Fil-Ams show pride through “Manny” documentary and soundtrack

Fil-Ams show pride through “Manny” documentary and soundtrack

In time for Saturday’s mega-fight, Ryan Moore, the Filipino-American director of “Manny,” is encouraging viewers to watch the documentary to get to know Manny Pacquiao — beyond what they see inside the ring.

“What our film is trying to put out is that if you’re having a potluck or barbecue, be sure to play [“Manny” the movie], which is being carried by every cable operator in the US and Canada on demand. If you go to Time Warner or DirecTV, there’s a Mayweather-Pacquiao folder, which is where they’re selling the fight, [and the movie] is in there. It’s in 100 million homes, it’s just a matter of making people aware of it,”” Moore said. “ “It’s the perfect build-up and lead up to the fight, so people get a sense of who Manny is and his story.”

The documentary will also be screened on Friday, May 1 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.

Also produced by Filipino-Americans, the “Manny” soundtrack exudes the creative team’s passion of sharing culture and a positive message through music.

Based in Los Angeles, Yardnoise is a three-year-old production company comprised of hard-working Filipino Americans in the industry who have known each other for years, and who wanted to collaborate in making music that showcases pride, heritage, and culture.

Yardnoise executive producer Chad Hugo (of the Neptunes and N.E.R.D. fame), co-managing partner Maria Gonzales, the film’s executive producer Tristan L. Seisa, and engineer-producer/partner Rob Rivera have all been involved in various aspects of the music industry for years, working with various recording artists from Pharrell to Madonna.

The four Fil-Am creatives recently joined forces to curate the soundtrack for “Manny.” “It has been a magical musical journey,” Maria Gonzales told the Asian Journal. “Working with so much amazing Fil-Am talent was unforgettable. Creating this soundtrack was an opportunity to invite people to embrace Filipino culture in a way that we always have. Filipinos are so musical—and that’s obvious especially with Manny, who loves to sing.”

Gonzales shared about the process of building and producing the documentary’s soundtrack, which features tracks from Filipino artists like Far East Movement, Kris Lawrence, and Apl.de.Ap.

“We traveled to the Philippines and recorded native Filipino instruments and authentic tribal sounds, which we incorporated into the soundtrack,” she said. “That was one of the biggest things for us—introducing western culture and unique Filipino culture through the music; for instance, the gong-like sounds of the kulintang. It is a way of telling the story of our journey, our history.”

Various tracks from the soundtrack were recorded in different studios both in the Philippines and Los Angeles, including the home of associate producer Tristan Seisa. The titles and lyrics of each song—“Get Back Up,” “All My People,” “Champion,” etc.—are meant to reflect the overall humble fighter spirit of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.

“The overall theme of the soundtrack is the message of Manny. As he started to rise in the boxing world, so did his music, involvement with politics, his business ethic, his overall popularity. We wanted that inspirational message of hard-work and resilience to come through in our album.”

The soundtrack’s single entitled “Face Your Destiny” does just that—reflecting the resilient, never-give-up spirit of Manny Pacquiao. The song by up-and-coming artist Cameron Rafferty was released on April 28, tagged by Yardnoise producers as #MusicfortheFightoftheCentury.

“It was probably one of the most amazing and intense processes that I’ve ever dealt with in the studio before,” Rafferty shared. “Working together with Manny was surreal. I was super critical on myself, making sure every song lyric embodied who he is as a person.”

He recalled meeting the Filipino fighter for the first time, “When I’m in Manny’s presence, I remember feeling his hands—they were monster paws, so strong and intimidating. He is a kind and humble, but powerful man…no matter what the challenge, he still keeps going. You can either bow down the pain, or like Manny, realize that you were born to take it. That’s what differentiates the great from the mediocre.”

“The term ‘Face Your Destiny’ is what everybody has to do at multiple points in their lives. But the defining moment is when we face our individual destinies, when we find greatness within ourselves to achieve,” he said of the single’s inspirational message. “Manny faced his destiny numerous times, and he always rose to the challenge. He’s had to face his destiny a lot more than other people have.”

Yardnoise is also proud to be a part of the creation of the inspiring record, especially being able to incorporate Filipino culture and music theory in composing each track.

“What brought us all together is our love for music and culture, learning about who we were and where we came from, and working with talented creatives who are like family,” said Gonzales. “It is a very special and proud feeling for all of us, to have been able to merge these different worlds.”

The “Face Your Destiny: Music Inspired by Manny the Movie” soundtrack is available for digital release, and the single “Face Your Destiny” by Cameron Rafferty (www.cameron.fm) is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play. iTunes has the exclusive pre-order for the soundtrack launching April 30. The album is set to release on June 12, coincidentally Philippine Independence Day, of this year.

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