Charmie Joy Pagulong – The Philippine Star

October 8, 2021 | 12:00am

Songwriter and R&B pop artist Thyro Alfaro has recently launched his first-ever solo EP titled Bagong Buhay Volume 1 under his own Diwang Records label.

“I wanted to be able to expand my horizons and be able to hone other artists with the same wavelength as mine,” said Thyro in a recent virtual press conference.

Thyro has worked with huge names in the music industry such as Sarah Geronimo (Kilometro), James Reid (Randomantic), Nadine Lustre (Bahala Na), Shehyee, Donnalyn Bartolome and Yassi Pressman.

This time around, the Awit award-winning singer-songwriter put up his own recording label and promised to be a “hands-on label head.”

He said, “I’ve been kinda behind the scenes for most of my career. I love the studio more than I love the stage,” and teased, “But make no mistake, I do love the stage.”

“I wanna take it one step at a time. One album at a time. More focused. More curated. With that, the goal is to initially release my two-part album,” he added.

With his own record label, Thyro gets to have “more creative control.”

“My vision for Diwang is for it to be a collaborative label. Yes, I have the creative control, but I want to ensure that all the moves done will have the artist’s creative vision in mind. The goal is to make being with Diwang feel like being in a barkada. Work would not feel like work. Songwriting will be fun. Production will be fun.”

Bagong Buhay Volume 1 includes seven songs featuring talented musicians, arrangers and producers such as Marvin Querido, Bobby Velasco and Teddy Katigbak.

Ginto is an “upbeat and funky” track that features Davey Langit, Aikee, Lara Maigue, Toto Sorioso, Jeric Medina, Jinky Vidal, Frizzle Anne, Zion Aquino, Ian Dumaplin and Kevin Yadao on the choir sections.

There is also the smooth-sounding R&B ballad Loving You Good feat. Paolo Banaga and Johann Mendoza; soul-tinged Wag Kang Ganyan; sexy R&B and pop-flavored One More Time, With Love, pop-jazz and dance inflected !; and the groovy Jungee Marcelo-Thyro collaboration Wankatank.

His carrier single is Sariling Wika, which is about “how relationships die a natural death.”  The lyrics go, “Ang nagpapaalam na puso ay may sariling wika, di na kailangan sabihin pa.”

The song is based on the stories of his friends and not on personal experience as he is happily engaged to his long-time partner Arci dela Peña. He pulled off a pandemic-themed proposal last August.

In fact, his song Ginto was written for his fiancée. “Yung basic concept niya is yung promise is greater than gold. There is no ring or material thing that would amount to the preciousness of the promise.”

The EP is a reflection of Thyro’s roots. “Lahat ng nilagay ko dito, lahat ng tunog na kinompose ko ay parang reflection siya ng aking roots, ng aking influences. You could expect something very R&B, gospel and funk. Lahat ng aking formative music is ibinuhos ko dito sa Bagong Buhay Volume 1,” he told The STAR.

He learned old school techniques in terms of music arrangements while doing this album. “I was so used to using the computer… to create my arrangements. But with the help of brilliant arrangers, na-experience ko yung process kung papano ba mag-record ng (through) totoong tao. Sobrang iba siya, hindi ko malaman kung mas kumplikado ba siya or mas simple ba siya pero sobrang iba niya than working on a computer.”

In terms of songwriting, this is the first time Thyro wrote in the long form. “Usually kasi I write singles lang. And the last time we wrote an album was 2011. Ngayon lang ulit, long form. Tapos using the acquired skills over the years na parang andami ko din na discover sa sarili ko na okay, I think this way pala.”

Audiences can also expect more experimental and new writing styles from Thyro’s EP.

The name of his record label, Diwang, follows the vision of making music a celebration. “Kada diwang session, magdi-diwang tayo with the music,” he shared.

Diwang is also derived from the name of his daughter, Wiwang. Diwang is short for “daddy ni Wiwang.”

Among the songs he made, his favorite is PhilPop 2015 award-winning song Triangulo with Yumi Lacsamana and performed by Jeric Medina.

Given the chance, he would also like to compose a song for Basil Valdez with a modern twist.

Meanwhile, Thyro is not related to Vizconde massacre eyewitness Jessica Alfaro. “Hindi po ako related sa kanya. Pero yung nanay ko madalas magkaroon ng hit kasi merong Jessica sa pangalan ng nanay ko. Laging hirap kumuha ng NBI clearance ang nanay ko lagi,” he explained when inquired about his last name.

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