New Artist Feature — Argel MDR (Monte de Ramos)

My MISSION

To motivate and inspire artists, creators and entrepreneurs (in the making) with my Features. To uplift, encourage, promote and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

We Met At Capilano University

I first met Argel Monte de Ramos at Capilano University in the Birch Building. He was giving students free Ethical Bean coffee in his role as a CSU (Capilano Students’ Union) Outreach Assistant. I took photos of Argel at the table and asked him if it was alright if I posted them on my Instagram. We started following each other and from there a great friendship began.

I am very excited to announce that Argel’s EP is going to be released in 8 days — on April 28! I had the pleasure of interviewing him to celebrate his success as an emerging artist.

Gifted With Talent

M: When did you first start singing?  How old were you?

A: I started singing when I was three. My parents discovered my talent for music at a young age, and so at the age of three, they signed me up to a be part of our church’s youth gospel choir to hone my skills in singing. 

M: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career with your gift?

A:  It wasn’t until I came back from my exchange program in the UK that I decided to pursue a career in the performing arts. At that time, I was finishing a Diploma in Arts, mainly taking business classes.

My initial plan was to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. But my passion for the performing arts steered me towards its direction. Aside from pursuing a career in music, I also work for a performing arts school as an Arts Administrator for their community programs.

And I am a producer at Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Early Career Development program. I feel so fortunate to be able to work in the performing arts world.

M: Where are you from? If you moved to Vancouver, why did you move here?

I am from Manila, Philippines. My family and I moved here in 2012 and I have been living in the Metro Vancouver Area for ten years. We moved here to seek a better life and opportunities.

Argel MDRs first video Story We Tell
Argel MDR’s first video, Story We Tell

Argel`s First Ever EP Reign

M: You have an EP that is about to be released at the end of this month.  What was your inspiration for it?  

A: Yes! I am so excited about my first-ever EP! Reign, was inspired by my life as a young Filipino-Canadian immigrant and my journey toward finding a safe space to advocate for myself. It is all about finding our ways to thrive and own who we are; to reign our lives and not care about what other people say about us.

M: How long did it take to write the songs for your EP?

A: Each song had a different timeline. There are four songs in my EP: Reign, Blues, I’ll Rise, and Story We Tell. Reign and Blues took me half an hour to an hour to write. While the other two took me two weeks. It really depended on how busy I was or what I felt at the moment.

Producing the songs took a much longer time, I’ll Rise being the longest at 6 months. The producers and I took a bit of time to decide what genre of music Reign really fits into.

M: What did you study at Capilano University

A I initially started in the Business Administration program but then decided to switch to Musical Theatre. After finishing that program, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Performing Arts program which I completed last September 2021 at Capilano University. 

M: How have the courses that you studied and your program helped launch your career? 

A: It provided me with an opportunity to trust my instincts and hone my skills in singing, dancing, acting, and arts administration. 

M: What would your advice be to future artists with dreams of pursuing a career in singing?  

My advice is to trust your instincts and try to find the courage to tell your story. As an advocate for representation, anti-racism work, and inclusion, I use the art of storytelling, music and performance to get my message across.

Inspiring others through the performing arts is truly beautiful, and so if you are blessed with such skills, it is humbling to see people responding to you. So honestly, do it! There’s no perfect time to do it but now.

M: Do you have a philosophy in life or a famous quote you would like to share with everyone?

A: I believe that people have biases and privileges that need to be acknowledged in order for us to lift each other up and for everyone to feel like they belong. We are all worthy of happiness and success in life.

I truly believe in James Baldwin quote, “it took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself and half-believed before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”

In order for us to create space for others, we need to create a space for ourselves. I provided a space for myself by creating original work for music and theatre, and now, I provide a space for others to find inspiration through my stories.

MILESTONES

To learn more about Argel MDR, his SOON to be released EP and his many talents, please visit his website and follow him on Instagram, his Facebook page and YouTube.

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