Juan Pablo Dream educates 21st century Pinoys on Motown

ItÆs a doo-wop thing. Lead singer Bing Austria now benefits immensely from the harmony of backing vocalists Bianca Holganza and Lotte Villarosa.

Together with the brassy sound of saxophonist Kim Ventusa and trumpeter Bong Termulo and the funky rhythms of bassist Alexander Dumlao, drummer Aldwin Fernando and guitarist Aurelio Castro 3rd, Juan Pablo Dream furthers their music into the realm of soul. Five years since it first formed in 2004, Juan Pablo Dream launches a new sound. Hailing from punk, ska, mod and other musical influences, the band displays artistic maturity as it delves into the Motown sound for their self-titled sophomore album.

ôWith this album, we paid tribute to American soul. ItÆs not just Motown. ItÆs Memphis Soul and Northern Soul ö revealed Austria. Motown Records of Detroit is famous for artists such as The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Four Tops and The Jackson 5, to name a few. Memphis Soul is best represented by Stax and Hi Record label artists like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Wilson Pickett and Sam and Dave. Northern Soul refers to British enthusiasts of African-American music, typified by the OÆ Jays and Jackie Wilson, within the Mod music movement.

ôEssentially, itÆs still feel-good music, just like the first album which was more influenced by Mod,ö noted Castro. ôThat was more Mod, more Brit in terms of direction,ö concurs Austria. He added, ôNow, itÆs more about whatÆs happening in the Manila scene.ö

ôOn the first album, there was an unspoken agreement that the songs would veer away from the negativity of everyday life. This is what they can listen top to forget all their worries. Now, with the second album, itÆs still feel-good, but there are now hints at what the subject matter is, about love for instance,ö revealed Castro. Holganza added, ôItÆs still feel good music. But now weÆre feeling good about something more substantial. ItÆs not just about partying. ItÆs about where do you go home after. What do you truly value?ö ôThe albumÆs more self-aware. With Juan Pablo, you canÆt take away the party. But now you we have more meaning in the second album,ö noted Villarosa.

The band still dances to a different beat. ôWhen we formed Juan Pablo Dream, we thought of what sound wasnÆt being played, what was uncommon. Most members came from ska and punk rock bands. So we went back to where the sounds of today started, we traced our roots,ö said Austria.

by Rome Jorge, Lifestyle Editor, Manila Time