The pre-teen singing group called Sugarpop charmingly entertained the press with their graceful song and dance numbers during the album launch yesterday, September 11, at Zirkoh Comedy Bar, Timog Ave., Quezon City.
Five sweet youngsters—Rita Iringan, Julie Ann San Jose, Pocholo Bismonte, Vanessa Rangadhol, and Renzo Almario—welcomed the media with their Tagalog version of the dance song titled “Chocolate.” Then, they performed the fast ditty “Happy Hook,” almost leaving the kids breathless as they sang their third song, “Alam Mo Na, Di Ba?”
Later on, the group introduced two other songs that are included in their debut album Sugarpop, which was formally launched in SOP last Sunday, September 9.
The 10-track album contains the group's fun dance carrier single “Sugarpop,” “Paraiso” of the early '90s singing group Smokey Mountain, “Written in the Sand,” “Happy Hook,” and their originals like “You Lift Me Up,” “Walang Laglagan,” and “Thank You Po.”
DANNY TAN’S BRAINCHILD. “It’s my first baby,” said musical director Danny Tan when asked about Sugarpop, which is actually his brainchild and the first talent group that he will be handling.
Tan chose the five finalists of QTV-11's singing talent search Pop Star Kids—Rita, Julie, Pocholo, Vanessa, and Renzo—to form a new singing sensation for kids.
He explained, “Kasi si Rita nanalo [ng Pop Star Kids] sabi ko, ‘What will happen to the other four?’ Sayang. E, kapag bata mahirap mag-push ng solo. Kapag lima, lahat may kanya-kanyang fans, mag-consolidate yan mas marami, di ba?”
Aside from taking care of the debut album, Tan also helped the kids to become a part of SOP’s "Constellation of Stars." He said the group started singing in GMA-7's Sunday variety show when he became the guest musical director of SOP in January.
Tan narrated, “Doon [Constellation of Stars] nag-umpisa ang idea. Kasi ang dati ang balak ‘Back-to-Back’ lang—sila Regine [Velasquez], Jonalyn [Viray] and other stars. Sabi ko, ‘Bakit di three generations na lang.’ So nagustuhan ang idea.”
He continued, “Noong nag-guest musical director ako sa January, nag-start sila [mag-guest]. Noong huli, sinama na namin para three generations—we have kids, young adults, and adults.”
THE SOLOISTS. Sugarpop’s manager admitted that initially he had a little difficulty in blending the voices of the five members. “Mga soloista kasi,” explained Tan.
He added, “Noong una talaga 'di sila sanay kasi [mga] soloista. Ang matalas ang tenga at madaling kumuha ng second voice si Julia tapos si Pochollo. Pero yung tatlo natututo na silang mag-voicing ngayon.”
Meanwhile, Tan said that the training for the group does not only focus on singing but acting as well.
The musical director explained, “Singing, tapos pinapa-dance-dance ng konti. Then, later on, papa-acting-in sila kasi makakatulong yun sa singing and body movements. Kailangan total perfomance sila, alam mo naman ang panahon ngayon, hindi pwedeng singing lang, kailangan multi-media, di ba? Eventually, nilalakad naming ang isang musical TV show, tapos kung pwede i-extra-extra sa soaps.”
Although the five kids are a hit as a group, Tan believes that they can shine as solo performers someday. He said, “Nakita ko na ang potential nila as solists. Eventually, kapag nagdalaga or nagbinata sila hindi mawawala 'yan kasi very musical sila, madaling mag-pick up ng tono.”
The 10-track album Sugarpop is now available at leading record stores nationwide under Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
As a treat, those who purchase the album at SM Department Store Record Bars will automatically get a Sugarpop gift pack.