Singer-songwriter Ebe Dancel is ending the year on a high note by recording a song for the soundtrack of the Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Ang Panday” with no less than rapper Gloc-9.
Recall that the first time they joined hands, the two gave Pinoys the modern classic “Sirena” which champions the LGBT community.
Curiously, it is the second time Ebe is voicing a song for an “Ang Panday” project. Previously, he did “Makita Kang Muli” for the “Ang Panday” TV series.
The new song will be his third movie soundtrack this year. The second is a duet with Rachel Alejandro titled “Kahapon Ngayon At Bukas” for the upcoming movie “Ang Larawan.” Before that, a cover of Silent Sanctuary’s “Sayo” for the recent Piolo Pascual-Toni Gonzaga movie “Last Night.”
In an interview with Bulletin Entertainment, the singer expressed gladness for opportunities to collaborate with esteemed colleagues.
“Ginagawa kong makipag-collaborate dahil marami akong napupulot and that’s what life is about naman eh talaga – constant learning,” he said.
Ebe hopes to work with Gary Valenciano, who did a hit version of the former’s “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” not too long ago.
“I wanna do duet with him kasi si Regine Velasquez nakasama ko na, like, long dream ko ’yun,” Ebe said.
Anyone else? Oh yeah, Gary Granada even if just to write a song with him.
“Siya ’yung all-time favorite songwriter ko, siya ’yung hero ko,” he explained.
Surely, there are other singers who idolize Ebe as much. A fine tunesmith, he advises them to have a central idea first before picking up pen and paper to write a song.
“Even before you start on the lyrics, you start on your melody, ano ’yung central message. What do you want to share with people,” he said.
Ebe stressed songwriters should always talk about something they are really familiar with. Well, at least, that’s what he does, hence, his songs are always about everyday things but from inspired perspective.
“Your surroundings should inspire you to the smallest thing. Kahit anong bagay na nakakapukaw ng interest mo,” he maintained.
When did his passion for singing and writing start, we asked.
“Nu’ng na-discover ko na kaya kong kumanta. Pero nu’ng natuto akong mag gitara, na-realize ko na hindi ako masyadong magaling kumanta ng kanta ng ibang tao so sumulat ako ng sarili kong mga kanta.”
His first attempt to write a song was in Grade 6. It ended up as a one verse-one chorus ditty about his neighbor.
The singer-songwriter believes “what we write is always a reflection of a part of us, at least of what we want to share.”
And whether a song becomes a hit or not is beside the point, Ebe said, as “nagsusulat ako para sa akin.”
Here’s the thing: Sincerity, man.
“That should be the primary concern of every songwriter out there, to be sincere. Kasi kung fabricated lang lahat ’yan, people will see through it, hindi nila mararamdaman kung ano man ’yung gusto mong sabihin.”
According to Ebe, it takes him to finish a song anywhere from five minutes to two years.
Does he know if his work could win awards?
“Mahirap magsulat ng may ganu’ng intent, ng may ganu’ng goal kasi ikaw ’yung unang madi-disappoint” he answered.
The artist explained awards are subjective as people always choose according to their taste.
“Minsan by voting, sa popularity contest, so maraming factors na involved. Whereas ’pag nagsulat ka para sa sarili mo at masaya ka sa produkto mo, panalo ka kahit anong mangyari. So ako nabuhay at mamamatay ako bilang musikero na ganu’n (ang paniniwala). Kaya at the end of the day uuwi ako pagkatapos ng bawat gig na masaya,” he shared.
Perks of being a musician
If you’ve ever been curious how the life of this singer-songwriter goes, well, here it is.
“Unang-una sa totoo lang binabayaran ka para gawin ’yung gusto mo. You get to travel around the country for free. Pinapakain ka ng pinakamasarap na pagkain. Pagpunta mo sa (stage) you get nothing but love from the audience tapos alam nila lahat ng mga kanta mo. So what’s not to love about it,” he began.
“Ang mahirap na part biyahe ka ng biyahe (to the point) nami-miss mo lahat – birthday, kasal, binyag pati ang burol o libing ng mga kaibigan mo, kamag-anak mo.
“So it’s like any other job, really. And while it takes you away from the things you love most –as long as it is worth the sacrifice – you just keep doing it.”
Ebe said that when they started their band Sugarfree in 1999, the only objective they wanted to achieve was “gusto lang namin tumugtog sa ’70s Bistro tsaka sa Freedom Bar – nagawa na namin eh, so parang lahat ng nangyari bonus na lang.”
But, no, he’s not thinking of retiring just yet.
“I don’t know, I just wanna keep going with the flow as long as people want me to play then I’m gonna play,” he said. “Hangga’t meron pa akong naiisip na isulat, isusulat ko. Meron pa akong kayang ibahagi, ibabahagi ko. ’Pag wala na, ’pag ’di na kaya ng katawan ko, marami namang sasalo, hindi naman na uubusan ’yung Pilipino ng mangaawit, manunulat.”
He will die a musician. For Ebe, music is life.
“I’ve found my place, I’m grateful that God help me find my home and I think I’m serving my purpose, serving it well hopefully.
“I can’t leave everything that gave me my whole life.”
Tags: Ebe Dancel, Ebe Dancel returns to studio with Gloc-9 for 'Panday' theme, Gloc-9, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Metro Manila Film Festival, Rachel Alejandro, singer-songwriter, “Ang Panday”