The ’80s singer Raymond Lauchengco feels only those with unique voice and style make mark that lasts in the local music industry.
“The talent nowadays, grabe. ’Yung mga boses na naririnig ko ngayon, hindi ko ’yan naririnig noon – super lakas, super taas, walang ganoon noon, eh,” Raymond began in an interview.
Then he made his point.
“For me, ha, my only advice is ’wag po tayong manggaya. We have our own unique gift from God. Let’s not try to sound like Justin Bieber or Bruno Mars. We should sound like ourselves.”
He cited his heyday as good time for artists as everyone was going for own sound then. Characterized by dance, New Wave and preppy music, the decade brings back a lot of memories for Raymond as music then was “very powerful.”
“When you listen to a song, it becomes the soundtrack of your life. When you listen to a song, kaya niyang mapagana lahat ng imagery ng buhay mo,” he said. “For me, the ’80s represented freedom. Iba ang balance noon eh.”
His personal freedom tasted at the time included going to college, driving his first car and falling in love.
“I think it works the same way for other people,” he said. “For me, ’80s music is the best.”
An occasional actor, Raymond’s last movie outing was “First Love” starring Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo where he played Aga’s lawyer.
Is he keen on doing a sequel to the iconic ’80s movie “Bagets” where he and the gang would now play fathers to a new set of young stars?
“Type n’yo?” he asked, after which he uttered, “Nakaka-tense.”
“We were 16, 17, 18, 19 years old that time. So, I think dapat ganoon din (ang age ng mga bida).”
Asked who among young stars today could do the roles, Raymond apologized, saying he doesn’t know much of today’s young celebrities.
“May kasalanan ako. Hindi (ko) masyado (sila kilala). There are so many talents now from ABS-CBN and GMA-7.
“During my time kasi, wala. It was just Viva, Regal, and Seiko. Now, the number of young talents is so big it is difficult to keep track of them.”
Raymond will only do a “Bagets” sequel on one condition.
“Kung pumayag ang lahat sa grupo ko dati ay sasali din ako.”
Some of the stars of “Bagets” are Aga, William Martinez, JC Bonnin and Herbert Bautista. Although they now live separate lives, Raymond revealed “we see each other twice a year” for dinner. They also have a Messenger group.
“We’re very proud of each other,” Raymond said.
Of the “Bagets” cast, Raymond is aware that he has that “elistist” tag.
“I am sorry about that, if that’s the image I projected. Sorry. I never meant to be disconnected, to be elistista. You can only be yourself. At the end of the day, you cannot compare yourself with other people. Each person’s journey is different. Each person’s destiny is different. At the end of the day, just be yourself and be the best version of yourself.”
Raymond is one of featured artists in reunion concert “Into The 80s” at The Theatre at Solaire on May 18. The other performers are Gino Padilla, Jett Pangan, Lou Bonnevie and Jam Morales.