings the melody and emotions to life, he realized then and there that “‘Di Na Ba” is his song.
“‘Di Na Ba” by Cedric Escobar is now on all digital music streaming platforms. Watch the official performance video on PolyEast Records’ YouTube channel.