With 20 years in the music industry and counting, Jonathan Manalo, aka Mr. Music, is more than capable of creating hit songs that entertain and inspire listeners. Despite his evident creativity as a musician, one can’t help but wonder how Manalo continues to find inspiration for his craft.
The answer lies in his faith. Manalo finds the time to turn to God in search of inspiration when creating music. He allows himself to receive divine inspiration from a higher power and uses that in composing relevant pieces that often describe a generation.
Manalo also avoids creative burnout by taking some time to rest whenever necessary. He uses his free time wisely to practice his faith and recuperate his senses to use his abilities to the fullest.
As a prominent music industry member, Manalo began his career in 2001 after winning the grand prize for the 2001 JAM: Himig Handog sa Makabagong Kabataan Competition for his now iconic song “Tara, Tena.” Since then, he has written and produced more than 200 albums.
He is also the creative mind behind popular albums and entire discographies of some of the country’s respected music artists, including Erik Santos, Charice, Moira Dela Torre, and Yeng Constantino, among others in the country.
Following his critical and commercial success, along with having the right platforms to promote his numerous works, Mr. Music became one of the significant artists of his generation to shape the popular taste for Original Pilipino Music (OPM) from 2010 to 2020.
In celebration of two decades in the industry, Mr. Music, with his good friend and Artist on a Mission, Kristine Lim, are again collaborating for an exhibition that features their prowess in visual arts and music.
The art exhibit, titled Kwento ng Alon (As Told by the Waves), will use select OPM songs by Manalo, which Lim will interpret as artworks for the multi-venue and multi-country art exhibition and coffee table.
Waves are the central imagery that ties the entire project together because it also represents emotions and sounds, the vehicle where Manalo’s music is transmitted and popularized.
Kwento ng Alon isn’t the first time Manalo and Lim worked together for an exhibit. They met during the pandemic and have since developed a friendship where they push and support each other to achieve new heights. The pair also share a strong faith, with Lim being active in missionary and charity works.
Before Lim met Manalo, she was already listening to his songs and found them inspiring.
Among the 20 songs Lim will interpret for the exhibit, “Tara, Tena” resonated with her the most. Aside from being catchy, it’s also the first song that propelled Manalo to become Mr. Music. Moreover, the song is also a call to action for the youth to use their talents for good.
Other songs include “Pinoy Tayo,” “Pagbigyang Muli,” “Para Lang Sa ‘Yo,” “Patuloy Ang Pangarap,” and more.
Kwento ng Alon will launch on September 27 in the Main Lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.