by Dan MacIntosh
For Stronger Than Before, talented musical artist Dennis Sy focused on his skills as a songwriter. This third solo album builds upon Sy’s growing songwriting mastery where he has already been recognized in the AAA category at the 2006 LA Music Awards for his song “Real Me,” and his composition “Shine On” was also nominated in the pop category last year at the Hollywood Music In Media awards.
“I tried to let the words of my songs and the feelings I had while writing them dictate the musical styling of the songs, which resulted in this album containing tunes that can be categorized as jazz, adult contemporary, country, rock etc.,” Sy explains.
Sy is also fairly self-contained as an artist. “I sing and write my own material, and I produce my own recordings,” he says. “Music and songwriting is my passion.”
You need to keep in mind that this man looks at music as only a true musician sees it.
“It’s my escape,” he admits. “Songwriting and music allows me to leave the material world behind and enter a realm where my creativity has free reign. It’s my personal catharsis. Music allows me to get in touch with certain feelings and emotions I never knew were there. And music allows for people to speak the same language where emotions are raw and real.”
Fellow singer/songwriter and OPM (Original Pilipino Music) luminary, Jim Paredes, immediately recognized Sy’s obvious talent upon hearing this artist’s latest and best work. “Dennis Sy’s maiden album is a must-listen, must-have. The music scene is in dire shortage of good songwriters, and Dennis is a good one. We will surely hear more from him in the future. Enjoy this.”
Although it may be easy for some to peg Sy as a singer/songwriter, that would be lazy journalism. Anyone compared by some to country star Keith Urban, and to others sounds like classic rocker Bon Jovi, is by no means a typical singer/songwriter. As he’s quick to remind us, “My songs are not genre-specific. I allow my words and what I was feeling when I wrote the music to dictate what music genre is most apt in expressing it.”
Such high praise has taken Sy to places few artists ever get the opportunity to visit, such as Carnegie Hall. Over his 23 year career, Sy’s also played stages in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Although Sy calls New Jersey home now, he originally grew up in Manila in the Philippines where he started taking piano lessons at 13. However, once he reached high school, Sy was singing in high school choir and playing guitar during church.
You can take the Filipino out of the Philippines, but you can never take the Philippines out of the Filipino and Sy continues to incorporate his unique heritage into his art. To that end, he received the 2011 Outstanding Artist Award from the Filipino American National Historical Society, New York Chapter.
While Sy’s songs consistently reveal the artist’s serious personality, he’s not nearly as melancholy as many of his songs might lead you to believe. “I’m a coffee addict, and if I’m able to I would live in a coffee bar or café,” he admits. He’s also a bookworm. “I love libraries and the smell of books.”
With Stronger Than Before, Sy is well on his way of leaving a lasting impression on the world. “I want to define my legacy through the songs I write,” he says. “I don’t aspire for fame in the world of performing, but I would love to have my songs and music end up in a Hollywood movie or on a TV soundtrack.” And just to show that he’s both real and honest, he adds, “A hit record wouldn’t be too shabby, either.”