Filipinos have a natural ear for music. Which explains why they are as attuned to karaoke as fish to water. The Philippine president, Benigno S. Aquino III, is himself a lover of music. It is President Aquino’s way of recharging his batteries. His music collection spans jazz to pop to original Filipino music. Although the president is not a virtuoso singer, his singing is passable enough.
With that said, how you heard a raw, unfiltered, unalloyed and pure music from the oldest musical instrument? We are referring to the human voice here. Luciano Pavarotti or Placido Domingo? Nah. Barbra Streisand? Could be.
But as biased as we are, we recommend the voices of Regine Velasquez of the Philippines and Elliott Yamin of the U.S.A. But this discourse is on Elliott Yamin, so here goes:
Elliott Yamin is an independent artist and artist-entrepreneur, who earned his props on American Idol Season Five. He placed third in that competition, but that doesn’t mean that his talent is third rate. More like a mirror of a society that thrives on mediocrity. We have stopped listening to radio because what they are dishing are the riffraff. No wonder, in the manner of the American economy, record sales have this inexorable descent to the bottom.
Mr. Yamin holds the distinction of being the first-ever independent artist to reach platinum status with his single, “Wait for You” from his eponymous album, ELLIOTT YAMIN, which cracked the Billboard Charts at number three–the highest selling offering from an independent artist ever.
We liked Mr. Yamin’s concert at the Virginia State Fair in October 2006, where he let it all hang out, as it were–pure, raw, unadulterated talent if ever there was one.
Elliott Yamin’s second album, Fight for Love, did not fare as well as his first, sales-wise, but the quality and choice of songs were superior. We love the cut, “You Say” from that album, which ranked in the top ten in Japan.
In September 2007, Filipinos got to see Mr. Yamin perform at a series of concerts. Although all the gigs were spectacular, the one at Glorietta Mall was a stand out.
On May 22, 2007, we had a ring side view of Mr. Yamin’s concert at the Bowery Hall in New York City. In reference, here was our entry in our journal:
For Elliott Yamin to have rocked New York City—the culture capital of the universe, at that—on the Final Two day of American Idol when people would rather gather around the TV set than go elsewhere, was no mean feat. Yes, the high-browed New Yorkers embraced Mr. Yamin as their own during the latter’s sold-out, stuffed to the gills, concert at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan on May 22. It was the concert to end all concerts, as only a rock star could pull up. There was no let-up in the mega-wattage of electricity that Yamin emitted all throughout his one-hour plus performance. It was truly magnificent! Hips swayed; some were doing full-dance routines; most were stomping to every beat—everybody was feeling the heat. . .thunderous ovations, rah-rahs, whistles galore, punctuations of “I love you Elliott!” from the fan-girly types. That’s what you get when two giants meet: New York City and Elliott Yamin
As of this writing, Mr. Yamin is in the thick of laying up his third album. Which will be more kick-ass, we promise.