On October 15, 2019, former lead singer of Sugarfree, Ebe Dancel, celebrated 20 years in the Filipino Music Industry. Dancel held a show at 12 Monkeys Bar Ortigas to commemorate the special event — and boy, was it epic.
But before the venue started to fill to the brim with fans, we got to sit with Ebe Dancel himself and ask him a few questions on how he got to where he is today and what he thinks it takes to stick for as long as he has. Here are five valuable things we can learn from Ebe Dancel’s 20-year career in the OPM industry.
1. Be at peace with yourself
Dancel is considered one of the “Pillars of Original Pinoy Music” because of the many ways his songs have captivated us and made us feel that we’re not alone in this life. When asked about how he feels about this as an artist, Dancel gave us a tiny peek into his creative process and his priority as a songwriter.
“I think, to be 100 percent honest about it, I write songs kasi for myself eh. So, it’s a big bonus that someone can identify with it [saying] ‘ah ikaw din, nangyari din sakin yan,’ you know stuff like that, that they find a friend in the songs.” Dancel said.
“I think it’s the ultimate honor actually, from a songwriter. My immediate goal is to be at peace and please myself — and then it spreads, and 20 years later it still feels new, it’s amazing,” he added.
2. You play for an audience of three or 30,000
When asked about what he thinks it took to get to where he is now, Dancel shared how much he has had to tough it out, as well as how much has missed in terms of special gatherings with his family and friends.
“It’s a lot of hard work, talaga. You do shows for an audience of three or 30,000. You play through illness, you play through injuries, you miss time with your families, all the parties, the weddings, baptisms, there’s a chance you’ll miss them all,” Dancel shared.
“But, kasi if you have one goal in mind, and mine is to stay on stage as long as I can, I understand that I need to do my shows,” he added.
In line with his answer, Dancel also shared that he still studies to this day as a way to get even better in his songwriting process.
3. It takes character
As cliché as it seems, Ebe Dancel pretty much gave us a picture of what it really looks like to work in the music industry. So, when asked if he would say that it also takes character, Dancel agreed with a resounding “yes” following it up with a statement that is worth repeating a hundred times over.
“Oh, yeah, I think so. Because talent without the right attitude doesn’t really amount to much,” Dancel affirmed.
4. Know that you don’t understand everything
Dancel continued on his statement, saying that one of the reasons why he is still in the industry is because he is willing to humbly admit that he doesn’t know everything.
“I think I’m still here because I’m still willing to learn and I acknowledge that I don’t understand everything,” Dancel said.
5. Everything is a process
Dancel ended his statement by describing what he means by being willing to learn and acknowledge the things he has yet to understand, noting that it’s what gives him the simple pleasures in life.
“Everything is a process, that keeps things light, that keeps things fun for me. Kung may matututunan kahit isang chord, isang weird chord a month, wow! Blown away na ako non, just [the] simple pleasures.”
Ebe Dancel is a prolific Filipino artist that has touched many of us with his lyrics that are very raw and personal. He writes not to please others and his entire career is founded on grit. Now, there is no wonder why a lot of us connect with his music and are enthralled by it in such a profound way.
As another way to celebrate his 20 years in the OPM industry, Ebe Dancel will be having his first-ever solo concert with The Manila String Machine at the Metrotent Covention Center in Pasig on February 29, 2020.
Tickets will be available on October 30th at 10 AM.
Ticket prices are PHP2,500 for Silver seats to PHP3,500 for Gold seats.