Indie record CEO Ely Buendia adds to roster, signs up new talents | Inquirer Entertainment

Indie record CEO Ely Buendia adds to roster, signs up new talents

/ 12:20 AM October 23, 2023
Ely Buendia (fourth from left, wearing shades) with the new Offshore Music artists —OFFSHORE MUSIC
Ely Buendia (fourth from left, wearing shades) with the new Offshore Music artists —OFFSHORE MUSIC

One could sense the excitement at the presentation last week of 10 new music acts who had just been signed by indie record label, Offshore Music. That musician and Eraserheads lead singer Ely Buendia is president and CEO of the label formed in 2016 may have added to the interest of those who had gathered at the basement of a Makati building.

Buendia, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses, was joined by the label’s general manager Audry Dionisio, and A&R director and board member Pat Sarabia who briefly talked about how they had arrived at the 10 performers—a mix of solo artists, singer-songwriters and college rock bands intent on leaving their mark in the music industry.

The three came up with the final list after listening to demos sent in by the different artists but also made it a point to seek out some of them to catch their live performances. “We unanimously agreed on who to sign because we liked what we saw and heard, and the artists fit with who we are as a label,” Dionisio said.


Beyond Manila

It’s notable that Offshore Music looked beyond Manila, signing up performers from different parts of the country including Baguio, Laguna, Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro.


“I applaud our new acts who took the risk to share their music with the public, compromising their voice in the process because that’s what happens,” Buendia said at the launch. “It’s the only way to survive… through community and not being selfish about [sharing one’s music].”

The 10 acts then introduced themselves one by one, giving a brief description of their sound. The boys of Alyson band were dressed in beige suits, a nod to Japanese City Pop from the 1970s and ’80s. Their aim? “To emerge as one of the label’s iconic acts, captivating audiences throughout Asia and beyond.”

Solo female artist Noelle (of Her Name is Noelle) weaves together “the raw power of rock and the emotional depth of Midwest emo”; Baguio City-based all-male group Amateurish fuses “Math and Pop Rock, crafting melodies that strike a universal chord”; and Ligaya Escueta merges “a playful sense of nostalgia with vintage-inspired sounds.”

Offshore artists —OFFSHORE MUSIC
Offshore artists —OFFSHORE MUSIC

The artist neytan describes his pop sound as “highly influenced by the 1960s to the ’80s if a nerdy Paul Dano created it with the confidence of Alex Turner wearing tight leather pants, and the easygoing vibe of cartoon cat, Garfield”; the all-male group from Pampanga, Mt. Lewis, said their music resonates with “those who enjoy listening and dancing to classic, old-school tunes with a modern twist”; and rap artist JDRX explores a “more mellow take on R&B with spacey synths that bring a more mysterious and soothing aspect to his sound.”

Artistic growth

Another R&B artist is Cagayan de Oro-based Crisha who said at the launch that her songs are “based on my experiences of love, hardships and mental problems,” adding that her being signed by Offshore Music was her chance to tell her story.

The all-male group Bree has been making and producing its own music for the longest time and sees this opportunity as a way to reach a broader audience. The music of solo singer-songwriter Elton Clark is characterized by “a deep sense of empathy… and a commitment to articulating the emotions of people from diverse backgrounds.”

Ely Buendia
Ely Buendia

“I really don’t know what to expect, and that’s what’s great about it,” Buendia said. “By choosing Offshore Music, these artists have proven that they value artistic growth over anything else.”

Later that evening, a few of the newly signed artists performed for those gathered to mark the event.

Some of Offshore Music’s previously handpicked artists and bands include Apartel, ena mori, Pinkmen, Sulo, Sansette and Eliza Marie.

Last week, Elton Clark released his debut single “Wait Lang” under Offshore Music and Sony Music Entertainment. This will be followed by “Sweet” by Bree (Oct. 20), “Novelty” by Ligaya (Oct. 27), “Stay” by JDRX (Nov. 3) and “Twenty Something” by Her Name is Noelle (Nov. 10).

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The launch last week was presented by Offshore Music with support from Sony Music Entertainment and The New Hue. INQ

TAGS: Ely Buendia, Eraserheads

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