Sometime during the last week of April, I attended an album-launching event of a new band, presented by Sony Music in cooperation with Nescafè and G.A. Yupangco & Co. Inc. at Club Phi in Metrowalk. Speaking of Nescafè, does pairing it with “Soundskool” ring a bell? I hope it did, because these guys’ most notable victory is their win in the 2010 Nescafe 3-in-1 Soundskool college band search. You know, in the commercial where a band is playing, and sometime near the end, the word “Soundskool” and some other words appear in scribbled letters, that’s the one.
Their album launch that I attended was actually for their debut album “Undefined.” Their sound was something different from what we would usually listen to. While listening to their songs, one could say that their music is like a square peg in a round hole, considering that their music does not go with today’s trends. Though if I may add, it actually makes them stick out like a sore thumb, in a good way, that is. Their style of music is what they described as “pop with a hint of jazz, funk, and soul,” and it just might be the kind of music to help us break out every once in a while, the kind of music made with passion and meaning.
I’ve been describing their style and sound, but I’ve never introduced them, have I? I’m talking about AJKA, comprised of K.A. Antonio on vocals, JL delas Llagas on guitar, Aaron Caligner on bass, and Jon Pinto on drums. Backtracking to their humble beginnings, they met in the official De La Salle University orchestra, DLSU-Pops Orchestra now know as the Surreli Pops Orchestra. With lots of other members composing the group, their meeting was nothing short of a miracle. All the members have long realized their fondness for their instruments, and that passion stuck them together. Shortly after, their band garnered first place in an interschool Battle of the Bands with an original song that started their journey. After gathering much experience in joining several Battle of the Bands, they decided to raise bring their talent and experience up a notch by joining the 2010 Nescafe 3-in-1 Soundskool, a nationwide band competition for college bands, thus earning them their major leap into the music industry. But of course, their success was the fruit of their hard work. There was much pressure on them as they were aware that there were a lot of bands vying for the title. Their journey during that point probably entailed a lot more effort than they ever have from before that learning experience. But look at where it brought them. For a band that has never tried to submit demos to record labels, AJKA now belongs to one- international label Sony Music, as a part of their prize.
Consequently, they were finally able to release their album “Undefined,” produced by Jonathan Ong and Robert Javier. Listeners can look forward to an album that is distinctively AJKA, the concrete proof of the indelible mark that they left in the music industry.