They say “the creative adult is the child who survived”. A musician at an early age, the veteran singer Rannie Raymundo is naturally creative, so it’s only logical for him to pursue music (and art) as his lifelong passion.
In his teens, Raymundo was part of La Salle Greenhills’ Kundirana, the esteemed music ministry that honed many of the top local male musicians of today including Louie Ocampo, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, and Dingdong Avanzado. He was singing and playing various instruments for the group. He eventually found joy in composing songs. In the 1980s, he started writing freelance: from pop songs, ad jingles, to bespoke melodies for weddings and events; until he decided it was time to go solo and pursue a professional career. He continued to write original songs and would “knock on practically every door”, to distribute cassette demos. Eventually, his song “Hanggang Kailan” was played on 99.5 RT by Vince St. Price, and his career was set in motion.
Today, people know Rannie Raymundo as the OPM hitmaker responsible for the classic love songs “Why Can’t it Be” and “Hanggang Kailan”.
The musician currently transposes some of his creative energy from music to art. Asked about his artistic beginnings, Raymundo recalls, “I have always loved art for as long as I can remember. Even as a young boy, I would always be in awe of shapes and colors.” During their family travels, the young Rannie would marvel at the great sculptures in Europe and Asia. At home, he was encouraged to be creative with the art materials that were always accessible in their household.
His sculptures are made with clay. “There is something very ‘3D’ about me. The tactile nature of sculptures excites me. When I sculpt with my hands, I feel like I am breathing life into my creations.”
Naturally, music is a great influence on his art. He explains, “Music and the visual arts is the greatest cross-training for me. I like to get physical when I create and play music, and I also get rhythmic and melodic when I sculpt. I treat physical curves like melodies.”
Artists are only limited by their imagination. Inspired by the creative process of Ben-Hur Villanueva and Kidlat Tahimik, Raymundo enjoys a new sense of freedom and endless possibilities in sculpting. He declares that Kidlat and Ben-Hur share similar processes which entail “Opening up to the universe and allowing ideas to come”.
Kidlat Tahimik’s process, which the National Artist for Film fondly calls “Bathala Na”, was from the Filipino phrase bahala na which means God-willing, or ‘come what may’. Raymundo applies the same principles in his routine. Apart from the sculptures he voluntarily makes, he rarely does commission works to retain his creative freedom. He continues, “I focus on a [subject] that calls to me. Another key part in my process is something I call brewing or simmering [where] I allow myself time to disconnect from my work. I revisit after a while, and then revise, add, subtract, or say it’s done!”
Aside from sculpting, Raymundo is keeping himself busy with his label Madhouse Music Records, and his radio program of the same name.
The great Spanish painter Pablo Picasso famously said “Music and art are the guiding lights of the world.” Art is an experience for the viewer and its maker– be it music to your ears, or feast for the eyes. For that, Rannie Raymundo is truly a man of many talents.