It’s been quite a while since I last featured CDO personalities, but the spotlight is on again. And since the Christmas season is in full swing, I decided to feature a unique singing group that just released an original Christmas song.
VocalMyx is an a cappella group that started in 2018. As they sing a cappella, they sing without instrumental accompaniment. All that audiences here are their beautiful soaring voices.
I’ve always loved a cappella performances and have followed several local artists over the years who often sang without instruments or recorded music (i.e. The Tux and The CompanY), so I got excited when I found out that Cagayan de Oro has its own a cappella group. My excitement doubled when I was told that their first Christmas song was just released on various digital music platforms.
“Kay Saya Ng Aking Pasko,” which features fellow CDO artist John Michael Verson, is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, TikTok, and other digital music stores worldwide.
To spread cheers and a lot of musical Christmas magic, the group will also have a show on December 19, 2021. Dubbed “Ma-ACAbagong Pasko: Vocalmyx & Friend,” the mini-concert will be held at The Event Center of LimKetKai Mall. For those who won’t be able to watch them perform live, the show will be streamed over the VocalMyx pages on Facebook and YouTube.
Before you get busy listening to “Kay Saya Ng Aking Pasko,” let’s get to know the beautiful people behind the soulful voices of VocalMyx first. Here’s a simple Q&A that I did with them.
Have you always wanted to be a singer or performer? When you were younger, what was your ambition?
RAVEN: Yes, it has always been my wildest dream to become a performer. When I was young, I kept daydreaming that I was singing at the Araneta Coliseum.
RENZY: When I was young, singing was not really my thing. Actually, I really wanted to be an animator, but when I was in high school, one of my teachers heard me singing. She then encouraged me to perform in every event in our school…and that was the start of my singing career.
CHARISSE: I’ve always been interested in singing and performing. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be a professional singer.
RENIER: I never thought I’d be singing in front of many people, but I’m glad my journey took me to this path.
REYNAN: Same here. I love singing and performing, but I never thought I would be in a group as awesome as VocalMyx.
When did you start performing to a big audience? What was it like? Do you remember how it felt?
RAVEN: It was a surreal and nerve-wracking experience to perform in the Wish 107.5 bus! It was unexpected to be chosen to perform there and it was a very memorable experience for me.
RENZY: That was when there was an event in our school and my adviser asked me to perform and well…It’s normal to be nervous at first but later on, I found it to be a good, exciting experience
CHARISSE: I’ve performed in so many stages with audiences when it comes to singing, but the biggest stage and audience I’vehad was when I joined a national contest that was shown on national TV in 2020 [The Voice]. It really was an experience that I will never forget, from the big stage to the audience and the coaches. I had mixed emotions. It was my first time experiencing something like that.
Who are your musical influences? Or who are the artists you look up to the most?
RAVEN: The artist that I look up to the most are the artists who are in the same genre as mine, like Eric Santos, Jed Madela, and Martin Nievera.
RENZY: When I used to perform solos, I really liked to perform Adele’s songs; but when I joined the group, I started to look for and listen to the songs of Pentatonix. We love Ptx.
CHARISSE: The artists that I really look up the most are the artists that have so much passion for music, like Moira Dela Torre, Celine Dion, Beyonce, and the late Whitney Houston.
Who or what inspires you in your performances?
RAVEN: Of course, my wildest dream. I keep on striving hard to reach my dream to perform in the biggest stages in the Philippines.
RENZY: Well, of course, those who really believe in my talent, especially my family and friends, who keep on tagging their friends when our group performs in some events.
CHARISSE: The one that really inspires me every time I perform are my loved ones because they are the ones who support me in every song that I sing and every performance I give.
RENIER: My family and friends, of course.
REYNAN: The people who believe in me and support me – my family and friends.
Aside from singing/performing, what else do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies or do you play any sport?
RAVEN: Aside from singing, I play volleyball, a sport I have played since my elementary days.
RENZY: Before I found my love for singing, I drew a lot – anime, portraits, and mixed art. And I dance and often join competitions, too. I also really like to arrange or compose songs.
CHARISSE: Aside from singing, I also like and play sports (back when there was still no COVID).
How do you prepare for a performance? Do you have a ritual or practice that you do before every performance?
RAVEN: I do vocalization before every performance.
RENZY: I have this ritual where I listen to the music playlist on my phone whether before or after performing. I don’t know why, but it makes me become less nervous.
CHARISSE: Vocal warm-ups and exercises are necessities when it comes to preparing your voice to sing. The things I do before my performances are making sure my voice is ready, drinking lots of water before the performance, and releasing your fear or tension when you are about to perform.
RENIER: I practice and try to build self-confidence.
REYNAN: Practice makes perfect.
Please tell us what “Kay Saya Ng Aking Pasko” is all about.
RAVEN: When I heard the phrase, I imagined myself with my family celebrating Christmas – we are together during noche buena.
RENZY: The whole song is on vibe, but for me, it is about the happiness, excitement, or the feeling of love the Christmas season gives us, especially during noche buena. It is a song that portrays the spirit of Paskong Pinoy.
CHARISSE: “Kay Saya ng Aking Pasko” is a song about uniting the family this Christmas and reminding people that despite of everything that has happened to us, for as long as our family is there, Christmas will always be something to be celebrated.
RENIER: “Kay Saya Ng Aking Pasko” is written based on the personal experience of our fellow DreamBoard Artist, singer and songwriter John Michael Verson. It is all about happiness in the Christmas season. Happiness, because despite of the crisis and calamities, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re still alive. We are together with our families, loved ones, and friends.
REYNAN: I am happy because the most special gift that I received this Christmas is LIFE… the gift of life. Nowadays, life is very important. I encourage everyone to cooperate and work closely with the authorities to make this pandemic end, so we will all be happy and enjoy life. Let’s preserve life and celebrate life this Christmas.
Is this your first original Christmas song? What makes singing Christmas songs a different experience?
RAVEN: Yes, Christmas songs are different because they inspire us in everything.
RENZY: Yes. Singing a Christmas song is an experience that is so good.
CHARISSE: This is actually our first Original Christmas song and the thing that makes singing Christmas songs different from other songs is that the vibe, message, and every lyric hit us listeners.
Do you have any Christmas wishes that you’d like to share with us?
RAVEN: My wish for Christmas is to celebrate it normally, away and free from COVID restrictions.
RENZY: For me, I wish to have a healthy life for my family and friends. And for us, after all the efforts and the moments that we shared as a group for almost four years, through all the ups and downs, I wish this group will never end. I love these guys.
CHARISSE: The only Christmas wish that I really wanted to happen is to have a complete family celebration.
RENIER: I just want everyone to have a merry Christmas with their families and loved ones.
REYNAN: I wish for a Christmas where COVID is non-existent.
What’s your Christmas message for your family, friends, followers, and loved ones?
RAVEN: I just wish that they are in a safe place, away from COVID.
RENZY: For my family, friends, followers, and my loved ones who never stop believing in us, thank you and I wish you have a blessed Christmas. Continously pray to God!
CHARISSE: My Christmas message to my loved ones is that I am very grateful to have them by my side and I pray that they would be safe this year and in the coming years.
RENIER: Thank you to my family and friends for the never-ending support.
REYNAN: Merry Christmas to my family and friends who never fail to support me. And please stream our song!
Why did you choose to focus on performing a cappella? What makes a cappella performances different?
RAVEN: I focused on performing a cappella because I feel that it makes me different from other artists. I want to inspire people to promote a cappella in the local music industry.
RENZY: There are a lot of genres that I really like to try but a cappella singing is something that I more than like. There is a certain uniqueness that I only experience through our a cappella performance, and because of that, I started to do my own arrangements of the songs and convert them into a cappella versions. I didn’t expect them to work, but they did!
CHARISSE: A cappella performance is something that is not very common in the local music scene. It is different from other music genres because a cappella only uses voices, no instruments or musical accompaniment
Please invite Kagay-anons to stream “Kay Saya Ng Pasko.”
RENZY: Hello, Kagay-anons andmusic lovers! This is Renz from Vocalmyx. We are inviting everyone to stream and download our first ever Christmas single entitled “Kay Saya Ng Aking Pasko,” which features John Michael Verson.
RENIER: Lyrics & Music by JOHN MICHAEL VERSON under DBA STUDIOS PH. A cappela Arrangement by RENZY KYLE ROMANO.
REYNAN: It will be released on November 26, 2021. Available in Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube, TikTok, and other digital music stores worldwide. Pre-order now in iTunes and Apple Music.
RAVEN: Watch also our music video in YouTube filmed by Nostalgia Digital Film and produced by DreamBoard Artists. https://youtu.be/54nrqjFiH5Q
CHARISSE: Please support us by streaming our music and watching our video. You can watch us performing live on December 19, 2021 at 4:00PM during our Christmas concert entitled Ma-ACAbagong Pasko: Vocalmyx & Friends in The Event Center, Limketkai Mall simulcast via Vocalmyx FB page and YouTube channel.
“Kay Saya Ng Pasko” by VocalMyx with John Michael Verson is now available for streaming and download on your favorite digital music platforms. Download na!
Ma-ACAbagong Pasko Poster
Photo by Abel Matthew
KAY SAYA NG AKING PASKO
Performed by VOCALMYX ft. JOHN MICHAEL VERSON
Lyrics & Music by JOHN MICHAEL VERSON
Under DBA STUDIOS PH
A Cappela Arrangement by RENZY KYLE ROMANO
Vocal Editing by JAKE RICABLANCA
Mixed and Mastered by DOM OTTO ASÍS
Photo by MACOY MAGBAGO
Artwork Design by DONIE M. GALIGAO
Music Video Director: MACOY MAGBAGO
Videographer / Editor: NOSTALGIA DIGITAL FILM
Hair & Make-up / Grooming: RICHARD NOB
Executive Producer / Music Business Consultant: DONIE M. GALIGAO
Special Thanks To
DreamBoard Artists Society
(Poster photo by Abel Matthew)