Still on a high (note) with the amazing Wonggoys

·3 min read

No, they’re not breaking up. It’s difficult to think of disbanding when music is the glue that keeps these real-life brothers together. But the Wonggoys, composed of the Wong brothers Gabe, Bill and Kyle, are taking a break. Having been in the music scene for 12 years, they are well aware of their priorities (Gabe recently became a father while Billy and Kyle have their own personal pursuits) so they admit that it may take a while before they can create new music together.

For now, they have “Organic,” a 10-track album and their third and final one. Call it their swan song, if you will. It contains tracks touching on themes that truly matter these days—family, relationships, gratitude, faith, hope and love. Most of the songs were written at the height of the pandemic in 2020 when the Wong brothers, like everyone else, were confined to their home due to the lockdown, and thus are deeply personal and quite different from the tracks in their first two albums, “I’m Not Sure What To Say But I’ll Say it Anyway,” released in 2010 and 2017’s “High Hello.”

To launch “Organic,” as well as gather everyone who has supported them through the years, the Wonggoys threw a farewell party of sorts on June 4 at the Mediterranean Hall of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

If anything, the album launch didn’t feel like a goodbye gathering. Far from it. The atmosphere was electric. The audience, a merry mix of Gen Zs, millennials and the more mature set, was happily singing along to each song.

A companion quipped, amused: “Daghan lagi og Tita sa?” Suffice it to say that the Wonggoys’ music appeals to all ages. Proof is eight-year-old Dylan, a huge fan of the Wonggoys’ hit “Way Blema,” who attended the concert with his parents.

22 Tango Music Group founder and the Wonggoys’ producer Cattski Espina, who directed the show, pulled out all the stops to mount a memorable concert, together with her creative and technical team. There were solid, well-received performances from the guest artists—Relden, The Sundown, Jericho Streegan and Julia Q, with beats by DJ Short in between sets.

Aside from the music, the audience was also treated to a documentary where the Wonggoys looked back on how “Organic” was created and how each song was born.

Kyle said “Clap,” with its irresistibly infectious beat, was written in the middle of 2020 when people had already learned to adjust with the Covid-19 situation but the hospitals were still so busy attending to patients.

“Our fundraising activities were mostly for the frontliners who were unappreciated,” he said.

Bill, for his part, said “Clap” is their song of gratitude “not only for the frontliners but also to the everyday workers, like the janitors and nurses, because we felt we lacked in showing appreciation toward them.”

Gabe unapologetically declared: “I wrote ‘My Love’ because I missed my girlfriend.”

He said he didn’t see his girlfriend for several months because of the lockdown and had to content himself with video calls so he was already terribly missing her.

And although he has written about love in the past, it was the first time he felt that he had indeed written a love song.

“I’g Human” harks back to the early part of the pandemic when people were deprived of the activities they were used to, such as meeting up with family and loved ones or eating at one’s favorite restaurant.

“Now that everything’s back to normal, the studio version of the song has become celebratory,” Kyle said.

“Queen,” is of course, a tribute to the Wongs’ home, Cebu City while “Good Boys” is dedicated to their most loyal supporter, their mom Maria Celeste.

“It was her who coined ‘Wonggoys,’ which is very unique, very playful and fit us very well,” Kyle says.

The other tracks in the album are “Shoes,” “Wild Child,” “Hayahay,” “Better Days” and “I Gotchu.”

“Organic” by Wonggoys is available for streaming on all music platforms.

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