Genuine talent and experience help chart the success of musicians who perform for a living. This is most especially true to those who start playing professionally at an early age.
One example is Jay Durias. In the 1970s, his father, Edgar Durias, performed regularly in Davao folkhouses, clubs and hotels – with an adolescent Jay in tow. Jay eventually joined his dad’s band gigs. At one point, he was asked to play solo, and it was just a matter of time before he started his own band.
As cofounder, keyboard player, vocalist, and chief songwriter of South Border, Durias has been a performing artist for over 20 years. He has also been generous in sharing his musical gifts as arranger and musical director for other artists.
One such project is a concert dubbed “Playlist: The Best of OPM,” set on Friday, March 1, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. It features a multiple lineup of seasoned artists: Joey Generoso, Medwin Marfil, Ice Seguerra, Jinky Vidal, Juris Fernandez, and young, impressive singer Janine Teñoso. Durias is the concert’s musical director, and will also perform with South Border as the house band.
More than hearing the hits of the artists with their former and current bands, and also as solo acts, “Playlist” is said to have an exciting repertoire that includes pop and rock classics by other Filipino artists.
In an email chat with Inquirer during rehearsal breaks, Durias gave a peek on how his musical instincts work.
“The sound itself catches my attention. That’s why the first few seconds of a song is crucial to me,” he said. “If the song has vocals, I wait five seconds after the vocals come in, and then I decide if I want to listen to the whole song or not.”
Durias, who, just like the Beatles’ John, Paul, George, and Ringo, doesn’t read or write music formally, said that, as a composer, he hears melodies, harmonies, and rhythms in his head, “all at the same time. If I fall in love with it, then that will keep on playing in my head and that’s when I start recording it.”
Likewise, as an arranger, he said: “If I find a song interesting, I can already hear how it would sound like, if I or South Border, were to do a cover of it. Otherwise, I will not think of arranging anything. I will let myself appreciate the beauty of the song in its original form, unless it’s a commissioned work.”
“Playlist: The Best of OPM,” March 1, Smart Araneta Coliseum; tel. 911-5555; log on: ticketnet.com.ph; or call Viva Live 687-7236.