Callalily gets loud with Converse



Kean Cipriano signing an autograph after Callalily’s performance at the Converse Get Loud Press Launch

Kean Cipriano signing an autograph after Callalily’s performance at the Converse Get Loud Press Launch

It seems that Callalily breaking into rockstar status and becoming one of the most sought-after bands in the country has been written in the “Stars.”

“Stars,” of course, is Callalily’s first single from their debut album, Destination XYZ, which was released in 2006. In the song’s music video, one would already see the tie that binds Converse and Callalily as Kean Cipriano, the band’s lead vocalist, is seen tying the shoelace of his favorite pair of Chucks, the sneakers long considered as an emblem of self-expression.

“Our partnership with Callalily goes a long way,” says Eli Bonsol, Converse Philippines’ advertising and marketing manager. “We have seen their initial step as a band and supported them in their creative endeavors. Callalily, just like the many music artists who sport Chucks as their personal badge, embodies the rebellious rock n roll and artistic streak of Converse.”

With other members being Tatsi Jamnague (rhythm guitar), Aaron Ricafrente (bass guitar) and Lemuel Belaro (drums), Callalily continues to support and collaborate with Converse in its various pursuits, the most recent being the “Converse Get Loud Band Competition,” a nationwide song writing competition that seeks to herald a fresh wave of musical discoveries and crown the best among them in a rock musical showdown happening on November 9 at Excess Superclub in Quezon City.

During the press launch introducing the five competing Get Loud bands—Even from North Luzon, Brisom from the National Capital Region, Kissbone from South Luzon, Bethany from the Visayas and Jad Montenegro from Mindanao—Callalily performed a couple of their greatest hits, including “Pansamantala,” which is part of Callalily’s fourth album, Flower Power. Kean, who has spread his wings in movies (Babae sa Septic Tank, The Reunion, Praybeyt Benjamin) and television (ASAP Sessionistas, Banananite) directed the single’s music video.

Having been part of the alternative music scene before they hit mainstream (their first gig as a band was at Mayric’s, the mecca of indie music), Callalily couldn’t help but see itself in the bands as they try their luck of being the first-ever “Get Loud” champ. Kean remarks on the maturity and diversity of the bands’ musical genres. “Each has its own core, genre, roots,” he says.

Aside from passion for music, Kean says that it is important that the bandmates are able to gel together and strike a kind of chemistry, on- and off-stage. “Our band came from friendship and not only music,” Kean says. “That is our stronghold—our camaraderie. At the end of the day, we are family, friends. We help each other through thick and thin.”

Callalily band members were still teenagers when they decided to form a group. Kean met Tatsi in a gig in Pateros and broached to him the idea of coming together to form a a band. The dream materialized when they were already in college (Kean was studying Music at the University of Santo Tomas while Tatsi was taking up Nursing at the Far Eastern University), with Kean inviting his college mates Aaron, Lemuel and Noemer Acosta (lead guitar and back-up vocals). Noemar, who wanted to focus on his studies, would quit the band a couple of years later.

In their seven years in the industry, Callalily has produced four albums. Between Destination XYZ and Flower Power, the band’s other albums are Fisheye (2008) and the self-titled collection, Callalily (2009). The band’s devoted fans are called Callalistas, who have made it possible for the band to win the Favorite Group for MYX Music Awards this year.

Kean says that he is looking forward on who will emerge as the first-ever “Converse Get Loud Band Competition” winner. But more than winning, what is more important, Kean says, is that the competition “will test the core of band members.” His advice to the five participating bands? “Being in the band is a commitment so just do what you do and do it wholeheartedly,” Kean quips

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