Ever since the band formed in 2005, Callalily have been called many things – promising, marketable, good-looking, accessible, even pang-masa. They’ve earned awards and recognitions from different award-giving bodies, including radio stations, music video channels, noontime variety shows, and even a teen magazine. While all of these are clearly good things, it’s easy to overlook the fact that frontman Kean Cipriano, guitarist Tatsi Jamnague, drummer Lemuel Belaro, and bassist Aaron Ricafrente worked very hard to achieve the level of success that the band has reached. For starters, it must be noted that some of the members of Callalily were taking courses in the UST Conservatory of Music when they first got together, which meant that they could play their instruments to begin with. But like every upstart band, they went through the whole process of performing in production gigs in small clubs, practicing covers to extend their sets, and eventually, fronting for bigger acts in major events. Steadily, their fanbase grew, and Callalily were given a record contract with Sony BMG, which would release the band’s first three albums and let their music be heard on a nationwide scale.
But more importantly, Callalily have proven that they could come up with good songs. The immensely catchy “Stars” was the band’s breakthrough hit in 2006, and continues to be one of the highlights of their live sets to this day. Their debut album Destination XYZ also had enough radio-ready singles like “Magbalik,” “Take My Hand,” and “Sanctuary” that made music fans and critics take notice, and the album was certified Gold. Not content with sticking to their comfort zone, Callalily expanded their proven pop/alternative rock formula by exploring more complex arrangements on 2008’s Fisheye. But it still resulted in memorable songs like “Susundan” and “Ako’y Babalik.” The band’s profile grew even further, as they toured all over the country and won even more fans over with each performance. Still, they found the time to write, record, and release a third album the following year, the self-titled Callalily. Co-produced by industry veterans Buddy Zabala and Romel Sanchez, the album included the hits “Nananaginip” and “Liwanag,” and earned the band nominations for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Rock Artist of the Year at the 2nd PMPC Star Awards for Music.
Since then, the band has gigged constantly, and remains visible in the local scene.
Indeed, Callalily continue to be as busy as ever, as they’ve just released a cover version of the Eraserheads’ “Minsan,” which will serve as the first single off the official soundtrack of The Reunion, a compilation of tunes by the seminal ‘90s Pinoy rock band interpreted by different local acts. Kean, Tatsi, Lemuel, and Aaron are also scheduled to return to the studio in June to record their long-awaited fourth album. With these in the works, 2012 shall prove to be another milestone year for the band. But then again, Callalily is a band that has always been hardworking and productive from the get-go, and that’s just one of the reasons why their many fans all over the country could never get enough of them.