Carl De Villa has released his first original track from his new home of Sydney, Australia. But he was born and raised in Mactan, Cebu and his pride in his Filipino heritage shines through in this beautiful single, sung in Tagalog, ‘Okay Lang’.
This song is a collaborative work between Carl and another Filipino ex-pat, Oscar “OC” Cabarse Jr, who wrote and composed the piece. It is a beautiful, haunting ballad about looking back on a lost love with barely healing heartbreak and an impossible yearning to return to what was lost and can no longer be experienced. It's a song about nostalgia, heartache and the bittersweet sense of joy these memories can bring.
Carl’s voice reverberates with these feelings of lost joy but salvaged hope in the memories of what has now passed. It is a rousing, heartbreaking piece that is a true testament to Carl’s range, talent and star quality.
Carl was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. Growing up with two brothers and one sister and a family very involved in the local community, there was little time for anything else, but he found his passion in singing. He polished his natural talent in church choir singing hymns.
Over time, he developed his vocal range through local bands, becoming the lead singer for the ‘Redlites’. It was here, surrounded by other passionate, musically inclined people, that he found his true calling. For three years, he and his seven bandmates toured Cebu universities, including San Carlos, San Jose Recolletos and South Western.
His voice is familiar however, as it was featured on the song ‘Para Sa Iyo’ from the hit movie, ‘Crying Ladies’. This movie was critically acclaimed and well received by audiences when released and remains a great addition to the Filipino film landscape today. The featured song was by Carl’s group, Serendipity, an offshoot of Redlites that he performed with for a number of years throughout Cebu and Palau.
Since then, he has been part of many other bands, including In Heat, which toured Philippines, Japan and Singapore, the Sydney-based M7 and now, his own band with which he crafts his original music, Kayu.
Carl created Kayu with an eye for bringing together young, talented musicians who have nonetheless been in the music industry for many years, both in Sydney and in the Philippines. This group is highly successful so far and with the release of new music down the track, their star looks set to rise.
When not creating new music, Carl dabbles in musical theatre, playing roles in Miss Saigon, 42nd Street, Dreamgirls and other productions in Sydney. He finds performing on stage exhilarating in any capacity and his roles were met with favourable reviews in local press.
Carl is currently working on new music, in both English and Tagalog, to be released later this year. He has spent much of his life preparing to release original music and to reach his passion after many years of hard work, dedication and commitment is a great joy and achievement.
It’s an inspiration to see young people from Cebu making it, not only on a local scale, but internationally. Carl’s drive and determination can serve as a lesson to all who see it, that if you continue striving for your dreams and working as hard as you can to realise them, you can not only reach, but surpass them.