Pinoy Homegrown Talent: Blakdyak

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Curly hair, dark complexion, and Bob Marley look-alike – Who knew that this guy from Olongapo would be a sensation in the Philippine music industry? Blakdyak, also known as Joey Famaran in real life, is a Filipino-Barbadosian who popularized the songs “Modelong Charing” and “Good Boy”. The “masa” appeal of his songs earned him a place to the hearts of many Fiipinos, making him popular even today. He is the son of an American soldier of Barbadosian decent. He grew up with reggae and ska influences that led him to performing acts in his high school years. As an experienced performer, he made a name for himself in Olongapo and later became a hit singer in other towns like Subic, Batangas, and even Puerto Galera.

Blakdyak performed together with a Band composed of gutarists – Paul Lauricio and Aying Sayson, Milo Ranes – bassist, Jeson Davila – drums, and Noel Baniques on keyboards. Together they perform songs mostly on a reggae vibe. His suprising rendition of “Bikining Itim” into the novelty reggae-ish “Modelong Charing” made him known throughout the nation. With the hit single being played non-stop on the airwaves, Vic del Rosario Jr. of VIVA records initiated a record deal with Blakdyak. Aside from recording and doing concerts with other popular artists, television and movie appearances became a part of his job. The fame and fortune easily lured him with the use of drugs. With the criticisms tagged on him as being “cheesy” or “corny”, Blakdyak turned from being bubbly and fun loving guy to a haggard looking person who didn’t care about his career, family, and friends. His movie and TV appearance vanished – he can only be featured on TV regarding his drug addiction. He was also hooked with gambling that easily shred his finances into bankruptcy.

Picking up the pieces of a broken career, Blakdyak started his solitary confinement. With the help of his family and friends, he began to realize what he really wanted to be as a family man and an artist. Regaining his composure, Blakdyak reunited with his band and focused on what he love the most – reggae music. Although they were not active in the local music industry, they toured around the Pacific isles, United States, and Africa to showcase their Filipino-style reggae.

After years of being inactive in the Philippine mainstream, Blakdyak is back in a whole different package. Together with his band that he’s been with for 18 years – even before he started his singing and acting career, Blakdyaks Tribe takes a leap from reggae-ish pop to a pure reggae repertoire. The band officially introduced themselves in a press conference held at a bar in Malate last 2009. Produced by Twinkle 21 production, the album “Blakdyak’s Tribe Sino Ba?” is already out in the market.

 

Herbert Kikoy
I am a hobbyist photographer who's making a big shift to mobile photography, a frustrated cook and a wanderlust who don't have the luxury of time.