By Nickie Wang
Will Rico Blanco’s fourth single “Ayuz” be the answer to make the album Your Universe sell more and reach gold record status? The single, which tunes are arranged with strategic shifting tempos, now echoes on the radio with chorus so inviting, it will make you snap your fingers.
“The new single is a happy, feel-good song that will make listeners forget their worries. It reminds us that what’s really important is to be with our loved ones. It is enough to make everything ‘Ayuz’ [all right],” Rico shares.
The ex-Rivermaya member adds that the single was supposed to be released earlier but it had to give way for the single “Bangon,” a song dedicated to the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
“At that point, I felt that I needed to offer a song to those affected by the calamities. ‘Bangon’ is a song that also honors the people who helped out,” the solo artist muses.
Rico is able to sustain his career after his very controversial separation from Rivermaya, the band that he co-founded where he played varying roles as vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist, and songwriter. Indeed, he is multitalented and it is safe to say that he can do almost everything to entertain his fans—even dancing.
In the “Ayuz” music video, Rico is seen dancing a la Jay Kay or more properly known as Jamiroquai. According to the rock artist, the video is his tribute to the late American actor and choreographer Fred Astaire and to the legendary actor-singer-film director Gene Kelly.
“For me, it’s a dream come true. I’ve been dancing since I was with my first band,” says Rico who confesses that as a kid, he had won several dance contests.
In the video, Rico sports a green jacket while strutting the freestyle way. The video, directed by Treb Monteras III, also features FHM’s sexiest woman of 2009, Cristine Reyes.
“It’s a trip for me to finally break into a short dance and be accompanied by a good friend in a music video. For the people who have followed my shows, they would see that once in a while I’d break into a short dance number,” the 36-year-old musician explains.
Your Universe bagged numerous recognitions and citations from different music awards last year. It was named Album of the Year by Philippine Radio Music Awards and PMPC Star Award for Music. Meanwhile, the singles “Yugto” and “Antukin” won Song of the Year award at the Philippine Radio Music Awards and Awit Awards, respectively.
After being a member of Rivermaya for more than a decade, Rico’s maiden attempt to introduce himself as a solo artist has started to pay off with a growing number of serious followers. Though alternative rock, the genre where his music is classified, has a relatively small market on the local music scene, his popularity can be witnessed through his well-attended gigs and live performances.
Warner Music Philippines prepares for the repackaged edition of Your Universe intended for Southeast Asian release. It is another effort to introduce Rico as a solo artist and to give Filipinos abroad a chance to appreciate his music (and some foreign folks who would be interested in his music and lyrics).
“We’ve been preparing for it since the last six months. The repackaged album will include additional new songs I wrote,” he says.
Aside from this defining mark in Rico’s career, he has just launched a snazzy Web site (www.ricoblanco.com.ph) fully dedicated to his fans. It features videos, concert photos, gigs and concert schedules, and latest information about him.