Before Champ Lui-Pio left the band Hale, Rico Blanco was first to be known as the lead vocalist of a premiere band who went solo.
On June 12, 2008, Warner Music Philippines launched Rico Blanco as a solo artist via the album “Your Universe” which won for the former Rivermaya front man four Awit Awards, three Philippine Radio Music Awards and Favorite New Artist in MYX Music Awards.
The carrier single of the said album was “Yugto” but it’s the track “Neon Lights” that made Rico Blanco the first Filipino artist to debut at no. 1 in Hong Kong radio charts beating songs from international artists such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Beyonce.
“Neon Lights” is an upbeat song about living your life. It has a funky rock feel to it with a hint of new wave and post punk kinda like the music of Depeche Mode and The Cure.
If you listen to the song without knowing that it’s Rico Blanco who had written and sung it, the first thing that will come to mind is that it’s foreign and sounds like it’s from a UK band.
Well, “Neon Lights” is the song that Blanco will be using with his Coca-Cola mash-up with Amber Davis.
Watch the video of “Neon Lights” here:
And as for Amber Davis, if the name doesn’t ring a bell, She is a Filipino-American singer who started out as a background vocalist to American singers Hilary Duff and Kashiff. Her claim to fame in the Philippines was with the release of her single “Manila” in 2006 from her debut album with Viva Records titled “Feel Good Music.”
“Manila” did not only dominate both radio and music video charts that time but it also won numerous awards for Amber like an Awit Award for Best Performance By A New Female Recording Artist and RX 93.1’s Artist of the Year and Song of the Year in 2007.
“Manila”, as the title suggests, is about her favorite city in the world. In the song, Amber reminisces her memories of Manila when she was still young and expresses her desire to return to the Philippine capital.
If somehow you missed the song in 2006, check out the acoustic version here:
Now let’s talk about the new Coca-Cola mash-up and how the songs “Neon Lights” by Rico Blanco and “Manila” by Amber Davis have been smooshed together.
In an interview by Bianca Roque on MYX, Rico Blanco admitted that the mash-up project with Amber was a challenge because their songs have different key and tempo.
Nevertheless, Rico brought his band to help him with the arrangement.
Watch the interview with Rico and Amber here:
Also, check out some backstage photos of Rico and Amber during their rehearsals: http://musicstudio.coca-cola.com.ph/index.php/album-level2/1320739187139/album.html
After listening to “Manila” and “Neon Lights”, I understood why Rico Blanco said the mash-up came to him as a challenge. Compared with previous mash-ups, I think “Neon Lights” and “Manila” have the least compatibility. And this is the challenge for the two artists.
So let’s find out if the mash-up will work shall we?
The mash-up started with Rico Blanco‘s up-tempo hit “Neon Lights” and afterwards it shifted to mid-tempo for Amber Davis‘ “Manila” which is OK but I think it could have been better if they tackled Amber’s song first so that it will build momentum before hitting it hard for Rico’s song. That way it will not sound like a medley at all.
But that’s just my opinion.
Nevertheless, I think the mash-up still worked. This is despite the fact that the two chosen songs were so much different to be fused together in the first place. And Rico and Amber did a good job!
How about you? What do you think?
Don’t miss the charity special episode of the Coca-Cola Music Studio on MYX this Christmas Sunday, December 25, at 5:30pm to 6:00pm with replays on Tuesday from 7:30pm to 8:00pm. You can also check out the previous mash-ups here: http://musicstudio.coca-cola.com.ph/