Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Success continues for the band that didn’t expect to be a band

FRONT ROW: Jermaine Choa Peck, Redd Claudio; standing: Leah Halili, Muriel Gonzales, Lily Gonzales and Kian Ransom

FRONT ROW: Jermaine Choa Peck, Redd Claudio; standing: Leah Halili, Muriel Gonzales, Lily Gonzales and Kian Ransom

WHILE most music-loving teenagers can only dream of being in a band, a group of six young musicians from the University of the Philippines has made it a reality—and more.

The Ransom Collective is an indie band comprised of Kian Ransom, Leah Halili, Muriel Gonzales, Redd Claudio, Jerms Choa Peck and Lily Gonzales.
Early on, success was well within its reach as the band easily got gigs around town, good reviews from bloggers and, believe it or not, opportunities to go international.


Solo artist

KIAN Ransom, “Find your sound. There are so many opportunities to explore different sounds, don’t limit yourself to just one, try it all out.” GRAPHIC maroon print, gray joggers, Human

KIAN Ransom, “Find your sound. There are so many opportunities to explore different sounds, don’t limit yourself to just one, try it all out.”
GRAPHIC maroon print, gray joggers, Human

Before Ransom Collective, lead vocalist Kian was a solo artist who posted his songs online. He decided to form a band only after he was approached by a local music producer.


While continuing to promote his songs, he contacted friends whom he thought would be interested in joining his band.

A video shoot was planned, all for fun. Soon the members of the newly formed band felt how much chemistry they had while performing; they knew they had to take it to the next level.

After posting videos online, they were asked to perform in bars and restaurants around Metro Manila.

Big break

Ransom Collective got its big break when it won in “Wanderband,” an annual competition among indie bands in the country.

This was followed by another feat—the band was chosen by music streaming service Deezer to be a part of an international competition called “Young Guns.”

The contest mechanics were simple: Bands will upload a video of their song. A winner would be chosen based on the number of votes cast by streamers around the world.


Indie music is far different from more popular genres such as pop, rock and electronic dance music (EDM).

LEAH Halili, “Feel free to experiment.” GRAY jacket, Bench; maroon dress, Kashieca

LEAH Halili, “Feel free to experiment.”
GRAY jacket, Bench; maroon dress, Kashieca

Not everyone has a taste for slow acoustic and mellow tunes, but The Ransom Collective’s material appealed in a manner that everyone was able to relate to it. With dogged determination and natural talent, it placed second in a field of 45 countries in the competition.

A month after “Young Guns,” the band released an EP featuring five songs all written by Kian.

He says that his songs are about the life’s ups and downs. When the struggles of being a college student proved challenging during a semester, he tried writing music and lyrics. He never expected to form a band that helped change not just his life, but also the lives of his fellow band mates.

Another contest

REDD Claudio, “If you find music fun and it completes you, keep pursuing it.” ETHNIC graphic print tee, Human

REDD Claudio, “If you find music fun and it completes you, keep pursuing it.”
ETHNIC graphic print tee, Human

With the EP enjoying continuous play on Spotify and Deezer, the band joined another contest, “Spotify Emerge.”

The contest is still ongoing and, so far, The Ransom Collective has hurdled several elimination rounds, thanks to the number of plays and follows it has been receiving. The group is keeping its fingers crossed for another victory.

Consequently, The Ransom Collective wants to impart to the youth the importance of music in one’s life, most especially when words aren’t enough.

It also addresses the rampant issue of piracy. The band members, particularly Kian, want to put a stop to stealing music. They want music to be downloaded from proper channels and played in legitimate venues. The band would rather take the slow road than fast shortcuts to popularity.

With things seeming to fall into place after a year of surprises, the band plans to record a full-length album, perform in bigger events, and, hopefully, visit other countries to pursue its career as a redefined indie band.

It is quite a challenge to find songs we can relate to nowadays. If you want your ears to hear pleasing sounds even when the speakers are blasting, take time to rediscover yourself and your dreams through the sweet sounds of a band that never expected to be a band.

MURIEL Gonzales, “Just work on what you want to hear. Remember the type of music you want to create.” CAT EARS bob hat, graphic shirt, denim joggers, Human

MURIEL Gonzales, “Just work on what you want to hear. Remember the type of music you want to create.”
CAT EARS bob hat, graphic shirt, denim joggers, Human

LILY Gonzales, “Don’t be afraid to use simple chords. Just because it’s simple, it doesn’t mean it’s not nice.” SLEEVELESS black and green dress, Kashieca

LILY Gonzales, “Don’t be afraid to use simple chords. Just because it’s simple, it doesn’t mean it’s not nice.”
SLEEVELESS black and green dress, Kashieca

Photography Jhino Navarro
Styling Luis Carlo San Juan and Krista Rodriguez
Makeup Sari Campos for Make Up For Ever and Jet Babas
Hairstyle Sari Campos and Jet Babas

Visit us on Instagram Inquirer2bU;  Facebook: 2bU; e-mail 2bu.lifestyle.inquirer@gmail.com

JERMAINE Choa Peck, “Keep chasing your dreams, don’t ever stop, and don’t let anyone stop you from reaching your dreams.” “FUN NIGHT” graphic tee, distressed denim shorts, Human

JERMAINE Choa Peck, “Keep chasing your dreams, don’t ever stop, and don’t let anyone stop you from reaching your dreams.”
“FUN NIGHT” graphic tee, distressed denim shorts, Human

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TAGS: Artists, Bench, EDM, ethnic, fashion, graphic print, Graphic Tee, Human, indie band, Music, Ransom Collective, students, UP, young artists
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