Upgrade’s First Is Unstoppable!
By Maryo Labad
A consistent “Outstanding Boy Band” for the past three years, they have been a favorite group to be invited in various schools and universities in the provinces and out-of-town mall shows. But this time, this talented and handsome group will show what they got in the heart of the metropolis.
It was not an easy task to mount a concert especially if the artist is barely new in the music industry. But for four young entrepreneurs, who established Star Image Artist Management, led by Mr. Vince Abasolo, Mr. David Cabawatan, Ms. Adele Albano and Mr. John Fontanilla, utilized all their resources and capabilities, and took the risk to establish a production outfit called Star Image Artist Management, a subsidiary of The Aqueous Group & Company. It aims to provide upcoming artists an avenue to showcase their talents and be recognized for such endeavor.
“I think that is part of the risk of the business, especially that our company is new, to discover deserving artist who need a break in the concert arena,” said Vince. “We need to gamble and discover other potential singers. I think as producers, that is our mission. We should not limit ourselves to the big stars only. It is time to give chances to others. The more concert artists we have, it is better for the industry.” Not known to many, it is the same group who produced the first sold-out concert of Voice Kids runner-up. Darren Espanto, held in Music Museum.
True enough, come December 4, a new boy-band group called Upgrade will be given the chance to shine in their first major concert dubbed as Unstoppable, to be mounted at the Music Museum. Formed in 2011, the group underwent a series of auditions, as organized by one of the partners, John, until they finally came out with seven potential kids, out of more than a hundred of hopefuls. According to John, all members came from different backgrounds and from various provinces. In spite of their personality differences, they all agree with a common goal, that is, they all love music, they want to sing and entertain people.
A month after the group was formed, they were launched in German Moreno’s Walang Tulugan show, and since then, they have been a regular perform of the Master Showman. Although the boys are busy with their newfound career, they never stopped finishing school. Let’s meet the boys up-close.
Armond is 20 and goes St.Theresa’s College in Bulacan. Casey is 20 and an HRM student at St. Mary’s College. Ivan is 18 and studies at MCU, Mark, 19, is a sophomore from Colegio de Santo Cristo. Miggy, 19, goes to AMA finishing a degree in Business Administration. Also 18 years old, Raymond studies in San Beda, Alabang, studying tourism, while Rhem, 18, is an accountancy student from UE. And to constantly improve their vocal chords, they attend regular voice lessons, two times a week, especially in preparation for the BIG day.
This 2015 has been a busy year for Upgrade. Aside from the major concert on December 4, 8:00pm, it will also be day where they will launch their first album, Unstoppable Upgrade, also to be produced by The Aqueous Group and company, and to be distributed by Star Music. It includes the carrier upbeat single “Because of You” composed by three of the members (Armond, MIggy and Casey). Any time soon, their first music video of “Because of You” will be aired in MYX in time for the concert