Leah C. Salterio – The Philippine Star

October 14, 2021 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-year-old Cody Bondoc, the newest Star Music recording artist, initially had mixed feelings about his future. He remembers as a kid, he would imagine situations, where he was singing and dancing in front of many people. Yet, he also wanted to become a successful businessman.

No wonder, Cody took up Export Management at De La Salle University’s College of Saint Benilde, where he is now in his junior year. He wants to become a businessman, although his dreams are really running towards music.

“My family is very supportive,” asserted Cody, whose real name is Reynald Kyle Bondoc. “They are excited about my music career. Even though I took a business degree in college, they still support me all throughout my music journey.”

“They are not pushing me to pursue my dreams of becoming a singer-songwriter, but they support me in a way that as long as I am happy, they are likewise happy,” he added.

For Cody, singing was not a surprising decision. As a kid, who loves listening to music, he was exposed to performing at a very young age. At seven, he was already churning out melodies, because his parents, as well as his sister, are all singers.

“I could still remember Akon’s hit, Don’t Matter, was the song I would always sing every morning and every time there was a rented karaoke in our house,” Cody granted. “But at the age of nine, the first song I performed onstage was Baby by Justin Bieber.”

It was not until 2018 when Cody realized that music was really his passion. Being a singer-songwriter is something he really wanted to do for a living. “I wanted to become an artist, but knowing my family, they were worried about my future,” Cody shared.

“They suggested that I should take a business degree first. But they know how happy I am when I am making music and that is enough reason for them to support me with my career.”

Cody’s late dad, Reynaldo, inspired him to write songs, hoping that one day, he would also become an artist. Although his dad is no longer around to see where he is now, Cody’s mom, Perly Elaine, also fully supports his musical inclinations.

“I wrote my first song when I was 14 and it was inspired by my crush in high school,” Cody said. “As I grew up and kept writing songs about my personal experiences, then I learned to write songs using someone else’s experiences. I usually write pop/R&B love songs, mostly sad love songs inspired by painful or sad memories.”

Growing up, Cody’s dad was the most supportive one with the things he wants to do in life. “I got into singing when I was only nine years old because I’ve heard amazing stories about my dad being so talented,” Cody said.

“My dad and I would go to a music store and he would grab a guitar and play a song and I was just there in awe. Hearing my dad sing was a blessing, even though as a kid, I knew my dad’s voice was very different compared to mine. I still know by heart that music, singing and playing instruments are something that I do not want to leave behind.”

Cody has a lot of music idols. Since 2009, he has enjoyed listening to Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Chris Brown, Ella Mai and English rapper KSI. Cody idolizes Ben&Ben “for their very touching songs and beautiful voices;” SB19 “for their witty lyrics and catchy tunes;” and Zack Tabudlo “for his very amazing vocals.”

Cody also mentioned John Roa and Skusta Clee (Daryl Jake Borja Ruiz) “because I really admire them as singer-songwriters and I really find their songs great,” he says. When Cody was in Grade 12, he enjoyed performing in a Broadway musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. “It was a surreal experience, considering that I really love performing,” he recalled.

“To be completely honest, it was one of those moments where I was really happy and excited to the point that I could not think if it was real or not. It made me feel nervous, but I do understand that every opportunity is my moment to shine.”

Cody is open to collaborating with other artists. “I collaborated with another Star Music artist, Zachary Ignacio,” he offered. “We wrote the song, Pangako, that is included in Zach’s EP (extended play) with Star Music.

“I really love making music and I do acknowledge that Star Music is full of amazing talents. I am and will always be ready whenever they need me. I feel like being able to collaborate with other artists packs a one-two punch on how strong a song will be delivered to the people.”

Once the pandemic tapers off, Cody wants to take his family to a vacation somewhere. “Just a few days away from home would be great,” he attested. “I miss family road trips so much, as well as eating outside with friends, playing basketball and, of course, traveling overseas.”

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