Earlier this year, Filipino indie-folk group The Ransom Collective wrote down a list of goals they wanted for the band. One of the items on their list was to play at Laneway Festival Singapore.
In less than two weeks, their wish will come true. Members Kian Ransom (vocals and guitar), Lily Gonzales (keyboards), Redd Claudio (drums), Muriel Gonzales (violin), Jermaine Choa Peck (percussions), and Leah Halili (bass) are set to play the festival on January 27, 2018 at The Meadows at the Gardens By The Bay in Singapore, alongside international acts.
“This is it guys,” violinist Muriel Gonzales told the band as they heard the news. Laneway is one of Asia’s most sought-after stages for indie bands to perform in. Given that Ransom Collective never really thought about the future of the group, this was a sure sign they had better start paying attention to the possibilities that lie ahead.
It was in 2014 that The Ransom Collective’s journey began, when they joined a contest despite having very little experience playing live. Auditions for a band competition in a local indie festival opened up and the band ended up submitting requirements at the last minute. Winning would mean being a part of the lineup that included Architecture in Helsinki, The Drums, and The Royal Concept, among others.
Being only their fifth gig, the band wasn’t expecting to win since they were up against more known local indie bands such as Chocolate Grass, Autotelic, and Brisom.
Yet it was performing the song “Fools” (created only weeks leading up to the competition) that the band thinks won them the evening. With a rousing intro, the song is a call to adventure that you can’t help but sing along to. In the video, the band seek their instruments hidden in a far away place soundtracked by spirited and soaring harmonies. It’s a song that deserves to be sung in front of a huge audience which is no wonder they won the evening.
Kian recalls, “Everything worked out really well that night. We were amateurs but we played really well. We were kinda lucky because we practiced so much every day. All the practice paid off.”
He adds: “Even now today sometimes when we play ‘Fools,’ I think it’s still worse than the day we played it (at the competition) for the first time.”
“Fools” has received over 2 million streams on Spotify and has been established as one of the essential tracks in local music according to Filipino media sites Radio Republic and Vandals on The Wall. The demand for their music grew with collaborations with Malaysian artist Yuna and Indonesian Artists GAC as well as Filipino band Urbandub. They also performed in New Delhi in the ASEAN – Indian Music Festival last October.
They were chosen as MTV Asia’s Artist of the month last November, performed for BBC’s Global Beats program, won 3rd place on Deezer’s Young Guns against 45 other countries and 2nd place on Spotify Emerge.
Their full-length album “Traces” was released last May 2017 with some re-recorded tracks from their self-titled EP. The track “Settled” was awarded as the #1 Viral Song on Spotify PH.
Drummer Red Claudio adds, “(‘Traces’) reflects how much we’ve gotten to gig and practiced as much as we did leading up to that point. We were able to work on some new material that was still in theme with the older songs, but there was some new differences.”
“When the album came around it was something we could say that this is US at our best time,” says Kian.
Ransom Collective is indeed at their best as they perform in Laneway Festival in Singapore this January 27, 2018 at The Meadows in Gardens By The Bay alongside international acts such as The Internet, The War on Drugs, Wolf Alice, Anderson Paak, Sylvian Esso and Aldous Harding and many others.
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