Rico Blanco - Solo Artist

Solo Artist

On June 12, 2008 Warner Music Philippines, launched Rico Blanco's first single “Yugto” which marked his entry in the Filipino music industry as a solo artist. Critics and music fans immediately hail it as a "neo-epic". The song won a host of awards, among them 4 major Awit awards including Song of the Year. His first album titled "Your Universe" was released on August 8, 2008 (08/08/'08). The 10-track CD is a unique fusion of diverse sounds, among them the ethno-rock "Yugto", the heart-tugging title track "Your Universe", the rockabilly/punk feel of "Ayuz", the sweet, Pinoy-folk "Para Hindi Ka Mawala", and the sing-along anthem "Antukin". Also notable is his return to his roots as a keyboard player as evidenced by the infusion of synthesizer and electronic elements throughout the album. Incidentally, Warner Music Philippines are known for disbanding bands and turning their respective lead vocalists into solo artists.

Currently, Rico's live band is usually composed of Robert de la Cruz (of Queso and Skychurch) on drums and Ricci Gurango (formerly of Hungry Young Poets and Mojofly) on bass, while Rico plays guitars and keyboards. Many other session musicians join him on stage from time to time.

In November 2008, Blanco won the "Vocalist of the Year" award in the NU Rock Awards. In December 2008, he was heralded RX93.1 "OPM Solo Artist of the Year. He also opened for Myx Mo 2008 and performed "Yugto". Aside from his band, The Mandaluyong Children's Choir, Manila Symphony Orchestra, Kulintangan musicians (headed by Malou Matute), and various Percussionists (headed by Iggy de Dios), all performed with him. The opening set was touted to be the biggest in the event's history.

In February 2009, he won as "Best New Artist" in the MYX Music Awards 2009. Then, Blanco was picked by Unilever Philippines to re-write and sing a version of the regional campaign song of Close Up toothpaste, released a single entitled "Come Closer".

Rico sang together with Imago vocalist Aia de Leon, and Sandwich frontman Raimund Marasigan, on “Ako ang Simula”, the theme song for a campaign which calls on Filipinos, especially the youth, to actively participate in the 2010 elections.

When super typhoons ravaged the Philippines in September 2009, Rico responded quickly by writing and recording and releasing "Bangon", to raise awareness and ultimately, funds to help the victims of the typhoons. Rico gave away the song as a free download to give hope to the victims, salute the heroes and inspire people to continue helping. Blanco also said that he is waiving all royalties due to him for the mobile downloads of the song, which he will instead give to affected families.

In December 2009, Blanco launched his new music video for the single "Ayuz", it features his dance tribute to Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire, with Cristine Reyes as special guest.

In May 2010, Blanco was announced to be on the cast of ABS-CBN's newest supernatural-political thriller TV series Imortal which stars John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin, Blanco also sang the song "Kahit Walang Sabihin" for the said TV series. This was followed by the launch of Rico Blanco's very own company, Balcony Entertainment, in cooperation with Warner Music Philippines.

The same year, Rico Blanco launched his first album "Your Universe" in other Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong. The Asian release featured a new single "Neon Lights", the song quickly gained the number 1 spot in Hong Kong charts beating other artists such as Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Wonder Girls and Mika, Blanco had then met with favorite celebrity like action star faced Robin Padilla or beautiful woman queen contestant to Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up with Shamcey Supsup .

In March 2011, Sesame Street Philippines went into partnership with Blanco to launch the new education campaign called Sesame Street "Kid Ako". The campaign will launch in schools which will use Sesame Street books and videos to help encourage learning among kids at an early age. Blanco is also set to make two songs for the campaign.

Blanco released a new single, Amats, available for digital download via iTunes. The single is a cut from his second album Galactik Fiestamatik released on July 10, 2012.

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