Top Suzara

It has been 26 years since Freestyle was formed and became one of the more iconic OPM symbols of the 90s with their hit songs “Before I Let You Go” and “So Slow.” They also became known for their own rendition of “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang” with Pops Fernandez. Now, Freestyle is back as an all male band of five with its original vocalist Top Suzara at the helm, promising to make more beautiful, original music.

Top admitted that he may have left fans hanging when he resigned from the group in 2005 due to some issues. “We didn’t mean to disappear. I am here to make up for lost time. Please allow us to reconnect with you through the music we will share with you.”

He revealed that a new collection of songs under the banner of the revitalized Freestyle is in the pipeline for release in early 2023 “but definitely, we will come out with one brand new song before the year ends.”

Then there’s the Oct. 20 concert at 19 East Sucat where Top fronts again for Freestyle after a long 17 years. 19 East Bar was one of the band’s first playgrounds where they established a solid fanbase.

The new members of Freestyle still have to be formally announced but Top said they’re like family. ” I know my bandmates from way back. We have a deep respect for each other, as we are each other’s kumpares. It just so happens we also have music in common with each other.”

Top implied that he’s not sure whether music fans will warm up to them in the same way as before. After all, the 90’s kids have all grown up and gotten older.

“There are no guarantees in original music. The best we can do is write our hearts out, share stories and hope we can resonate with our listeners,” he noted.

Top pointed out that being an all-male band opens the door to a “wide variety of collaborations” with any artist and other bands. Working with the likes of Regine Velasquez and Lani Misalucha are on their wishlist. He’s also not closing the door on performing again with former members of Freestyle because “God works in mysterious ways.”

After he left Freestyle in 2005, Top found himself in the field of advertising where he made more music, albeit in a more commercial fashion. It was only recently when he was deemed the rightful owner of the trademark “Freestyle” by no less than the Intellectual Property Office. The IPO likewise ruled that Freestyle is synonymous with the name Top Suzara.

“Today, Freestyle is so much more than its music,” he said, adding that Freestyle will also be involved in other projects related to digital media, advertising and merchandise, among other things.

“It’s not just about business,” he clarified. “We are bent on giving back. We want to play a part in helping as many causes as we can. With me at the helm, it’s easy to say yes to a fund-raiser or a performance for a cause for any displaced demographic.”

“We play music, yes. But there’s also a lot of sharing and mentoring and giving back. It’s all new and this is what the band represents now,” Top stressed.

Source: Manila Bulletin (