Ely, Kean, Monty, and Champ. These are some of your favorite Filipino frontmen. And now, they’re also part of the artists who now have their own record labels.
Artists who now have their own record labels started out exactly like the musicians that they’re now producing —with the simple dream to make and perform music. And as we know now, these frontmen have already achieved that dream—performing as they’ve performed their hearts out on stage. Today, they’re helping those who want their talents to be heard.
And like most musicians starting out, we know that these artists struggled to attain the names they have made for themselves in the OPM scene. That’s why it doesn’t come as a shock at all that they put up a record company to help talented musicians rise in the Philippine music scene. And we are sure you have heard the names of these artists who now have their own record labels!
1. Ely Buendia (OffShore Music)
Ely Buendia is a famous Filipino artist known for his talents when it comes to singing, songwriting, and playing the guitar. He was also the lead vocalist for the well-known band called the Eraserheads. Who could ever forget the lyrics to the song ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ even after more than a decade since its release, right? We know we didn’t!
Ely Buenda is now the chair of an independent record label formed two years ago, the Offshore Music. Alongside five other partners who share the same appreciation that he has on the quality of vinyl records.
It took a while for us to get going…We had very little resources at our disposal. But we felt this was the right time because we have a few things coming up.
Ely Buendia stated in an interview for Esquire Mag.
The record label focuses on vinyl releases, stepping out of the conventional OPM music and transforming them. Offshore Music’s first release was the Apartel’s ‘Inner Play’ and was later on followed by a succession of quality music such as ‘Gabi Man, May Araw Din’ by Ely Buendia himself, The Ransom Collective‘s 11-track vinyl album ‘Traces‘ and the rising Filipino band One Click Straight‘s ‘She.’
Offshore Music focuses on talents who has individuality and are passionate. Ely Buendia assures that they would not sign those who they cannot support. He chooses those who they truly believe has the potentials to make it big in the music scene.
2. Kean Cipriano (O/C Records)
Famous Filipino singer, composer, musician, and music video director Kean Cipriano is the vocalist of the famous pop-rock band Callalily is known for their chart-topping songs such as ‘Magbalik’ and ‘Stars.’ Not to mention the band’s official music video for their new song ‘Ex,’ which is very intense to say the least!
Kean Cipriano launched his own record label called the O/C Records last August 14 together with Chynna Ortaleza, the musician’s celebrity wife and Vic del Rosario of Viva Entertainment. Kean is the label’s chairman and CEO while Chynna is vice president for production and talent development, the record label’s name was coined after their surnames.
“What (we) want to happen with O/C records is to really be an unorthodox, out-of-the-box, edgy, risky type of label who respects their artists.” He added, “As an artist myself, ‘yon ‘yong pinaka natutunan ko. The more na ibigay mo ‘yong creative freedom doon sa artist, the more na mag-poprosper ang art niya.”
Kean explained in an interview for One Music PH.
The idea of starting their own record label begun when Callalily started producing their own music. Kean and Chynna want musicians who are passionate and are risk takers. Artists that would help in the development and improvement of the Philippine music scene. There are no lines and boundaries when it comes to O/C Records! They just want their artists to bloom and prosper uniquely without being held back.
Frontliner of O/C Records’ talent is former member of famous Filipino band IV of Spades, Unique Salonga, who had his first major solo performance called the ‘Grandma Concert Tour‘ under the record label. Kean Cipriano and other artists such as Bita and the Botflies, Earl Generao, Frizzle Anne, and Rice Lucido are signed under the O/C Records.
3. Monty Macalino (The Yellow Room Music)
Monty Macalino is the vocalist-guitarist for the famous alternative rock band Mayonnaise. The band has been known for more than a decade in the OPM scene together with their hit songs such as ‘Bakit Part 2’ and ‘Ipagpatawad mo.’ And we are sure that you have danced to the beat of ‘Jopay’ or sang along to its lyrics at least once in your life!
Monty Macalino is the founder, owner, and CEO of a record label, The Yellow Room Music Philippines. However, the label that Monty founded on the year 2013 is not a record label alone! But also a recording and rehearsal studio and a music school for amateur and professional musicians–– giving more opportunities for individuals with musical talents.
We’re approaching our 16th year. We’ve seen a lot of things. What I can say is, don’t get high with the high’s, don’t get low with the low’s. There will be gigs where there will be no audience. Realistically speaking, if you want to play, just play. If you have a dream about being really successful, there are going to be a lot of sacrifices to be made.
Monty Macalino sends out a message for aspiring musicians in an interview with Wish 107.5.
The Yellow Room Music showed how passionate Monty was when it comes to music. Writing songs, creating music, and performing with his band was just the beginning of it. With the release of their fifth album and still unsigned by any major record label, Monty founded the very sanctuary for his bandmates… A record label company of his own unto which they produced Mayonnaise on their own.
Monty’s record company did not only produce artists. But he also aims to teach and provide a home for those who want to hone their musical inclinations and passion.
4. Champ Lui Pio (Mecca Music)
Champ Lui Pio is a Filipino artist known for being the guitarist-vocalist of the alternative rock band Hale known for their hit song ‘The Day You Said Goodnight.’ The soothing song still serenades the Philippine music scene up to date. When the OPM band disbanded on the year 2010 however, each members pursued their own interest.
Champ Lui Pio after the unfortunate disbandment, set out and put up his own indie record label in the first quarter of 2011, the Mecca Music.
When Hale disbanded, I felt like I needed a break. So, I wanted to do something different but still connected to music.
He explained during an interview for PEP PH back in 2015.
Champ Lui Pio decided to help struggling musicians to have a shot at attaining their dream to be heard. Admittedly, he had to endure the struggles that came as he works on the other side of the music scene. The first artist that signed under Mecca Music was Somedaydream until the contract ended. In 2013, he introduced his new talent Luigi D’Avola.
Champ Lui Pio continued to manage and produce through Mecca Music and his band, Hale, decided to have a reunion when the year 2015 arrived to everyone’s surprise–– wasn’t that just a wonderful time? Now, Champ Lui Pio extended his passion for music once again! He invested for 12 Monkeys, a bar and music-related establishment located along Makati.
What do you think of the passion of these musicians turned record label founders? Do you know any other Filipino artists who now have their own record label companies? Let us know on the comment section below or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter @UDoUPh. We’d love to hear from you!