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The Return of Janno Gibbs


Gibbs: His latest CD, titled Orig, is made up of 11 original songs, and all of them, his own compositions

Orig is a very brave move by Janno Gibbs. His first CD in two years, it comes at a time when the market considers recordings by Filipino artists as non-saleable unless these contain old favorites. But the singer/actor and let me add with pride, songwriter, would not have any of that. His latest which he titled Orig the Filipino slang for real, true or original, is made up of 11 songs, all originals and all of them, his own compositions. He explains why he chose to go against the grain:

“It seems that almost every solo artist has gone all revivals in their albums. And who can blame them. With today’s economy and growing competition, revivals are a sure thing. It’s faster to produce and a safe bet for a hit. Being pasaway, I’m going completely the other way. All new, all orig! I know it is a big gamble. I’m going up against familiar songs on the radio. But I think it’s worth it! Sayang naman mga naipon kong compositions.”

Janno has always had a kind of pop sensibility uncommon to Filipino writers and he shows this off in the album. I do not know if he has written songs for other singers and he should. I am sure that his works would be welcome by artists who want to expand their markets. He also has his lyric writing down pat. He introduces his plots in an easy manner, moves naturally towards involving his listeners and then comes to a conclusion a lot of people can relate to.

But of course. The songs are his and he does them well. Bless him too for being truly pasaway. Orig refreshes at a time balladeers seem to have something against going all soft and sexy. No straining the vocal cords here, just easy singing with R&B overtones. Best of the lot are Haven’t Stopped Loving You and Ang Aking Puso, a duet with Kyla. And to keep the package from sounding alike, there is Igiling, to which Janno can do some salsa moves.

Orig is one signal that Pinoys are not about to take the ongoing deterioration of the music industry sitting down. There seems to be a silent agreement among artists and producers to make efforts to save OPM and there are indications that these are starting to work. How else would you explain why concerts by local artists have outsold the imports these past months.

16 March 2009, Philippine Star

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