Everything that went behind the creation of a record can make or break a band. In the case of IV of Spades, the recording studio work has spurred success that so far amassed more than 50 million streams on Spotify for just five digital singles they have released under Warner Music. Their biggest hit, “Mundo”, now accounting for nearly 33 million.
Yes, that “Mundo” riff was created inside Sonic State Audio Studio, a well-known haven among Filipino artists aiming for high-standard records.
“We’re thankful the collaboration between IV of Spades and us worked out. We tried as much as possible to blend modern and vintage sounds to come up with something okay to all of us,” stated Not Vinzons, one of the studio’s resident recording and mixing engineers.
The band was recording their latest release, “In My Prison” when I witnessed Not grooving to the final result, a picture of that positive vibe felt when the boys known for donning colorful, retro fashion are in.
The song, with bassist Zild Benitez on lead vocals, establishes further the band’s penchant for disco played out in bold modernish strokes. Its official music video showcases the power trio’s tight grip on playful metaphor.
Guitarist Blaster Salonga, an Eat Bulaga Ultimate Music Hero titlist, and drummer Badjao De Castro are the two other key young men in the fold. IV of Spades won the Dreams Come True with Air Asia competition that enabled them, as part of the prize, to perform with the world-renowned David Foster.
“We are open to experimenting in the studio, and we’re doing it for the music and not for the ego,” Zild imparted.
Things are made easy with IV of Spades being technically gifted musicians. “These guys are very advanced compared to musicians their age,” observed another of Sonic State’s all-around recording expert Brian Lotho, “They’re skilled and embracing new ideas so as a team we push ourselves as long as we can.”
Winning the Myx New Artist and MYX Bandarito Performance of the Year only solidified their youth image.
Zild, whose mestizo looks is well-serving the band’s classy “tunog-foreign” output, commented, “We’re humbled by whatever the band has achieved so far. Things are unpredictable and we are being careful.”
Not added, “We saw the band’s potential right from the start and we here at Sonic State are happy to help shape their sound.”
At a quick glance Sonic State is basically constructed in the garage area of an ancestral house in Mandaluyong City where musician-owner Jonathan Ong grew up. Ong is trained abroad and brought the change-the-game recording approach in the Philippines. A look at its track record proves there’s something magical going on when work is being done inside this home studio, having produced some of the biggest OPM hits of the past 15 years. Seemed like the ‘garage’ sound has taken a new, empowering lift under Sonic State’s care.
Good bands that come in here come out even better.
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