Homer Cang: the man behind those catchy tunes that click
Text by Diel Logarta Dal
Photos by Sunshine Gelbolingo
YOU’VE heard those jingles on radio, television and online, and you’ve probably wondered who made them. Well, meet composer Homer Cang, the man behind a good number of those catchy songs that click.
Homer has made music for the most recognized companies in Cebu and throughout the country. Big malls, luxurious hotels, the biggest spa in Cebu, the nation’s top financial service company — you name it, he’s probably written a song for them.
Despite all that success, he remains humble, modest, and God-fearing. And Homer is more than a maker of commercial jingles: he lives and breathes music with purpose. So, let’s get up close with this talented man of music.
What are your fondest musical memories?
As a little boy, my dad would just ask me to play the piano for him as he sits at his favorite spot on the couch — oh, what a joy it was for me play for him and see him tap his right foot or finger to the rhythm of whatever I was playing at the moment. As a fourth grader, I was assigned to play the piano regularly at church Sunday school. I remember how I acquired some skills without knowing where they came from, so I realized at that time that God must have equipped me musically to serve Him. These are my fondest memories.
What music genres are you into?
The wonderful thing about my work is that I get to write and produce music in just about any genre — from pop to jazz, classical to rock, ballad to dub step — depending on the kind of emotional expression required in the project I am commissioned to produce.
Who inspires you to write and produce music?
Whenever I’m tasked to produce something, whether a pop album or a commercial jingle, the first thing I do is pray to God to inspire me with new melodies and ideas, so it is God who inspires me first, and then I get hooked on a cool beat or a catchy melody or line that leads me to finish the project.
When and why did you start composing, arranging and producing music?
I never planned to have a career in music, but I just love music so much. Passion turned into a curious hobby, and that hobby became a full-time profession. It all started at three years old: upon hearing a beautiful song, I would go to the piano and try to play the song while imagining all the other instrumental parts playing in my head. I started arranging songs professionally as a freshman in college.
Which musicians and songs do you admire?
Oh, there are too many brilliant artists and songs that I admire. Off the top of my head, I’ve always admired Michael Jackson’s approach to meticulous music production. I love Jason Mraz’s minimalistic songwriting, Matt Redman’s heart when he writes worship songs, Skrillex’s innovative beats. I will forever respect older artists and performers like Sting, Billy Joel, Tori Amos, Bruce Springsteen. I’m in awe of Hans Zimmer’s music and techniques in film scoring.
Advice to aspiring producers and songwriters?
If you create or produce music to express an emotion about something, you’re on the right track. If you do it to prove something about yourself, then you’re on the wrong path.
How do you balance music with other obligations?
All my obligations are music-related — my job and my church ministry. Maybe that is my balance.
Aside from all the commercial jingles and songs that I need to finish producing in the studio, I am currently producing a worship album in my home church, an inspirational album for an organization, a choral album for a choir ministry, and I will also take part in a classical Christmas benefit concert called “Handel’s Messiah” on Dec. 6 of this year.