Apl.de.ap on a mission
So much talent, so little opportunity.
This has always been the case in the music industry, especially for aspiring local artists, according to Filipino-American Black Eyed Peas member apl.de.ap. That’s why he makes it his mission—through his own music label, BMBX—to discover and develop young hopefuls.
“There’s a lot of amazing, phenomenal Filipino artists, not only here, but around the world…And it’s my dream to help them show off their talents,” apl, or Allan Pineda Lindo Jr. in real life, told the Inquirer at a recent press conference that introduced two of his wards: R&B singer Jessica Reynoso and crooner Miguel Antonio.
“I want to create a movement here in Asia. I want the rest of the world to come here and pay attention to us,” he said.
As someone who once dreamed of making it big in the world of music, the hip-hop artist said that this endeavor is also his way of giving back and honoring those who helped him.
“I was lucky to have been given the chance to go abroad and realize my goals there,” said apl, who at 14 moved to the United States via the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which also matched him with his adoptive father, lawyer Joe Ben Hudgens.
More than Jessica’s and Miguel’s musical talent, what drew him to the newbies, apl said, was their passion and dedication to the craft. “First of all, I’m a fan of what they do. They have so much skill and drive, and I want to make sure that they don’t go to waste,” he said.
The spunky Jessica, a Filipino of African-American descent, was a regular in singing contests, until apl chose her to be a member of his team in the first season of “The Voice of the Philippines.” Miguel, on the other hand, is based in Singapore and was discovered by apl at a charity event there.
Protector of dreams
“Mentoring artists is something I love. But it’s also tough because I have to protect their dreams, which they’ve sort of entrusted to me,” he related, adding that his wards have been busy working on their respective projects.
Jessica and Miguel recently recorded an uplifting ballad titled “Hope of One Voice,” which was written by Elim Chew, the Singaporean founder of the fashion brand 77th Street. The two also flew with apl to Tacloban to shoot a documentary on the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
“I hope the song inspires the survivors, the kids especially. The proceeds of the song will help build classrooms in Tacloban through the apl.de.ap Foundation,” he said.
Apl said that to succeed in the international market an artist needs a lot of dedication and hard work.
“You have to keep pushing yourself and reinventing yourself. You have to love doing shows, especially now that the music landscape has changed so much,” he pointed out. “You also have to surround yourself with people who have the same dreams and values as you do.”
Meanwhile, apl related that he and the rest of The Black Eyed Peas—
will.i.am, Fergie and Taboo—plan to release a new album next year, for their 20th anniversary. “We’ve been working on it. We’ve got a slew of new songs. We’ll drop a few singles first until we finish the new record,” apl said of the future plans of the hip-hop group, which has been on hiatus since 2011.
“We had been touring for so long, we had to take a break and live our own lives,” he said. “But I miss being onstage with them. We’re friends
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