Ryan launches The ‘M’ Boys

BESIDES BEING one of the country’s finest musician and songwriter, Ryan Cayabyab is an excellent spotter of talent. Everyone still remembers how, back in the 90s, he discovered and mentored the group Smokey Mountain, then consisting of Geneva Cruz, Jeffrey Hidalgo, James Coronel and Tony Lambino.

By Aprylle Liabres (Contributor)

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Published: Mon 28 Apr 2008, 12:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:45 PM

A second-generation Smokey Mountain later emerged with Zhar Santos, Chedi Vergara and Jason Angangan.

The second batch was a success as well, stringing up hits like Da Coconut Nut, Paraiso and their own version of Kailan. People might also remember that Zhar-who went by the name Sharon Galvez-auditioned for the fourth season of American Idol, where she made as far as the Hollywood rounds.

Recently, Ryan also launched the RCS Singers (RCS being his initials). The group has also launched its own debut album and has been making the rounds of various TV shows, plus performing in concerts of other singers.

Now comes Ryan with his latest ‘project’. But this is apparently no ordinary project. He’s not launching just one singer, or a small group of them. Instead, he’s launching a whole class as recording artists, with a debut album of their own under a major record label-Sony BMG, no less!

Say what? Yes, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab’s latest musical project is called the M Boys, and is made up of the junior students of Section M of the Ateneo High School (hence the name of the group). Hearing this, one would tend to dismiss them as a typical bunch of teenage boys obsessed with girls, fast cars and video games. Well, they enjoy those too, but not to the exclusion of all else.

Described by their teachers as a ‘talented bunch’ with majority of them excelling in the arts-such as music and writing essays and poetry-the boys attracted the attention of Ryan during a fund-raising event at Ateneo where they performed songs in front of their parents and other guests. Ryan was so impressed by their level of talent that he came up with the idea of co-producing an EP (Extended Play CD) featuring the boys’ own compositions.

The M Boys are by no means the first school-based singing group-La Salle has its Kundirana, which counts among its alumni the likes of Gary Valenciano, Randy Santiago, Dingdong Avanzado and Ogie Alcasid-but the idea of getting an entire class and herding them into the studio to record their own CD was not just cute; it was a novel idea that challenged Ryan creatively.

And the more he thought about it, the more he was convinced that he really had something here. “When Ryan heard them sing, he said, ‘Let’s take these boys and put them on a national level’,” says Ryan’s wife Emmie Cayabyab, who now acts as the group’s manager. “He felt it would be such a waste not to let the talent shine outside of the school.”

That’s how the ‘MBoys 09’ was born. The group consists of 41 boys from section M, who will receive their high school diplomas in 2009.

The boys’ debut album contains songs that reflect what typical boys like themselves go through. During the making of the album, each of the 40-plus boys contributed a song-and all, according to Ryan, were “marvelous”-but for reasons of economy, he ended up choosing just five of them to include in the album. These are the carrier single Galak, I’ll Always Be There For You, Pakiusap, Susan, and Bitaw, which were the class’ winning pieces at Awit Nasyonalista, an annual songwriting competition at the Ateneo responsible for putting together some of the most popular bands today, such as Parokya Ni Edgar.

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