Film Festivals and Awards Shows – September Blog

A lovely Saturday greeting to all our wonderful friends and followers! Hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weekend as we usher in the Fall season.

Just thought I’d drop in and share with you some of the exciting things that has been happening in the world of DSYMusic this past month.

First off is the totally surprising news that we have received a nomination from the Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Adult Contemporary for our song The Me I Found In You – one of the songs from our Stronger Than Before album! Awards night will be held at The Revival on Oct 13, 2017. Ticket link here.

We also wanted to share with you the teaser music video for Life Is What You Make It made by ABS-CBN Television Network for Jhett Tolentino’s inspiring short film of the same title.

We had our very first taste of Nashville last weekend for the Josie Music Awards at the Nissan Stadium where Life Is What You Make It was nominated for Song Of The Year in Pop/Contemporary category. Kudos to Josie and Tina Passantino and to the entire Josie Music Awards team for putting together an amazing awards show weekend packed with events that celebrate Indie Music! Though we didn’t bring home an award, it was definitely a super fun experience for us meeting up with old friends and talented artists, and taking in some of the best of what Music City had to offer (and that includes the mouth-watering beef brisket and baby back ribs!) Hats off to all the winners – you totally ROCK!

Upon our return we were greeted with the great news that CAN SHE STAY has been awarded Silver Medalist – Outstanding Achievement at the Global Music Awards for Pop Ballad and Lyrics/Songwriter categories!

BUT WAIT….THERE’S MORE…. 🙂 

We’ve been receiving some great news with regards to the CAN SHE STAY (CSS) music video!

To start with, CSS is now on VEVO! This is definitely a first for DSYMusic, and we couldn’t be more proud to share our music video to the VEVO audience. You can check out the video at http://vevo.ly/ZHAabu

On the Film Festival front, we’re excited to announce that CSS mtv has been accepted as Official Selection to 3 prestigious Film Festivals – the International Film Festival Manhattan (happening from October 18-22), the San Francisco International New Concept Film Festival (October 29), and the NYC Indie Film Awards – October 2017 Edition.

If you haven’t had a chance to download CAN SHE STAY yet, you can download now via Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, or from your preferred digital music retailer.

The next couple of months are exciting times for DSYMusic, as we continue to promote CAN SHE STAY to various film festivals. And we’re definitely looking forward to visiting LA for the Hollywood Music In Media Awards in November (where Life Is What You Make It is nominated) and celebrating Grammy® night in New York City next January.

That’s all for now. Visit us again soon (or subscribe to our blog feed) for the latest and greatest in all things DSYMusic!

Always In Music,

Dennis Sy

“There is no shelf life when it comes to your dreams.”

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If this is the last song I ever write I will be ok with it – Michael Peloso

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I first met Michael Peloso at an Indie Collaborative event in Philly on May 2nd of 2016. It was my first Indie Collaborative event, and it was nice to meet a fellow songwriter based in NJ. He was very pleasant and amicable to talk to, and on that stormy night in May, I knew he was someone I’d like to work with on a songwriting project.

Michael is a prolific lyricist with a penchant for writing deeply emotional songs, and I was excited at the possibilities of this collaboration.

On May 9th (a week after that fateful meeting), Michael sent me a set of lyrics and asked “tell me if you think I’m on the right direction as far as genre?”

Boy was he ever headed in the right direction!

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“The bittersweet emotions of a father in the contrasting throes of wanting to hang on and having to let go” is perfectly captured by Michael as he wrote about his daughters during a moment of melancholic introspection.

Those original set of lyrics would serve as inspiration for what would become our latest single of the same title: CAN SHE STAY.

After playing around with the words and song structure to fit the melody in my head, the original vision was to give it a country music flare and shop it to artists in that genre. Michael took the reigns in that regard, and for the rest of 2016 and early 2017, we both worked on other projects, including another songwriting collaboration between the 2 of us called WITHOUT YOU (demo version).

Fast forward to June of this year.  I knew Michael and I have something special and deeply personal in CAN SHE STAY, and I wanted to put my musical hand stamp on it.  In my mind, the words needed to take centerstage, with every other musical elements taking a minimalist and supportive role in this song.  So with the wonderful arrangement of producer Lorrie Ilustre, I started working on the recording and on July 4th, I surprised Michael with a pop-ballad version of CAN SHE STAY.

The rest, as they say, is history.

It has been my profound privilege to have received Michael’s homage to his wonderful daughters as conveyed in his original lyrics. And aptly I echo his sentiment when he said to me “If this is the last song I ever write, I will be ok with it.”

Here is the official music video of CAN SHE STAY. 

(Directed by feature film director Daryl Denner, filmed by Fictional Films LLC, with DP Rodney Reyes, and executive producer Mylz Tolentino

SHINE ON Review on SKOPE Magazine

Original URL: http://skopemag.com/2016/08/18/dennis-sy-shine-on-featuring-natalie-jean-and-darick-spears

Dennis Sy – ‘Shine On (Featuring Natalie Jean and Darick Spears)’

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Optimistic to its very core, Dennis Sy’s “Shine On” is a song of pure hope. Featuring the undeniable talent of Natalie Jean and Darick Spears, the song’s spirit soars to the sky. Effortlessly blending together elements of rock and jazz into a poppy whole the entire song radiates warmth. By far the highlight of the piece is the strong positive message via the poetic lovely lyricism. Simply brilliant the song’s structure offers up a nice sense of play as the flexibility of the piece allows it to possess a great number of twists and turns. This is a song that demands to be played as loud as possible for it is a song of celebration.

Wasting no time at all Dennis Sy swings into the mix of things. A carefully crafted groove leads the way as a glistening organ weaves its way in and out of the busy mix. Staying true to the song’s sense of power the piece unfolds with a sense of confidence. Guitar work taps into a western twang as it explores the spaciousness of the sound. The attention to detail is particularly fine as Dennis Sy lets the song start and stop on a dime. Powerful vocals lead the way further emphasizing the forward-looking nature of the piece. Towards the end of the song everything comes together into a brilliant display of color.

Strong and sunny, Dennis Sy’s “Shine On” is an immaculate piece of pop with a timeless message of inner strength.

http://www.DSYMusic.com

By Beach Sloth

SHINE ON Review on Jamsphere Magazine

Original URL: http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/shine-on-dennis-sy-featuring-natalie-jean-and-darick-dds-spears-meant-to-enlighten-uplift-and-unite

“SHINE ON”: Dennis Sy featuring Natalie Jean and Darick DDS Spears – meant to enlighten, uplift and unite!

The track “SHINE ON” is the collaborative effort of hip-hop emcee and producer, Darick DDS Spears, the jazz-pop singer-songwriter, Natalie Jean, and award-winning pop-rock artist, Dennis Sy.  That we’re dealing with a quality crew is clear from the outset. Dennis is a Grammy member, Natalie has made the Grammy ballot twice and Spears has just had one of his songs nominated for the Global Peace Award in Hop-hop.

SHINE-ON-CoverTogether these three acclaimed and lauded artists deliver us a song that’s meant to enlighten, uplift and unite our spirits in a crusade against division and differences of any discriminating kind. The song itself evokes numerous emotions and thoughts right from the very first verse:

“Give me a second to catch my wind
Where do I begin?
Some say it’s a sin because of my skin.
Some say it’s us men who need to repent.
Showing hatred towards one another with no conviction.
Just listen!
I’m tired of these divisions…”

It’s all urban pop perfection, with the sound of an inescapable potential hit that doesn’t get boring, no matter how often you hit the repeat button.  Lyrically serious, the track comes accompanied by a frothy bubbling and bouncy soundtrack and the feeling that all might just be all right with the world, if only for a few minutes of dazzlingly executed song craft like this. Listen, learn and love, it’s quite simple if you just follow the chorus instructions:

“Shine on…Shine Through
Gotta give a little bit of you
For a better world & a better day
You know it’s true
When it all comes down to you
The time is now for us to change”

The question is, can we or will we? Music can only help to induce us into doing something, but WE actually need to do it. Darick DDS SpearsNatalie Jean and Dennis Sy lay it on the line with brilliantly infectious verses and choruses. The production is augmented by an organically driven acoustic beat, which helps give the song a cool groove that segues seamlessly into soulful choral chants providing most of the melodic and uplifting moments.

“SHINE ON” has the potential to please a wide range of pop and hip-hop fans. It’s a very catchy tune and it transcends a few different genres, so maybe people will be more open to it. The key of course is in the song’s musical reiteration and the conscious nature of its lyrics. The three oscillating performing styles by Darick DDS SpearsNatalie Jean and Dennis Sy add just enough interesting sparks to light the proverbial musical fire and build an appealing group identity that almost anyone can relate to.

OFFICIAL LINKS:

Dennis Sy
Website: www.DSYMusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DSYMusic.US
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DSYMusic
Natalie Jean
Website: www.natalie-jean.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nataliejeanobsession
Twitter: www.twitter.com/natnat7
Darick DDS Spears
Facebook: www.facebook.com/darickdds
Twitter: www.twitter.com/OnlineDDS

SHINE ON Review on Sleepingbag Studios

Original URL: http://sleepingbagstudios.ca/dennis-sy-shine-on-featuring-natalie-jean-darick-dds-spears/

Dennis Sy – “Shine On” Featuring Natalie Jean & Darick DDS Spears – Single Review

It’d be hard not to appreciate the passionate power of enthusiasm in the pop-melody of “Shine On” – it certainly radiates an inspiring amount of positivity in its combination of message and music.  Enlisting some excellent assistance to bring his vision to fruition, singer/songwriter Dennis Sy has the support of singer Natalie Jean & the hip-hop vocals of Darick DDS Spears appearing on “Shine On” – and together these three have made a song that is pretty much guaranteed to stick in your head for weeks on end.

It’s also definitely worth mentioning, that “Shine On” is being considered for the 59th annual Recording Academy Awards…that’ll give you a solid indication of the level of songwriting you’ll find in the composition of this new single…it’s top-shelf stuff for sure.  When you hear the hooks of “Shine On” you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; it really is the kind of melody that never leaves you once you’ve heard it…highly memorable and completely catchy.

Musically I thought the song was bang-on the entire way through…”Shine On” is delivered with a high-level of execution and professionalism while still being informative and fun all at the same time.  I had a few slight issues with the vocals of Sy as I adjusted to his sound/style at the very beginning of when he takes the verse, but I felt like he really warmed-up throughout the song and consistently raised his performance up from the first moments onward.  Spears sounds spectacular and lends some incredible energy to this entire song with multiple-parts that are delivered right on the money with precision-timing and real passion in his tone.  Natalie Jean remains in the background for the most-part, but sounds solid every time you hear her…and the combined sound of the vocalists together in the chorus nail a tough part to sing with real heart and emotion.  These three definitely sound great when they’re right there together with each other in the chorus…a real collaborative effort that really works well.

What I do really believe…is that songwriting remains the star of this song from beginning to end.  As strong as the performances are – it’s impossible to deny that lyrically, musically and creatively this is all a part of one really great idea overall…”Shine On” is truly solid song and bulletproof in its structure, composition and twists and turns in the music’s writing.  Between the uplifting messages of change in the lyrics and the brightness of the execution…you really can’t help but find a part of you that ends up connecting to this super-shiny pop rhythm.

Musically-speaking, I can certainly understand the positive support this song is already receiving online – the drums, bass, piano, guitars…it all works so incredibly well together that it’d be impossible to ignore.  You can feel the magic of the moment on “Shine On” and how it builds and evolves as the bright-energy, positive-vibes and inspiring lyrics grow and expand as the song plays.  The sentiment is certainly a beautiful one…clearly these are three people united in their belief of a better tomorrow.  “Shine On” has a decided point of view…it’s certainly a sunny one, but that’s a tone, texture and atmosphere people truly do appreciate beaming through their stereos.  The potential audience for “Shine On” is widespread and the opportunities that exist for a song like this to be featured in numerous parts of the music-industry from commercial awareness-ads to soundtracks are pretty much potentially limitless.  There’s a reason that strong writing and inspired sounds like this get considered for awards – they’ve done a great job here and all three of these vocalists take a turn shining beautifully in the spotlight and glowing warmth of one of the friendliest and most-inviting songs you’ll hear this year.

Find out more about Dennis Sy and his music through the official site at:  http://dsymusic.com

A Night At The Prom~Di

Last Saturday, March 12, 2016, I had the pleasure of performing at a gem of a restaurant, bar and lounge in the heart of Woodside, NY – Promdi Kitchen & Bar.

This gig was courtesy of a dear friend and colleague in the music business – the “piano man” Mr. Bobby Ramiro. I’ve known Bobby for quite some time now, as we’ve crossed paths many times before in various Fil-Am music events. We’ve always talked about doing a show together, and many friends have suggested the same. The only time that sort of came to pass was last November when he and I played together in a band to back up Kirby Asunto for her 18th birthday concert.

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Photo Credit Mylz Tolentino

Until now.

Having Bobby on keys lent to a show that was very acoustic in flavor, with a lounge feel reminiscent of the music lounges that I used to frequent growing up in Manila. To me, it was an excuse to go “retro” with song choices, and to also highlight a lot of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) tunes that we could all be proud of as Filipinos and Filipino-Americans.

Upon seeing Promdi 2 days prior to the show for a soundcheck, I felt that we were right on track with our concept – the interior elegance of the restaurant, coupled with the sweet, full sound coming out of the in-house PA system really lends credence to Promdi being a favorite hangout amongst people looking for excellent Filipino cuisine, as well as a diverse slate of musical entertainment befitting of the chic, stylish yet cozy ambiance of the place.

Apart from all the above reasons, as a performer it’s hard not to fall in love with a place where friendliness seems to be an overriding ingredient that goes along with everything else that they have to offer, from chief chef RJ Estor, manager Kenneth and the wonderful staff, all the way up to owners Martin and Alex (apologies for not getting their last names), who altogether made every guest (and performer) feel very welcomed and right at home.

I truly had a blast performing for old friends and new ones last Saturday at Promdi! Thanks to everyone who came, and kudos to the entire Promdi family for creating this “home away from home” – an establishment we could all be proud of as Fil-Ams and Filipinos in New York.

Photo Credit: Rolan Gutierrez Photography

Looking forward to the next time!

Always In Music,

Dennis Sy

 

 

2016 Blog: Grammys, Vegas, Et Al

First blog of 2016. 

Wow this is more than 365 days in the making! Talk about taking procrastination to an entirely new level!

I was trying to figure out what happened in 2015 that got me away from blogging. Then I realized Facebook and Twitter happened. It was easier to post 140 character (or thereabouts on FB) realtime updates and pictures on these social media platforms than to find a quiet place while having a shot or two of espresso and just being alone with my thoughts and writing about them.

I guess that’s what I miss the most this past year – being alone with my thoughts in an age of virtual connectivity to almost everything that’s happening around us. I miss the silence in my head, and allowing the universe to dictate where it can, or should go.

Suffice to say that’s how most, if not all, of the songs on the album STRONGER THAN BEFORE (STB) came about. And it’s no wonder a followup to it has been stalled from quite some time now.

But I feel a personal renaissance is brewing on the horizon. And maybe one way to concretize that foreboding is through a simple blog.

The journey STB has taken since its release in November 2013 has truly been a fulfilling one, especially from the perspective of a songwriter. Despite the fact that there was no coordinated effort resembling anything close to a professional marketing and publicity plan for the album, STB has garnered multiple nominations and awards for many of the songs therein, including the title track Stronger Than BeforeThe Me I Found In You, I’ve Been Searching, and Shine On.

Attending our first GRAMMY event in January 2014 was the impetus to Stronger Than Before being part of the first round balloting in the Vocal R&B Performance category for the 57th GRAMMY Awards. We tried as hard as we could to push the song to as many voting NARAS members. At the time it felt like we put in a tremendous amount of effort in having our song heard. On hindsight, that “effort” barely scratched the surface in the world of NARAS membership.

That deer in the headlight look? That was me in every networking event our team managed to attend back in 2014. Socially inept, I found it difficult approaching people to tell them about our album, or to simply say hello. The irony was I avoided doing the very thing these events were meant for – to network, to build relationships, and to share my music. The CDs and the business cards were always neatly tucked away in my backpack – untouched and never having seen the light of day.

Yup – I definitely have issues.

But despite my innate social dysfunctions, I could feel a sense of genuine camaraderie from the other side of the wall I had unwittingly built around myself. It was definitely calling out, with persistent echoes that seemed to plead “lower your defenses, dare to step out of your comfort zone, and put your trust in a spirit that’s genuine inside you, and in your music.” 

One thing of note too was the fact that outside of the CD release party back in November 2013, we never actively performed STB, nor any of my previous originals, to a live audience. I don’t really know why that was the case. For some reason, live performance opportunities were focused on the cover band I belonged to – the Brown Oasis. After our first taste of participating in a GRAMMY campaign during the latter part of 2014, most of 2015 was spent pushing and establishing the Brown Oasis brand – finding gigs and learning to play keyboards while also serving as one of 3 lead vocalists for the band.

It was a personal challenge I felt I needed to take. I hate the feeling of being artistically stale, and I’m constantly looking for the next challenge in my music journey. And this actually led to my first gig as musical director for Kirby Asunto’s concert last November 2015. I definitely consider that a personal highlight thus far in my career.

But something inside me wondered – is this a fork on the road where I’m supposed to choose between playing and performing with a cover band, or is there more inside me that’s waiting to be shared as a songwriter and singer?

A choice between feeding a CHALLENGE or being INSPIRED?

On a whim, we decided to enter a cut from STB – the song I’VE BEEN SEARCHING – in the 58th GRAMMYs. Once again, I wish decisions like these were not acted upon on impulse, but more as a result of careful planning with a strategic intent.  (An important lesson for another day.)

But acting on that “whim” has led me to a door, where once opened, has put DSYMusic back on track on what we believe to be its manifest destiny – creating music and writing songs that we hope would make a difference in this world filled with limitless possibilities.

All it took was for someone else to BELIEVE in me. And someone did! (You know who are you!)

And that belief led to a partnership and mentorship that would result in a total shift in attitude – the realization that the voice inside my head as concretized in the lyrics of my songs DO MATTER; that the feelings and thoughts conveyed in those songs can resonate deeply with the listener; and that opening myself to a whole new universe of “indie” talents and their music can be one of the most rewarding and inspiring moments in my artistic life.

I was a “sheltered” artist, engulfed in my own world where I thought I needed to reside to be in touch with the source of creativity and inspiration that had fed my art. Little did I know that by daring to leave the cradle that has sustained me for so long, one can benefit tremendously and grow exponentially simply by pushing against one’s comfort zone and focusing outward to other people’s experiences, their thoughts and their art.

From that decision onwards, the GRAMMY experience this time around had become more fulfilling and rewarding. No longer was I attached to any particular outcome, but instead I was focused on the process – of sharing my work, and at the same time, listening to and enjoying the works of so many wonderful artists.

The different genres didn’t matter. I found myself fully immersed and engrossed in the artistry of everything that I had heard. From the words sung to the notes played, or the arrangement of how all these musical elements were put together to convey the author’s intent, the outcome was alway the same – MUSIC NIRVANA.

And in discovering “Nirvana”, I also stumbled across something that has been missing in my career as a performer of other people’s songs – PRIDE and excitement in sharing and performing MY songs.

That’s why there was something different with my last 2 gigs – in Vegas at the Truffles N Bacon Valentines and Anniversary show, and at David Longoria’s pre-GRAMMY artists showcase event at Molly Malone’s in LA – it was my originals that took centerstage. 

I don’t know how to explain it, except to refer to it as I did earlier in my blog – as a “personal renaissance”. A rebirth and a reconnection to something that is wholly ME – in words and in expression.  And it felt really good!

And this I owe to the NARAS community that has been so generous in sharing their art, and at the same time has been so accepting of me as a fellow artist and as part of the family.

I met a lot of my “heroes” in many of the pre-GRAMMY events leading up to the MAIN EVENT – wonderful artists who have astounded me not just with their artistry, talent, passion, and dedication, but more so with their humility and their generous hearts, and the vision that they have for their music.

And I consider myself extremely blessed to have experienced this at this stage in my career.  

In the end, the “main event” was the culmination of a 5-month journey and a celebration of friendships both new and old, and a celebration of music. It was a discovery that a community could exist consisting of kindred souls – passionate in their art, and generous in how they interact with those that they meet.

It also presented a road that’s yet to be traversed; to music yet to be written; to friendships yet to be formed; to inspired thought yet to be formed and shared.

And that to me is the exciting part – WHAT’S NEXT!

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