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Five years in the making, a lifetime to achieve

It has taken Elmo Magalona half a decade to finally release a full album. But if you think that’s long, his biggest aim might take forever to achieve – but he says he’ll keep trying.

Elmo Magalona has set a bar that’s not only high for himself, but for any aspiring Pinoy artist: To equal the success of his father, the late Master Rapper Francis Magalona.

“We all want to achieve our dreams and I really do hope na ma-achieve ko ’yung dream ko, ’yung mapantayan ko ’yung naabot na success ni Papa,” the singer-actor said in a recent interview.

Elmo pointed out that his dad not only pioneered rap in the Philippines, but a subgenre of hip hop, too.

“Pinagsama niya ’yung pagiging makabayan niya sa hip hop kaya in that point parang nakabuo siya ng sarili niyang genre,” he said. “Kahit na sinasabi sa kanya na hindi ito accepted (back then), ginawa pa rin niya ’yung tingin niya sa puso niya na tama for him.”

The young Magalona thinks that if his father were alive today, he’d be proud of him if only because the son is also avoiding getting “boxed up.”

“I am following my heart, kung ano talaga ’yung gusto kong gawin.”

 

Comes the album

Elmo Magalona

Elmo Magalona

Elmo has released an eponymous album under Universal Records that’s five years in the making. “Elmo” catapulted to the number one spot on iTunes PH a few hours after its release.

“Ang tagal talaga (natapos) kasi palagi ko sinasabi sa sarili ko na dapat gumawa ako ng album kapag talagang ready na ako, kapag talagang may experience na ako,” he said. “Pero naisip ko din (na) hindi dadating ’yung point na ’yun kapag palagi kong ista-stop ’yung paggawa ng album. So this year, naisip ko na, this is it, this is the perfect time.”

According to Elmo, doing the album honed his singing skills further in that “na-explore ko rito kung anong range ang kaya ng voice ko.”

One of Elmo’s favorite tracks is the promotional song “Kay Dali.” He likes its simplicity.

“Ibang-iba ’yung message niya. Alam naman natin kung gaanong karaming love songs, ’di ba? But this one is… simple ang message niya, and ’yung mood na makukuha mo when you listen to the song, du’n mo makukuha ’yung magic.”

Some of the other tracks are “Alam Mo Ba,” “Huwag Kang Matakot,” “Stay,” “You’ll Be Safe Here,” and “Ikaw Lang (Ang Pag-ibig Ko).”

Does he plan to revive some of his father’s songs in the future?

“Yes,” Elmo said. “Sana matuloy. Parang tribute ko na din ’yun sa kanya.”

 

Physical copies, please

Elmo is one artist who likes to release albums in traditional formats.

“Iba pa din kasi ’yung may physical copy ka ng mga CDs,” he said. “I hope na maibalik ng OPM industry (’yung ganun).”

Meanwhile, Elmo continues to keep busy as actor. He last appeared on “Wansapanataym” with love team partner Janella Salvador.

“I’m really grateful kasi maraming natutuwa and interested na mapanuod kami together,” he noted.

Though he enjoys acting, Elmo revealed singing will always be his first love.

“Feeling ko kasi, mas napapakita ko ’yung mga pangyayari sa buhay ko as a singer. When I act kasi meron akong role na ginagampanan. Ang feeling ko, mas makikilala ako as a person kapag kumakanta ako.” (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)