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March 11, 2004

Manila Times

Have you ever danced to the music of a band that isn’t accompanied by any musical instrument? Well, the music of Akafellas made the guests of Dish feel like dancing, though they were doing the thing they’re famous for which is to sing a cappella. Akafellas has perhaps pioneered “pop-capella” in the Philippines. They have combined jazz, R&B, hip-hop, the standards, bubble gum pop, dance, alternative and techno music using nothing but their voices. Their camaraderie is also easygoing. “We’re all barkada. We’ve known each other. Nobody was hired and no one auditioned. We knew what each one of us is capable of doing,” explained Ikey.

DJ Mike is the group’s resident Bobby McFerrin. He can imitate the sound of any type of drum and he could do this throughout a song and throughout a show. He also does guitars, trumpet, strings and even a vinyl record being scratched. For his kind of talent, there’s no need to allocate a budget for these instruments. Nevertheless, DJ’s fellow members are training to “sing” like DJ, just in case he isn’t available for a gig.

In an industry where performers make a name for themselves by imitating another name, Akafellas is unique and original. It’s perhaps the reason why they’re in demand. They’ve already done a track for the soundtrack of the Jolina Magdangal movie Annie B. Inevitably, a record company came calling and it was none other than Star Records that approached them to record an album. Perhaps the crowds also find it a novelty to watch a group of UAP boys sing mainstream hits like “Bongga Ka Day.” Ikey sheepishly admitted the song was never in their repertoire in the past “We concentrated on pop, Broadway and religious songs, but we had fun recording the songs we did for the CD,” he said. More

Posted by acapnews at March 11, 2004 8:06 AM

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