Pop duo Regine Kristine Villongco and Ericka Renee Villongco, better known as Krissy and Ericka, took members of the media to an initimate lunch date to talk about their latest album "twelve : fifty one."
They looked like they came straight out of the covers of teen magazines -- pretty, poised pop stars. We were told that it was just a casual conversation, a bonding session, if you will, but it felt more like a first date, punctuated by awkward silences -- Krissy & Ericka perfectly calm and collected. Nerds behaving around prom queens.
It's no wonder that one of the major musical influences they cited was Taylor Swift. Swift, after all, is perpetually singing about high school and heartbreak. Except that Swift has graduated high school and has had high-profile relationships, while Krissy, the songwriter of the duo, is still in high school (senior year) and part of the NBSB club. Ericka, older by 10 months, playfully asked Krissy as to where she gets her inspiration considering her relationship status. (Watch the video here
Krissy wrote all three of the four original songs in the album, including the carrier single "12:51" which took her two years to write. The initial verse and chorus was written at exactly 12:51 AM. She wrote the bridge of the song en route to the recording studio. It was raining that day which helped set the mood, and in Ericka's words, "she was all emo."
"I wrote this two years ago about a boy who I thought liked me back but obviously that didn't work out. Turns out he was really into some other girl. So it was really an emotional song for me," Krissy shared.
"Many girls can relate to this heartbreak love story and that's why I think a lot of people love this song as well," Ericka added.
Krissy & Ericka are part of the new breed of tech-savvy, young, optimistic OPM acts hoping to re-ignite the music industry and make OPM globally competitive. The other three original songs are "Rewind," made in collaboration with YouTube sensation AJ Rafael
, "In Your Arms," and "Anything," written by MySpace breakout artist Marie Digby.
Other tracks included in the album are covers of popular songs with their added brand of pop/country sound reminiscent of duo M2M. Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Justin Bieber's "That Should Be Me," Taylor Swift's "Back to December," Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," Bruno Mars' "Rocketeer" (Feat. DJ Lamar), and Eric Clapton's "Change the World" (Bonus track) complete the album's track listing.
Though they started out covering popular songs which got them a strong online following, Krissy said she preferred their original songs to the covers. Ericka added that their goal is to bring back OPM to its glory days of creating all original Pinoy music.
They just came from a successful Southeast Asian tour as guests of AJ Rafael. Krissy happily showed us a shot of the audience in Indonesia where they performed at a jam-packed Hard Rock Cafe.
YouTube, Charice, and OPM
They've embraced the new media platform, capitalizing on their talent to make their voices heard via YouTube. Though initially, the YouTube channel Krissy created back in 2007 (Krissysings) was meant for family members only. Ericka later joined Krissy in covering popular songs which they would upload on YouTube.
Krissy recalled the difficulty they went through while starting out.
"In school, I would walk down the halls and then I'd hear people at the back just mocking me and copying how I would talk on screen. It made us stronger, definitely and inspired us to do better in the next video and the next."
Then they started getting noticed in cyberspace, with netizens leaving positive comments, and urging them to keep going. Their cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" was the first video to hit the million mark.
"I think it's really a good tool. Before, the only way you could be famous was if you got on TV which was hard, I experienced that," Krissy said. "I lined up for 10 hours for 'Little Big Star' and then now, I think it's a really good think that there's YouTube to help us with that and I feel that it's gonna be easier on this generation to do what they love and to showcase their talent."
Krissy was part of the batch with Sam Concepcion and Charice.
Krissy: I joined "Little Big Star" and I sang one of [Whitney Houston's] songs. It was the first song that I sang.
Ericka: She was in the batch of Charice and Sam Concepcion, and in the wild card edition, Charice...
Krissy: Charice beat me. (laughs) Well, she's amazing!
Ericka: You sang "When You Believe." It was so sad really, but it makes you think that you never really know when you're gonna die...
Now Krissy is on the same path as fellow "Little Big Star" alums Sam and Charice. Their single, "twelve : fifty one" has broken into the top 10 on MYX Daily Top Ten. "twelve : fifty one," the album, has also been released in Indonesia and Thailand.
Here are Krissy & Ericka to tell you more of what's in store for you on their sophomore album!