Hardly can you find a record label’s A&R (Artist and Repertoire) manager record his own song for official release, unless the guy’s name is Ebe Dancel.
That’s exactly the scenario behind the arrival of “Manatili” in digital stores today, May 28. It’s Ebe’s first single after signing up as artist of Widescope Entertainment where he currently handles the position often associated with personnel discovering highly potential acts. In his case, he’d been an established one himself, with numerous hits to his name, before he took the job.
The single, the first of many with “certain concepts in mind,” is a turning point in Ebe’s solo career. For one, it’s produced by his equally legendary manager Rico Blanco. Ebe stressed, “We’re great friends and I trust him. Trust is very important in this business.”
The ex-Rivermaya vocalist and chief songwriter co-produced Sugarfree’s debut album that produced “Burnout,” “Mariposa,” and “Telepono.”
Musicians involved for “Manatili” included Dino Decena, Jaschia Obieta, Giancarlo Gonzales, Mico Villena, and John Apura. Arranger Gino Cruz and noted mixing engineer Angee Rozul valuably guided the recording process.
Asked about his A&R work, Ebe noted, “There was an adjustment from my end as I integrated myself into the system. But honestly, I’m loving it. All day, music is all I do and I can’t ask for anything more. Being A&R has given me the chance to learn more about the music industry.”
Widescope Entertainment, a top advertising agency for years, emerged as among the aggressive record outfits amidst the new normal set-up. Thanks to the strong leadership and corporate experience of its president Vic de Vera and music and entertainment director Neil Gregorio.
Significantly, being A&R is likewise Ebe giving back to the scene that had been kind to him and helping younger musicians he feels deserving of the breaks he himself has enjoyed since Sugarfree’s breakout.
Ebe’s job description at Widescope Entertainment couldn’t be more fit, especially with his fascination for the skills of today's generation of musicians. He shared, “I think they’re amazing. Some songs that 20-year-olds write these days make me feel like they’ve already experienced everything about life. The technique and skill are there, and technology works to their advantage because they keep discovering new tools and styles to integrate into their songwriting.”
He added, “The artists of Widescope Entertainment are pretty amazing. I hope to keep discovering new talent.”
On his songwriting embraced by fans and critics alike, the hitmaker has this to say: “What matters is the expectations and goals you set for yourself. Pressure comes with the job and I’ve come to embrace it and look forward to new challenges. I’m still learning new things about my craft 20 plus years later.”