Clockwise: Yumi Lacsamana, Keneniah and Ferodina (OC Records/Facebook)

Talented newbies, established songwriters and those in between, here’s a few of the latest in Pinoy pop.

Keneniah is a young singer-songwriter with a humongous promise. At least that much can be gleaned upon listening to his sweet-sounding pop debut titled “Hindi Ikaw.”  Keneniah Lambio is a 17-year-old singer-guitarist-composer-arranger-producer. Like most aspiring music acts his age, he has a YouTube channel where he cuts his teeth as a performer as well as putting his skills in playing several instruments—piano-synth, guitar and voice—on display.  

We had a chance to talk to Keneniah and found out that most of his gear at home that includes his guitar, keyboard and those programmable synths and drum machines that he twiddles with, are mostly hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. But Keneniah is like a sponge and easily translates what he hears in his head through these instruments and comes up with these simplified but catchy melodies.  And that’s exactly how “Hindi Ikaw” sounds like, a minimalist but ear tweaking song about a love that never will. Some might hear a bit of chill and some lo-fi flavors in Keneniah’s debut, but we’re betting there’s more to this kid and we look forward to hearing what he can do.

Yumi Lacsamana, singer-songwriter and one-half of the R&B duo Thyro & Yumi is getting used to going about things on her own. She’s been releasing solo singles of late and she’s recently dropped a new one titled “Pundi.” This tuneful piano-decked ballad is her best sounding solo-effort yet. And while the duo hasn’t been active of late, it’s good to know that they still manage to write together. And as usual, with every Alfaro-Lacsamana song, you have to listen out for those lyrics. Here Yumi sings in the pre-chorus: “Ngunit may hangganan din / ngayon ang puso’t di susundin…” as it carries on to the chorus of “Maging ang ilaw ay napupundi / nawawalang unti-unti / Gasera ma’y di lagging may sindi ‘ iniihip ng hanging kay dali / parang pag-ibig na dating kay tami / ngayo’y napapawi na nang kay bilis.” We can’t help but think that this song is about Thyro & Yumi, who were once in a long relationship but are no more. But whether it is about them, Yumi’s singing is definitely channeling some big-time regret. Or maybe she’s just that good on this one.

Pinoy pop listeners should listen more to Ferodina. This quartet is made up of young music aces in Fender Dimalanta, Joaquin Rodrigo, Brian Feliciano and Steven Naguit   (most of them were finalists in Eat Bulaga’s Music Hero). There’s an abundance of skill and musicality in the group, and their new single titled “ASIA” (Ako’y Sa Iyo Ikaw Ay Akin) proves it. This mid-tempo tune is a gradually rising power ballad that reminds us of those great pop rock songs of the late 80s and 90s and comes complete with a proper guitar solo section (we don’t hear much of those these days actually).  But there’s nothing nostalgic about Ferodina, as they’re all about the here and now. And what’s best about this band, is that technically, they can probably run circles around bands their own age. But of course, they choose not to and instead operate in the service of the song.

Source: Manila Bulletin (