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8 Prominent OPM Rock Stars Who Pursued Solo Careers

Marc Abaya recently debuted his solo single 'Red Bleeds To Blue'
by John Paulo Aguilera | May 24, 2018
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Kjwan frontman (and occasional actor) Marc Abaya has unveiled the lyric video for his debut solo single, "Red Bleeds To Blue."

The 38-year-old OPM artist was the former vocalist of Sandwich and the current frontman of Kjwan, a band he formed with his with his friend Kelley Mangahas of Dicta License. Kjwan fostered its own brand of alternative metal and hard rock through the songs "Daliri" and "One Look," among others. It would be interesting to hear what the rugged rock star has in store for his fans as he goes solo.

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Abaya, however, isn't the first band member who took the path of least "personnel" and got recognized for it. Here are eight more lone wolves who paved the way for aspiring artists like him:

Ely Buendia

Following arguably the most prominent band departure in OPM, Buendia has continued working within the same setup—The Mongols, Pupil, The Oktaves, Apartel, and even Eraserheads on occasion. In between, though, the living legend has churned out his fair share of solo material, first of which was the project Wanted: Bedspacer as Jesus "Dizzy" Ventura.


The first frontman to leave Rivermaya came back to the country in 2002 and formed an eponymous group, which is responsible for hits such as "Noypi" and Hallelujah." Bamboo lasted for almost a decade, before the band broke up. Shortly after, the Fil-Am artist made official his solo career via the soulful debut album, No Water, No Moon.

Rico Blanco

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Rico had quite the entrance as a solo artist. His first single, "Yugto," was unlike anything that he had done before, and allowed Maya's original songwriter to step out of the band's shadow. His maiden record, Your Universe, unlocked Rico's versatility as both singer and musician, which many believed had been held back by him being part of a unit.

Ebe Dancel

Sugarfree disbanded in early 2011, then Ebe launched his first solo track "Muli" (Dalawang Mukha Ng Pag-ibig) a few months after. In a previous interview, he admitted that gigs were initially hard to come by post-breakup. Since making music on his own, the private person has collaborated with fellow artists, more recently Johnoy Danao and Bullet Dumas.


Dong Abay

Dong once fronted Yano, Pan, and dongabay, before going solo as an independent artist and releasing the EP Sampol—said to be part of his undergraduate thesis. He retained his revolutionary tone in subsequent abums Filipino and Rebulto. Dong is back in the band scene with a group called Dong Abay Music Organization or D.A.M.O. because why not?

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Barbie Almalbis

After providing vocals for Hungry Young Poets and Barbie's Cradle, Barbie came out with the 2006 effort, Parade, which carried such songs as Dahilan and Pag-Alis. Not long ago, she teamed up with the next two entries for a sold-out concert tour.

Aia de Leon

Best known for her work with Imago ("Sundo," "Akap"), Aia exited the rock outfit in 2013. The next year, she tried her luck on The Voice of the Philippines but failed to get a single chair turn. The emotional acoustic track "Tao Lang" is Aia's first foray as a solo act.

Kitchie Nadal

Before Lougee took over, Kitchie was in-charge of mic duties for Mojofly ("Another Day," "Scooter Boy"). The 37-year-old has had a more successful solo career, spawning chart-toppers like "Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin" and "Same Ground."


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