New Artist Feature — Argel MDR (Monte de Ramos)

Argel MDR Photo Shoot for EP Release Reign

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.

Capilano Courier – My Second Article

We are only in our 5th day of the New Year but 2020 is starting out great! I went to my Yoga Fusion class yesterday at Steve Nash Lonsdale and my body is thanking & cursing me at the same time… Lol…

Thanking me because it was such a delicious feeling to stretch my under used muscles and I know how beneficial yoga is for my over all well being.

And cursing me because my body hurts, aches and feels fatigued. But it’s that “good pain”….

This morning I will be meeting with Spencer Zimmerman, Capilano University Film Club President to interview him for the university’s magazine. For those of you who are new to my site, I am a Communications major at the university and a Contributor to Capilano Courier.

I am also very active in other campus organizations such as: CSU’s (Capilano Students’ Union) Mature & Parent Student Liaison, Capilano Radio’s Social Media Director, and the Social Media Consultant for YWiB Capilano (Young Women in Business).

I am looking forward to meeting Spencer to learn more about the Film Club. They have FREE movie showings on Tuesdays. I have been wanting to go see a flick but haven’t had a chance yet.

It is now the afternoon and the interview is complete. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Spencer. It was a great interview and we covered a lot of information in about half an hour. But we hung out for another almost 30 minutes because the conversation just flowed and we connected.

There is so much I want to tell y’all (I’m Canadian but have American friends – Lol) about the club but I cannot because my article will be published in the February issue of Capilano Courier.

But if I reveal just one little tidbit … The film club will be having Sci-Fi month SOON! Stay tuned … Subscribe to my site OR follow me on my main Instagram profile: @mayumiizumi (click on link on contact us page OR follow Spencer & his crew @capufilmclub to learn MORE.

Procrastination – Why am I doing it?!

I thought I had beat my Enemy – my self-saboteur … But apparently NOT. I am a Communications student at Capilano University in North Vancouver and for reasons not clear to me I am procrastinating doing my assignments. So much so that it becomes too late to submit them.

And my wonderful professor had even given me extensions on our first two assignments due even though I didn’t ask! And then we just had our midterm. It was a straight forward exam and had I studied properly I could have aced it. Nope, I failed it by 1.5 marks!

Although, these marks say something about me as a student it is sending the wrong message. It’s painting the wrong picture. I am a former honor roll student, winner of top 100 student in my school district, highest mark in my English 12 class and awarded 3 English awards during my high school years.

After high school, I studied Fashion Design at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto, Ontario, Fashion Merchandising and How to Start a Small Business at VCC in Vancouver, BC.

Last year I enrolled in the Applied Digital Communications & Social Media program at Capilano University and just one course shy of completing the program and receiving the Award of Achievement. I just registered for the last course, Effective Writing for Web Content. I can’t wait! It will be taught at our new campus, at the historical Shipyards District.

Possible reasons for my self-sabotage: fear of success, fear that I may truly get EVERYTHING THAT I DESIRE, or to balance the success I am experiencing in my life …. I’m not sure why I am doing it.

I was hoping that by the end of this blog I would have it figured out … Apparently not. I will keep you in the loop when I know the answer. Stay tuned …

When you subscribe to www.mayumiizumi.com you will receive our Fall Newsletter.

Work, School, Life Balance

Being a mature student is challenging. But I am embracing the challenge with open arms. I work full time for a software company and I am taking one class in the School of Communications at Capilano University that meets twice a week.

On the suggestion of the President of Capilano Students’ Union I am a candidate and running for Mature Student and Student Parent Representative. My candidacy was made official by the Chief Returning Officer and my Election Campaign began yesterday, Friday, September 27th .

I have embraced student life by becoming active on campus by joining Capilano Radio Club in which I will be managing the radio’s Social Media platforms with another Communications Student & I am hoping to start a podcast of my own . I will be a Consultant for YMIB’s, Young Women In Business, Marketing Department regarding their Social Media & Events and I have attended my first pitch meeting with Capilano Courier, the University’s Monthly Magazine. During my first volunteer shift as a Theatre Usher, I was fortunate to watch a great film by filmmaker, Tom Radford at the University’s theatre, Blue Shore Financial .

I am unapologetically ambitious. But I am grounded. I balance my work, school, and campus activities by:

  • Exercising – taking Pilates & Yoga classes at Lonsdale Steve Nash Fitness Club where I am a Fitness Ambassador.
  • Seeing my family & friends – namely my Ma, Mako and my Big Sis, Mona.
  • Taking & enjoying my alone time. Doing things that make me happy & indulging my inner child.
  • Attending the North Shore Alliance Church, volunteering at their coffee bar and reading spiritual & motivational books.

Capilano University is Coming to the Shipyards District!

Shipyards, North Vancouver, BC

It’s my first day of class at Capilano University in the School of Communication. I am excited for many reasons – not just because it’s the first day.

I have to commend the University for the warm welcome they gave us, first year students last week at our Student Orientations – the Welcome Ceremony (which I wrote about in a separate post) and our Faculty Orientation.

I decided to go back to school because of a colleague’s suggestion that I take some Social Media courses at Cap U after he saw how passionate I am about Instagram. I completed 4 out of 5 courses I need for the Award of Achievement in the Applied Digital Communications & Social Media program. I will be taking the final course in November at the Historic Shipyards in North Vancouver, BC.

Capliano University is opening a second campus at the Shipyards in early November and I will be taking Writing Effective Web Content. How appropriate! Haha …

The original name of the Shipyards was Wallace Shipyard and was opened in 1906. Alfred Wallace’s shipyard became “… the largest employer of shipyard labour in BC. During the war it produced 109 of the 312 ‘Victory Ships’ in Canada. Entire subdivisions were created in North Vancouver to house the workforce. The Shipyard’s contribution to the war effort was so significant that at the end of World War II, Clarence Wallace was decorated as “Commander of the British Empire”. – www.cnv.org

I feel fortunate and grateful to be able to attend a class at a location so rich in North Vancouver and Western Canadian History. As I get older, my pride in being Canadian has grown. This year when my Mom, Mako and I attended the Canada Day parade in North Vancouver my eyes welled up with tears.