Adrienne Lee spreads the good word of homegrown music to the world
By Deneb Batucan
THE Cebuano music scene has never been scant of talents, and Adrienne Lee is a walking and talking example of the beautiful and raw musicality that our Queen City possesses. Fronting her eponymous band, Adrienne has been the lyrical machine behind the band’s line up of original songs for their upcoming album.
Adrienne has been on and off in the music scene since the band first started during the late 90s, but it wasn’t until three years ago when they started making their own songs. The five-piece band, composed of D.O. Dela Rosa and Jappy Gacayan on strings, Kent Alfeche on fat strings, Sadam Catalan on drums and Adrienne on vocals, is set to release its first full-length album, “A Lift in Disguise,” which will be filled with original songs all written by the band’s “thorn among the roses,” Adrienne.
“In ‘A Life in Disguise,’ the sound is so diverse — from pop to heavy rock, and we’re also currently experimenting on a bit of electronica as well,” she said. “We have varied influences and our inputs stem from that and our own imagination, but then it all just melds together in the end.”
On her songwriting
For as long as she can remember, Adrienne has been obsessed with music. For her, God has put music in her DNA. She is beyond thankful to have this gift and now gets to play her own compositions for the world to hear. Her inspiration for writing songs stems from stories of people, including her own. More recently, she became inspired to write her first worship song, which is currently in the works.
When inspiration hits her, no matter where she is or what she’s doing, Adrienne always jots down or records melodies or lyrics that pops up in her head so she won’t forget. “I go back to them later on and see how it goes. If anyone ever hacks into my phone, they’ll hear a lot of humming and yapping that turned into actual songs in our album,” Adrienne shared.
But with the music that goes with her lyrics, Adrienne relies on her band to put it all together. She recalls how she has sung songs to herself in the bathroom and asked her bandmates to put guitar riffs in her songs. “Most of the time, the boys would come up with riffs and then I’d put words in, or I would strum my guitar stupidly, add words, record, send to the boys and then they work their magic on it,” she said.
Raising the OPM flag
Adrienne has been in the music scene for a long time and she stands by what American psychologist Abraham Maslow said: “A musician must make music . . . if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.” She firmly believes that making original music will help the industry grow a hundredfold. “If you’re a musician, especially if you’re über talented like many Cebuanos I know, you have to make your own music. Nowadays, people not only play covers, but they play covers of YouTube covers. And we have so many local bands now that play awesome compositions, but a lot of people don’t even know they exist! It’s frustrating.”
And of the Cebuano audience, Adrienne says, “It should evolve as well. I believe that if the Cebuano crowd keeps expecting musicians to play covers, the growth of our music scene will be stunted.”
Wanting original Cebuano music to mushroom, Adrienne encourages those who have the gift to write their own music to pursue it. “Follow that little nagging voice in your heart telling you to do something awesome. Don’t worry about what people will think. Don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, learn from the best, but do your own thing. Add that unique ingredient that comes only from you. Be humble, but work your butt off. And pray.”
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
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