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Singer Hans Dimayuga Can Be Knocked Down But Not Knocked Out

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog
by Emmanuel Calingacion | Oct 6, 2018
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The name Hans Dimayuga might ring a bell, and that’s because you may have seen him and heard his soulful vocals on one of local television’s best reality singing competitions, The Voice PH. But that wasn’t the first time he dared to compete, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Back in 2007, when Rico Blanco abruptly left Rivermaya, the band had to hold a much-needed search for their next vocalist and frontman. One of those who joined was 19-year-old Hans Dimayuga.

“I was a child,” Hans recalls. “But that was the baptism of fire I needed.”

Despite not getting his big break then, with Rivermaya ending up with Jayson Fernandez, Hans trudged on. “The experience helped me with the next two shows I would join.”

Photo by John Marcelo
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Then 2013 came, the year of his would-be introduction to the largest stage for vocal prowess in the Philippines. Hans joined The Voice PH during its first ever season in 2013. And for his blind auditions on the June 30 episode, he performed “Stand By Me,” and got Sarah Geronimo’s chair to turn for him. But shortly after that, during The Battles, Hans would be eliminated from the competition.

He took a break from singing competitions and decided to learn more about his craft on his own. Hans began working on a 4-track extended play, which would later be named Agos EP, led, of course, by the track “Agos”.

For “Agos”, Hans wrote the intro line (that's repeated in the end) first and wrote the rest around it. “Trivia: I based the chorus chords from Jamiroquai's 'Virtual Insanity.'"

Another trivia is that “Agos” is used by one of the wrestlers in Philippine Wrestling Revolution. Comedian, actor, and wrestler Red Ollero (or Mainstream Mahaba to PWR fans) has been a close friend of Hans since high school.

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“Initially, I was gonna let him use “Agos” for free since tropa naman kami, but he insisted to pay, which means, when I watch his shows, he expects me to pay, too,” Hans explains. “It's something we should all do—if you want to support a certain artist, pay the gates.”

After his EP launch, Hans would join yet another reality singing show. Bolt of Talent, televised on StarWorld back then, was headlined by the legendary singer-songwriter Michael Bolton. Hans was one of two Filipinos to join the competition, and, as the trend goes, Hans would fall short of becoming the representative of the Philippines. But Hans had a lot of important takeaways that he would put into his music career, and life as a whole.

“The biggest take away from all that was learning how to thrive out of my comfort zone, manage nerves, and learn new material very quickly,” he shares. “Then you can start being creative and put your own twist on the material and be able to perform it at a high level. I didn’t win any of these competitions, but the lessons came in handy when I went full-time.”

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Now, Hans is still honing his talents as a singer-songwriter and occasional theater actor. He’s been going around performing in as many venues as he can: hotels, pubs, bars, and just about anywhere. And early this year, Hans released his latest single “Tuso," which will debut a music video this coming November. Like all of his songs, it's based on personal experience because he “wanted to keep it as real as possible.”

“A song could start from anything—a chord progression, a riff, a lyric, an interesting melody, or a simple concept,” Hans adds. “I take a lot of time in the editing process because I want the song to ripen. What sounds cool now may sound lame next week.”

With his songs, he says he sculpts them to either tell a story or deliver a statement.

“I want to convey messages as clear and as accurate as possible—musically, lyrically, and emotionally. I want people to really feel it.”

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Performing in front of a live audience is a different beast compared to writing a song by yourself and recording in a studio. Even the best of us experience those nervewracking times.

“You know when you’re so nervous and you feel like throwing up and pissing your pants? That happens to me a lot, especially on very important performances. For years it has eaten me up. It still does every time it happens; it pisses me off, but ultimately drives me to work harder.”

For Hans, his goal is longevity. For him, he’s found what really makes him happy and he wants to do it for as long as he can. And for his songs, he never really intended them to become hits.

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“I just want to share a piece of my soul to anybody who wants to feed off its energy,” Hans reveals. “The best feeling is when a stranger tells you that your song has moved and healed them in a certain way. Money can never compensate for that shit.”

You can listen to more of Hans Dimayuga on Spotify and on YouTube.

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