Frio: A Band Our Own

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Saturday, January 20, 2007 with No comments
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Over conversations with good friends, I asked what is new in Zamboanga City. “Nothing much. The still old, hot city we’ve come to know.” Some familiar tune was playing in my head, so I asked, “Are you familiar with ‘Could Have Been’? I heard it being played on a radio station here. I’m sure it’s from Euphonix.” “You mean Frio?” “Frio?” “They’re the ones who sang ‘make me alive, make me suffer’ or something like that.” (The latter track being somewhat of a radio favorite here.) “Deberasan ese?” I asked, meaning “Is that true?” “Yeah, they’re building up KM6 from down there, but it’s them that has made it to the national scene.” “That’s nice,” I said, “they have indeed come along way.”


I have known of the band, then called Euphonix, having worked for 95.5 Killerbee. It’s the local counterpart of Magic 89.9 down south. Back in 2005, our program director, DJ Elmo, planned of showcasing the band to Zamboanguenos by playing original songs from a demo album they submitted to the radio station. The recording was nice; the audio quality was good compared to other demos submitted by budding artists from our city. DJ Elmo decided to release “Could Have Been” first because it somewhat had this mass appeal, and Sheila Taup, who sang the song, somehow sounded like Hannah of sessiOnroad. I remember I was the jock onboard who first played the song to our radio listeners, enumerating from a piece of paper the names of the band members and the instruments each play. But after a week or so, the station manager (by that I mean the station owner) decided to pull out the songs, to our dismay, and that any artists who plan of having their original songs played on the station should pay the station. Imagine that. Even a DJ-colleague’s commercial jingle--he also has original rap songs in which at one point some were played on regular airtime--was mistaken for a song. “Porque man se ta uhi lang yo tan-play el cancion, bira bira ya lang man se.” Ha-ha-ha. Greed.

I saw the band play live during the Hale-Cueshe Concert our station organized. When they sang “Pinoy Ako,” I knew they had it coming. The response of the jam-packed auditorium was something I have never seen before given to a local artist. And now, hearing them on Manila airwaves, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s nice that they renamed their band to “Frio,” which is Chavacano for cold. By doing so, they’ve made the band distinctly Zamboanga, and a group that our Espanol-like speaking brothers and sisters can be proud of. At long last, our city was able to produce an act that can compete on the national market. So it’s not only Baguio, Davao, and Cebu now, huh? Hehehe.

Honestly, I have never heard any of the band’s other songs from their debut album, except for “Alive” and “Could Have Been.” I believe videos are out as well for these songs, and shame on me, I have seen neither of them. If they were not only Zamboangueno, I wouldn’t have tortured myself writing this. But to Alain Echem (vocals), Christopher Sison (vocals), Sheila Taup (vocals), Archie Lim (lead guitar), Christian Quiambao (rhythm guitar), Tristan Climaco (keyboards), Raz Itum (bass) and Marvin Salazar (drums), pait de inyo banda doy. Kudos.
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