There’s no place like home, as the cliché goes, and the people in it are incomparable. That’s why after a time of separation, regardless of length, one anticipates to come home.
RJA Productions LCC’s latest project, Home At Last, captures the feelings of longing, excitement and joy, as hinted by the music production company in a statement, that people, if one may add, universally associate with that human experience of returning home.
Myko Mañago, Tawag ng Tanghalan three-time defending champion and RJA talent, lends his voice to this composition to tell the narrative plot behind it.
“It’s about a long-distance love story in which the guy illustrates his travels alone and expresses his (eagerness and) longing to be with his loved one,” said he in an intimate virtual group press interview. “The latter part of the song reveals that they are now together and traveling together.” The song’s triumphant feeling and theme that love knows no barriers such as distance and time zone will resonate with listeners.
“Love conquers all. In spite of the distance between them, if they really love each other, they will find a way to be together,” added Myko, who described himself as a singer who gets easily enamored by any song, granting that its melody is pleasant and lyrics suitable.
If presented with such musical opportunity, Myko couldn’t say no to it and would agree to record it right away.
“Mas nalalaro ko po yung kung papaano ko siya kakantahin (I get to play with the song and enjoy singing it). So, in this project, I had really fun recording it.”
Part of it was the creative collaborations Myko had with Joseph Michael Torrijos, Dean Mark Hilario Enoza and Shardei Bueno, who were in charge of Home At Last’s lyrics, melody and arrangement, respectively.
“I visualized it as a wedding song, which is my input,” said Shardei. “Then, I had a meeting with Joseph and Dean Mark. They told me to bring it to the (musical and vocal) direction that would fit Myko, yung range ni Myko is maluwag, parang ang sarap talaga siyang bigyan ng something (new). Nagbigay kami sa kanya ng demo na ako lang ang kumanta, and he exceeded our expectations.” That was the start of an enjoyable work environment among music creatives and the song interpreter.
“We were just like playing and it was fun,” recalled Dean Mark. “That’s why we were so free and stress-free when we were creating the song. It’s a very fulfilling and joyful experience for me.” He added that one should treat any creative process like a child’s play and put “your emotions and real feelings into the song,” because authenticity is utmost important.
“What happened in this song is, we used Joseph’s real feelings and emotions in (his) poem and then it was just instantaneous that when I put my hands on the piano, it was just that the first notes were the exact notes that Myko sang.”
What’s interesting to note about the production of Home At Last is the convergence of talents, who come from different places, but are connected by technology and their shared passion for music.
Joseph and Dean Mark are both based in Singapore and work as an aspiring artist and poet and a multimedia artist and leader of learning, respectively. Multi-instrumentalist player and music producer Shardei is in Manila, while producer and RJA Productions owner Rosabella Jao Arribas is in the US. Singer Myko lives in Cavite City.
“When I collaborate with other composers, singers and arrangers, I learn (a lesson or two from them through) their knowledge (being shared with me),” said he, “I tell myself that one day when I do my songs, I will apply it, kung ano yung ginagawa nila, kahit yung basics man lang nila.”
And what’s next for Myko, with his knowledge on songwriting, is the soon-to-be released self-composed song. “Lumabas na ako sa comfort zone ko na mga ballads and R&B songs (I’ve gone out of my comfort zone of doing ballads and R&B songs),” said he, whose upcoming ditty is reminiscent of upbeat songs on TikTok with a tinge of rap. “That’s why I’m very excited about it. I’m so happy that finally I will be able to let others hear it.”
Myko’s conversation with select media members allowed him to share this piece of information about him as a singer: “I really want to sing brokenhearted songs, parang gusto kong bansagan ako na the King of Brokenhearted Songs. By doing this kind of songs, slow ones, I’m able to express more my way or style of singing.” Myko, who has experienced being brokenhearted once before, is very at home with it. His chosen tune at that time was Make You Feel My Love of Adele.
Genre-wise, although his song preference is clear, Myko wants to be versatile.
“Way back 2010 or 2011, I joined Pinoy Dream Academy. Of course, I gave it my all during practice (sessions) and I told myself that once I participated in this competition, I wouldn’t be stick to ballads alone,” said he, who knew that the singing talent show would also challenge his vocals to perform rock, upbeat and R&B. So, Myko studied the basics of every possible song genre. It’s safe to say that his hard work then also paid off when he tried his luck in Tawag ng Tanghalan and in continuing now his musical journey with RJA Productions.
What matters is Myko has found a home in RJA that will nurture his musical talent.
Home At Last is now available on all online music streaming sites worldwide. For details, follow RJA Productions LLC on https://www.facebook.com/rjaproductions, https://twitter.com/rjaproduction and https://www.instagram.com/rjaproductions.llc.